• U.S.

National Affairs: Red Velvet Anniversary

1 minute read

No pen can write, no tongue can tell, no vocabulary of language is large enough to express the many benefits that will come to the American coal miner and his family through the establishment of the Welfare and Retirement Fund.

So predicted that popular practitioner in purple prose, United Mine Workers President John Llewelyn Lewis, when his brain child was born eleven years ago. Last week the U.M.W.’s employer-financed Welfare and Retirement Fund mailed out its slick-paper annual report, bound in a red velvetlike cover, and the statistics in it were nearly as impressive as old John L.’s prose. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the fund took in $157 million (its best year, largely because of increased soft-coal production), laid out $138 million in $100-a-month pensions, medical benefits, and widows’ and orphans’ payments to a total of 215,702 beneficiaries. The $15 million left over after administrative costs ($3,900,000) brought the fund’s reserve up to a record $145 million —a sum that pen can write and tongue can tell, but hand can hardly count.

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