National Labour Struggle - July 1920

National Struggle

Labour disputes all across Ireland continued in July 1920 and were championed by newspapers such as The Watchword of Labour.

In its pages amid the ongoing War of Independence, The Watchword carried news of these ongoing labour disputes which were in many communities as the national struggle. In Killucan, county Westmeath there was an ongoing dispute over payment to farm workers from which farmers had tried to renege from the settlement reached; It was similar scenario around Aughrim, county Wicklow where farm labourers had secured an increase in wages after dispute. In Navan and Newbridge those engaged in the equine business also agreed to an increase in wages to stable workers. In Bandon, Newry and Galway road workers continued to push their case for an increase in wages. The condition of work for these men were also challenged; in county Meath it was agreed that it would be a fifty hour week with a 1pm finish on a Saturday. Where employers would not meet the demands of workers there was an inevitable result. In Lucan, county Dublin the ITGWU organised the complete stop of the woolen mills there. Yet even within these forces of labour representation there was dissent. In the village of Castlejordan on the Meath/Offaly border dispute between the ITGWU representatives and those in the farmers unions were evident. Cleverly, agricultural labourers in this border post had claimed and won the wages of their compatriots in Meath who earned two shillings more than those in Offaly.

Source: The Watchword of Labour 1919-1920, Saturday, July 24, 1920, page 8

National Labour Struggle WW_24Jul1920pg8