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THE YEADON LOCKOUT AND HUNGER MARCHES OF 1913

by

Patrick Macartney B.A.(HONS)

(as part of the requirement for the Labour Studies Diploma, April 1991)

CONTENTS

Page

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction

CHAPTER ONE: Trade Union and Socialism in Yeadon since the 1880's

CHAPTER TWO: The Lockout

CHAPTER THREE: The Hunger Marches

CHAPTER FOUR: The Final Settlement and its Implications for the Union

Conclusion

Bibliography

Appendix The Hunger Marchers by M. Harrison

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to thank all the people who have given me support and help in the research and writing of this project. Peter Booth, the National Secretary of the Textile Trade Group of the Transport and General Workers Union, who first gave me the idea of covering the subject and helped me locate important documentation; Arthur Marsh OBE, of the St. Edmund Hall Industrial Relations Annexe, who helped me with research; the library staff at Ruskin Collage, Walton Street, for their help and above all, patience; the staff at Bradford Archives Department, Leeds City Library, Bodleian Library Oxford and Rawdon Library, for their help and assistance; Mabel Harrison and Eddie Mercer of Yeadon, two local historians who pointed me in the right direction; Eva Barnes for pointing out omissions and errors in the draft; and Karen Price for the typing, advice and pointing out the difference between been and being, many thanks.I would also like to thank Jill Bursey who transferred the article from hard copy to disc.

ABBREVIATIONS

Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Yeadon, Guiseley & District Factory Workers Union

I.L.P. Independent Labour Party

Y.I.L.P.C. Yeadon Independent Labour Party Club

Y.U.D.C. Yeadon Urban District Council

G.U.T.W. General Union of Textile Workers

A.S.D. Amalgamated Society of Dyers

INTRODUCTION

The dispute which is the subject of this project took place between May and July 1913, during the four years of general labour unrest up to the outbreak of the war in 1914. I hope to be able to substantiate that the lockout was typical of the smaller disputes which took place in this period and also look into the causes of the unrest in this case. To achieve this I shall study the growth and development of the Yeadon, Guiseley and District Factory Workers' Union from its conception, through the lockout and up until the first world war to assess the dispute's effect on the union. I shall explore the political and ideological background to the union and dispute, as well as the effects of the dispute on the close knit working class community of the district.

Yeadon is a small town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, situated between the rivers Aire and Wharfe. The town developed with the woollen industry, firstly as a cottage industry in which the clothiers worked small looms in their houses, to a mill town in the 1860's when the first power looms were installed at the Manor Mills. The introduction of the power loom was not accepted without strong opposition from the hand-loom weavers, who saw the power loom as a threat to their skill and independence. However the cottage industry had all but disappeared by the 1880's when only a few hand-loom weavers were left producing high quality cloth, but now the power loom could produce a cloth as good if not better than the hand loom. Therefore the weavers had no choice but to seek employment in the new mills. Yeadon grew quickly as a mill town with five mills opening between 1868 and 1877. Shortly afterwards came the organisation of woo; textile workers in the district. Textile workers in the West Riding did form unions but these were often small craft unions of weavers, dyers etc. The fact that the Yeadon union developed into a general union is an issue I will study.

Unfortunately this small part of the union's history is just outside living memory so I have had to rely on minute books, press reports and the diaries of some of the hunger marchers. The research was further hindered by the lack of records available from the local manufacturers association and due to the fact that a union minute book for the period 1904 to 1911 is missing. However, due to the quality of the primary and secondary sources, it is possible to piece together the history of the dispute, its background and the effect on the union.

CHAPTER ONE

TRADE UNIONISM AND SOCIALISM AT YEADON SINCE THE 1880s

In 1887 the recession which had run from the 1870s lifted slightly to give unions a chance to organise semi-skilled and unskilled workers. [1] The growth of `new unionism' and an increase in interest in socialism is the backdrop to the founding of the Yeadon, Guiseley and District Factory Workers Union and the Yeadon Independent Labour Party in Yeadon. A number of key figures in the Yeadon, Guiseley and District Factory Workers Union were founder members of the local I.L.P., one of whom, Herbert Lockwood, went on to earn the respect of the community, even including some of the employers. [2]

A. Organising the union

The founding committee of the Yeadon, Guiseley Power Loom Weavers Union met on 21st February 1887. Although a speaker from the West Riding Power Loom Weavers Association was invited to explain the rules and a system of starting a union, a public meeting held at Yeadon Town Hall on 23rd March decided not to join the West Riding union but form a separate union. During March the new union was able to choose a canvasser and collector from as many as eight applicants - a luxury not to be had in the future. At first the union had a hard struggle to recruit members. In March 1889 the committee even discussed the possibility of dissolving the union; a special full union meeting decided on 18th March that it be continued and on 9th September advice was sought from the Secretary of the Huddersfield union. [3]

In April 1892 the union resolved to recruit all classes of textile workers and changed its name to the Yeadon Guiseley and District Trade Union, so it became a general textile workers union. There is no record of the decision to use `factory' in the union's name: it would appear it was just adopted at a later date. The union always had strong links with Ben Turner's General Union of Textile Workers, probably because the Yeadon union was the only other general union in the wool textile industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [4] The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. also affiliated to the Yorkshire Textile Workers' Federation from its conception in May 1894 in which Ben Turner was an influential figure. The aims of the Federation were to assist each affiliated body, improve conditions of labour and advance wages. [5]

The union had good links with the other textile `craft' unions in the district; the Yeadon, Guiseley and District Fettlers, which amalgamated with the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. in 1894, and the Amalgamated Society of Dyers. When the A.S.D. were involved in the `Old Dog Strike' in 1909 the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. wrote a letter to the Clerk to the `Standing Joint Committee' in Wakefield complaining about the "large body of police in this township". [6] From April 1911 the two unions held a series of meetings to explore the possibility of closer links and in December they discussed a "scheme of arrangement for joint action in certain eventualities". [7] These links were important because in 1913 a number of A.S.D. members were involved in the lock-out.

The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. took a generous view of the claims of workers' solidarity throughout the British Isles and even beyond. Money and support was given to over twenty different unions between 1887 and 1904, including other textile unions, miners and quarrymen. In 1896 money was even sent to support a strike in Russia. [8] Because of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U.'s strong links with Ben Turner it is not surprising that the union was heavily involved in supporting the Manningham Mills strike of 1891. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. donated £49-6s-2d [9] directly from union funds and otherwise from collections in the mills and a levy of 2d per loom. A Saturday public meeting was organised on April 25th to "shout out sympathy with the Manningham strike hands". [10] Mr. W. H. Drew, the strike leader, was invited to address a meeting of the union. When the engineers were in dispute (for an eight hour day) the union sent over £38 in grants to assist the locked-out workers. The committee also asked the Secretary to write to the Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress of trade unions to consider the crisis in the engineering industry. [11]

The main industrial concern of the union was the re-negotiation of piece rates. Weavers were not paid a weekly wage but on the basis of piece work, a natural development from the days of the cottage weaver who sold his cloth by the piece to the clothier. From the 1880s the growth of protectionism in Britain's traditional textile markets enforced greater competitiveness. The employers responded by lowering unit costs. [12] Following the imposition of tariffs by Germany there was a tendency to increase the lengths of the warps or pieces without an increase in the workers remuneration. Due to the increase in length the output of the mills was increased by "twenty to thirty per cent". This factor gave rise to discontent which led to a serious strike. In July 1890 the union backed members striking at Henshaw Mill over weavers' scales. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. met the local Chamber of Commerce and a board of conciliation was formed. They set up standard lengths and widths for the district and monitored deviations: any increase beyond the standard length was to be met by a corresponding increase on payment. [13] A number of disputes took place over future years when employers broke the standard rate agreement.

In August 1897 a Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. sub-committee drafted a scheme to submit to the Yorkshire Federation in the hope of re-establishing a "standard rate of wages throughout the textile industry". Pointing in the fact that each organised district had the ambition to reach a higher standard rate than every other district, the sub-committee reported that

"this simply puts the most powerful weapon in the hands of the unscrupulous employers who use the phrase `outside competition' on every possible occasion to the injury of the workers." [14]

The attitude of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. to local standard rates and its calls for industry-wide rates was of crucial importance in 1913 when local rates were still operating; and the employers attempted to impose on the union one of the lowest local agreements in the industry to settle the lockout dispute.

The initial boom in the district's textile industry came to an end with the German tariffs and by 1904 ten mills had closed in the area served by the union. [15] When the textile trade was hit by recession between the late 1890s to 1905 the union struggled to maintain its membership, which in 1902 fell to 109 members. [16] There was, however, still capacity for the union to recruit members, so they held meetings with outside speakers, such as Tom Mann, Ben Tillet and Ben Turner, publicised by posters, handbills and a bellman. The employers responded by sacking some of the union activists. The minute book is full of claims for victimisation pay following dismissals from one mill or another. At a time of high unemployment the majority of mill owners used the threat of taking away a worker's livelihood to undermine union organisation. Many mill owners replaced male workers with women. The union was well aware of the problems of organising the female workforce and was affiliated to the Women's Trade Union League which often sent up organisers to assist the union in recruitment. The Women's Trade Union Journal of April 1897 carries a report from a Mrs. Marland-Brodie, an organiser,

"I can truly say it was the toughest piece of work I ever undertook. Yet on every hand complaints of low wages, fining which they considered excessive and other grievances were all brought vividly before us." [17]

In 1900 the union gave an enthusiastic welcome to its first female members.

