The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

January 21st, 2015

Mar. 13, 1941Springhill RecordMine Accidents Are Heavy

     An unusual number of mine accidents occurred over the weekend, a number being of a serious nature.  All were treated at All Saints and we understand two of the men have been discharged.  According to our information the list is as follows:

     Myles Churchill – ankle broken

     James Chell - hip injury

     Thomas McDonald – head and back injuries

     George Booth – smashed finger

     Franklin Betts – neck cut

     William Meagher – serious back injury

     Rupert Goldrich – foot, leg and finger injured

     George Calder – back injury

     These accidents occurred at different times at the 4,000 level, with the exception of Mr. Calder’s accident, which happened at the 9,000.  At latest report the men in general are improving.

Thieves Enter Resnicks

     Thieves entered the store of J. Resnick, lower Main Street, Tuesday evening, through the coal chute leading to the cellar.  An open door leading from the cellar to the store facilitated their progress.  Local police were quickly on the scene but it was difficult to determine whether anything of value was taken.  No arrest have been made yet but police are on the job.

Mar. 20, 1941 Findings of McTague Board Announced; Miners Get Raise

     Wage increases for the employees of the Dominion Coal Company, Cumberland Railway and Coal Company, Acadia Coal Company and Old Sydney Collieries, Ltd. Have been recommended by a special labor tribunal which sat last month at Halifax, Labor Minister McLarity announced last week.

     The Minister’s statement said the Tribunal headed by Justice C.P. McTague, of the Ontario Supreme Court, had found that in the case of the Dominion Coal Company and Cumberland Railway and Coal Company “there was available money out of which certain advances in wages may be paid.”

     The companies’ 11,000 employees had asked “an upward revision of the 1940 wage scale.”

     Mr. McLarity’s statement said the Tribunal had suggested that “machinist, mechanics and a long list of other employees in certain classes” be given a ten per cent increase in their basic rates by the two companies. 

     Carrying out the recommendations, said the statement, would cost the companies about $500,000.

     The Tribunal recommended that the Acadia Coal Company, which employs about 1,200 men, have a contract drawn up embodying the general provisions and conditions (save as to wage rates) of the existing contract between Dominion Coal Company and its employees, and payment of 15 cents per shift “on account of war bonus.”  The Tribunal suggested also that arrears of rent and coal, prior to the date of re-organization, August 1938, should be written off.  In the case of Dominion Coal, free rent and coal should be given to all enlisted men or their families. 

     The following increases in the Acadia wage rates were recommended: $2.90 to $3.05; $3.00 to $3.15; $3.05 to $3.19; $3.06 to $3.20; $3.11 to $3.21; $3.14 to $3.21 and $3.19 to $3.21.

     In respect of the Old Sydney Collieries, employing some 1,700 men, the tribunal makes the same recommendation as to drawing up a contract containing provisions similar to that of Dominion Coal and its employees. 

     Rate increases were also recommended as follows: $3.40 to $3.50; $3.41 to $3.50; $3.43 to $3.52; $3.44 to $3.52; $3.45 to $3.53; $3.48 to $3.55; $3.50 to $3.55 and $3.52 to $3.55. 

     “The same provisions are made in respect for writing off debts for rent and coal, as well as providing free rent and coal to all enlisted men or their families, as well as a recommendation for payment of 15 cents a shift on account of war bonus” said the statement. 

     The tribunal recommended its suggested conditions be signed by union and company officials within 30 days from the receipt of the report, and in that case, that the advances be retroactive to Feb.1 last.  If the acceptance occurs after 30 days, however, the tribunal recommends that the advance begin from the date of the signing of the new agreements.

     In the absence from Sydney of H.J. Kelly and D.W. Morrison, heads of the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation and United Mine Workers, respectively, other officials had no comments to make at the time of the announcements.


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