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Posts Tagged ‘labor relations’

Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 24, 1924

During Christmas week the striking window display pictured above was exhibited by the Porter Transfer & Fuel Co., of Snohomish, Washington, dealers in that city for the Pacific Coast Coal Company.

Mr. J.R. Porter is authority for the statement that the truck is loaded with two tons of Black Diamond lump. Needless to say, he has developed a thriving fuel business in Snohomish. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 18, 1891

Better feeling prevails than has existed in several years

In Tuesday’s issue of the Seattle Democratic paper appears an article headed, “A Strike Is Impending.” The article in question is intended to give people the impression that the miners here are about to begin fighting each other.

The article was considerable of a surprise to most of most of the people here, and they naturally concluded that the man from Newcastle that furnished the Democratic paper with that item must be troubled considerably with softners in the upper story. Nobody here wonders that Manager Smith and Colonel Haines should disclaim all knowledge of any outbreak that would render the presence of the militia necessary. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 14, 1921

On another page of this issue of the Bulletin is a tabulation showing the daily average coal production of our mines last week.

The employees of the company who have been following the figures weekly—and of course each one interested in his work has—will see something significant in the totals presented.

In no week since the mines reopened has the company failed to show a steady gain in tonnage over the preceding week.

Sometimes, it is true, the increase was slight owing to the fact that difficulties were encountered for which neither the company nor its new employees were responsible; but whatever the figures they never failed to exceed those previously printed in the Bulletin. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 8, 1923

October was a banner month in the production department, and demonstrated that the mines and the new forces are prepared to do their part at any time the coal market returns to normal.

All previous production per man per day records were exceeded at Black Diamond, Burnett, and Newcastle, and at Burnett the total hoist for the month passed anything in the history of the mine.

These gratifying results were achieved because every man from the highest supervisor to the lowest laborer was on his toes and because everyone took an intense and a sincere interest in doing his particular part in showing what “we” can do. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, October 4, 1904

The Pacific Coast Company has inaugurated an eight-hour day and raised wages of all laborers in its mines.

The changes are made effective October 1.

The increase is voluntary on the part of the company and was made without application by the men. In fact, the first intimation the men had of the changed conditions was given when notices were posted under the direction of Chief Engineer James Anderson announcing the higher scale was effective. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, October 4, 1919

Hall at Newcastle’s Uniontown—Morganville’s sister “city”—which was constructed during the coal miners’ lockout in 1922. The road fronting the building is May Creek Park Dr, the road described in this article, near its junction with the Renton-Newcastle Rd—now known as Coal Creek Parkway.

Hall at Newcastle’s Uniontown—Morganville’s sister “city”—which was constructed during the coal miners’ lockout in 1922. The road in the foreground is May Creek Park Dr, the road described in this article, near its junction with the Renton-Newcastle Rd—now known as Coal Creek Parkway.

After a fight with the Board of County Commissioners that has lasted twelve years, the residents of Bartram Junction, three miles northeast of Renton on the Newcastle branch of the Pacific Coast Railroad, are to have a road outlet to the highways of the county.

The county board yesterday received from the State Public Service Commission permission to construct a temporary grade crossing over the railroad and Commissioner Thomas Dobson of the North District said today that one-half of the one-mile road from the Newcastle highway to Bartram will he constructed this year and that it will be finished next spring at an approximate cost of $2,500. (more…)

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