HC Deb 20 January 1931 vol 247 cc14-5

asked the Secretary for Mines what is the present position as to the working agreements in the coal-mining industry; and whether it is proposed to recommend Parliament to modify or suspend the operation of the hours of the Coal Mines. Act, 1930?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Shinwell)

As the answer to the first part of the question involves a long tabular statement, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


Will the hon. Gentleman recognise his responsibility and the responsibility of his colleagues for the protracted strike that took place during the last few weeks?

Following is the statement:

District. Hours (Underground) at present. Remarks.
Weekdays. Saturdays. Per fortnight.
North Wales 7 hrs. 42 mins. 90 Wages unchanged; arrangement effective to 31st March, 1931.
Corresponding reduction for surface workers manipulating coal. N.B.—Excludes Llay Main Colliery which works 7½ hours per day as before.
Somerset 90 Wages unchanged; agreement effective to end of January, 1931.
Forest of Dean Wages unchanged; day-to-day contracts.
Shropshire 8 5 90 Wages unchanged; day-to-day contracts.
South Derbyshire 8 4 & 6 alternately. 90 Wages unchanged; arrangement to be effective to 30th April, 1931.
South Staffs, and East Worcester. 8 5 90 Wages unchanged; day-to-day contracts.
South Wales 90 Wages unchanged till 1st March, 1931 pending negotiation of a new agreement, with reference of points unsettled as to minimum percentage and subsistence wage, to an independent chairman if necessary.
Durham Reduction of ½ hour per shift on ordinary week days for those workers previously on 8 hour shifts. Saturday shifts to remain as previously, 6½ hours or 7¼ hours bank to bank. Hewers and deputies previously on 7½ hour shifts. County standard basis wages for pieceworkers reduced pro rata according to reduction in hours; agreement effective to 28th February, 1931.
Northumberland Decrease of ½ hour per shift (8 hours to 7½ hours), equivalent to 2¾ hours per week, on basis of eleven 7½ hour shifts per fortnight. County standard basis wages for fillers reduced by 4d. per shift (5s. 10d. to 5s. 6d.); agreement effective up to 28th February, 1931.
Note.—Hewers were previously on 7½ hour shift. Certain classes work twelve shifts per fortnight. It was agreed that the management at individual collieries should have the right to send down hewers, fillers and transit hands as one shift.
Scotland 8 hours per day, 11 days per fortnight (no short Saturday). Wages unchanged; arrangement effective to end of February, 1931.