Brown and Green moulders on strike

Former Brown & Green factory

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: May 24th, 1919]

There is still no sign of a satisfactory settlement of the strike of the moulders at Messrs Brown & Green, Windsor Street, which commenced on Monday of last week. The origin of the dispute was a change from time shifts to piece work, and the refusal of two men to agree to this.

The moulders' side of the question was given to a representative of the Saturday Telegraph by the Chairman of one of the unions concerned, who stated that two men were given a week's notice owing to their refusal to agree to an alteration – or threatened alteration – of existing conditions in the moulding shop. They were asked, according to his information, to finish their time jobs and commence piece work without any information being given as to how their pay would be affected.

The whole question at present, he said, was the reinstatement of these men, the remainder of the moulders refusing to work until this is done. The firm, however, will not agree to this and the men declare that they will not resume until it is carried out.

The unions covered are the Stove Grate Workers' Society, the Friendly Society of Ironmoulders and the Central Ironmoulders' Union. Their officials are endeavouring to bring about a satisfactory settlement.

In an interview with Mr J. Hearn, the manager of the shops at Messrs Brown & Green, the views of the employers were that the continuation of the strike was entirely unjustified. The two men concerned had not been dismissed by theh, but had themselves given a week's notice and then later on demanded reinstatement. These men were not allowed to resume work, and the remainder came out on strike.

An offer has now been made to the men's officials that the reinstatement of the two men concerned will be considered, providing the others return to work at once. The unions will not agree to this and demand that the two men should first be re-engaged.

Up to this morning neither party has given way, and an early settlement does not seem probable.