A.W.P. Announces Lower Pay Scale

by Laurel | December 24th, 2011

24 December 1931

Mt. Tom Paper Company Division, A.W.P.

Mt. Tom Paper Company Division, A.W.P.

Reduction of About 9 Per Cent For All Mill Employees Effective on Monday, President Willson Reveals

Holyoke, December 23. — A new wage scale which is approximately 9 per cent lower than the present schedule will go into effect for all mill employees of the American Writing Paper company on Monday, according to announcement made this morning by S. L. Willson, president of the company. Mr. Willson in his statement said that no further changes will be made in the wage rate for at least one year. He further said that he believed that all paper mills in this city and vicinity will as in the past, adopt a new wage schedule that was drawn up by Adam Wilkinson, labor commissioner of the company. No mention was made of the salaries of employees.

Mr. Willson’s statement is as follows: —

“The depressed business conditions during the past two years have made necessary many changes in the organization and operation of most business lines, which have been not only undesirable from the standpoint of the employee but most regrettable from the viewpoint of the employer. It has been a period when a friendly and cooperative spirit, which is so essential in human relations, has been much in evidence, and which now enables our company to look into the future with courage and hope.

“As evidence of a recognition of business necessity and illustrative of a cooperative spirit, after a series of conferences between representatives of Eagle Lodge of Papermakers, International Union of Operating Engineers, International Brotherhood of Stationary Firemen, and Adam Wilkinson, labor commissioner of the American Writing paper company, Inc., a new wage schedule for the paper mils was mutually agreed upon. The new wage schedule is approximately 9 per cent lower than the present one and will become effective December 28. No further changes will be made in the wage rate or a period of at least one year. As it has been the custom in the past, practically all of the paper mills of Holyoke and vicinity will probably adopt the wage schedule.

“The following bulletin has been posted in all the mills of the company: Wage rates will be adjusted as follows: Number 1. Employees receiving 75 cents per hour to be reduced 6 cents per hour; 2. employees receiving 74 cents to 46 cents per hour to be reduced 5 cents per hour; 3. employees receiving 45 cents or less per hour to be reduced 4 cents per hour; 4. overtime on week days to be paid for at time and one-half; 5. overtime on Sunday and following holidays, New Year’s Day, memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas day, to be paid at double time rates.

“Signed Adam Wilkinson,

Labor Commissioner.”

“The past year has been a most trying one for all business firms, corporations and individuals. It has been a period with thoughts of and for others have been applied with a Christmas spirit coupled with the business viewpoint. We are yet uncertain as to the future business conditions but it is to be hoped that improvement will be shown so that the present personnel in the organization not only be maintained but increased.”

(signed) “S. L. Willson,


Adapted from The Springfield Republican, photograph from my personal collection of Holyoke memorabilia.

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