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Health, Safety, Pension Benefits Disputed Northwest Ackansoi TIMES, Sun , Oct. 27. 1974 FAYITTEVILLE, ARKANSAS 3A Miners, Residents Stocking Up For Expected Coal Strike NOUTHFORK, W. Vu. C A P ) -- A u t u m n is a season o( blax- lug beauty in llio southern West Virginia coalfields, an isolated, sparsely populated land of Iiigh, steep hills and narrow, winding valleys. Dill hero In Appalacliia, fall Is also a time of preparation. The hijls and valleys abound with activity. People are putting up pumpkins, winterizing their homes, gathering coal and firewood. These are the preparations of every October. This . time around, however, there is an added impetus, provided as much by a dale on the calendar Â·as by Ihc cool nights and changing leaves. Keally cold weather doesn't set in until December, but the contractual agreement between the Bituminous Coal Operators Association and the Unitcc Mine Workers of America expires Nov. 12. Folks around here aren't lak Ing any chances. The coalfields are preparing for a long strike at Ihe end of their three-year contract. Arnold Miller, Ihe Unilci Mine Workers president, warn ed thai a strike of soft coa miners -- 95 per cent of all the nation's miners -- will- be called if agreements aren' reached on such issues as health, mine safety and pension benefits. The currcnl contract' doesn' 'I'ovUlo lor sick pay, and the rimers waul it. They want pen- ion benefits raised from $150 o $500 a month, entirely at company expense. Tliis, would ncrcase employer contributions rom 80 cents a ton of coal to $2.25. The union also wants "substantial" pay raises above tlie iresent $43 to $50 a day now aid ' to thp 120,000 unionized iolt coal miners. Fifty thousand of them live and work in West Virginia. Perhaps the most cpn- roversial issue -- one involving control cf the mines -- is the union's proposal that it decide whether a mine is safe to enter. Under the present contract, the company decides about mine safety. If the union doesn't like a company's decision, federal arbitrators are colled in. Leaders of t h e . Coal Operators Association, negotiating with the UMW in Washington,' said they have responded favorably lo some union proposals, but Vcannot turn the management of the mines over to the union." Nowhere are the strike preparations more evident than in the hundreds of tiny coinmu iiities strewn' across the sprawl ing bituminous coal seams of southeastern -Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern 'West Virginia. Northfork is typical of many of these tiny towns. The energy shortage and the demand for coal brought prosperity in re- cenl months, but the strike threat has been a setback. Two new slorcs opened this year, Ihc first new ones in ages, to serve Northfork's 700 residents and 3,500 - lo - 4,000 people in the surrounding hollows and coal camps. At nearby Kyle, Postmistress Ruby Dalton, who also operates a small grocery, said: "The bread man told me business was bad and I know I used to """ '2 lo 15 cases of pop a week and now I'm lucky to sell llnee. 'Also, people arc buying up coal and hauling away scraps from Ihe sawmill by the t r u c k 1 o a d . They're gelling ready." And over in Pinevillc, 50 miles lo Ihc west, a miner's wife who works as a legal secretary said business was tcr- rible and everybody, herself included, was preparing for a strike. "Everybody's Â· Â· complaining how bad things are," she said. "In fact, that's usually the first thing they talk about when you walk into a store -- how bad things are now and how they are going to get worse. "I canned a lol of beans and we're storing up tilings like sugar and Crisco. A lot of miners we know are eating out of Iheir gardens and laying their grocery m o n c y aside. Of course, it was a bad year for everything except beans and lhat means it's going to he beans, beans and more beans." "You know," she added after a brief pause, "I don't know what people will do that have big families and the wife doesn't have a job. f went back to work in July and it has really helped us." There are 33,00(1 active miners in southern West Virginia's UMW Districts 29 and 17. For the first time in years Ihey believe they are going into contract talks holding the hammer. The price of coal has more