The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. had a strong political interest throughout the period between the late 1889s and the outbreak of the First World War. In the years between 1898-1900 the union held large meetings to which leading figures from the I.L.P. were invited to speak. In August 1898 these included P. J. King, a unionist, F. Broklehurst, a member of the national administrative council of the I.L.P., E. Stacy and E. Pankhurst, prominent women I.L.P. members, J. B. Glazier, one of the `big four', a land leaguer, one time supporter of the Social Democratic Federation and William Morris's Socialist League, was considered to be one of the I.L.P.'s great orators. P. Snowden was a leading I.L.P. propagandist with an evangelical style; John Burgess, a journalist for The Cotton Factory Times, Yorkshire Factory Times and Workmans Times, supported independent labour representation and published a leading article calling for the formation of an I.L.P. [18] In October J. Keir Hardie accepted an offer to speak at a meeting. Because the union was organising such meetings, the Yorkshire Factory Times, in January 1899, attributed the decline in union membership to the committee's "trying to preach socialism in preference to trade union principles". [19] The committee replied that "other causes were at work which were more responsible" [20], mainly the slump in the district's textile industry which had caused a drop in membership from 950 members in 1895 to around 275 members in 1899.

The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. always had a strong social side meticulously organised by the committee. The tea dance became an annual event in Yeadon Town Hall with as many as 500 people attending, often entertained by Yeadon Brass Band. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. were always on the lookout for premises in which to house the union offices and a socal club. In December 1911 the union moved into premises previously owned by the Liberal Club: the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. club was founded, known as the `Factory Workers Club' which closed down as late as 1982. Discussion took place with Yeadon I.L.P. to decide if it was possible to accommodate them in the new institute. Although there is no record of the decision, in March 1912 the union did agree to store some articles for the I.L.P. in the institute. The offices and club were important when it came to the lockout in 1913 because it gave the community and union a base from which to run the dispute. [21]

One of the founder members and leading figures on the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. was Herbert Lockwood, who was appointed full-time secretary in February 1892 after dismissal by his employer for trade union activities. An active founder member of the Yeadon Independent Labour Party Club, established in 1892, Lockwood was its delegate tot he Bradford conference which set up the national I.L.P. in January 1893. He stood as the I.L.P. candidate for the Warfedale Board of Guardians in 1894, became an I.L.P. councillor on Yeadon Urban District Council, and a member of the Local Conciliation Board. In October 1894 the union committee discussed the expendiency of its secretary's sitting on the Conciliation Board, but they resolved he should continue. By 1909, when the A.S.D. was in dispute, Herbert Lockwood was Chairman of Yeadon District Council, secretary of the Conciliation Board and a Justice of the Peace. [22] During the 1913 lockout the hunger-marchers were known as `Lockwood's Lambs'. [23] When Lockwood died in 1928, after 37 years devoted service to the union,

"notice of his death and funeral arrangements were posted in all the mills of the district and tributes poured in from all over Yorkshire." [24]

B. Yeadon Independent Labour Party

Several union committee men were active in the Y.I.L.P. from the outset. One of them, Mr. E. B. Neilson, also founder member of both the union and Y.I.L.P., stood as candidate for the I.L.P. at the Yeadon U.D.C. election of 1899 and was also President of the union until he left the district in 1901. The major ideological influence on the union was clearly that of the Independent Labour Party.

The Yeadon I.L.P. Club was typical of those which existed on the Bradford area at around that time. The club organised a variety of social activities such as cricket matches, suppers and dances. Running alongside the social aspects of the club were the more traditional activities of the early labour movement, in education, organisation and agitation. The education dimension was supported by speakers' meetings. These Sunday lectures which took place in the lunchtime and evening were given by local club members, such as Lockwood and Neilson, or by outside speakers like Ben Tillet and Tom Mann. The club also took Labour Journals such as the Clarion, designed by Robert Blatchford as a non-sectarian socialist paper, the Co-op News, the Yorkshire Factory Times and, from January 1893, The Labour Leader, national organ of the I.L.P. [25] The Y.I.L.P.C. also produced its own journal, The Labour Chronicle, in 1894, copies are still in existence for 1912 but a complete history of the journal is not known. [26]

The Yeadon I.L.P. also held large meetings in the Town Hall square and Jim Connelly, land leaguer, Fenian and socialist, best known as the composer of the `Red Flag', addressed a meeting in 1898. The link with the union movement is found in the rules of the Y.I.L.P. which contains `no sweat' and `no exploitation' clauses. [27] Industrial reports also appeared in the Chronicle: one, written by Florence Routledge for the Yorkshire Federation, read

"we desire to see the Textile Unions become strong and powerful, as are the unions in our sister country of Lancashire..." [28]

Another important theme of I.L.P. politics was that of Labour representation, at local and national level. Not only did local union committee men stand for office but they also held meetings in 1904 to consider setting up a Local Labour Representation committee, four years later affiliating to the Labour Representation Committee for the Otley Parliamentary Division. In November 1912 a meeting took place with the Yeadon Electrical Division of the L.R.C. to discuss appointing representatives from the union to the L.R.C. Four members of the committee were subsequently appointed by the union. [29] Another development in the district which strengthened links between the I.L.P. and union movement was the formation of a Trades Council for the area. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. affiliated to the Warfedale Trades and Labour Council soon after its formation in September 1912. In December 1912 a deputation from the Warfedale T.&.L.C. met with the union committee to discuss ways of securing joint action with other organisations representing labour in the district. The union committee agreed to endorse the scheme and pledged to give it their support. [30]

In 1912 the union had 690 members made up of 393 males and 297 females. [31] 1912 had also seen an increase in industrial action as different sections of the textile trade tried to secure better wages while trade was good. The annual report for 1912 says that several branches of the trade had been successful in securing wage rises.

FOOTNOTES

1. H. Pelling, Origins of the Labour Party, (O.U.P. 1965 2nd edition), p. 78-99

2. Report of the Royal Commission on Labour, 1892-1894: Group C, Part I, p. 321, para. 8022

3. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Minute Books, I (1887-1897), 21 February, 23 March 1887; 4, 18 March, 2 September 1889

4. J. A. Jowitt, `The retardation of trade unionism in the Yorkshire worsted textile industry' in J. A. Jowitt & A. J. McIvor, eds., Employers and Labour in the English textile industries 1850-1939 (Routledge, 1988), p.99

5. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, I (1887-1897), 11 May 1894

6. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Correspondence Book, p.25

7. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, III (1911-1915), 7 December 1911

8. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, I (1887-1897), 22 July 1896

9. B. Turner, Short History of the General Union of Textile Workers, (Heckmondwike 1920), p. 142

10. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book I (1887-1897), 25 April 1891

11. Ibid.,18 October, 8 December 1897

12. T. Illingworth, Yeadon Yorkshire (T. Illingworth 1980), p. 100

13. Report of the Royal Commission on Labour, 1892-94: Group C, Part I, p. 321- 322, para. 8022

14. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, I (1887-1897) 4 August 1897

15. T. Illingworth, Yeadon Yorkshire, (Illingworth 1980), p. 104

16. Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions 1898, p. 46

17. Womens Trade Union Journal, April 1897

18. D. Howell, British Workers and the Independent Labour Party 1888-1906, (M.U.P.1984), p. 112-113, p. 305-334, p. 3-5, p. 270-287

19. Yorkshire Factory Times, 13 January 1899

20. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, II (1897-1903), 25 January 1899

21. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, III (1911-1915), 12 December 1911, 20 March 1911

22. P. Booth, The Old Dog Strike, (Otley & District Trades Council)

23. M. Rigg, More Old Aireborough, (Rigg 1981)

24. T. Illingworth, Yeadon Yorkshire, (Illingworth 1980), p. 127-128

25. Y.I.L.P., Minute Book (1892-1894), 29 December 1892

26. The Labour Chronicle 1898, March, April, John Johnson Coll. Bobleian Library

27. Y.I.L.P., Minute Book (1892-1894) 29 December 1892, under rules

28. The Labour Chronicle 1898, March

29. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., Minute Book, III (1911-1915), 21 November 1912

30. Ibid., 19 December 1912

31. Ibid., balance sheet for 1912

CHAPTER TWO

THE LOCKOUT

The period from 1911-1914 is one in which Britain saw a great deal of political and social unrest. The suffragettes and the Irish question were to the fore and during this period strikes and lockouts occurred at a higher rate than ever before. [1] In 1913 1,497 disputes commenced and 93,510 textile workers were involved. In the year more than half the disputes were over demands for advancement of wages. From the point of view of the workers in all industries, 31% were successful, 21% were unsuccessful and 48% resulted in a compromise. [2] Argument has taken place as to the causes of the industrial unrest; the two main factors pointed to are the growth of syndicalist groups and a drop in the living standards of the working class. Despite Pelling's general doubt that the latter was a major factor, during the lockout of Yeadon's textile workers. Lockwood and others often referred to the high costs of living in their speeches and pointed to the growing wealth of the employers. [3] In some industries pay rises had not been received for a number of years. The case for Yeadon's textile workers was that wages had not grown in a large number of branches of the industry for up to 30 years. Another important factor in the lockout was the strong sense of community which was evident in the Yeadon district throughout the dispute.

