The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 15, 1879

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Sailors' Union

The sailors of this city have thought for some time past that they had to suffer too much at the hands of their employers when a hard season came and business was rather dull. Accordingly, they met last night at Mrs. Gee's tavern on Ontario street for the purpose of organizing a Union and fixing minimum rates of wages. About 50 hands assembled at the hour appointed, and Mr. George Patton was elected chairman. A Union was formed in which all present were enrolled, and a communication was read from Island sailors saying that they would stand by anything that the Kingston body agreed to. No officers were chosen, but this proceeding was left to a future meeting. A telegram was sent to Chicago asking that the Kingston Union be made a branch of the Chicago organization, and word is expected shortly that the request has been acceded to. In duty to themselves the sailors thought it necessary to fix as the lowest rates for which they would ship on board any vessel this summer, the following: For small vessels plying between ports on Lake Ontario, $25 a month; for vessels going through the canal, $1 a day, second mates getting 25 cents, and first mates 50 cents additional. In this connection it is to be observed that the rates agreed on are the same as those adopted by the Port Hope Union, apropos of which we cut the following from the Port Hope Times:-

"The Schr. D.M. Foster, of Toronto, which wintered here, left port on Monday last at 5 p.m. for Oswego, loaded with timber. The sailors shipped are all members of the recently formed Union, and are receiving the wages agreed upon by that body."

The Rideau Route - We understand that Messrs. Joseph F. Swift and Isaac Noble have purchased the steam tug Eleanor with barges Minnie, Licudin, Cygnet and Mineral. We believe it is their intention to place them on the Rideau route having work already allotted them.

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April 15, 1879
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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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 15, 1879