Absentees Kept Pits Closed – 50,000 Took An Extra Day

December 1950

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Thursday 28 December 1950

Absentees Kept Pits Closed

50,000 Took An Extra Day

Coal-Face workers were the worst offenders among yesterday’s 50,000 Yorkshire pit absentees whose prolonged holiday cut output at many collieries.

Describing coal-face absenteeism as “shocking” North-east Divisional Coal Board official said last night that in many cases between 80 and 90 per cent, of coal-face men stayed away.

Two pits, Darfield and Glasshoughton had to remain closed. At others the few face workers who turned up could work only sections of the pits.

Denaby. Cadeby, and Rotherham Main collieries had so many coal face men away that it was not worth turning coal, and it was stacked on the pit bottoms.

Production was seriously restricted in Mexborough district, where nearly half the coal-face men failed this to turn up for the first shifts. The chairman up was best in Sheffield, Worksop and Doncaster areas, and worst in Carlton.

Winning Spirit

Work resumed in the Parkgate seam at Barnborough Colliery, Goldthorpe, where for two days; before the holiday miners had refused work in protest against reductions in Christmas pay caused by the hold-up of railway wagons. At Barnsley Main only half a face could worked. Absenteeism at Acton Hal! Colliery, Featherstone was just over 50 per cent, and at Prince of Wales Colliery. Pontefract, it was about 40 per cent. Lowest absentee rate in the division was at Norwood Green Colliery, near Halifax, where only 14 per cent, of the miners were absent. This pit has organised special transport to enable the miners to get to Saturday morning shifts.

“There is good team spirit here.” said the manager last night. Our absentee figures are always below the average for the division.”

Absenteeism of all employees was highest at Wombwell – 63%