Reviewing the Past

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Following are articles as

they appeared in the Ranger-Review, the Dawson County Review, and Glendive Independent, 25, 50 & 100 years

ago this month.

100 Years Ago

COAL STRIKE OVER

MINERS ACCEPT

WILSON’S PROPOSAL

–––––––––––––––The text of President Wilson’s proposal to the miners follows:

I have watched with deep concern the developments in the bituminous coal strike and am convinced there is much confusion in the minds of the people generally and possibly of both parties to this unfortunate controversy as to the attitude and purposes of the government in its handling of the situation.

The mine owners offered a wage increase of 20 per cent conditioned, however, upon the price of coal being raised to an amount sufficient to cover this proposed increase of wages, which would have added at least $150,000,000 to the annual coal bill of the people. The fuel administrator, in the light of present information, has taken the position, and I think with entire justification, that the public is now paying as high prices for coal as ought to be required to pay and that any wage increase made at this time ought to come out of the profits of the coal operators.

In reaching this conclusion the fuel administrator expressed the personal opinion that the 14 per cent increase in all mine wages is reasonable because it would equalize the miners’ wages on the average with the cost of living, but he made it perfectly clear that the operators and miners are at liberty to agree upon a larger increase provided the operators will pay it out of their profits so that the price of coal would remain the same.

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