Item SMA_SR-2015-062 - Newspaper Article - 13 May 1915 - riot at shingle mill

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Newspaper Article - 13 May 1915 - riot at shingle mill

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CA SMA SMA_SR-2015-062

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“Riot And Strike At The Sidney Shingle Mills – Foreman J. Brown Struck by One of the Chinese Employees in a Row Yesterday. – Yesterday morning Foreman J. H. Brown, of the Sidney Shingle Mill, noticed one of the sawyers, who had been doing considerable grumbling for the past week, using his influence among his fellow workers; on being told by Mr. Brown to go and get his machine ready for the day’s run, he struck Mr. Brown and a general riot issued, as the blow seemed to be a sign for all the Chinamen to get busy. Fortunately Mr. Burge, one of the owners, who has considerable control over the men, with the help of the other white employees, stopped the fight before any serious injury was inflicted to Mr. Brown. One of the Chinese crew, on the starting of the row, ran across the V. & S. track to their cook shack, returning with a couple of cleavers presumably to carve up the foreman, but as the fight had been stopped so quickly they were not used. Mr. Brown immediately gave word to the police and Constable McDonald went down. Unfortunately the ring-leader of the trouble had decamped and was not apprehended, but the man who was so anxious to supply those weapons so dear to a Chinaman’s idea of warfare, soon found himself lodged in the Sidney jail and the cleavers gathered up as evidence, and marked as exhibits one and two.
The case came up for trial during the afternoon before Justices of the Peace J. J. White and J. G. Billings and being found guilty was sentenced to a fine of $10 or in default 30 days. On the fine being paid Mr. N Fong, as the Chinaman calls himself, was set at liberty.
In an interview with Mr. Burge, he stated that although the crew were being better paid now than formerly, that the trouble was started on being refused a further raise in wages, and that the firm had asked the crew to put in a couple of hours overtime so that the mill might catch up with their orders. Mr. Burge left on this morning’s train for Vancouver to get a fresh crew, as he wishes to be entirely done with the present one, and cannot afford to have the mill stop running at the present time. He also stated that he hopes to get hold of a white crew, and stated that he thought they were offering, under the present financial circumstances, wages enough to induce a white crew to be willing to take up this class of work. They are offering the same rate of wages as is being paid by all other shingle mills being operated by white labor, said Mr. Burge. This should be looked into by anyone in Sidney who is out of employment.”

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Transcription from scan of original by Brad Morrison, 2015


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