From 1912 the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. pressed a number of wage claims for the members in different sections of the textile trade. On 3rd April 1913 Lockwood applied to the manufacturers for an increase in wages for Finishers, Warehousmen and Dyers. When the manufacturers refused the application, the Secretary tried to hold a meeting with the employers to discuss the situation.

On 24 April the Secretary reported that a meeting had taken place between himself and Finishers, Warehousmen and Dyers and that they had decided to give notice to strike if a requested meeting with the employers did not take place. The union committee approved the course of action and requested that the Secretary should carry out the decision . [4] The union was demanding a standard rate: workers below the age of 18 should receive a 2 shillings' rise immediately and start at 10 shillings a week in all three departments; from the age of 18 to 22 a rise of 41/2d per hour and 1 shilling every 6 months until 28 shillings was reached; over 22 years a wage of 28 shillings for a week of 551/2 hours. On overtime the union wanted time and a quarter from 5.30pm to 7 o'clock and time and a half after 7pm. [5]

The Masters' Association responded with 1 shilling per week to workers in the Finishing and Warehouse departments who were earning less than 25 shillings per week. No offer was made to the Dyers whom the employers believed to be unskilled labourers already adequately paid for their work. The Finishers, Warehousmen and Doers rejected the offer and withdrew their labour on Monday 19 May. However, workers in these departments at Nunroyd Mills Guiseley continued to work and pickets were mobilised. When the picketing became hostile, police were brought in to escort the workers to and from work. The union withdrew the pickets on Wednesday after the posting of employers' notices at all Mills involved in the dispute, which stated that, in absence of a settlement by Thursday night, the Mills would close down in Friday. [6] Five Mills subsequently locked out around 2,000 workers and only a few Mills were unaffected. [7]

On Friday May 23 a mass meeting of about 1,000 was held at the Town Hall Square Yeadon, Chaired by T. Hardisty, President of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. and addressed by Councillor Lockwood, Verity, President of the A.S.D. Hardisty declared that plenty of notice had been given to the employers of the industrial action, which had brought about the lockout. None of the union strikers would have gained from the employers offer; indeed, in some sections of the industry on advances in wages had been made since 1893. Councillor Lockwood approved the lockout because it tested the resolve of the workers. He gave great emphasis to the rise in the cost of living: they all knew that what could be once purchased for £1 now cost 24 shillings and this made a vast difference to any household. Although money wage had not been cut, real wages had fallen. The workers had a right to fair pay for their labour as their share of the wealth they had produced. They were there to demand that their claims should be met in a reasonable way by those who were self-elected captains of industry, Lockwood concluded. [8]

Another issue discussed at the meeting was that of `scouting': the employers' practice of sending out people to find the lowest rates paid. Lockwood pointed to the fact that `girls who ought to be still at school' were doing work as Rag Grinders for as little as 13 shillings per week, a job done by man at 25 shillings throughout the rest of the West Riding. On this occasion the employers had not sent out scouts throughout the district because they knew they were paying the lowest rate. The Fillers and Minders had achieved a rise in wages because although the employers had sent out a scout, they could not find a lower rate for this branch of the workforce in the West Riding. Hardisty added that no scout had been sent out in the case of the Finishers, Warehousmen and Dyers because the employers knew they were already paying the lowest rate. [9]

Mr. Verity of the A.S.D. told the meeting that it was obvious that the employers

`had thought the time was opportune to crush the fighting spirit of the workers by proclaiming a general lockout.' [10]

He also urged other sections of the textile workforce to make wage demands because

`the conditions of 3 or 4,000 workers in that district and their wages were not what they ought to be.' [11]

He stressed the need for the workers to be organised in the fight for the trade union principle. Alderman Hayhurst also called for the workers to organise themselves. [12]

On Wednesday 28 May a march took place from the Factory Workers' Club to the Yeadon moor, one mile out of town, where 1,500 people attended a rally. Also present, bringing messages of solidarity, were members of Bradford Trade and Labour Council, the A.S.D. and the Amalgamated Union of Dyers, Bleachers, Finishers and Kindred Trades. Hardisty observed that the good weather enabled families to consume less coal and food: priority should be given to the care of the children, a prime concern during the Lockout. He called for solidarity, pointing to the fact that half of the district's textile workers were organised. Referring to the 17% increase in cost of living since the last pay rise of 18 years ago, Lockwood urged that the salvation of the workers was in their own hands. He hoped that the men and women of Yeadon & District would assert themselves and insist on receiving a fair share of the world goods that they and their children were spending the whole of their time producing. [13]

In comparison with other industrial disputes of the same period, the one in Yeadon was quiet and peaceful. One reason for this could have been the fact that it was a total lockout of workers, so no picketing took place. In fact the press compliment the union and workers for the peaceful manner of the dispute. [14]

Before the commencement of the lockout the Willeyers, Fettlers and Cloth Millers had also put forward a demand for a pay rise. They asked for talks to take place with employers concerning their demands, if the talks did not take place and their demands were not met then they would not return to work. The deadline given by this branch of the workforce was the first pay-day in June. The employers refused to talk and as a result one of the mills which was still working, Crompton's Mill, closed down due to the fact that the Willeyers, Fettlers and Cloth Millers withdrew their labour. Also early in June the Weavers met to decide to put in for a revision of the Standard Scale which had not altered since its adoption in 1893. [15]

Early moves towards bringing the two sides in the lockout together came from the two bodies, the Local Clergy and Ministers and Yeadon Urban District council. On Monday 2 June the Rev. E.E. Joblin, acting as secretary for the Clergy and Ministers, sent a petition to Alfred Brown, Secretary of the masters' Association and Herbert Lockwood, Secretary of the union. The petition asked for an immediate conference between the two sides to avoid suffering and bad feeling. They did however stress that they were not expressing `any opinion on the merits and questions at issue.' The union reply read

`Your disinterestedness is appreciated and I am authorised to say that due to the possibility, to which you rightly draw attention, of the much suffering inevitable upon a long drawn out struggle...we would be glad to confer with the Employers Association with the object of ending the dispute...'

[16]

The Yeadon District Council discussed the industrial dispute at their meeting on 4 June and supported an attempt to bring both parties together. The council also set up a distressed fund with money left over from a similar fund set up during the coal strike of 1912. They felt the money should be distributed to the most needy, especially where children were involved. [17] The Masters replied that they were

`unanimously of the opinion that no good purpose could be served at this juncture by any such conference...' [18]

In their view the situation had been brought about by three small groups of workers leaving their employment. Although the Clergy and Ministers were not successful in bringing the two parties together the council did have some success as we shall see later. It is clear that at this time the employers believed that they could break the union if a lengthy dispute took place.

By mid June the effects of loss of wages were beginning to be felt by the community and the hunger marches were launched. Financial support began to come in from a number of sources. The Warfedale and District Trades Council held frequent sessions throughout the district with the aim of `advancing the claims for trade unionism' [19]; donations for the Yeadon workers were collected at the meetings. An Executive Council meeting of the Amalgamated Union of Dyers, Bleachers, Finishers and Kindred Trades on 21 June resolved to give £20 to their locked out members above the normal strike pay and contributed £25 to assist Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. in the dispute. [20] An offer was received from families in Bradford to house children `who were threatened with starvation' due to the lockout. So as the lockout continued the workers began to feel the pinch and were offered assistance by a number of unions and Labour bodies despite the claims of other disputes taking place in the Leeds and Bradford area. [21]

Although the employers were reluctant to make statements to the press, Mr. Peate, Chairman of the Association, told the Yeadon Coal Company on Saturday 21 June that the 1906 Trades Disputes Act was `used as an act of intimidation and tyranny'. He asserted that the Act had the effect of turning employers against workers and worker against worker. For Peate the Act restricted freedom because `workmen receiving good wages were intimidated by a tiny minority', their freedom was restricted and efforts were made to compel them, in one way or another, to join the trade union.' The union was quick to respond: at a meeting on Monday 23 June Lockwood declared that, following the Laws Lords' decision to put the trade unions at the mercy of the employers and dissatisfied union members a few years earlier, the Labour Party had protested and the Liberal Government amended the law. Consequently, the unions were only in the same position that they had been for the previous fifty years. It was absurd of Peate to blame the industrial unrest in either the country or the district on the Act. On the subject of intimidation, Lockwood discussed Peate's allegation. When trouble came to the union for assistance. It was only fair that workers who gained the benefits of union action should join the union. [22]

