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Wage Chronology No. 4: Bituminous Coal Mines

Supplement No. 5–1959

THE FIFTH AMENDMENT to the National Bituminous Wage Agreement of 1950 was signed at Washington, D.C., on December 3, 1958, by representatives of the United Mine Workers of America (Ind.) and the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association. On the following day, the amendment was signed by the president of the Southern Coal Producers Association, and a majority of other bituminous mine operators followed suit by January 1, 1959.

The amended contract was effective as of December 1, 1958, and was made subject to termination on or after November 30, 1959, by 60 days' notice from either party. It provided a $1.20-a

day wage increase effective January 1, 1959, and an increase of 80 cents a day beginning April 1, 1959. An increase in annual vacation pay was also stipulated.

The contract, signed by commercial operators, added a "Protective Wage Clause" whereby mine operators agreed that all coal mined, purchased, or otherwise acquired by them would be produced under terms and conditions of work as favorable as those provided in the contract. A Joint Industry Contract Committee was established to enforce this provision. The contract signed on behalf of the "captive” operators did not include this clause.

The following tables bring the bituminous coal mines wage chronology up to date, including the April 1959 wage increase.

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1 See Monthly Labor Review, March 1949 (pp. 303-309), June 1951 (pp. 676-678), September 1953 (pp. 961-962), February 1956 (pp. 187–188), and February 1958 (pp. 176–177), or Wage Chronology Series 4, No. 4.

TABLE 1. CHANGES IN BASIC WAGES AND HOURS IN BITUMINOUS COAL MINES IN THE APPALACHIAN AREA

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TABLE 2.

CHANGES IN RELATED WAGE PRACTICES IN BITUMINOUS COAL MINES IN THE APPALACHIAN AREA

Effective date

Provision

Applications, exceptions, and other related matters

Paid Vacations

Tan. 1, 1959 (amendment dated Dec. 3, Increased vacation pay from $180 to $200.

1958).

TABLE 3. FULL-TIME DAILY AND WEEKLY PAY AND STRAIGHT-TIME HOURLY RATES FOR SELECTED OCCUPATIONS IN

BITUMINOUS COAL MINES, APPALACHIAN AREA, 1959 1

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Mobile loading machine operations; cutting and shearing machine operators and helpers:

Full-time daily pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

6-day week...

6-day week...
Straight-time bourly rate..

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Motormen, rock drillers, and rubber tired shuttle car operators:

Full-time dally pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

3-day week.

6-day week. Straight-time hourly rate.. Drivers, brakemen, spraggers, trackmen, wiremen,

bonders, timbermen, bottom cagers, coal drillers, and snappers:

Full-time daily pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

5-day week

6-day week. Straight-time hourly rate... Pumpers, trackmen helpers, wiremen helpers, timber men helpers, and other inside labor not classified:

Full-time daily pay...
Full-time weekly pay:

5-day week.

6-day week.... Straight-time hourly rate... Drillers and shearers on mechanical section and roof bolters:

Full-time daily pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

5-day week...

6-day week...
Straight-time hourly rate..

117. 25 152. 42

2. 931

121. 25 157.62

3.031

Bit sharpeners, car droppers, trimmers, car repairmen, and dumpers:

Full-time daily pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

5-day week.

6-day week. Straight-time hourly raie.. Sand dryers, car cleaners, and other able-bodied labor:

Full-time daily pay.
Full-time weekly pay:

5-day week...

6-day week...
Straight-time hourly rate..

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Wage Chronology No. 30: Anthracite Mining Industry

Supplement No. 3—1958-59

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ON OCTOBER 30, 1958, the anthracite coal mine operators received from the United Mine Workers of America (Ind.) formal notice of termination of contract, effective December 31, 1958. This notice of termination was in accordance with provisions of the agreement signed in November of 1956.

Contract talks began at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on December 8, 1958, and continued until agreement on terms was announced on January 14, 1959. In

addition to a general wage increase effective February 1, 1959, the mine operators agreed to increase royalty payments to the miners' health and welfare fund and to raise vacation pay. “As an aid to enforcement of contract provisions," a new clause permits union representatives to inspect company records on data relating to wages, hours, and working conditions.

The amended agreement was effective as of February 1, 1959, and may be terminated on or after January 31, 1960, upon 60 days' notice given by either party.

The following tables 2 bring the anthracite mining industry wage chronology up to date.

1 For the basic chronology and earlier supplements, see Monthly Labor Review, November 1952 (pp. 528–534), April 1954 (pp. 425–426), and February 1958 (pp. 178–179).

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$1 increase per start, or 14.3

dated Jan. 14 1959).

cents an hour.

Flat amount, which together with earlier increases now

totaled $9.117, added to daily tonnage or piece-rate earnings as previously computed.

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Relative Importance of
CPI Components, December 1958

THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE of each item in the Consumer Price Index depends on its importance, or weight, in the spending of city wage-earner and clerical-worker families and on price changes for the items customarily bought by such families. At the time of periodic revisions in the index, when new value weights are introduced, the relative importance of each item is equivalent to its importance in average annual family expenditures in the year to which the new weighting structure relates. These basic value weights represent not only total family expenditures for the various items, but also the specific quantity and quality of each item at the unit price prevailing at the time of the expenditure survey. While the quantity and quality of each item priced for the index are held constant during the periods between revisions, changes in prices may change the importance of the various commodi

ties in relationship to one another, since the index is calculated by multiplying the expenditure weight for each item by the change in its price. Thus, if prices of all items changed at the same rate, their relative importance in the index would not change, but if food prices, for example, rise and clothing prices fall, food will increase in importance relative to clothing.

Table 1 illustrates the difference between changes in relative importance and changes in family expenditures since 1935–39. Comparison of column 3 with column 2 and column 6 with column 4 shows the effect of weight revisions based on changes in consumer spending habits. On the other hand, comparison of columns 2, 4, and 7 with columns 1, 3, and 6, respectively, shows the effect of price changes only. Thus, expenditures for food actually accounted for a little more

a than 35 percent of the family budget in 1935–39. By January 1950, prices for food had increased relative to other commodities and services and

1 Occasional adjustments in the items priced must be made, of course, to take account of such changes as the replacement of one item by another or the introduction of a new Item,

TABLE 1. PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILY EXPENDITURES AND RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF CPI COMPONENTS,

SELECTED PERIODS (Relative importance figures shown in roman are based on family expenditure surveys. Italics indicate relative importance

computed from index value weights adjusted for price change since the preceding family expenditure survey)

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