Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page

Advertising

Peace in the Coalfield.

News
Cite
Share

Peace in the Coalfield. Agreement Signed and Sealed. Mutual Congratulations. The protracted negotiations (or a new agree- ment to govern the wage rate in the South Wales coalfield are over, and peace prevails. Last Friday this representatives of the Coal- owners' Association and the workmen's repre- sentatives met at Cardiff and signed a new Concillition Board agreement, which came into operation on Saturday, instead of the old agreement terminated by the workmen s notice on the 31st March. Peace is assured for a term of five years, for the new agreement is to continue in force until the 31st of March, 1915, and thenceforth until it is terminated by a three months' notice given by either side. The new agreement differs in many respects from its predecessor, and incorporates in its clauses the new terms proposed by the coal- owners and accepted by the miners by a ma- jority of 62,310. Briefly, these provide for the continuance of the present rate of wages of 50 per ccnt. nuovc the standard of 1879. until they arc ci i.dnccd or reduced in consequence of a change In the price of coal, the fixing of a minimum of 35 per oen t. with an equivalent value of 12s. 5d. per ton, and a maximum of 60 per cent. above the standard of 1879. In cases of advances above 50 per cent., 50 per cent. shall be the oriuivalent of 14s. 9d., but in cases of reduc- tions 50 per cent. shall be the equivalent of !*1- per ton. The agreement also provides that men shall not be under any obligation to «-ork the extra 60 hours mentioned in the Eight, Hours Act, and that the payment of six turns for five for night work shall continue, but payment for overtime shall oease. The owners do not press for double shifts in the face, but theso are to be provided for in headings, and for development purposes, and an effective afternoon shift will be required for clearanco purposes, the payment for the latter to be similar to payments made for working present night shifts. There is also a provision made for an overlapping shift, and for the amending of the Eight Hours Act in order to legalise this on Saturdays. The new agree- ment also deals with times allowed for meals and with the hours of surfacemen, as well as with the customs to be introduced when non- fatal accidents occur in collieries and pro- vides that there shall be no stoppage for fun- erals except by arrangement with the manage- ment. Altogether, nine clauses have been added to the new agreement, which also incor- porates many of the clauses of the old agree- The Coalowners' Association and the Miners' Fcrderation met in separate rooms in the En- $ineors' Institute, last Friday morning in or- der to prepare for the meeting of the Con- ciliation Board in the afternoon. Mr. W. J. ITeppell presided over the coalowners, and ex- plained to them in detail the meaning of the new terms proposed to be inserted in the new agreement. Some of the coalowners, though they had empowered their representatives on the Conciliation Board to carry out the nego- tiations, were displeased with the result, and considered the terms offered were to geneorous, but eventually, though they were of opinion that the terms fell short of what the coalowners were equitably entitled to, they approved of ,their adoption. The Executive Council of the Miners' Fed- eration, over which Mr W. Brace. M.P., pre- sided, received the official result of the ballot with much satisfaction, and though the min- ers' leaders felt very much in the same frame of mind as did the owners—that they were entitled to more-they accepted the decision of the ballot, and with the exception of Mr. C. B Stanton, who represented the only district that returned an adverse vote, th/5 men's re- presentatives decided to sign the agreement. pirl- Mr. Stanton explained that he could not do so in the face of the vote of his district until he had further consulted the workmen. Everything, therefore, was ready for the meeting of the Conciliation Board in the after- noon, for Mr. Charles Kenshole, the, owners' solicitor, and Mr. W. P. Nicholas, the work- men's solicitor; had drafted the clauses. The agreement was ready for signature, but in the course of discussion in the afternoon it wa; found necessary to make a few alterations in the wording. In order to do this separate meet- ings again became necessary, but that there was no hitch and no serious difference of opinion can be gathered from the fact that the agreement was finally signed in a little over an hour after the Joint Board met. THE MEETING OF THE BOARD. ABNORMAL PLACES QUESTION. The Joint Board meeting was presided over by Mr. W J Heppell, whilst Mr. W Brace, M.P., occupied the chair on the workmen's side. Mr. D. A. Thomas, M.P., and Mr. W. Abraham, M.P., who had been absent from several of the previous meetings owing to ill- ness, ako attended, and were warmly wel- comed by their colleagues. The proceedings were very formal A few points arose with re- gard to the wording of the draft agreement .which had been prepared. These required con- sideration, and the parties separated once or twice to consult their respective solicitors. The points referred to the Sunday night shifts, and the payment of six turns for five, but neither presented insuperable difficulties, and the terms were eventually agreed upon. When the time arrived for signing the agreement Mr. Ver- non Hartshorn drew attention to an undertak- ing with regard to the signing of the agree- ment without an abnormal clause. He wished to make his position clear, for he did not in- tend to sign any list which did not contain such a clause, and be made this statement in order that it might not be said that he had committed a breach of the agreement. He would rather not sign the agreement and would clear out of the Board rather than be considered a party to something which he did not afterwards observe. Mr. J. Boyd Harvey, managing director of North's Navigation, said that u that was the position taken up by Mr. Hartshorn, he had better not sign the agree- ment at all, but if he did not sign the price lists it might mean a local fight. Mr. Hart- shorn said he was prepared to sign the agree- ment, because the undertaking which had been given by his colleagues had not been given by him, and there was no mention of it in the agreement itself. He was not aware of the undertaking with regard to abnormal places until that day, and he did not consider him- self bound by it. He saw. however, no obsta- cle in the way of his signing the agreement it. self. and the matter of the price lists could be dealt with by him locally. Mr. Hartshorn then signed the agreement, as did all the other re- presentatives of the men with the exception of Mr. Stanton, who walked out of the room'. Mr. Stanton stated afterwards that the rea- son he abstained from voting was because his

Advertising

.1 Mass Meeting of Aberdare…

Advertising

MRS. JONES AT THE RINK, j

Advertising

....-.--'-MERTHYR POLICE COURT.

Chief Inspector of Mines -..

[No title]

Advertising

Peace in the Coalfield.

.1 Mass Meeting of Aberdare…