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Limerick Laborers' Protest Sparks Change in Working Conditions |

Limerick Laborers’ Protest Sparks Change in Working Conditions

A significant gathering convened by various branches of the Irish Labour and Leisure Union in Limerick saw Mr J. O’Dwyer presiding over a multitude of attendees. The assembly fervently passed resolutions urging the Limerick County Council to amend certain aspects of the new direct labour arrangement. Specifically, they sought adjustments in the commencement time of work shifts, shifting from 8 o’clock to 7:50 a.m., and advocated for revising the compensation scheme to ensure a fair living wage, particularly for the surface men at 19 shillings a week. The speakers, including the Chairman and Members S. Ryan and W., articulated the pressing need for these changes to uphold the dignity and livelihoods of the labour force.

The demand for improved working conditions reverberated through the halls of the meeting venue as impassioned speakers voiced their concerns. Mr O’Dwyer, leading the charge, emphasized the significance of addressing the grievances faced by labourers, underscoring the importance of fair compensation and equitable treatment in the workplace. With unanimity, the attendees echoed the sentiment, highlighting the urgency of action to rectify the existing disparities.

Central to the resolutions passed was the call to adjust the commencement time of work shifts, a seemingly small yet crucial modification that could significantly impact the daily lives of labourers. By advancing the start time to 7:50 a.m., the proposal aimed to afford workers a more favourable schedule while aligning with their needs and routines. Moreover, the push for a liveable wage for surface men underscored a commitment to economic justice, recognizing the fundamental right of every worker to earn an income that sustains a decent standard of living.

In the wake of the meeting, the collective voice of the labourers resonated beyond the confines of the assembly hall, sparking a wave of awareness and advocacy throughout Limerick. The resolute stance taken by the Irish Labour and Leisure Union emboldened workers across various sectors to assert their rights and demand fair treatment from employers and authorities alike.

As discussions surrounding labour rights gained momentum, the Limerick County Council found itself compelled to heed the calls for change. In a landmark decision, the Council pledged to review and amend the direct labour scheme, incorporating the proposed adjustments to working hours and compensation. The acknowledgment of these demands marked a significant victory for the labour movement, affirming the power of collective action in effecting positive change.

The triumph of the Limerick labourers’ protest heralded a new era of empowerment and advocacy, underscoring the enduring spirit of solidarity and resilience within the community. By amplifying their voices and championing their cause, the labourers of Limerick set a precedent for social justice and equitable treatment in the workplace, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of labour history.

Freeman’s Journal – Tuesday 09 February 1915

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