The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Jul 1898

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p.2 First On St. Lawrence - Built In 1809 & Ran To Quebec in 66 Hours -story of Accommodation - extract from Quebec Mercury at the time.

Incidents of the Day - Capt. T.J. Craig has disposed of the steamer John Haggart, but the Jubilee is still open for charter. The captain has commissioned a broker to procure him a larger and faster excursion steamer than the Haggart.

p.3 First On St. Lawrence - Built In 1809 & Ran To Quebec in 66 Hours -story of Accommodation - extract from Quebec Mercury at the time. [Montreal Herald]



Kingston, July 4th - To The Editor:

I observed a paragraph in Saturday's Whig stating that the M.T. company's shovellers had a grievance and that they had demanded an increase of from $1 to $1.25 per thousand bushels. It is very unfortunate, indeed, that the men have made such a demand during such a season as this has so far been. It has been the worst for boat owners in some time, as in many instances the freights offered would not begin to pay the cost of transportation. Increase of wages generally follow prosperity, not low rates. In making enquiries about this shovellers' difficulty I learned that up to date the men made this year the sum of $172.35 each, or an average of $15.67 per week. Last year they made $145.95, or an average of $14.54 per week. This year, therefore, has been some ten per cent better than last year was up to this time. When these figures are consulted, for by the use of steam shovels the men are not required to work as hard as they did with hand shovels, it will be conceded that the men are in no wise badly off. It is to be regretted that they could not see that they are well off, and realize that they made a mistake in stopping work.

With regard to the figure that the foremen received as compared with the men, an explanation will make that satisfactory. In Prescott the boss shoveller receives five cents per man for every vessel, large or small. His duty is to look after the men, as a foreman does in a manufacturing establishment. The M.T. company, owing to the elevator having two legs, allows their foreman three cents per man for every 50,000 bushel vessel. It will therefore be seen by these facts that the men have not the slightest foundation for their statements regarding the remuneration received by the boss shoveller.

No doubt the men have had unusually long hours this season; but the circumstances have been unusual also. The house was not completed when the elevator was begun, hence it took longer to do the work. Then there were two breaks in the canal, which caused the building to get blocked, adding more confusion. Once, however, the house gets relieved and everything is in good running order the hours of labor will not be so long, in fact, as they were under the old system of handling grain with floaters.

The price for shovelling paid here, one dollar per thousand bushels, is the same as is paid in Prescott. ONE INTERESTED.


Arrivals - Tug Thomson, Montreal, five light barges; schooner Acacia, Oswego, coal for R. Crawford.

The government dredge working in the harbor has to plough through a very hard clay bottom, which necessitates slow progress.

Clearances - S.S. Rosemount, Chicago, light; steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa, Fort William, light; tug Thomson, Montreal five barges with 125,000 bushels of grain.

On Saturday divers had patched the holes in the hull of the steamer Tecumseh, sunk at Marquette, and most of the water had been pumped out of her hold. It was expected she would be floated today.

The passenger traffic on the St. Lawrence river is steadily increasing, and competition between the steamboat companies began in real interest this morning. The steamer New York, of the American line, and the steamer Columbian, of the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company, commenced the daily services from Kingston to Montreal.

It was expected that the steamer Bohemian would be ready to start on her route between Toronto and Montreal on Saturday, but her repairs had not been completed. The steamer Caspian makes one more round trip, at the end of which the Bohemian will be ready, and the Caspian will then enter on the St. Lawrence route from this city to Montreal.

The shovellers at the M.T. company's elevator struck on Saturday night, owing to a dissatisfaction over wages. This morning the majority of them returned, willing to accept the standard of wages paid. The shovellers say that the agitation was aroused by one or two of their number, who intended leaving the employment of the M.T. company to accept positions elsewhere. Work at the elevator went on the same as usual this morning.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, July 3rd - Down: Schooner Trade Wind, Sandusky to Bowmanville, coal; steamer Tilley, Fort William to Montreal, wheat; steamer John Rugee, Chicago to Kingston, corn; steamer Cuba, Cleveland to Montreal, general cargo; steamer McVittie, Chicago to Ogdensburg, general cargo; oil barge 81, West Superior to Boston, light. Locking has been resumed again through the Welland canal on Sundays until 6 a.m. and from nine o'clock in the evening, same as last season.

Determined To Hold Out - At noon today a number of the M.T. company shovellers had not returned to work, and they expressed their determination to remain out until $1.25 per thousand bushels is given them. They care not what money the boss shoveller is allowed as long as they get enough to live on. They admit that two of their number have returned to work, one of whom was the leader in the strike. The strikers claim they will send a deputation to the city council meeting this evening to state their grievance.

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4 Jul 1898
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Jul 1898