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Key dates over November 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 6

11th November 1915 - Munitions Court decision against Kidderminster firm

Rolling Casualty Count: 2560

1st Batt: Orders to be in readiness to join 24th Brigade on 14th at Erquinghem.

2nd batt: Quiet day with work continuing on trenches.

Munitions Court - Worcestershire County Council Harold Ernest Riches of Ismere, Kidderminster complained that the employers Messrs Jones and Attwood of Stourbridge currently withheld a certificate for him under the Munitions Act.

The Chairman saw three key points in the case. Firstly was the question of wages which he felt there was no case. Secondly the point whether the complainant was employed on munitions work which brought out all his skills or whether he was employed on youth work. Riches was invited to give further information on this.

The last point on which the Court placed the most importance centred around the payment for overtime. It appeared that Riches worked 63 hours a week the normal being 48 and received no extra per per hour for the 15 hours beyond the 48.

Messrs Jones and Attwood wrote to the Court that they were surprised that the Court's decision rested purely on a trade union question of wages as they had always understood from the Ministry of Munitions that the tribunals were appointed to decide the issue as to whether the claim to retain any man's services could be substantiated as affecting either the production, transport or supply of munitions.

The Chairman remarked that if a worker could never put forward any grievance under the Munitions Act it would be a very one-sided Act. The point at the last Hearing was that Jones and Attwood were getting some advantage over their competitors by not paying overtime and placing their servants at a disadvantage. Jones and Attwood stated that if Riches' certificate was granted they would have to withdraw from their munitions delivery guarantees.

The Chairman heard that other firms in Stourbridge paid overtime. The Court decided that he was not obtaining the standard condition of the district and they did not think they could compel him to remain in that employment and granted Riches' his certificate.

Information researched by the WWW100 team