Appalachia, Branchland Coal Company, coal, Guyandotte Valley, Henry D. Hatfield, history, James R. Branch, Kitchen, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, photos, West Virginia
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this letter from James R. Branch of the Branchland Coal Company, dated May 15, 1913:
Kitchen, W.Va., May 9, 1913
Editor Logan Democrat,
It may be of interest to you to know that the mines in the Guyan Valley operated by the Branchland Coal Co. adopted this month the nine hour day and two monthly pay-days suggested by Governor Hatfield.
These miners are probably the first in West Virginia to pay off on the double pay-day system, Saturday the tenth of May being the first day the men were paid off. I must say that it seems to make them happy and contented, and I am of the opinion that the changes will benefit the operator as well as the employee, for although men will have been scarce we are being flooded with them now. Miners live a hazardous life and are entitled to more consideration than they frequently receive. Our effort has always been to keep in touch with them and their complaints and troubles which are sometimes almost childish, but by sifting the real from the unreal and then acting justly the men are not hard to deal with, and they soon learn to trust those who treat them with consideration, justice and humanity.
West Virginia’s welfare and prosperity largely depend on her mines, and while I do not wish to pose as the preceptor of others, I sincerely believe that nearly all of our labor troubles could be adjusted by showing the miners as much liberality and kindness as possible.
Jas. R. Branch, Pres.