Soft Coal, Hard Choices: The Economic Welfare of Bituminous by Price V. Fishback

By Price V. Fishback

Whereas so much experiences of work within the coal specialise in the fight to prepare unions, this paintings bargains a extra different and quantitative exam of the exertions marketplace. It regards the commercial lives of the bituminous coal miners within the early 20th century. Fishback's analytic framework encompasses festival between employers for exertions, the criminal atmosphere, institutional improvement based on transactions expenditures in addition to the impression of work unions at the coal undefined. using fiscal idea and data, Fishback unearths the versions hidden within the descriptions of occasions, after which exams their inner consistency in addition to the hypotheses they generate.

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Extra info for Soft Coal, Hard Choices: The Economic Welfare of Bituminous Coal Miners, 1890-1930

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9 The success of individual mines was also determined by railroad rates set by the Interstate Commerce Commission, a source of dispute among coal operators from different regions. 10 The rapid expansion of the industry led to major changes in mining techniques and the specialization of labor. The pick miner of the 1890s performed numerous tasks with hand tools. He used a pick to make cuts at the base of the wall; drilled holes for charges with a hand auger; and then measured and prepared the explosive himself.

S. Children's Bureau study of Raleigh County, West Virginia in 1920 found that almost 60 percent of the families interviewed had lived in the same community for three years or less. 54 The moves were caused by a combination of push and pull factors. Sometimes mines closed or hit slack periods, at other times new mines and better opportunities beckoned. 55 But he underestimates the opportunities for movement across coal districts and in and out of coal mining. 56 Other groups moved with similar facility.

In several strikes, violence was used as a deterrent and was often returned in kind by the miners. Another strategy was to improve conditions at the mines. In several fields in southern West Virginia miners did not join because they were not convinced the union offered a better alternative. 19 As the demand for coal declined in the mid-1920s, the union lost its foothold in a series of bitter struggles. 50 per day scale in the Central Competitive Field, kept expanding market share relative to union districts.

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