The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

December 16th, 2015

Sept. 9, 1943 Springhill Record - 93 Men Back to the Mines

     Some 93 men have returned from the army to resume work in the mines according to a statement given The Record this morning by Mr. Thomas Barrow, Manager of the Employment and Selective Service Office.  Six of this number who have been here for the past six months have returned to the army.

H.M.C.S. “Springhill” Launched

     News of the launching of the H.M.C.S. “Springhill on the West Coast reached town yesterday via the radio but no official communication announcing the date of the launch has ever been received by the Town.  The report said that Mrs. J. A. Sutherland of Vancouver officiated.

     The Springhill Committee had laid plans for the attendance at the launching of a number of Springhill people at the coast, but it is not known if they were present or not.  Springhill has gone to much trouble to co-operate with the naval authorities with the purchases of necessities for this Frigate, but if this is the kind of cooperation the committee may expect then the whole matter should be left in the hands of the naval authorities to handle themselves.

Sept. 16, 1943Close Call For School

     When janitor John McIsaac opened the door of Elgin Street School this morning at 7:45 he was met by a gust of smoke which filled the building.  The fire alarm was immediately sounded and the Fire Chief Rooney and his men were on the job within a few minutes.  Fortunately the fire was contained to the wood pile next to the coal bin in the basement and was just breaking into flame, having apparently smoldered for a long time.  Rubbish barrels beside the wood pile were badly burned and it was probably there that the fire started. A rubber hose hanging over the wood pile was burned, but the building itself was untouched except for a wooden partition     between the wood and coal bins.  There had been no fire in the furnace since school opened.

Mines Are Tied Up

     All mines are tied up today following a disagreement between the Officials and Company Hands over a change of policy.

     Previously when the 11 o’clock Company Hand had completed their work to the satisfaction of the official in charge they were permitted to go home on the first rake which landed on the bank about 5:50 a.m.  If the work was not completed the Company hands had to remain until it was, so that everything would be ready for the morning shift.  Last Saturday this system was changed and the men were told that if they went up early they would be docked.  At Saturday night’s meeting of the Union, arrangements were made with the Underground Manager Calder to continue with the old system until Monday when the matter could be further discussed.  Monday afternoon the Mine Committee, Billy Bickle, “Doc” Hayes acting for Terris and Walter O’Rourke met Mr. Calder who promised to discuss the matter with the Superintendent.  This was done and the boys were told they would be docked if they came up early.  In spite of this the boys came up early Tuesday morning and they were subsequently docked.  They worked again Tuesday night thinking the policy might be changed and two men came up early on Wednesday morning and were also docked.  Wednesday night the Company hands refused to go down.  This morning the miners were also forced to return home.

     At 11 a.m. this morning the men requested Supt. Paul to reinstate former conditions which he refused to do.  And there the matter stands at press time.

     According to the men certain workmen in the same circle are permitted to come up early when they have finished.  Their contention is that now others have to sit around the bottom and let a practically empty rake go by while the following rakes are loaded, forcing them to wait unnecessarily to get to the surface.  The present situation seems to be only affecting those Company hands in the 4400 and 5100 of No. 1 seam.

Sept. 23, 1943No Change in Mine Dispute

     There is no change in the strike which has prevailed in the local coal field since last week. 

     At a meeting of the Local Union held Wednesday evening it was decided to remain on strike until the Company discusses the case with the Union.  This means that there are slim chances that the mines working this week as Supt. Paul refuses to talk to the Union officials until the men return to work as provided in their contract.

     Allan McDonald, Assistant Industrial Relations Officer, was in town but reached no agreement.

     In an interview with Howard Tattrie, Sub-District Board Member, at noon today, The Record was informed that a telegram from Thomas Ling, Vice-President of U.M.W., to Mr. Tattrie, advised that the men return to work and expressed the opinion that he considered the contract was against the men’s remaining on strike.

     Local officials, said Mr. Tattrie, have no information on the reported visit here of Mr. R.H. Pettigrove and Mr. Allan, Industrial Relation Officers.


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