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Mining Review 1/1: Five Day Week? (1947)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A group of miners sits in the pub discussing the implications of a five-day working week.

George is in favour, pointing out that they would benefit from it physically, thanks to the long weekend rest, and although production will drop in the short term, it will recover later on. The absenteeism rate will be cut - he compared records between 1934 and 1946, and discovered a significant increase in absenteeism.

Herbert concurs, saying that when he gets home he's often too tired to eat his dinner, and goes straight to bed. Another miner says that although he was a prisoner of war for five years, he doesn't think the others look any better than he does.

A fourth miner says he finds even three days exhausting, and that his brother has to take Saturdays off on a regular basis. With a five day week, miners will automatically be entitled to Saturdays off, and will work all the harder for knowing they've got it.

Harold, the deputy, says that he's also in favour, but points out that in order to ensure five full production days, they will need an extra day for repairs to the haulage system and straightening the face line, and volunteers will be needed for this. This won't be a problem, though, as they'll be offered Sunday rates - double the pay for the extra day.

A fifth miner disagrees, saying production is bound to drop. That said, a five day week is inevitable, since it's come to other industries. But the solution is to install modern machinery, not just at the coal face but on the haulage way.

The miners drink to the five day week.