1898 - Rhode Island Mills Will Cut. Wages Already Too Small Properly to Support the Families.
The directors of the Valley Falls company at Albion, R. I., and the Albion company at Valley Falls, the two remaining companies in the Blackstone valley which had not announced a reduction in wages, decided yesterday to post notices to that effect. The state executive committee of the mule spinners' association of Rhode Island met at Pawtucket last night. It was stated that the delegates reported that the feeling in the state against a reduction of wages runs high. The wages received at the present time by these operatives are much too small properly to support their families. The average pay of the mule spinners in the Pawtucket valley is $8 a week, and in the Blackstone valley $9.50. In the Blackstone valley the mills manufacture much the same class of goods as are made in New Bedford.
Reports were received last night from the mills in Arctic, Riverpoint, Quidaick, Pontiac, Natick and other Pawtuxet and Blackstone valley villages and without exception they favored resisting the proposed reduction. It was stated that the operatives of Rhode Island worked 50 hours a week as against 58 hours in Massachusetts cities, and yet the pay is in favor of the Massachusetts operatives. The various mills mentioned are controlled by the B. B. & R. Knight manufacturing company, employing about 12,000 people and operating 425,000 spindles.
January 7, 1898
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