From the archives June 1919: workmen’s wages & swimming in the River Suir
Although the Irish Labour party decided not to contest the 1918 general election, and as such were outside the political system, workmen’s wages and conditions of work seem to have been of considerable concern at the time. In the archives of Tipperary County we see extensive interaction between a number of trade union organisations and the local government administrative areas of Tipperary. In June 1919, these included correspondence with Clonmel & District United Trades & Labour Council; National Union of Dock Labourers and Riverside workers in Great Britain and Ireland; The Joint Industrial Council for the Waterworks Undertakings Industry; Irish Clerical Workers’ Union; the National Union of Dock Labourers, and Carters and Riverside Workers in Great Britain and Ireland. There were also numerous letters from individuals who believed their wages needed to be reviewed. We see resolutions in all the councils’ minutes improving pay and in some instances improving conditions of work, possibly as a result of these representations.
Also of interest this month were a number of reports relating to local bathing habits along the River Suir. One report from the Clonmel head constable lists the boys who were wearing bathing suits and those who were not!