Lockout ends as more strikers return to work

Pledges given to leave Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union

Published: 2 February 1914

A ballot of 812 builders’ labourers has resulted in a decision to return to work under the terms offered by the Dublin Building Trades’ Employers’ Association.

The men voted by 686 votes to 112 to return to work. They agreed to resign their membership of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and pledged not to take part or support any form of sympathetic strike.

Minutes from a meeting of the Committee of the United Irish Societies outlining its intentions to wind up, stating that 'the strike trouble was almost over and that the Committee could make no further appeal'. Click to enlarge. (Image: National Library of Ireland, MS 1563)

The return of builders’ labourers will allow also the return to work of a large number of skilled men who were laid off during almost six months of strikes. Carpenters, masons, bricklayers and others are expected to be re-hired in the coming weeks.

The city’s carters are also expected to return to work this week and a general resumption of work in all sections of the business life of the city that remain affected is predicted for the coming days.

Recent weeks has seen the collapse of the strike with some dockers, as well as workers employed in other industries, returning to work.

Padraig Yeates discusses the outcome of the 1913 Lockout and its impact on the labour movement in Ireland and for its leader Jim Larkin.

A large gathering of unemployed men at Liberty Hall yesterday morning saw many leave with parcels carrying loaves of bread. Support from British unions for the Lockout has dried up, however, and many men were left with no option but to return to work. The absence of strike pay and the failure of the food supply forced the men to offer themselves for reinstatement.
Many more are unlikely to return as not all employers are expected to provide jobs to all strikers.  

It is understood that the leader of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, James Larkin, has advised men to take up whatever work they can find and to end the strike.

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