The Bituminous Coal Situation

December 1, 1928

Report Outline
The Changed Outlook in the Coal Market
The General Depression in the Industry
Competition Between Mining Districts'
The Miners' Union and the Bituminous Depression
The Favorable Position of the Consumer
The Bituminous Coal Industry in Reconstruction
Special Focus

For several years the soft coal industry has been offering its output at bargain counter prices. Millions of tons of bituminous coal have been sold at the mines at an average price of $2 a ton, or not much more than the cost of a pound of candy. During this period, the miners have lost their struggle to maintain the union standard of wages, as set by the Jacksonville agreement; thousands of their number have suffered varying degrees of want and deprivation because of unemployment and strikes, and the bituminous industry as a whole has made no profits. This condition of unemployment, declining wages and profitless business has resulted from the inability of the industry to adjust itself to a changed economic environment. While other industries have prospered, the bituminous industry during recent years has drifted into a state of steadily increasing depression.

In former years, public concern over bituminous coal related principally to assured continuation of adequate supplies and protection against undue enhancement of prices. Today all danger of interruption to the flow of soft coal has been removed; prices are being determined in a buyer's market, and it is the depressed condition of the bituminous industry that calls for public attention.

The Republican and Democratic parties both took cognizance in their 1928 platforms of the need for some stabilizing influence in the soft coal industry. The Democrats pledged their support for “constructive legislation,” and the Republicans expressed their willingness to assist “in any feasible plan” for stabilization of the industry.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Coal Industry
Jun. 17, 2016  Coal Industry's Future
Jun. 24, 2011  Mine Safety
Oct. 05, 2007  Coal's Comeback
Mar. 17, 2006  Coal Mining Safety
Apr. 21, 1978  America's Coal Economy
Oct. 25, 1974  Coal Negotiations
Nov. 19, 1954  Coal in Trouble
Apr. 04, 1952  Coal Supply and European Rearmament
Jan. 22, 1947  Labor Costs and the Future of Coal
Jul. 24, 1935  Stabilization of the Bituminous Coal Industry
Jan. 01, 1929  The Anthracite Coal Situation
Dec. 01, 1928  The Bituminous Coal Situation
Jun. 30, 1927  The Bituminous Coal Strike
Aug. 15, 1925  The Bituminous Coal Problem
Aug. 01, 1925  Strike Emergencies and The President
Jul. 25, 1925  Miners' Wages and the Cost of Anthracite