South Yorkshire Times – Saturday 26 December 1942
Strike Drags On
Deadlock at Cortonwood
Nothing has occurred this week to relieve the deadlock at Cortonwood Colliery, and the stoppage continues as the only shadow on a hopeful Christmas. The subject was raised at the annual meeting of the Council of the Y.M.A. at Barnsley on Tuesday, but so far as can be ascertained nothing as it emerged that can be said to have relieve the situation. The men had previously asked for the support of other breaches in an appeal for reconsideration of their case and Mr J. Rose was appointed branch delegate to the meeting.
The men stopped work on December 1 as a protest against the introduction of a new price list for the Silkstone seam. The price this was approved and signed by a joint Board in November of last year, and there was a stoppage when the company attempted to implement it last May. It has since been confirmed by a Court of Arbitration set up by the Ministry of Labour and National Service.
Whatever may be the merits of the dispute there certainly can be no two opinions about the gravity of the stoppage at the time of extreme urgency when all efforts have been directed to increase production. Already over 30,000 tons of coal have been lost, and the stoppage is seriously affecting Yorkshire’s ability to reach its output target, and therefore qualify for bonus wages under the Greene Award. The last returns show that a ratio of 98.7 % had been achieved.
The fact that the men have had nothing to draw for two weeks must inevitably have a depressing effect on the domestic Christmas for many families. Workmen at other pits in South Yorkshire have contributed towards the release of distress, but with some 1500 to share the amount which will be shared out after Chrietmas will not be large. It is stated that a number of the men have received summonses to be beard at Rotherham on January lat.
The surface workers. numbering perhaps 100, have been drawing unemployment pay this week.