Labour Disputes Rumble - August 1920


All across Ireland labour disputes rumbled on in August. Undeterred by the action of the military and their employers, workers continued to demand better working condition and rates of pay. It was a feature of the Irish War of Independence which dominated local communities. In Kells, county Meath it was bread van drivers who were demanding better wages; in Roscrea it was builders and tradesmen, as they were in Mullingar. In Lucan, county Dublin 100 men and 200 women struck out from work for over five weeks in the woollen mills. A strike fund was established for the workers and their families. A football match which was organised for this purpose attracted several thousand people to the village who marched through the streets showing their support for the strike. The trade unions saw a huge increase in membership with workers of all categories swelling their ranks. In Virgina, county Cavan one branch could boast thirty-four new recruits in one week alone. Many quickly saw the benefits of union action including the dock workers in the port of Tralee who had their wages increased. There was unrest on big farms and estates in Tipperary and Cavan as workers looked to be afforded the same privileges as workers in towns and villages.


Source: the Watchword of Labour, 21.08.1920, page 7


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