Along with a Mrs. Denison, wife of one of the employers, Peate came in for further criticism at a meeting held by the W.T.&.L.C. Both were in the Board of Guardians, which had a relief committee for workers affected by the lockout. A socialist member of the committee pointed out that as both had claimed that he would not allow the dispute to influence his judgement, he was told he had no right to judge the case of his own employees. [23]

On Monday 23 June there was a special meeting of Y.U.D.C. to consider a letter received from the employers, which claimed that the dispute had been caused by the three sections of the workforce breaking off negotiations and that the employers would resume talks if the employees returned to work on their old scaled . Lockwood said that as far as he was concerned the masters had broken off the negotiations and denied the letter's allegation that Yeadon's employers paid higher wages than other districts. These matters should be discussed when the employers were present. Thereupon Lockwood left the meeting. After some discussion the council passed a resolution stating that the workers should return to work on the old scales, on the condition that both sides hold a conference to settle all the matters involved in the dispute within six weeks. The council called for talks to take place on Wednesday June 25 with four representatives from each body. [24] On the Wednesday evening the workers representatives arrived at the meeting only to find that the Masters' Association had declined to attend and had instead sent a letter to the effect that, as both the council's resolution and their earlier letter were in full accord, an employers' delegation was unnecessary. Lockwood said that the council had put their workers in an invidious position because they had not asked the workers in an invidious position because they had not asked the workers for their views before passing the resolution. However, on his offer that the union would enter into talks if the employers would attend a meeting, the council agreed to inform the employers that the union were willing to talk. [25]

The first conference between the Masters and the unions took place on Monday June 30. Councillors were also present. The employers repeated their earlier position. Lockwood disagreed: the lockout notices posted at the mills stated that the mills would be closed until the dispute was settled; it was evidently intended that outstanding matters should be settled before the mills re-opened. The council had passed its resolution based upon a one-sided version of affairs and unacceptable to the workers. The position of the non-unionists amongst the workforce was also raised at the meeting. Peate argued that many workers were not in the union and were carrying the burden for those who were. Lockwood replied that as the employers had locked all the workers out, it was surprising to hear them showing sympathy to non-unionists. All mass meetings were open to all workers and none had voted for a return to work. After discussion both parties said that they were willing to look at agreements which had been made in the Dewsbury and Batley districts to see if they could form the basis for a settlement. Thus the first faltering steps were made towards a settlement. There was a long way to go. [26]

Talks continued between both parties in the early part of July. The employers believed that the Dewsbury and Morley agreements were `well considered scales' but the workers' representatives disagreed, they claimed that far from being `very generous' scales they were in fact the lowest known agreements in the heavy woollen district. The main cause for disagreement was a clause which stated that the employer would be able to take disciplinary action against `wiling but incompetent workers.' The workers of Yeadon rejected the agreement and talks broke down. Y.U.D.C. made moves to get talks resumed at a meeting on Monday 21 July. They reported that `the Masters had refused to put the matter before representatives of the Board of Trade' and that they had planned a meeting for the councillors of Rawdon, Guiseley and Yeadon districts to be held the same evening. Lockwood complained about the fact that the council had interfered in the dispute by calling for a ballot of weavers. He read out a resolution from the Weavers delegates which stated

`Any further interference on the part of the council, in view of their previous bias and unfair action, is keenly resented by this representative and a meeting of Weavers of uncalled for and unlikely to cause further complications.'

After some discussion the meeting was closed and Lockwood returned to report to his delegates. [27]

Throughout July the distress of the workers became more acute. Lockwood had told a reporter from the Weekly Citizen on 4 July that the union was running out of funds and that they had been paying the men half-pay, a sum of £120 per week, but doubt was expressed as to how long this could continue. Some newspapers carried reports of people begging in the street but this was strongly denied by other local papers. Many families were on poor relief and the shopkeepers i the district showed sympathy by allowing credit and also donating food to the local soup kitchen. Donations received from unions and other sympathetic bodies were distributed by the union, and the local Education Board donated money to families with children. The local Co-operative Society sent a gift of 40 stones of flour and about 160 loaves of Saturday 19 July which was distributed the same day. The Rawdon Co-operative Society distributed their half year bonus the same day and also sent a donation of £20 to the workers. On this evidence the reports of some newspapers would appear to have been exaggerated and although there was a great deal of hardship, support was forthcoming. A founder member of the union, Mr. Long Marshell, had set up business in a shop in Yeadon following victimisation, and he donated £300 to the lockout fund. Bradford Trades Council also made a loan to the Y.&.G.F.W.U. of £75 which was repaid in 1914.

Throughout June and July the workers of Yeadon and district were put to the test. With support from the unions and money raised themselves through the Hunger Marchers, they stood up well. The local council had tried throughout this period to get both sides together to negotiate a settlement, although the union did express its disquiet at what it saw as bias in some of the council's initiatives. The last week if July saw a settlement reached, which I will cover in a later chapter. Lockwood played a key role throughout this period as the chief negotiator for the workers and also as leader.

FOOTNOTES

1. Hugh Armstrong Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions, Vol.II (OUP, 1985), p.24

2. Board of Trade Labour Gazette, November 1913, p.398

3. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 30 May 1913

4. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Minute Book, 24 April, 8 May 1913

5. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 23 May 1913

6. Ibid.

7. Leeds Mercury, 23 May 1913

8. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 30 May 1913

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 7 June 1913

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Yeadon Urban District Council Minutes, 4 June 1913 (held in Rawdon Library, Leeds)

18. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 7 June 1913

19. Ibid.

20. Amalgamated Union of Dyers, Bleachers, Finishers & Kindred Trades. Minutes of the Executive Council meeting 21 June 1913 (Bradford Archives, 126D77/13)

21. Report of Strikes & Lockouts, 1913, p.130. According to the report, over 4,000 workers were involved in textile disputes in the West Riding of Yorkshire over the same period as the Yeadon Lockout.

22. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 27 June 1913

23. Ibid.

24. Yeadon Urban District Council Minutes, 23 June 1913

25. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 27 June 1913

26. Ibid., 4 July 1913

27. Ibid., 25 July 1913

28. Leeds Weekly Citizen, 4 July 1913

29. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 27 June 1913

30. T. Illingworth, Yeadon Yorkshire, (Pub. Illingworth 1980)

31. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 25 July 1913

32. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Minute Book III, 14 August 1913

33. Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Minute Book III (Balance Sheet Year Ending 31 December 1913)

34. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 11, 18, 25 July, 1 August

CHAPTER THREE

THE HUNGER MARCHES

Very little research has been done on hunger marches prior to the famous Jarrow March of 1936; it is therefore very difficult to assess the frequency or impact of such marches during the 1911-1914 period of industrial unrest. The Yeadon hunger marches took place for two main reasons. Firstly, to alleviate the hardship of the locked out workers and their families, and secondly to spread the news of the struggle to other workers in both the West Riding and Lancashire.

An exact date for the commencement of the hunger marches cannot be given. We do know that Lockwood first mentions them in a speech on June 18. He says

"Since the first hunger marches in the last week the whole district has been awakened to our cause. Postal orders and cheques as well as promises of support have trebled in number and amount." [1]

Due to this a programme of marches was devised for the following weeks. By the time the dispute was settled over ten marches had taken place, the majority to Leeds and Bradford. On these local marches women and children took part travelling a distance of 14 miles on their return to Yeadon. The workers were organised in `contingents' and each had a banner explaining that they were `collecting for the Yeadon and Guiseley general lockout fund'. Some of the marchers carried collection boxes. The marchers were often accompanied by a brass band, instrumentalists or a comic band. [2]

The march to Leeds became a weekly occurrence taking place every Tuesday. Hundreds of people would gather in the Yeadon Town Hall square to see off up to 300 marchers. A report on the Tuesday 17 June march tells of a `labour hymn' sung at the Town Hall before the marchers departed and of a meeting in Victoria Square Leeds, with addresses given by `Leeds labour leaders'. Light refreshments were provided for the marchers on their arrival in Leeds by the Leeds Trade & Labour Council. Collections were taken on route and at the meeting. Both Lockwood and Hardisty occasionally accompanied the marchers to Leeds and Bradford. [3]

Another means of raising funds and spreading the news of the struggle was to send delegates to collect at mills and address meetings. One such delegation was invited to Cleckheaton in the Heavy Woollen district, by the Cleckheaton Socialist Society and the Spen Valley branch of the I.L.P. support would be stronger in these areas due to the large number of textile workers. [4]

The hunger marches served another important purpose alongside fund raising and spreading news of the dispute. They raised morale by experiencing solidarity and feeling the strong sense of community to feel they were doing something positive. When Lockwood addressed one group of Leeds marchers he said

"The hunger marches were undertaken for the purpose of making the workers' case known outside the boundaries of their own township and besides accomplishing their objects, the marchers had found something to do and they were better physically, one needed only to glance at their faces to see that..." [5]

