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Colliery wage page


I have a page from the Langwith Colliery - Panel Wages week ending May 28th 1938, that has my great grandfather's name on it.

I've noticed the page has how many days for the week the men worked. My great grandfather and others worked for 2 days, others did 3 or 4 days, some even had 1 day.

How did this work? Did they arrive at the mine each morning and see if they were lucky enough to have work that day, if not they returned home and went back the next morning and so on?

My g grandfather also had health insurance, unemployment insurance and electric light deducted from his wages.
That's interesting gibbo.

That was the case with dock workers where they would turn up to see if there was any work that particular day.

Ships get delayed so they might be a day or more late to unload, but coal is not like that. :biggrin:
So you want me to email you a piece of the page so you can see? :biggrin:

edited.. email sent :2fun::2fun:
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Hi Gibbo,hope all is well as it can be.

The 1930's was a shocking time for finding work so he did well to get any at all.

Up untill about 1880 the mines would use a practise called the Butty system...basicly contracters could hire miners rather than the mines,the miners hated this because they had no rights while working for contractors....you could say a little like work agencys today!

The Butty system was outlawed around 1880.

All the best
Thanks Lee. I dont know how many times i have looked at that wage page and never noticed the "days worked" before :rolleyes:

Maybe i should have gone to SpecSavers sooner :rolleyes:
Sadly I never found any of the paperwork relating to my paternal grandfather's days in the local pits in Blaenllechau. However he was the 'Fireman' (same as a foreman, I'm told), and when he came out on strike in the 1920's in support of the miners, he was black-listed by the owners for some time, and that was the reason his three sons did not go underground to work - the eldest worked with machine tools I think, my father became a painter and decorator and the youngest enlisted for WWII and lost his life in 1940.
The mine owners were ruthless in those days, cutting wages when the selling price of coal dropped was a norm.