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The Premier Boot Co.

Mr James Jaques

Rushden Echo, 12th December 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

Profit-Sharing at Rushden

An interesting experiment in profit-sharing is being made in Rushden, and the results may be of a far-reaching character. The Premier Boot Company, of which Mr. James Jaques is the principal, have decided to present every employee, male and female, old and young, a sum amounting to 2½per cent, on the wages earned by each during the year. This means that a man earning £3 a week, working 48 hours, and receiving in wages £144 for the year, would have an additional £3/12/0 as his share of the profits of the firm. The money is to be paid on the actual earnings of an employee, so that those who lose time will get less. The proposal, we understand, will cost the firm about £600 per annum, and Mr. Jaques informed the employees that the scheme will be in force, as an experiment, for two years, at the end of which period the matter will be reconsidered. The bonus is to be given to those employees who remain continuously with the firm, and in the case of illness the money will be paid upon the sum earned. The scheme will not affect the right of either employer or employee to give a week's notice. Mr. Jaques's object is to create an even better relationship between the firm and the work people. Competition in the days to come will, in Mr. Jaques's opinion, be keener than it is at the present time, and there can be no satisfactory working unless there is co-operation between employer and employed. Addressing the workpeople, Mr. Jaques told them frankly that he wanted everybody to understand that he was not actuated by disinterested motives; he wanted the employees to do their best for the firm, and the firm would do their best for the employees. The working hours, he reminded them, had been reduced, but if all of them did their best the shortening of the working hours would not mean a smaller output. The scheme, which Mr. Jaques hopes will at the end of the two years be replaced by a better one, has been unanimously accepted by the workpeople, and Mr. C. Bates, president of the Rushden branch of the Boot and Operatives' Union, who was present when the proposals were laid before the workmen expressed his gratification at the course which had been taken and ventured to hope that other firms would follow in the steps of Mr. Jaques. The principle is an excellent one, and the scheme should do much to ensure the smooth and efficient working of the business, to the mutual advantage of each side.

Rushden Echo, 26th December 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

HAND TORN OFFArthur Drage, aged 14½, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Drage, of 16, Sussex-place, Higham-road, Rushden, met with a terrible accident last Thursday about 5p.m., while at work at the Premier Boot Company. He was operating a 'moulder' when his right hand got entangled and was practically torn to ribbons. First aid was rendered by Mr. Martin O'Connor, Mr. Gore, and others, and the injured lad was taken to Dr. Baker's surgery, where the wound was further dressed. The doctor ordered the lad's removal to Northampton Hospital without delay. The transport was carried out by the District Motor Ambulance, Mr. A. Swindall being in charge of the patient. We learn that the injured lad is making as good progress as can be expected.

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