The marches were suspended for a week from 8-15 July while negotiations took place. When the talks with the Masters broke down it was decided to resume the marches with an increased programme. Over seven marches took place in ten days, two of these to Lancashire `for the purpose of making the workers' cause known to throughout Lancashire'. [6] At this stage in the dispute hardship would have increased, so thirty men set out for Blackpool and twenty for Liverpool. The Liverpool march set out on July 21 going via Bradford and Halifax. We know they reached Liverpool but were then called back because a settlement was reached. Little is known of this march but we do know that they returned by train and marched from Yeadon railway station to the Town Hall square on the evening of July 26 where they were welcomed by a large crowd. [7]

On Wednesday July 16 a large crowd gathered around the Town Hall square to see the Blackpool marchers off. They carried a banner which said `Blackpool Contingent, collection for the Yeadon and Guiseley lockout fund'. The route of the march was planned so as to pass through as many textile towns as possible. (see map) On the first day they passed through Shipley, Bingley, Keighly and Steeton. They arrived in Skipton having travelled 23 miles where they stayed overnight. A meeting was held in Skipton which resulted in the total for the day's collections reaching £5-10-00. A request was made for shelter for the marchers and all were given lodgings. [8]

The next day the march set out for Nelson. It stopped at Barnoldswick where, it being lunch time, the marchers held an impromptu meeting at a mill's gates and collected 10 shillings. The marchers were accommodated in the weavers institute at Nelson for two nights where they were fed and cared for. The Yeadon marchers attended an I.L.P. meeting on the Friday night and the whole of the collection was sent back to Yeadon. [9] The total collected in Nelson was £16, which was remarkable because 400 weavers were on strike in the town. [10]

On Saturday July 20 the marchers set off for Blackburn via Burnley. On their arrival in Blackburn they were welcomed by the I.L.P. branch who had made arrangements for the `trampers' to stay in hotels. The I.L.P. also made arrangements for the marchers to be well fed during their stay in the town. The collection in Blackburn was £12. Yet again the cotton workers of Lancashire who were well organised were showing their solidarity both financially and with hospitality. Two nights were spent in Blackburn and the march moved on to Preston where the marchers slept on the floor of the Labour Club. [11]

On arriving in Blackpool they were met by Lockwood, who had travelled there by train. His presence had been requested by one of the marchers who had written asking him if he could investigate statements which were made by a Mr. Jackson, who was a representative from as a Halifax textile union. The exact facts of the matter are not known but it would appear that Jackson travelled with the marchers and spoke at their meetings. He was accused of making `false statements' and when Lockwood questioned him about the matter, while the marchers were present, he denied he had made the statements. In the diaries of one of the marchers he says this `proved he was a liar'. Having heard the case, Lockwood decided to send him back to Yeadon. [12]

Lockwood took the men to Lockharts restaurant to dine and informed them of progress made in negotiations and gave them news of their families. The police would not allow the marchers to collect so they spent the day around the town lodgings, they were accommodated by the Salvation Army in their barracks. [13]

Because Lockwood had informed them that a settlement was near, the marchers decided to take the most direct route back to Yeadon. They returned via Preston, staying the night with the Salvation Army in Blackburn, which meant it was the third successive night the men had `roughed it', sleeping on boards. The next day they walked to Todmorden, via Accrington, where 5,00 were on strike. That night they were put up in the Todmorden Socialist Club who also gave them a large quantity of food. Halifax was reached on 25 July and they slept in the Labour Party rooms, after only having eaten a portion of fish and chips each all day. [14]

On July 26 they set off home having heard that a settlement had been reached , but not knowing what it was. They returned via Bradford and when they reached Henshaw Lane in Yeadon the brass band was there to escort them to the Town Hall square. the bank led them to the square playing `Never Despair'. The roads were packed with people who had come out to welcome them home. [15] The two leaders of the marches, Mr. A. Kirkbright and J. Marchall, gave addresses on the Town Hall steps. They told the crowd that hey were proud of the way the men had carried out their task without any complaint. Both men stressed that they had been well received by the working class population of Lancashire and Kirkbright said that

`Independent Labour Clubs, Socialist Clubs and the Weavers Association have received us with open arms and have done what they could for us. I would like to emphasise that no help financially of physically had been received from either the Liberal Party of the Conservative Party.' [16]

Both Lockwood and Hardisty spoke of the sacrifices made and the hardship undergone by the men to try and alleviate the suffering of those at home. It was due to their achievement that an official welcome had been given to them. The Blackpool contingent had collected £50-8 shillings and marched 174 miles and all 30 men were in good health. [17]

It is difficult to appraise the financial success of the hunger marches because no balance sheet for the lockout can be located. It should be noted however that the collection made from the Blackpool march would be the equivalent to a worker's annual wage. Due to the large number of marches which took place a considerable amount of money must have been raised which went at least some way to mitigate the hardship of the locked out workers and their families. As for spreading news of the dispute, the Leeds and Bradford newspapers gave coverage of both the lockout and the hunger marches and we know that the Blackpool march was referred to in at least one national newspaper. [18] The local marches were large and colourful and the population of Leeds and Bradford would be informed of the struggle taking place. As word of the dispute spread, labour movement groups offered support and assistance. Lastly the importance in keeping the morale of the workers high and strengthening the sense of community at such an important juncture in the lockout cannot be underestimated.

FOOTNOTES

1. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 20 June 1913

2. Yorkshire Factory Times, 17 June 1913

3. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 20 June 1913

4. Yorkshire Factory Times, 10 June 1913

5. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 11 July 1913

6. Ibid., 18 July 1913

7. Ibid., 1 August 1913

8. Diary of Mr. E. Exley, 16-26 July 1913

9. Labour Leader, 24 July 1913

10. H.A. Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions Since 1889, Vol.II, 1911-1933 (O.U.P. 1987), p.43. "There was in Nelson an anti-socialist Nelson and District Weavers Protection society originally founded by a catholic priest. On several occasions in 1913 Nelson weavers refused to work with members of the Protection Society, and two mills remained shut for six months. The outcome was the collapse of the society."

11. Diary of Mr. J. Preston, J. Burberry & R. Smith, 16-26 July 1913

12. Ibid., 22 July 1913

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid., 25 July 1913

15. Diary of Mr. E. Exley, 26 July 1913

16. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 1 August 1913

17. Diary of Mr. J. Preston, J. Burberry & R. Smith, 26 July 1913

18. Marches covered in the Yorkshire Factory Times, Leeds Weekly Citizen, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer and the Labour Leader, June to August 1913

CHAPTER FOUR

THE FINAL SETTLEMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNION

Throughout the lockout both parties had resisted the use of conciliation bodies to settle the dispute. The union and manufacturers did not wish to use the local conciliation board and the manufacturers rejected intervention by Board of Trade representatives. The state had made arbitration possible under the terms of the 1896 Conciliation Act, but is was purely voluntary. [1] If one party in a dispute did not give its consent then it could not take place. As the union knew that its position was weak by mid July, it would probably have been willing to go to arbitration, but the employers' refusal to do so ruled out the chance of the state intervention to settle the dispute. It was therefore left to the local councils and church representatives to try and lay the ground for a settlement.

During 1913 the `number of strikes and lockouts settled by third parties was 127', the highest recorded. It is difficult to assess if the Yeadon lockout comes under this heading because 84 disputes were settled by `voluntary conciliatory agencies, and by individuals' [2] and Y.U.D.C. could have been considered a conciliatory agency.

The first steps towards a settlement were made on Monday 21 July. During the day Y.U.D.C. held a meeting and agreed to hold another meeting the same evening with representatives from Rawdon and Guiseley Urban District Councils and members of the local clergy and ministers. At the meeting, held at 7.00pm at Guiseley Town Hall, the representatives passed a resolution in an attempt to break the deadlock. It was agreed that the Dewsberry Agreement should be put before both parties and that `matters which were non-essential could be deleted.' [3] It was this resolution which enabled a meeting to take place between both parties at a local secondary school on Wednesday 23 July. The meeting was held behind closed doors and the press were not invited, but we do know that the delegates at the meeting were J. Peate, J.H. Ives, W. Murgatroyd, E. Denison, and A Brown (Secretary) for the manufacturers and W. Marston, Alma Drake, G. Sharp and H. Lockwood (Secretary) for the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. At this meeting the final settlement was provisionally agreed as long as it was acceptable to the workers. [4]

The terms of the agreement were as follows. The agreement was to run for two years from 25 July 1913 to 1 October 1915. The wages of any worker who was deemed to be `infirm or otherwise incompetent' was to be left to `private adjustment between the employer and the worker.' The working week became 551/2 hours. Overtime was to begin at 5.30pm when work commenced at 6.00am and at 6.00pm when work commenced at 6.30am, and there was also a slight increase in overtime payments. Pay rises for different groups of workers varied. Willeyers and fettlers got 6d (21/2p) an hour; clothmillers and scourers got 27 shillings instead of 25s41/2d per week. Night workers were given a rise in the night rate of 11/4d or 11/2d to give them 61/4d or 61/2d per hour. Also in the agreement were clauses on `through working' during meal breaks, that is staggering meal breaks to keep machinery operating; a six month training period with rates to be mutually agreed for any new workers in a department and new rates for piece workers plus a new standard scale for the weavers. [5]

