Page 46 - Fr. Fraser Fights for the Miners, 1909
ISSUE : Issue 59
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1
for whom God intended it as a means of decent livelihood. 1 submit that it is the bounden duty of the government as trustee to see that what they have given in trust is not abused. I submit moreover that while the Provincial govemment is directly re? sponsible for this abuse: yet the Federal in my opinion should act in case the Provincial fail to do their duty. I am perfectly convinced that matters here will continue to go from bad to worse until there will be horrible bloodshed and destruction of property and perhaps then it will be too late for you to interfere. Don't believe one word of what Alexander Johnstone may tell you concerning the situation here. He is simply under the influence of the Company or something worse. The poor people ask nothing unreasonable. They simply wish to belong to an organization which is willing and able to protect and give them justice. It would be just as reasonable for the Coal Co. to tell you to sever your connection with the moth- ??' • iii • i'""''iii • ii'?i • i' er country as to tell their employ- >'0 ' I ees that they cannot belong to the / jjLi /lJir I new Union. '"''ifW/'y ''KKSTM'K!vf' 11 hope dear Wilfred that you will "-' !'- .'' I excuse (this) long hurried letter. I have only given you a faint idea of the tyranny and cruelty of the Coal Co. against their employees. Really and truly they (C. C.) are simply developing into incamate demons. They haVe no respect to law, justice, or humanity. I ask you in the name of God and jus? tice to take strong steps to put an end to this damnable persecution. Wishing again pardon for writing you at such length, I remain dear Sir Wilfred Yours very sincerely, John Fraser, P. P. From Sir Wilfred Laurier: Ottawa, 27th September, 1909 Dear Father John Fraser, • You and I are old friends and I At Giorgio & Lim, we specialize in Italian and Chinese food. Choose from either, or if your tastes are exotic, mix and match from our special combinations! • Greek and Canadian items also available • Open daily 4 p.m. Offering you a world of fine food! 536 Geotge St., Sydney (Across from Centre 200) For take-out & delivery call 539-8066 SYDCO FUELS Serving Homes and Businesses througliout Cape Breton Furnace Oil Stove Oil Diesel Fuel Gasoline Lubricants am sure we can dispassionately discuss matters, even as to which we do not agree, without any bitterness and with the sin? cere desire of coming at the truth. I am just now in receipt of your last letter and I am sorry I can? not agree with you. You say that the dispute which is the cause of the strike now raging at Sydney is not, as I stated in my for? mer letter, simply a question of the recognition of the new Un? ion, but that there is at the bottom of it a question of rates, be? cause the Company pays starvation wages, and in proof of your statement you enclose to me a number of bills to which you call my attention. I have examined these bills and 1 must say that 1 cannot come to your conclusion and I find in them no evidence of starvation wages. The men were paid by the day and by the ton. As to the price per ton, I cannot speak as I have no information upon this subject, but I presume the price per ton must be at the same rate as the wages per day, and as to the price per day, it seems to me that the wages were all as high as can be expected for that class of work. The first of these bills, Pat Walsh, was paid at the rate of $1.75 a day; the next one, Dan Bevan, at the rate of $2.20 per day; the next one, Ron Morris, at $1.75; the next one, Pat Walsh, no pay per day is mentioned, nor the next one, Pat Walsh; no rate per day is mentioned for the next one also, Peter Wilson, nor the next one, Peter Wilson again, and the next one, Pat Walsh, was paid at the rate of $1.52 per day; the next one, Pat Walsh again, no rate per day mentioned; then we have Joe Penny, who is paid at the rate of $2.10 per day, and the last one, Joseph Pen? ny, no rate per day mentioned. In all these bills, when the men were paid at a rate per day, they were paid from $1.52 to $2.20.1 repeat that this seems to me the highest rate of pay in the Eastern market. However there was an arbitration between the men and the Com? pany, before the strike was declared. The question submitted to the arbitrators was not at all a question of pay but a question of the recognition of the Union. If the men were not satisfied with their pay, I presume they would have asked this to be arbitrated upon, as well as the question of recognizing the Union. Allow me this further observation. The Act known as the Le- mieux Act provides for arbitration between employers and em? ployees. The men solicited that arbitration; the Board which was appointed reported against the men. That ought to be con? clusive; what more can they have than this? You ask me to in? terfere in this matter. First of all I must observe to you that I have no power at all of interference and, moreover, how could I undertake to interfere and to review the sentence which was 24-Hour Emergency Service Distributor of Petrocan 3 BURNER SVDCO RIDS E3 38 Lewis Drive, Sydney River 539-6444 Nertz 24 HOUR SERVICE - 7 DAYS A WEEK 539-1538 539-5623 1430 George St. Sydney, N. S. 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