Excerpt from The South African Mining Journal and Engineering Record, Vol. 27: Part I., March 30, 1918
As from September, 1917, the 48-hours' week was brought into force, and thepreviously existing 20minutes'compulsory overtime per day for surface mechanics eliminated. As from November lst, 1917, 'the standard rate of pay for mechanics permanently employed underground was fixed at 22s. 6d. Per shift (equal to 2s. 9id. Per hour). The same rate applies to surface mechanics while temporarily employed under ground. In order to maintain the standard of training amongst mechanics on the mines, and to encourage the apprenticeship system, your Executive Committee recom mended to members that in the trades of blacksmiths, boilermakers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, fitters, masons, moulders, patternmakers, plumbers, and turners, men shall not be engaged by the mines unless they have served five years' apprenticeship or have worked for five years at the trade. Men at present employed by the mines ui these trades will not necessarily be affected even if their experience is not so much as laid down above. For many years it has been the custom on the mines that an apprentice, on the completion of his apprenticeship on any mine, could, at his option, remain for a. Year as an Improver on that mine. This arrangement enabled an apprentice, who, through sickness or other reasons, found himself incompletelv trained at the conclusion of his apprenticeship, to acquire the necessary experience before competing with fully qualified journeymen. On the representations of the Mechanics' Unions that the system was open to abuse, the Chamber agreed that any apprentice who wished to so continue as an improver must apply to his Mine Manager for permission, the application to be then consider-cd and decided upon by the Standing Board of Reference. In June the revised rules for the Training of Apprentices on the Mines, including the arrangement agreed to between the Chamber and the Governing Bodies of the Johannesburg and Pretoria Trades Schools, were brought into force. As regards apprentices on'active service, your Executive Com mittee recommended to members that one-half of the period spent on active service should count towards the apprentice ship period up to a maximum of one year, and that in addition the whole period of active service should count towards the increments of pay to which the apprentice would have been entitled had he remained at work. A revised form of indenture covering these arrangements came into force in December, 1917. The agreement con cluded in 1916, between the Chamber an the \ninding Engine Drivers' Associations was amended during the year under review in certain respects following representations from the South' African Engine Drivers' and Firemen's Association. The principal alteration was the substitution of 24 hours' notice for one month's notice in the terms of employment of drivers. An agreement was entered into between the Chamber and the South African Engine Drivers' and Fire'man's Association in regard to the wages and hours ofstationary and locomotive engine drivers, boiler atten dants and firemen. This agreement lays down certain minimum rates of pay for these classes of employees, and also deals with payment for overtime, Sunday work, and holidays. On similar lines to the arrangements in regard to Certified \vinding Engine Drivers. In addition to the matters referred to elsewhere in this Report, two important arrangements affecting underground workers on the' mines were agreed to during the year between the Chamber and r the South African Mine \vorkers' Union, viz.
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