Pressure on the employers
|Butler's Wharf was soon receiving ships after Henry Lafone negotiated a settlement. © NMM|
At the beginning of September pressure was mounting on the employers to resolve the strike. They still seemed unwilling to make concessions even though ship-owners and wharfingers were increasingly critical of the dock companies' stubbornness.
Henry Lafone, manager of Butler's Wharf, held separate negotiations with the strike committee. He paid his 300 men on strike 1s each a day, including Saturday and Sunday. Lafone worked hard to bring about a satisfactory settlement and his own wharf was soon unloading ships.
Revolt by the ship-owners
By 3 September the ship-owners were beginning to revolt against the dock companies who remained stubborn.
|Sir Thomas Sutherland (1834-1922). © NMM|
Sir Thomas Sutherland (1834-1922), Chairman of the P&O Company, even suggested that the ship-owners might take over the unloading of ships.
There was also the threat that the dispute would develop into a general strike in London and this finally prompted action.
|Mansion House Committee. © NMM|
On 5 September, when the strike was in its fourth week, the Lord Mayor of London formed the Mansion House Committee.
Its aim was to try to bring the two sides together to end the strike. Ben Tillett and John Burns represented the dockers at the negotiations.
An important member of the committee was Cardinal Manning (1808-1892), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster. He had shown that his sympathies were with the dockers, many of whom were Catholics.
|Cardinal Manning depicted on a banner of the Amalgamated Society of Watermen and Lightermen. © NMM|
The Mansion House Committee persuaded the employers to meet practically all the dockers' demands. After five weeks the Dock Strike was over. It was agreed that the men would go back to work on 16 September.