The Anthracite Wage Agreement

May 24, 1930

Report Outline
Expiration of 1926 Anthracite Wage Contract
The Declining Importance of Anthracite
Contracting Markets for Anthracite Coal
Anthracite's Efforts Toward Rehabilitation
Strength of the Miners' Union in Anthracite
Special Focus

Expiration of 1926 Anthracite Wage Contract

After four years of comparative peace in the hard coal fields, public interest again centers upon the anthracite industry. The present wage contract between operators and miners expires on August 31 of this year This agreement was signed in February, 1926, after 145,000 miners had been on strike for 170 days—the longest suspension in the history of the industry. At some date during the next two months representatives of the operators and miners will meet to negotiate a new contract. Upon the outcome of these negotiations depends the immediate, and perhaps more distant, future of the anthracite industry.

A breakdown of the anthracite negotiations, followed by a strike affecting the 160,000 men employed in the industry, might seriously retard the full recovery of general business now predicted for September. It is estimated that not fewer than 750,000 persons are directly dependent upon the wages of the anthracite miners. To these must be added the remainder of the population of the anthracite region, engaged in serving the needs of the miners find the industry. In all, approximately 2,000,000 persons are dependent upon anthracite, directly or indirectly, for a livelihood.

Anthracite Negotiations and Business Recovery

The important indexes of business at present show a mixed picture of recoveries and losses. The existing situation is very different from that which prevailed at the time of the last anthracite strike, in 1925–26, when business was moving along at a high level of prosperity. It is generally asserted by business forecasters that full recovery is likely to suffer a serious check if the purchasing power of so large a group as the population of the anthracite region is materially reduced for any extended period. The effects of a strike would not be local, but would extend first to the anthracite-carrying railroads and later to manufacturing districts. With negotiations taking place at a time when the industrial structure is unusually sensitive, their progress will be followed with close attention by government officials and all others seeking a return of general business to prosperity levels.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Apr. 18, 2014  Wealth and Inequality
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Mar. 06, 2009  Middle-Class Squeeze
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Sep. 27, 2002  Living-Wage Movement
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Oct. 27, 1978  Wage-Price Controls
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Oct. 25, 1961  Price-Wage Restraints in National Emergencies
Jun. 21, 1961  Wage Policy in Recovery
Jun. 11, 1958  Prices and Wages in the Recession
Sep. 18, 1957  Control of Living Costs
Nov. 02, 1955  Wages, Prices, Profits
Jan. 26, 1954  Minimum Wage Raise
Jan. 02, 1954  Cost of Living
Jan. 21, 1953  Guaranteed Annual Wage
Dec. 17, 1952  Future of Price and Wage Controls
Nov. 19, 1951  Fringe Benefits and Wage Stabilization
Dec. 06, 1950  Wage Control
Jun. 13, 1949  Wages in Deflation
Jun. 04, 1947  Guarantees of Wages and Employment
Oct. 29, 1946  Decontrol of Wages
Dec. 01, 1945  Minimum Wages
Sep. 29, 1945  Wage Policy
Oct. 27, 1944  Wage Security
May 17, 1943  Incentive Wage Payments
Aug. 25, 1941  Prices, Profits, and Wage Control
Apr. 28, 1941  Wartime Changes in the Cost of Living
Sep. 21, 1940  Two Years of the Wage-Hour Law
Nov. 01, 1938  Industry and Labor Under the Wage-Hour Act
Jan. 20, 1938  Wage Rates and Workers' Incomes
Apr. 11, 1935  The Cost of Living in the United States
Sep. 01, 1930  Wages and the Cost of Living
May 24, 1930  The Anthracite Wage Agreement
Feb. 20, 1925  Measure of Recovery in Profits and Wages Since 1920–21 Depression
Unions and Labor-Management Relations