Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 31 August 1928
Shock for Cortonwood Pit Workers.
1,250 Notices Issued.
About 1,250 men and boys employed in the Swallow Wood Seam at Cortonwood Colliery have received notices terminating their employment in seven days. With each formal notice there was enclosed covering letter of regret signed Mr. R Graham, the general manager of the company. (Most of the men employed in the Cortonwood Colliery live in the Wombwell, West Melton, and Elsecar districts.
Seen by a Sheffield Telegraph” representative yesterday, Mr. Graham said that the issuing of the notices was the result of continued depression in the mining industry. Asked if the effect of the notices would permanent, he replied guardedly that that would depend on whether industry improved or not.
Apparently there is little prospect present of the men being re-engaged for work on other seams. The relationship between the management and the men at Cortonwood is said to be excellent.
“A Big Surprise.”
In an interview yesterday, Councillor Simpson, a check-weighman at the colliery, said that the issuing of the notices came as a big surprise to the district. He understood that a deputation of the men had been to see the management, but, so far as he was aware, nothing had come of the conference.
The Swallow Wood seam was opened about ten years ago. It lies between the Barnsley and Parkgate seams. It is about five feet thick and yields good coal. The letter issued to the men with the notices is:
“It is with great regret that I am compelled to tender you this notice owing to the continuous losses which are being made by the firm. The directors have been hoping for a long time to avoid taking this step, and so continue to provide work, but the burden is now becoming so great that they find it impossible.”
The notices will expire next Tuesday. At Wombwell Employment Exchange yesterday arrangements were made to deal with the men. The men will sign on at the Exchange next Wednesday, and the first payment should be made on September 14th.