On the 16 September 1901 there was a strike in Geary’s Biscuit Factory at Merchants Quay. This strike was carried out by 80 girls from the wrapping and boxing department, and a number of boys from the baking department. There were two reasons given for the strike by the strikers, the first reason was a dissatisfaction in the newly enforced pay “by piece work” which had replaced the weekly wage system. The second reason was that some of the employees had a disagreement with a foreman who happened to be German.
As a result of the strike the company placed an advert for 100 girls to replace those on strike, the company arranged this without the knowledge of Thomas Geary the owner of the company:“who probably would have been able to arrange matters satisfactorily to all parties had the situation been explained to him”
The Kerry Weekly Reporter of September 28, 1901 wrote:-
Most of the girls employed at Messr Geary’s Biscuit factory, who went out on strike last week on a question of piece-work, returned to business yesterday, intimation having been given that, unless work were resumed at once, the factory would be closed for a month pending the employment of new hands. No concessions appear to have been made, and it is expected the remainder of the hands will come in immediately.