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Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ...

On the Wages of the Miners

(10 February 1947)

From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 6, 10 February 1947, p. 7.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.

Dear Sir:

During the recent coal strike the newspapers were crammed with stories of the big money miners were making. It was almost enough, we imagine – almost but not quite enough – to lead newspapermen to take up mining.

There are a lot of things that whittle down the miner’s annual wage. None were generally mentioned by the papers – or by John L., for that matter. Here’s one of them taken from the Morgantown, W.Va., Post for January 25, 1947:

The supply of coal cars to Monongalia County mines by the Monangahela Railway Company this week was the lowest since Christmas week, with an average of 47 per cent of normal as compared with 38 for the week beginning Dec. 23, 1946.

Car placements by the day for this week were 100 per cent Monday, 60 per cent Tuesday, 40 per cent Wednesday, 40 per cent Thursday, none yesterday, and 40 per cent of normal supply for today.

When the car supply is 40 per cent of normal that means that the coal mined is 40 per cent of normal – which means that wages are 40 per cent of normal.

Let’s keep that in mind when the weeping and the lamentations start next March.


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