Limerick, Ireland – Negotiations aimed at resolving the contentious carpenters’ strike in Limerick have taken a dramatic and potentially volatile turn, as tensions between striking workers and employers escalate. Despite the involvement of High Sheriff Mr James F. Barry as an arbitrator, efforts to reach a settlement have hit a wall, plunging the local construction industry into uncertainty.
In response to the breakdown in talks, employers have issued a chilling ultimatum – they threaten to import carpenters from England and Scotland to fill the striking workers’ positions. The move, designed to break the strike, has sent shockwaves through the labour community in Limerick.
Anticipation hung heavy in the air as striking carpenters gathered at the railway station on the 1st, expecting the arrival of these non-unionized replacement workers. However, their optimism quickly turned to disappointment as the replacement workers failed to materialize as expected. Unbeknownst to the striking carpenters, the imported carpenters, recruited from various Scottish centres, arrived via the Clyde steamer Fastnet just a few hours later.
Under a veil of secrecy, the newly arrived carpenters were discreetly escorted to the premises of Mr Hayes, one of the builders who had staunchly refused to meet the striking workers’ demands. A substantial police presence in the vicinity ensured that no disturbances marred the arrival of the non-unionized workers.
The imported carpenters are now being housed at Reeves’ Path, under the watchful guard of vigilant patrols. This move has further inflamed tensions, with both sides of the dispute now closely monitored by law enforcement, creating a highly charged atmosphere in Limerick.
This ongoing labour dispute not only underscores the deep-seated conflict between workers and employers but also casts a shadow of uncertainty over the future of Limerick’s construction industry. As negotiations continue to falter, the question of how this standoff will ultimately be resolved remains a pressing concern for all stakeholders involved.
Belfast News-Letter – 06 January 1901