A comment on yesterday’s posting comparing wages on small versus large U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages, and Benefits from the CostMine 2014 survey reads thus:
More to the point, how have the US and Canadian underground wages increased/decreased over the past decade. Plus the US figures are likely dominated by non-union wages in the Appalachian coal industry.
The data in the Survey is only for metal and industrial mineral mines. CostMine puts out an annual Survey of U.S. coal mine wages and salaries. When the 2014 Survey comes I will look more into the comparative wages of those in metal mines as compared to coal mines.
The only relevant statement about union versus non-union wages I can find in the Survey is this:
Included in this year’s survey were 36 non-union and 20 union metal mines. Thirty-nine surveyed metal mines increased wages during the 12 months preceding the survey, with increases ranging from 1.7% to 8.5%. Sixteen metal mines showed no change in wages and one mine decreased wages by 10%. Twenty-eight non-union and 20 union metal mines offered their employees the opportunity to increase wages through incentive bonus plans.
The 2014 Survey contains no tables directly comparing union versus non-union wages. The Survey does note the total average cost of benefits as a percentage of wages for union versus non-union mines. On U.S. metal mines the percentage for union wages is 52% whereas for non-union mines the percentage is 37.7%. A big difference. Interestingly the percentages are much the same for industrial mineral mines, namely 39.0% for union wages and 37.9% for non-union wages.
Here are few wages comparing surface metal mines to surface industrial mineral mines (the first number is for metal mines, the second for industrial mineral mines in U.S. dollars per hour):
- Electrician = 30.81/28.28
- Mechanic = 29.34/26.48
- Driller = 27.97/23.66
- Laborer = 21.68/18.55
As I would expect: you get a higher wage on a surface metal mine than on a surface industrial minerals mine. Contrary to expectation the situation reverses for underground mines. Some numbers:
- Electrician = 14.56/33.18
- Mechanic = 27.97/28.15
- Underground Laborer = 22.91/22.22
To tease out the implications of all this, it would be necessary to go into the information for each mine as is included in the Survey. I leave that to you.