The overtime ban imposed by mineworkers in Britain in support of their pay claim is having a marked effect on the country's coal industry.
GV PAN FROM Mine to shaft
CU Shaft wheel
CU Sign in mine "Downcast shaft 825 Metres"
SV Mine maintenance supervisor walking in mines
CU Walking through water
CU Supervisor examines mine roof
CU Water leaking through roof (2 shots)
CU "60,000 Pump" sign
CU Finger presses button to start pump
SV PAN Water being pumped out
CU Official watches pump pressure gauge
CU Sign "45,000 pump"
OFFICIAL: "She's ideal. I found it to be a little lower today on the forty than yesterday. I have just touched the valve a little bit now because the water was fairly down around the bend and I cut her down slightly below the forty to let it rise a little bit for you now. That's all. Forty, forty one seems to be all right this morning."
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Background: The overtime ban imposed by mineworkers in Britain in support of their pay claim is having a marked effect on the country's coal industry. With the overtime ban nearly four week's old, the National Coal Board, the government-established overseer of the industry, has announced that production is now down by a third. In some places, it reports, production losses are as high as 41 cent.
The effects of the action are compounded at a time when Britain is. facing a crisis in other sectors of the energy industry. Electrical workers have banned out-or-hours work, and the country is seriously affected by the cut-back in production by the Arab oil producers.
On Monday (3 December), the Chairman of the National Coal Board, Mr. Derek Ezra, warned of the possible danger labour disputes might have on the future of the coal industry. In a speech to the Coal Industry Society in London he warned: "We cannot halt the process of contraction if from one year to the next large tonnages of coal are lost through industrial disputes." He added, "the industry must not be seen in regular rotation from an annual wage confrontation to recovery and back again."
Mr. Ezra's warnings have been reinforced by statements by other Coal Board officials fearing inevitable pit closures. Many of the collieries have had to rely on administrative workers to carry out vital maintenance work to ensure the efficient functioning and safety of the pits.
At one colliery at Trelewis in Wales, the mine's Under Manager, Area Planner and his deputy were filmed performing vital operations to keep the pit's water pumps working. One of the officials was able to give a detailed description of his actions.