The 1856 Milton Cotton Worker’s Strike
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“I had no opinion on The 1856 Milton Cotton Worker’s Strike. Back then I never dabbled in politics, for I was only two years of age when it happened”
The 1856 Milton Cotton Worker’s Strike was an epic strike and series of tensions between the cotton worker’s of Poppywheel Mills and the mill owner Mr Humphrey Poppywheel. On October the 15th, 1856, the Cotton Workers stopped working twenty-three minutes before the bell and their union issued this statement:
“For too long we have been powerless! For too long we have downtrodden by the mill owners! But now we will show them we are not weak! Poppywheel Mills must give in to our demands or we shall work no more. All workers must be treated justly as equals. All workers must receive an honest days pay. All workers must be safe from injury. All child-workers must have rights and never be beaten. And most importantly we shall be given free tea and biscuits every Monday morning. And they must be good biscuits, crispy golden brown on the outside... warm, fluffy and doughy on the inside...”
Mr Humphrey Poppywheel was rather an eccentric, odd fellow. He often danced in the rain, jumped up and down for no reason and ate food with his feet. He also enjoyed the common pleasures of going to parties, drinking good wine (with his feet (this was not common (drinking wine was (but not the feet part (I ♥ brackets)))) and beating women and children to a bloody pulp; all common pleasures in Victorian England.
The next day after the strike begun, at a party (Where he ate shrimp cocktails(with his feet)) Humphrey Poppywheel said:
“What really irritates my pillow (An Old English Saying) is they stopped twenty-three minutes before the bell. Twenty-three bloody minutes of production time gone, how ridiculous. At least choose a rounded number like twenty-five or twenty minutes for God’s sakes. Twenty-three is neither rounded nor even.”
Four weeks into the strike both parties had no intention of backing down. To strong forces convinced of there own grace and righteousness. The plight of the working masses pitted against Poppywheel’s the fight for unimaginable wealth and production. It was a time of fierce ideological struggle noticed by the whole of England.
“There is no way they're getting their fucking biscuits, no bloody way”
the Irish Workers
Five weeks in and Mr Poppywheel could handle the strike no more. Cotton was in great demand. Under grave stress, he decided to give into the worker’s demands. The cotton workers danced in the streets; drank wine and played an embarrassing game of spin the bottle. They celebrated until they read the conditions. There would be no sugar to be given with their tea. Outraged, the strike continued. Mr Poppywheel decided to import workers from Ireland. The Irish workers worked for half pay and were willing to labour through poor conditions.
The resolution of the conflict
Many weeks later the worker-families were starving and suffering from foot Frostbite because of the lack of warm, cottony slippers. The Strike lasted till December until the workers took matters into their own hands. Again, they stormed the factory. The Union Leader took over Poppywheel Mills and Mr Poppywheel ran far, far away (with his feet).
Seven Days later they found Humphrey Poppywheel dead in the snowy forests. His feet were black, icy and rotten. He had forgotten his slippers. Several men lifted his corpse back into town. His feet, which he used to eat, had broken off while being carried and were lost forever. Though he was a wicked, malevolent, child beating, a man with a foot fetish; the workers pitied and mourned his death.
On beautiful white Christmas Day, the workers gracefully buried Mr Poppywheel... without his feet.