The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 30, 1884

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The Shovellers Meet The Outside Manager of the M.T. Co.

A meeting of the shovellers was held last evening in the office of the Montreal Transportation Company. It was attended by about thirty-five men. Capt. Gaskin, in the chair, explained to the men that the Company determined not to employ any one connected with the Union during the coming season or even give them work during the winter.

Mr. R. Halligan, President of the Union, spoke on behalf of the Shovellers' Union, stating that among other things the vesselmen and not the Company paid them and they could not see why the Company should interfere, especially as everything has been done they required.

Mr. Andrew Sharpe, Secretary, followed, taking the same ground, and the conclusion arrived at was that the Union would be maintained let the result be what it may.

Capt. Gaskin said Mr. Halligan had been elected the President because a good talker, and Mr. Sharp said this was not the case. The men were united, and as an evidence of this he called for a show of hands. All were uplifted but two.

Several Unionists employed by the Montreal Transportation Company, in repairing barges, etc., were notified last evening that their services were not further required. They are now out of work.

The men seem to think that they will in the end succeed, as the number of men fully capable of properly shovelling grain, is limited. A lot of green ones will be eager for employment, but the unloading of one vessel will be sufficient to satisfy their eagerness and immortalize them as "shovellers."

The American Union, of which this one is a branch, will, no doubt, take action and give assistance if it is required.

The Unionists are to have a meeting soon, the results of which will be made public if they are not of such a nature as to preclude us obtaining the information.

The Shovellers' Grievances.

The following is a summary of the grievances named by the shovellers:

1 - That they are only employed about six months in the year.

2 - That the services required of them are of the most laborious character.

3 - That those who continue to shovel grain do not live long; the work is injurious.

4 - That they suffer great interference and have sometimes had foisted upon them the most incapable of men, men who cannot do their share of the work.

5 - That their work is done as much during the night as during the day, and that they are often kept up waiting for vessels and propellers without compensation.

6 - That the union should have something to say about the price to be paid for the shovelling of hot grain. This question should not be left to the dictation of one man.

7 - That the rate paid for the shovelling of grain here is much lower than at any other port.

p.3 A Marine Railway Wanted - A Company has been formed at Ogdensburg with $25,000 capital, to rebuild and open the Marine Railway. This movement has been made by clear-sighted, practical business men. Would that we had a few such men here to make the Power shipyard what it should be - the best on the chain of lakes.

Here & There - Mr. McEwan enlarging boiler of Puritan.

Purchasing Propellers - Graham Bros., of St. Catharines, have purchased the propeller Prussia, of that port, for $11,000. It is reported that Shickluna Bros. have sold the propeller Europe for about $15,000, but the name of the purchaser has not been made known.

Will Hold Examinations Here - Dr. Platt, M.P., has received an answer from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries in regard to holding examinations for Masters and Mates of vessels at Picton, Kingston and Port Hope. Mr. McLellan has consented to do this.

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Jan. 30, 1884
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig, 30 January 1884 Daily British Whig, 30 January 1884
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 30, 1884