Chapter Five A Casual Exploitation

Everything about the terms and conditions of the workers was weighted in favour of the mine owners. The two-month blocks of continuous work that kept the men tied to the job because they only received pay at the end of that time. The docking of pay for their food, the system of credit for basic necessities, and the infamous truck system of payment with tokens or coupons benefited the rich rather than the poor.

The colourful vocabulary used to describe the meals universally provided, was very reminiscent of that used in boys’ schools to describe dinners.

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Note: Whilst the author has tried to identify and attribute copyright holders to illustrations and photographs, she would be grateful for information about those where this has not been possible and would be glad to rectify any such omissions in future editions. She may be contacted on her site.

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