Meetings were held throughout the district for different sections of the workers. After discussing the agreement a vote was taken at each meeting and the workers agreed to sign the document. [6] The agreement was signed on 26 July with all the delegates named above present. Also present as witnesses were R. Muschamp and W. Livingstone representing the ministers and clergy, G. Teale, leader of the Y.U.D.C., H. Walmsley, clerk to Rawdon and Yeadon U.D.C. and M. Rennard, clerk to Guiseley U.D.C. [7]

The agreement fell short of the union's demands but concessions which were beneficial to the workers were secured. The reduction in the working week was an advance which benefited all groups of workers. However the one clause on `infirm of otherwise incompetent workers', a point the union had rejected in earlier talks, was included in the final agreement. When explaining the financial implications of the agreement to a mass meeting of workers on Saturday 26 July, Lockwood said

"The body of men who have come off worse in the agreement were the men who came out on strike, the finishers, warehousmen and dyers"

because they had received 2 shillings rise per week 6 months earlier, and they received nothing. [8]

The importance of acquiring the first General Agreement between the Yeadon and Guiseley Manufacturers Association and the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. cannot be underestimated. An agreement which covered all branches of the textile trade was a vast improvement on each section trying to negotiate its own settlements. One reason for this was that better organised sections of the workforce, such as the weavers, were in a much stronger position to gain benefits that the weaker and less organised groups. Some sections of the workforce were dissatisfied with the terms of the settlement, especially the warpdressers and twisters. It was thought that difficulties may arise because of this, but they went along with the majority decision and returned to work. [9]

The union leadership were quick to point out the implications of the agreement on the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Hardisty made a call for all workers to join the union in readiness for the next fight when the agreement ran out in two years time. He added

`The agreement is not satisfactory to the union executive or Mr. Lockwood, but it is futile for members to drop out of the union because they are not happy with the agreement. The workers have got what they deserved because they were not organised as they ought to have been...' [10]

Lockwood was also keen to press home the message that organisation was the key to success. He invited anyone who was accusing himself and the union of a sellout to `come to the platform and explain why.' [11] The same message was given to a meeting held in Guiseley on July 30 when the leaders stressed the need for organisation and combination `if workers were to obtain an adequate reward for their labours'. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. also decided to open a branch in Guiseley. [12]

Both leaders also spoke of the association between the localised dispute and the wider labour unrest in the country as well as the political lessons which they believed should be learnt from the events of the nine week-long dispute. Hardisty told the meeting that they should remember that it was the I.L.P. and socialists who had assisted the workers both on the marches and with donations;

` come the election be workers, not Liberals or Tories, and vote for the labour or socialist candidate.'

Lockwood spoke of

"great unrest which had prevailed throughout the country"

which had proved that the workers were a

"necessary part of the community and should receive more consideration."

It was

" foolish for workers to organise trade unions and then vote against them at elections. Industrial action before the workers would receive anything approaching the just reward for their labour." [13]

Due to the work done by Hardisty and Lockwood it was agreed to ask the local trades council to nominate them as candidates for the next district council election. [14]

The support received had indeed been substantial. As I stated in the last Chapter, no balance sheet for the dispute can be located but we do know that money received from `trades societies and other sources' totalled £450 and this did not include money raised from the hunger marches or the weekly collections made throughout the West Riding. [15] The money payed out to members in strike pay totalled £350 so a large sum of money must have been distributed to families to alleviate hardship and therefore continue the struggle. The union also agreed to pay out money for `relief to needy cases out of the fund' so the money could not have been exhausted. [16] Writing in 1914, Lockwood makes the point that

`The workers of Yeadon, Guiseley and district should ever remember the generosity of the unions and the trade unionists of the West Riding of Yorkshire. When occasion offers we should attempt to repay the kindness cordially bestowed.' [17]

Although the union did not succeed in achieving its aims as far as the final agreement was concerned, the effect on membership was positive. The number of members on the books on December 31 1912 was 393 males and 297 females. By the same date in 1913 it was 552 males and 385 females, an increase of 247. [18] When commenting on the position of the union following the lockout, Lockwood wrote

`The lesson had been taken to heart by a considerable number of workers; and the union (around which all the workers rallied and that stood the strenuous test of the 10 week struggle) now stands in a stronger position than ever in its history.' [19]

It should of course be remembered that the growth in membership of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. would still leave over 50% of the districts' textile workers either non-unionised or in one of the other `craft' textile unions. Therefore although the locked out workers had rallied round the union during the dispute, a large number had not joined. The union was aware of this and

` hung up in the offices of the society a long list of those who sought our help, secured financial benefits for which they had never paid, and who have deserted as soon as their difficulties were over.' [20]

The action the members should take against the non-members who had used the union this way is not clear, but Lockwood wrote

`It is hoped that members will learn who the deserters are, and act in such a way that the enormity of their offence will be brought home to them in an unmistakable manner.' [21]

Following the lockout, new rules were adopted in an effort to streamline the organisation of the union. Alongside the rule changes were a new scale of contributions. Prior to the house to house visits by a collector or the secretary. Now contribution cards were issued and the members payed their subs at the union office. [22] The union secretary's wage was also increased to 28 shillings a week with commission for six months, after which it rose to 30 shillings (£1.50p) without commission. [23] The new rules and union rates helped to increase income and efficiency and membership grew steadily until in 1920 it had 3,000 members.

The union attempted to secure an agreement concerning demarcation with the A.S.D. A conference was held and it was resolved that both unions would retain present members but that the A.S.D. would not recruit in textile factories. Unfortunately for the union, a disagreement over a member caused the A.S.D. to withdraw from the agreement after it had been in operation for only two months. [25] Talks also took place with the General Union of Textile Workers to consider amalgamation. The union committee were in favour of such a move and a full meeting held in July 1914 confirmed the decision. The outbreak of war delayed the amalgamation which finally took place in 1921. [26]

The union continued with its work immediately after the lockout. In August they paid out victimisation pay to four workers who had been dismissed from two different mills. In the same month the `Beamers' at Moorfield mills places an application for an increase in wages and in September they took industrial action to support their claim. In October Phillip Snowden addressed an open air meeting in Guiseley and the committee agreed to visit the local pubs and clubs to collect money for the Dublin Lockout as they could not contribute from their depleted funds. [27] The union was quick to take up the task of fighting for both its own members and the wider working class movement. Lockwood wrote

"The struggles between capital and Labour which have received the attention of our community during the year are evidence of the intensifying conflict of interest between the workers and those who hold the position of captains of industry. The keen observer will realise that the struggles of the future promise to be more difficult than in the past. It behoves all thoughtful people to devote their energies to a preparation of the workers to meet with success the difficulties incidental in the financial scheme. Organisation and education must be the watchwork of the future." [28]

Lockwood was clear in his own mind of the direction the union was moving in and the need for people to organise themselves to fight a traditionally low paying industry to receive their just rewards. The final agreement may not have resulted in large benefits for the workers but an important lesson had been learnt, that the workers could achieve nothing as individuals; only a united stand would help them achieve their goals.

With the help of representatives from the local churches and local councils who acted as mediators in the dispute, the nine week-old lockout was ended. The union were however not defeated but came out of the dispute stronger and ready to continue the industrial and political work which they had previously started. Following the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., that union became the National Union of Textile Workers, which in turn amalgamated with other textile unions to form the National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers in 1936. [29] The Yeadon branch of the union was administered from offices in the Factory Workers' Club up until the 1970's. The N.U.D.B.&.T.W. joined the Transport & General Workers Union in the 1980's and Yeadon's is still and active branch in the union: of course it had a strong tradition.

FOOTNOTES

1. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 20 June 1913

2. Yorkshire Factory Times, 17 June 1913

3. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 20 June 1913

4. Yorkshire Factory Times, 10 June 1913

5. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 11 July 1913

6. Ibid., 18 July 1913

7. Ibid., 1 August 1913

8. Diary of Mr. E. Exley, 16-26 July 1913

9. Labour Leader, 24 July 1913

10. H.A. Clegg, A History of British Trade Unions Since 1889, Vol.II, 1911-1933 (O.U.P. 1987), p.43. "There was in Nelson an anti-socialist Nelson and District Weavers Protection society originally founded by a catholic priest. On several occasions in 1913 Nelson weavers refused to work with members of the Protection Society, and two mills remained shut for six months. The outcome was the collapse of the society."

