From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this item about coal history dated February 15, 1917:
The Guyan Valley Operators Decide To Grant Ten Per Cent Wage Increase
Decision Reached By Men Who Control Mines Without Solicitation of Those in Their Employ–Have Treated Workmen Generously in Other Respects
The Guyan Valley operators have agreed to put in effect on March first a general advance of ten per cent in wages. This is the second advance they have given within twelve months, and both were of their own accord and without waiting for their employees to ask them.
These advances have been made because of the high cost of living, and without regard to the price of coal, for while a few of the operations in this valley have profited by the high price at which they have been able to sell their product, most of the coal mined in the field has been and is being delivered on contracts entered into at prices far below those prevailing at the present time. In fact some of the operations are engaged in filling contracts at prices considerably below the present cost of production. Some of the contracts will expire during the next month or two, but other well into midsummer. The average price received for Guyan Valley coal during the year 1916 was little if any more than ten per cent over the prices of the preceding year, when coal sold at figures a good deal less than had been known for a long period of years.
The two advances do not, however, embrace all that the Guyan operators have done for their people during the past few months. They have made a point of giving their men extra work to do, to enable them to make more money during the period of extreme car shortage. Most of the operators have also issued instructions to their store men to sell goods on a very close margin in order to help the men out during the prevalence of high prices for the necessaries of life.
These things are consonance with the general broad and liberal spirit that has characterized the actions of the men engaged in the coal business in this valley, and that has been instrumental in bringing it so rapidly to its present position of importance among the coal fields of West Virginia.