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Hours worked per day and per week-Frequency and methods of wage payments-Deductions from earnings-Regularity of employment-Description of a typical mining and coke village Company houses-The company-store system-Benefits received by employees in addition to wages-Welfare work-The immigrant and organized labor-Reasons for employing immigrants-[Text Tables 193 to 200 and General Table 69.]


The hours worked by miners and other employees of coal and coke companies vary widely. The most general difference occurs between union and nonunion localities. In the nonunion districts the pick miners, drivers, cutters, scrapers, loaders, road men and other inside employees usually work in ten-hour shifts, six days per week. Some inside work, such as that of motormen, pumpers, and pumpers' helpers, requires seven days a week, and sometimes the hours are ten, eleven, or twelve per shift. There are occasional variations from the general ten-hour day, six days per week, but this is the rule in the nonunionized districts. The miners do not always work their full ten hours, since they are paid on a piece basis and may work less time if they wish.

The outside workmen have the same hours as the inside men, namely, ten hours per day, sixty per week, but here again in special occupations, such as those of engineers, firemen, and stablemen, the hours are ten, eleven, or twelve per shift and the men work seven days per week. In the coke yard the ten-hour shift, six days per week, is not always strictly followed. Coke drawers, for instance, are paid by the oven, are assigned so many ovens to draw, and stop when the work is over. The hours of the coke-yard force may, therefore, be more or fewer than the usual ten per shift.

Under normal conditions in all the mines and coke plants some men are employed in night shifts.

In the unionized districts of western Pennsylvania the standard is eight hours per day or shift, or forty-eight hours per week. Although there may be some variation occasionally from this standard, it is the general practice.


Throughout western Pennsylvania the mine and coke-yard employees are paid twice a month. Nominally the payment is in cash, but, as a matter of fact, only a part of the wages is paid in cash, for the reason that various deductions are first made from the gross earnings. These deductions are for various items, of which the largest

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is usually the workman's "store account.' The total amount of deductions for the store account varies, of course, with the individual case. It may be but a small fraction of the man's total earnings, or it may almost equal them. Another deduction is the rent of the "company house." This is exacted of all the men with families who live in the "company village," and generally amounts to $1.50 to $3.75 each pay period, depending on the kind of dwelling occupied by the miner's family. The single men and boarders do not suffer this deduction but pay their rent to private landlords. Another deduction is for blacksmithing, i. e., the sharpening and repairing of picks and tools by the company blacksmith. The item is not large, but is appreciable. A few companies furnish coal free to their employees if the latter haul or carry it, but in most cases coal is delivered by the company and charged to the worker. Payment for this also is deducted. Many companies maintain benefit societies for their employees with dues of 35 to 50 cents per month and paying accident and death benefits of various amounts. All employees of the company are members and the monthly dues are deducted from their earnings. In some company villages physicians have "lists" of patients. They engage to furnish such medical service as a family may need during the year for a regular monthly payment of 50 cents or $1, with a somewhat smaller charge per month for single men, which amounts are collected by the company from the earnings of the men.

In unionized districts the dues of the members of the union and a percentage of the earnings of the employees sufficient to pay the wages of the check weighman are deducted by the mining company. Some other miscellaneous deductions may occur. In the tables on pages 317 to 320 the general amount of each of these various forms of deductions and the proportion of deduction to earnings may be seen. Hence, while it is true that wages are paid in cash, in actual practice only a part of the wages is so paid.


The first three tables in the series which follows show the total earnings and total deductions, by principal items, and a comparison of total deductions with earnings, as compiled from the records of a number of representative companies, for a period of three years1906, 1907, and 1908. The fourth table shows in detail the earnings and deductions of selected employees, by race. By an examination of the entire series, the extent to which cash is received and the tendencies of the different races in connection with the different items of deduction are made manifest.

TABLE 193.-Deductions from earnings of employees of 7 mining companies, by principal items, January to December, 1906.

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TABLE 194.-Deductions from earnings of employees of 12 mining companies, by principal items, January to December, 1907.

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TABLE 195.-Deductions from earnings of employees of 12 mining companies, by principal

items, January to December, 1908.

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TABLE 196.--Deductions from earnings of selected employees, by race and by individual, April, May, and June, 1909.

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TABLE 196.-Deductions from earnings of selected employees, by race and by individual, April, May, and June, 1909-Continued.

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