The year is 1950; we will be attending a union meeting of Local 18 Nazareth Cement Company. The meeting is being held at the Holy Family Club in Nazareth. 

The invitation came from Mr. Roland Roth, a member of Local 18. Roland would have a long career with the United Cement, Lime and Gypsum Workers International Union. 

The union members will be discussing their 1950 labor agreement. The contract will continue until April 1952. 

Representatives of Local 18 are Paul Wukovitz, C.F. Caflin, Stewart Buss, Aloys Yost and Roland Roth. The District Representative is V.H. Thomas, and the President of Nazareth Cement is H.B. Robeson.

Now, let’s look back at the 1950 wage rates. No employee had a $2 an hour wage rate! We realize that’s 74 years ago. Gasoline was certainly not a minimum of $3 per gallon like today.

Base hourly wage rates for job categories in 1950:


Electric Shovel Operator     $1.48

Well Driller                        $1.35

Laborers                           $1.19

Diesel Mechanic                 $1.46

Blaster                              $1.35

Electrician                         $1.48


Crane man                        $1.26                      

Miller                                $1.32

Burner                              $1.48                      

Belt tender                        $1.26

Repairman                        $1.48                      

Truck Driver                      $1.25

Packer                              $1.30                      

Blacksmith                        $1.48

Machinist                          $1.48 

Welder                              $1.48

The highest rate was $1.48 an hour, or $59.20 a week. 

Many of the positions of the 1950 era have been eliminated by modern technology. The best example is the central control room which monitors the equipment at the plant.

Presently, many companies have a starting rate of $24 an hour, as wages attempt to match price increases in today’s economy.

See you in two weeks.


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