11. Diary of Mr. J. Preston, J. Burberry & R. Smith, 16-26 July 1913

12. Ibid., 22 July 1913

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid., 25 July 1913

15. Diary of Mr. E. Exley, 26 July 1913

16. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 1 August 1913

17. Diary of Mr. J. Preston, J. Burberry & R. Smith, 26 July 1913

18. Marches covered in the Yorkshire Factory Times, Leeds Weekly Citizen, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer and the Labour Leader, June to August 1913

CHAPTER FOUR

THE FINAL SETTLEMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNION

Throughout the lockout both parties had resisted the use of conciliation bodies to settle the dispute. The union and manufacturers did not wish to use the local conciliation board and the manufacturers rejected intervention by Board of Trade representatives. The state had made arbitration possible under the terms of the 1896 Conciliation Act, but is was purely voluntary. [1] If one party in a dispute did not give its consent then it could not take place. As the union knew that its position was weak by mid July, it would probably have been willing to go to arbitration, but the employers' refusal to do so ruled out the chance of the state intervention to settle the dispute. It was therefore left to the local councils and church representatives to try and lay the ground for a settlement.

During 1913 the `number of strikes and lockouts settled by third parties was 127', the highest recorded. It is difficult to assess if the Yeadon lockout comes under this heading because 84 disputes were settled by `voluntary conciliatory agencies, and by individuals' [2] and Y.U.D.C. could have been considered a conciliatory agency.

The first steps towards a settlement were made on Monday 21 July. During the day Y.U.D.C. held a meeting and agreed to hold another meeting the same evening with representatives from Rawdon and Guiseley Urban District Councils and members of the local clergy and ministers. At the meeting, held at 7.00pm at Guiseley Town Hall, the representatives passed a resolution in an attempt to break the deadlock. It was agreed that the Dewsberry Agreement should be put before both parties and that `matters which were non-essential could be deleted.' [3] It was this resolution which enabled a meeting to take place between both parties at a local secondary school on Wednesday 23 July. The meeting was held behind closed doors and the press were not invited, but we do know that the delegates at the meeting were J. Peate, J.H. Ives, W. Murgatroyd, E. Denison, and A Brown (Secretary) for the manufacturers and W. Marston, Alma Drake, G. Sharp and H. Lockwood (Secretary) for the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. At this meeting the final settlement was provisionally agreed as long as it was acceptable to the workers. [4]

The terms of the agreement were as follows. The agreement was to run for two years from 25 July 1913 to 1 October 1915. The wages of any worker who was deemed to be `infirm or otherwise incompetent' was to be left to `private adjustment between the employer and the worker.' The working week became 551/2 hours. Overtime was to begin at 5.30pm when work commenced at 6.00am and at 6.00pm when work commenced at 6.30am, and there was also a slight increase in overtime payments. Pay rises for different groups of workers varied. Willeyers and fettlers got 6d (21/2p) an hour; clothmillers and scourers got 27 shillings instead of 25s41/2d per week. Night workers were given a rise in the night rate of 11/4d or 11/2d to give them 61/4d or 61/2d per hour. Also in the agreement were clauses on `through working' during meal breaks, that is staggering meal breaks to keep machinery operating; a six month training period with rates to be mutually agreed for any new workers in a department and new rates for piece workers plus a new standard scale for the weavers. [5]

Meetings were held throughout the district for different sections of the workers. After discussing the agreement a vote was taken at each meeting and the workers agreed to sign the document. [6] The agreement was signed on 26 July with all the delegates named above present. Also present as witnesses were R. Muschamp and W. Livingstone representing the ministers and clergy, G. Teale, leader of the Y.U.D.C., H. Walmsley, clerk to Rawdon and Yeadon U.D.C. and M. Rennard, clerk to Guiseley U.D.C. [7]

The agreement fell short of the union's demands but concessions which were beneficial to the workers were secured. The reduction in the working week was an advance which benefited all groups of workers. However the one clause on `infirm of otherwise incompetent workers', a point the union had rejected in earlier talks, was included in the final agreement. When explaining the financial implications of the agreement to a mass meeting of workers on Saturday 26 July, Lockwood said

"The body of men who have come off worse in the agreement were the men who came out on strike, the finishers, warehousmen and dyers"

because they had received 2 shillings rise per week 6 months earlier, and they received nothing. [8]

The importance of acquiring the first General Agreement between the Yeadon and Guiseley Manufacturers Association and the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. cannot be underestimated. An agreement which covered all branches of the textile trade was a vast improvement on each section trying to negotiate its own settlements. One reason for this was that better organised sections of the workforce, such as the weavers, were in a much stronger position to gain benefits that the weaker and less organised groups. Some sections of the workforce were dissatisfied with the terms of the settlement, especially the warpdressers and twisters. It was thought that difficulties may arise because of this, but they went along with the majority decision and returned to work. [9]

The union leadership were quick to point out the implications of the agreement on the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. Hardisty made a call for all workers to join the union in readiness for the next fight when the agreement ran out in two years time. He added

`The agreement is not satisfactory to the union executive or Mr. Lockwood, but it is futile for members to drop out of the union because they are not happy with the agreement. The workers have got what they deserved because they were not organised as they ought to have been...' [10]

Lockwood was also keen to press home the message that organisation was the key to success. He invited anyone who was accusing himself and the union of a sellout to `come to the platform and explain why.' [11] The same message was given to a meeting held in Guiseley on July 30 when the leaders stressed the need for organisation and combination `if workers were to obtain an adequate reward for their labours'. The Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. also decided to open a branch in Guiseley. [12]

Both leaders also spoke of the association between the localised dispute and the wider labour unrest in the country as well as the political lessons which they believed should be learnt from the events of the nine week-long dispute. Hardisty told the meeting that they should remember that it was the I.L.P. and socialists who had assisted the workers both on the marches and with donations;

` come the election be workers, not Liberals or Tories, and vote for the labour or socialist candidate.'

Lockwood spoke of

"great unrest which had prevailed throughout the country"

which had proved that the workers were a

"necessary part of the community and should receive more consideration."

It was

" foolish for workers to organise trade unions and then vote against them at elections. Industrial action before the workers would receive anything approaching the just reward for their labour." [13]

Due to the work done by Hardisty and Lockwood it was agreed to ask the local trades council to nominate them as candidates for the next district council election. [14]

The support received had indeed been substantial. As I stated in the last Chapter, no balance sheet for the dispute can be located but we do know that money received from `trades societies and other sources' totalled £450 and this did not include money raised from the hunger marches or the weekly collections made throughout the West Riding. [15] The money payed out to members in strike pay totalled £350 so a large sum of money must have been distributed to families to alleviate hardship and therefore continue the struggle. The union also agreed to pay out money for `relief to needy cases out of the fund' so the money could not have been exhausted. [16] Writing in 1914, Lockwood makes the point that

`The workers of Yeadon, Guiseley and district should ever remember the generosity of the unions and the trade unionists of the West Riding of Yorkshire. When occasion offers we should attempt to repay the kindness cordially bestowed.' [17]

Although the union did not succeed in achieving its aims as far as the final agreement was concerned, the effect on membership was positive. The number of members on the books on December 31 1912 was 393 males and 297 females. By the same date in 1913 it was 552 males and 385 females, an increase of 247. [18] When commenting on the position of the union following the lockout, Lockwood wrote

`The lesson had been taken to heart by a considerable number of workers; and the union (around which all the workers rallied and that stood the strenuous test of the 10 week struggle) now stands in a stronger position than ever in its history.' [19]

It should of course be remembered that the growth in membership of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. would still leave over 50% of the districts' textile workers either non-unionised or in one of the other `craft' textile unions. Therefore although the locked out workers had rallied round the union during the dispute, a large number had not joined. The union was aware of this and

` hung up in the offices of the society a long list of those who sought our help, secured financial benefits for which they had never paid, and who have deserted as soon as their difficulties were over.' [20]

The action the members should take against the non-members who had used the union this way is not clear, but Lockwood wrote

`It is hoped that members will learn who the deserters are, and act in such a way that the enormity of their offence will be brought home to them in an unmistakable manner.' [21]

Following the lockout, new rules were adopted in an effort to streamline the organisation of the union. Alongside the rule changes were a new scale of contributions. Prior to the house to house visits by a collector or the secretary. Now contribution cards were issued and the members payed their subs at the union office. [22] The union secretary's wage was also increased to 28 shillings a week with commission for six months, after which it rose to 30 shillings (£1.50p) without commission. [23] The new rules and union rates helped to increase income and efficiency and membership grew steadily until in 1920 it had 3,000 members.

The union attempted to secure an agreement concerning demarcation with the A.S.D. A conference was held and it was resolved that both unions would retain present members but that the A.S.D. would not recruit in textile factories. Unfortunately for the union, a disagreement over a member caused the A.S.D. to withdraw from the agreement after it had been in operation for only two months. [25] Talks also took place with the General Union of Textile Workers to consider amalgamation. The union committee were in favour of such a move and a full meeting held in July 1914 confirmed the decision. The outbreak of war delayed the amalgamation which finally took place in 1921. [26]

The union continued with its work immediately after the lockout. In August they paid out victimisation pay to four workers who had been dismissed from two different mills. In the same month the `Beamers' at Moorfield mills places an application for an increase in wages and in September they took industrial action to support their claim. In October Phillip Snowden addressed an open air meeting in Guiseley and the committee agreed to visit the local pubs and clubs to collect money for the Dublin Lockout as they could not contribute from their depleted funds. [27] The union was quick to take up the task of fighting for both its own members and the wider working class movement. Lockwood wrote

"The struggles between capital and Labour which have received the attention of our community during the year are evidence of the intensifying conflict of interest between the workers and those who hold the position of captains of industry. The keen observer will realise that the struggles of the future promise to be more difficult than in the past. It behoves all thoughtful people to devote their energies to a preparation of the workers to meet with success the difficulties incidental in the financial scheme. Organisation and education must be the watchwork of the future." [28]

Lockwood was clear in his own mind of the direction the union was moving in and the need for people to organise themselves to fight a traditionally low paying industry to receive their just rewards. The final agreement may not have resulted in large benefits for the workers but an important lesson had been learnt, that the workers could achieve nothing as individuals; only a united stand would help them achieve their goals.

