Company Meeting Yorkshire Amalgamated Collieries – High Voluntary Absenteeism Regrettable Feature

May 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 31 May 1941

Note:  In 1927, as a result of the 1926 Mining Act, Yorkshire Amalgamated Collieries was formed to acquire and hold the shares of the Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries, and those of the Dinnington, Maltby and Rossington companies

Company Meeting Yorkshire Amalgamated Collieries

High Figure of Voluntary Absenteeism

A Regrettable Feature

The fourteenth ordinary general meeting of the Yorkshire Amalgamated Collieries, Ltd., was held on Wednesday at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield, under the chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Lord Aberconway, C.B.E.

The notice concerning the meeting and the auditors’ report were read by the Secretary, Mr. T. E. Hallam, F.C.I.S.

The Chairman said: I rise to move: “That the Report and proceedings of the Directors, together with the Balance Sheet of the Company as at March 31st, 1941, duly certified by the Auditors, be and are hereby approved and adopted.”

I will first refer to the figures on the Balance Sheet which you have in your hands. You will see that the General Reserve Fund has been increased by 150,000 as the result of the allocation of that amount from the profits of the year ending March, 1940. Investments in Government Stocks have increased by £49,360 and loans to Subsidiary Companies have increased by £96,000, while our balance in the Bank is less by £111,816. The increase in the loans to the Subsidiary Companies is to a large extent accounted for by increases in the stocks held by them, amounting in all to £82,420 and by the increase of £51,943 in the item, “Debtors,” these last two figures being shown in the Consolidated Balance Sheet. Stocks are larger, partly owing to the purchase of substantial quantities of consumable stores and partly to higher prices.

Net Profit Substantially Less

The liquid position shown in the Consolidated Balance Sheet shows an increase of current assets over the current liabilities of £ 434,398, only some £ 12,000 less than was shown last year. The net profit for the year is substantially less than that brought in for the previous year. The reasons for this have been set out in the Directors’ Report, and I will only add that with taxation at the present level, profits available for Shareholders are bound to be much reduced.

I may say that there were no unusual difficulties in the working of the collieries, as far as underground conditions are concerned, the only regrettable feature being the high figure of voluntary absenteeism among the men, especially among the face workers drawing the highest wages. Although most of the men worked extremely well, unfortunately a certain proportion did not produce the output of which they were capable. It is the view generally held by those conversant with the coal trade that if absenteeism were reduced to a reasonable proportion and that if all the men pulled their weight, there would be no difficulty in getting, with the present number of men employed, the substantially increased output desired by the Government for national purposes.

Demand In Excess Of Supply

As the result of the above conditions, and also of the shortage of wagons last autumn, the tonnage produced by the Company was appreciably smaller than was the case during the previous year. The large tonnage that used to go in peace-time to the export trade was disposed of without difficulty to various undertakings in this country. Indeed, at the present time, the demand for coal is in excess of what our pits are able to supply. The Coke Ovens at Dinnington have worked extremely well, and the demand for coke, both for industrial and domestic purposes, has remained firm during the period under review. We have got a very good set of ovens, and we are very glad that we decided to build them. Naturally many difficulties have been encountered in such times as these, and we are indebted to our Managing Directors, Major Leslie and Mr. Hodges, and their very able staff for the way in which they home met these difficulties, and for the untiring energy which they have displayed in the service of the Company.

The Directors’ Report and Accounts were approved, and a final dividend declared on the ordinary shares of 4 per cent., less income tax, making 6 ½ per cent., less income tax for the year.

The auditors, Messrs. Alfred Tongue and Co. were re-elected. Replying to a vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Walton Pitt, to the chairman, directors, staff and “a fine body of workmen,” Lord Aberconway said they were greatly indebted to the workmen for what they had done. It was only a minority of them who absented themselves and did not pull their weight.