than tripled in the past 15 months. Demand has exceeded supply since the oil crisis last fall, and the industry has a his- tory of strikes. The last two contracts were preceded by shutdowns. The strike lasted 45 days in 1971. Joel Price, a Wall Street analyst wilh Dean, Wilier and Co., told a recent gathering of southeastern Kentucky businessmen and bankers there will be a strike of at least a month's duration. Price predicted the miners would stay .out until a couple of weeks before Christmas and Ihen would succumb to the pressure of Ihe holiday season.. But the Pinevillc legal secre- lary didn't agree. "I just wonder if people haven't already planned ,for Christmas," she said. "I don't think ahout it, myself. I don't know if we'll have Christmas Ihis year at our house." . Such statements strike. despair into federal and slate energy planners and coalfield nier- chants. They are particularly distressing to Eddie Wiles, 'executive director of Ihe West Virginia Coal Operators Association at Charleston. Campus Calendar MONDAY Underwater Photography Exhibit by B o b Zehring, Arkansas Union Gallery, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Civilisation Film Series, "Grandeur Obedience"; Mullins Library Visual Aids Aud., 3:30 ft 4:30 p.m. Agronomy Department seminar, "Pasture Weed Control," Dr. Harlan Stoin; "Development of Rice Research in Bangladesh," Huhammad Hamid; Agri. 115, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. TUESDAY Underwater Photography Exhibit by B o b Zehring/Arkansas Union Gallery, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Architecture Lecture, "The Arkansas Capitol Expansion Project," Eugene P. Levy, Architect; Walker Hall, Rm. 103, 3:30 p.m. Chess Club, open to non-students; Rm. 311S, Arkansas Union, 8:00 p.m. WEDNESDAY Underwater Photography Exhibit by B o b Zehring, Arkansas Union Gallery, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Civilisation Film Series, "Grandeur Obedience"; Mullins Library Visual Aids And., 4:30 p.m. Zoology graduate research seminar. "Succession of parasites taken from two species of black bass in Beaver Reservoir," Dave Carr; SB 418, 4:30 p.m. Microbiology seminar, two original works: (1) Author: S i r Alexander Fleming, presented by Jeff Jones; (2) Authors: Drs. Ender, Weller and Robbins, presented by D e n n i s O'Malley; SE 402, 3:30 p.m. THUHSDAY Underwater Photography Exhibit by R o b Zehring, Arkansas Union Gallery, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. FRIDAY Underwater Photography Exhibit by B o b Zehring, Arkansas Union Gallery, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. U of A'Annual Speech and Debate Tournament for high school students; Communications Building. Health Careers Day. Arkansas Union. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.: Dr. Willard Gaylin will speak on "Biological Revolution," SE Aud., 7:30 p.m. SATURDAY Clean Water Workshop, Arkansas'Union Ballroom, 9:30 - 3:30 U of A Annual Speech and Debate Tournament, Communica- Â· lions Building Continuing Our 73rd Anniversary Sale Thru Oct. 31-Open Mon. and Thurs. Til 8:30 SAVE 1 / 3 SHADOWLINE LINGERIE SQUEEGEES 22.00 For easy living, just slip into a pair of these luxuriously comfortable casuals with the deep, bouyant soles and the season's latest colors. You deserve Uicm! Womens Shoes--Street Floor OVER 200 BEAUTIFUL PIECES ANTRON 111 NYLON TRICOT Long Lace Trimmed Robes Reg. $13.00 Matching Long Gowns Reg. $12,00 Â·. Short Lace Trimmed Robes Reg. $11.00 Short Gowns . ....... . . Reg. $9.00 / w, Pajamas Reg. $12-00 f j Dress Slips. . .Reg. $6.00 $9-00 ALL PIECES OFF Beautiful Assortment of Styles and Colors, Complete Range of Sizes Entire Stock SHOWER C U R T A I N S By K-C Vinyl prints and solids Reg. $4.98 - $12.98 SALE $3.19-$6.39 Magnetic (t^ QQ Liners v p Z . 7 7 3.98 FAMOUS MAKE L E A T H E R P U R S E A C C E S S O R I E S Wonderful Gift Buys for Xmas Billfolds 'French purses Key guards Â· Cigarette eases Â· Eye glass cases Â· Clutches Entire Regular Stock FIELDCREST TOWELS Â· -Solids and Patterns Â· Terrys and Sheared Velours SALE 20% off Â·0 GREAT 1SALE! ROÂ°BES Triacetate and n y l o n fleece or quilted robes. Both styles in choice of lengths. S - M - L . Pink, Blue, or. Mint. SHORT ROBES Reg. $17 $14.99 LONG ROBES Reg. $21 r .99 $17.