With the help of representatives from the local churches and local councils who acted as mediators in the dispute, the nine week-old lockout was ended. The union were however not defeated but came out of the dispute stronger and ready to continue the industrial and political work which they had previously started. Following the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., that union became the National Union of Textile Workers, which in turn amalgamated with other textile unions to form the National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers in 1936. [29] The Yeadon branch of the union was administered from offices in the Factory Workers' Club up until the 1970's. The N.U.D.B.&.T.W. joined the Transport & General Workers Union in the 1980's and Yeadon's is still and active branch in the union: of course it had a strong tradition.

FOOTNOTES

1. D.F. Macdonald, The State and the Trade Unions, (Macmillan 1960), p.181

2. The Board of Trade Labour Gazette, November 1914, p.398

3. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 25 July 1913

4. Ibid.,1 August

5. Bradford Archives Department, Terms of Agreement between the Y.&.G.M.A. and Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., 26 July 1913, 13D84/7

6. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 1 August 1913

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. Minute Book of Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. III, 1911-14, 31 July 1913

15. Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 1 August 1913

16. Minute Book of Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. III, 1911-14, 31 July 1913

17. Ibid., Annual Report, 17 January 1914

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

24. T.U.C. Annual Congress Report, 1920

25. Minute Book of Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. III, 1911-14, 18 December 1913

26. Ibid., Annual Report, 17 January 1914

27. Ibid., 31 July, 14 August, 11 September, 16 October 1913

28. Ibid., Annual Report, 17 January 1914

29. Research note on the History of the National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers, July 1979, p.2

CONCLUSION

Although textile trade unionism was weak in West Yorkshire, the twin pillars of unionism and the I.L.P. were the way the working class made advances up the first world war. The strong links which the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. made with other unions and socialist groups was of crucial importance when it came to the lockout of 1913. Along with other trade unionists, the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. knew the importance of securing an independent working class party following the lessons learnt from the Manningham Mills dispute. The wide political knowledge gained from the committee's involvement in the I.L.P. and local Trades Council was an important factor when it came to talking on the Masters' Association at a later juncture. There can be little doubt that the employers believed they could starve the workers back to work or at least create a split in their ranks. This did not come about mainly due to the strong leadership of Hardisty and Lockwood.

Lockwood's role in the union cannot be underestimated. His talents as an organiser and leader came to the fore during the lockout. His speeches kept the workers informed of developments in the dispute and he lead the union as chief negotiator. From his writings we can see that he was a well-read man and because of his age we can surmise that he was self educated.

Another factor which cannot be overlooked was the strong sense of community in Yeadon. As the village had grown into a mill town over the previous forty years, so the community had developed, as had the local trade unions. Both these factors were linked by the living and working conditions of the population. The independent nature of Yeadon's people was seen in the 1913 lockout by the way they attempted to raise money and support themselves rather than depend on handouts from the Board of Guardians. The most dramatic example of this was the hunger marches in which up to 300 people took part.

When agreement was finally reached the union's fears, voiced earlier by the union's sub-committee in 1897, were accurate. The employers had found one of the lowest district agreements in the Dewsberry agreement and the union were forced to accept it due to their weak position. The union had of course called for national, indusrty-wide agreements. These did not come into force until the formation of the N.U.D.B.&.T.W. in the late 1930's. The leaders of the union highlighted that the reason for their reluctant acceptance of the agreement was due to the fact that the workers were not fully organised. It was an argument which the workers took to heart as the union's membership more than doubled in the next seven years.

So the Yeadon lockout of 1913, whilst not the first trade union dispute in the district, was one of the biggest and most influential. It raised in the conscience of the districts textile workers the need for organisation to achieve their just aims, which were for better working conditions, a shorter working week and a reasonable living wage. The struggle had only just begun.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. PRIMARY SOURCES

Minute books of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U., 1887-1894, 1897-1911, 1911-1914 (T.G.W.U., Sunbridge Road, Bradford)

Minute book of the Y.I.L.P.C. 1892-1894 (in the possession of Peter Booth, National Secretary of the T.G.W.U. Bradford)

Minute book of Y.U.D.C. 1913 (Rawdon Library, Leeds)

Correspondence book of the Y.G.&.D.F.W.U. (T.G.W.U., Sunbridge Road, Bradford)

Diaries of E. Exley and J. Preston, J. Burberry, R. Smith (T.G.W.U., Sunbridge Road, Bradford)

2. NEWSPAPERS

Wharfedale and Airedale Observer, 1913 (Leeds City Library)

Yorkshire Factory Times, 1913 (Leeds City Library)

Leeds Weekly Citizen, 1913 (Leeds City Library)

Labour Leader, 1913 (Bobleian Library Oxford)

Labour Chronicle, the organ of the Yeadon and District I.L.P., 1898 (John Johnson Collection, Bobleian Library Oxford, O(JJ)1-3, 5)

Leeds Mercury, 1913 (Leeds City Library)

3. BOOK AND PAMPHLETS

A. Briggs & J. Saville, eds., Essays in Labour History, (Vol.1, Mac. 1967)

J.M. Bellamy & J. Saville, eds., Dictionary of Labour Biography, (Mac) iii (1977) iv (1978) vi (1982) viii (1987)

F. Brockway, Socialism Over 60 Years, (Fred Jowett of Bradford) (Allen & Unwin) (1946)

P. Booth, The Old Dog Strike, (Otley & District Trades Council)

H.A. Clegg, A. Fox & A.F. Thompson, ibid., Vol.I, 1889-1910, (O.U.P. 1964)

E.J. Hobsbawn, Labour's Turning Point, 1880-190, (Harveter Press 1974)

D. Howell, British Workers & The Independent Labour Party, 1888-1906 (Manchester University Press 1984)

M.F. Harrison, Spring Cam' t' Cattergate

T. Illingworth, Yeadon - Yorkshire, (T. Illingworth 1980)

D.T. Jenkins & K.G. Ponting, The British Wool Textile Industry 1770-1914, (Gower Pub. 1987)

J.A. Howitt & A.J. McIvor, Employers & Labour in the English Textile Industries, 1850-1939

D.F. Macdonald, The State and the Unions, (Mac. 1960)

Pat O'Donovan, Jim Connell & The Red Flag, (Hyde Park Pamphlet No. 8)

H. Pelling, Popular Politics & Society in Late Victorian Britain, (Mac. 1968)

H. Pelling, The Origins of the Labour Party, (O.U.P. 1965)

L. Thompson, The Enthusiasts, (Gollanz 1971)

B. Turner, Short History of The General Union of Textile Workers, (Heckmondwike 1920)

4. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS

Board of Trade Reports on Trade Unions, 1898, 1901, 1904, 1907, 1910

Board of Trade Labour Gazette, 1914

Royal Commission on Labour, 1892-94, Group C, Part 1, p.321, Para.8022

Report of Strikes and Lockouts, 1913

5. TRADE UNION REPORTS

Trade Union Congress Report, 1920

Research Notes on the History of the N.U.D.B.T.W., July 1979, p.2

APPENDIX

SUMMER 1913 - THE HUNGER MARCHES

Wayvers, willeyers, warpers an' tenterers too,

stood in line across the Town Hall steps.

Shabby, cloth capped, an' wearing broken boots,

while hungry wives an' t' childer watched and wept.

Haggard they hed their "likeness taen" an' then,

stepped down - more than a hundred little men.

Soa the ragged army hed to leave their hoams,

th' mills hed been shut for monny a day.

In th' sheds silent stood the looms.

Still th' maisters all stubbornly resisted, aye,

to th' ha' penny more int' hour, th' workers seek,

And now a quietness walks the street.

The procession begins, an' the poor men's pride,

is hidden away in their empty pockets, and

the Parson helps hold the Banner high.

Its slogan says "General Lockout Fund".

They march. Collecting boxes by their side,

an' wives an' mothers wave a sad goodbye.

Some fall out, th' owd, th' lame, and th' tired.

"The strikes off lads" - came the news of defeat.

"We go back hoam today". They asked "What then,

still on starvation pay, nowt more to eat."

Each wonders which of them will be kept on.

What can they do? Just a hundred little men.

By Mabel F. Harrison

From `Spring cam' t' Clattergate'