By August, the Textile Council, realizing that its members were falling into dire poverty, began to court the mill owners, who were also suffering from heavy financial losses. Both the Council and the owners now regarded the TMC as the enemy; they consistently excluded it from their meetings believing that a two-way settlement was the best way to eliminate the militant group.
On September 25th, the Manufacturers' Association (representing the mill owners) proposed a compromise: a five percent wage cut. The city's newspapers endorsed the proposal, although conceding it was less than ideal. The TMC immediately denounced it as a "sell out." On Monday, October 1st, about 2,000 members of the Council's unions voted against the five percent compromise, and it was rejected.
While the TMC rejoiced, the city's newspapers turned against the Council, blaming it for prolonging the strike. They called for another vote, claiming that there had been confusion about the time for voting. Worried about losing the support of the press, Council leaders complied. On October 6th, a second vote was taken. This time police supervised each polling area, keeping TMC protesters away. With similar numbers voting, the proposal passed.
Although the TMC vowed to keep the mills closed on its own, thousands of workers reported to their old posts on October 8th. The New Bedford strike was over at last, and for most that was cause enough for celebration.