B-71701, JANUARY 15, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 378

B-71701: Jan 15, 1948

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1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2. IT IS NOTED FROM THE ENCLOSED COPY OF THE SHEET SHOWING YOUR CALCULATION OF A WAGE INCREASE OF 29.6 PERCENT DUE TO THE 1947 WAGE AGREEMENT AS APPLICABLE TO THE MINES OF THE YOUGHIOGHENY AND OHIO COAL COMPANY THAT YOUR DETERMINATION OF THE ALLOWABLE PRICE INCREASE WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFORESAID DECISION OF THIS OFFICE. THE COMPUTATION OF THE INCREASE IN CONTRACT PRICE CLAIMED BY THE CONTRACTOR IS BASED ON THE ACTUAL WAGE OF THE PREDOMINANT CLASS OF LABOR FOR A NINE-HOUR DAY. WHILE THE CONTRACT OR CONTRACTS INVOLVED ARE NOT DESIGNATED IN YOUR LETTER. THAT THE PERTINENT WAGE SCALE CLAUSE IS SIMILAR TO THAT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24.

B-71701, JANUARY 15, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 378

CONTRACTS - COAL - PRICE ADJUSTMENT ON ACCOUNT OF LUNCH PERIOD INCREASE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERS' WELFARE FUND NEITHER THE 15-MINUTE INCREASE IN THE LUNCH PERIOD NOR THE 5 CENTS PER TON INCREASE IN THE CONTRIBUTION BY COAL OPERATORS TO THE MINERS' WELFARE FUND, PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL BITUMINOUS COAL WAGE AGREEMENT OF 1947, MAY BE REGARDED AS CHANGES RESULTING "IN AN INCREASE IN WAGE RATE" PAID TO THE PREDOMINANT OCCUPATIONAL CLASS OF LABOR WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PRICE ADJUSTMENT CLAUSES OF POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT COAL CONTRACTS, SUCH AS WOULD JUSTIFY AN INCREASE IN THE CONTRACT PRICES BEYOND THAT DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 27 COMP. GEN. 173, AS DUE TO THE WAGE-RATE INCREASES EFFECTED UNDER THE 1947 AGREEMENT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 15, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1947, TRANSMITTING LETTERS OF OCTOBER 10 AND 27, 1947, FROM THE YOUGHIOGHENY AND OHIO COAL COMPANY, WHEREIN SAID COMPANY PROTESTS YOUR DETERMINATION OF THE PRICE OF COAL DUE TO THE MINERS' WAGE INCREASE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED SEPTEMBER 24, 1947, B-69336, 27 COMP. GEN. 173, AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER ANY RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED TO THE CONTRACTOR ON ITS CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PAYMENT BEYOND THAT CERTIFIED BY YOUR OFFICE AND WHETHER YOUR DEPARTMENT "CAN INCREASE THE PRICE PAID FOR COAL BY THE 5 CENTS PER TON CONTRIBUTION TO THE MINERS' WELFARE FUND.'

IT IS NOTED FROM THE ENCLOSED COPY OF THE SHEET SHOWING YOUR CALCULATION OF A WAGE INCREASE OF 29.6 PERCENT DUE TO THE 1947 WAGE AGREEMENT AS APPLICABLE TO THE MINES OF THE YOUGHIOGHENY AND OHIO COAL COMPANY THAT YOUR DETERMINATION OF THE ALLOWABLE PRICE INCREASE WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFORESAID DECISION OF THIS OFFICE. THE COMPUTATION OF THE INCREASE IN CONTRACT PRICE CLAIMED BY THE CONTRACTOR IS BASED ON THE ACTUAL WAGE OF THE PREDOMINANT CLASS OF LABOR FOR A NINE-HOUR DAY, FIVE- DAY WEEK--- APPARENTLY OBTAINING PRIOR TO THE 1947 AGREEMENT--- AND THE ACTUAL WAGE UNDER THE 1947 AGREEMENT BASED ON AN EIGHT-HOUR DAY, SIX-DAY WEEK. ALSO, THE COMPUTATION TO THE MINERS' WELFARE FUND AND THE "EFFECTIVE PRODUCTIVE TIME" AT THE FACE OF THE MINE BY CONSIDERING THE PORTAL TO PORTAL TIME AND THE INCREASE IN THE LUNCH PERIOD FROM 15 TO 30 MINUTES.

WHILE THE CONTRACT OR CONTRACTS INVOLVED ARE NOT DESIGNATED IN YOUR LETTER, IT APPEARS FROM THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, 1947, THAT THE PERTINENT WAGE SCALE CLAUSE IS SIMILAR TO THAT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1947, SUPRA. UNDER THAT CLAUSE IT WAS PROVIDED THAT, WHERE CHANGES IN WORKING HOURS, WAGE SCALES AND OTHER CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT RESULT IN AN INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE WAGE RATE PAID TO THE PREDOMINANT OCCUPATIONAL CLASS OF LABOR EMPLOYED AT THE MINE, THE CONTRACT PRICE OF COAL WAS TO BE AUTOMATICALLY INCREASED OR DECREASED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMULA SET OUT THEREIN. WHEN CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN BY THIS OFFICE IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24 TO THE PROPER METHOD TO BE USED BY THE PURCHASING AGENT OF YOUR DEPARTMENT IN DETERMINING THE INCREASE TO BE PAID TO CONTRACTORS UNDER COAL CONTRACTS BY REASON OF CHANGES UNDER THE NATIONAL BITUMINOUS COAL WAGE AGREEMENT OF 1947, IT WAS DECIDED THAT THE MOST REASONABLY ACCURATE METHOD OF DETERMINING THE INCREASE IN THE WAGE RATE AS A RESULT OF THE CHANGES PROVIDED FOR IN THE SAID AGREEMENT WAS THAT OUTLINED IN SAID DECISION. THE CHANGE IN THE LUNCH PERIOD FROM 15 TO 30 MINUTES AND THE INCREASE OF 5 CENTS PER TON IN THE CONTRIBUTION BY THE OPERATORS TO THE MINERS' WELFARE FUND MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS BEING SUCH CHANGES AS RESULT "IN AN INCREASE OR DECREASE IN WAGE RATE" PAID TO THE PREDOMINANT OCCUPATIONAL CLASS OF LABOR WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT PHRASE AS USED IN THE CONTRACT. HENCE, THE MATTERS PRESENTED DO NOT WARRANT ANY CHANGE IN THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24 AND, ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE APPEARS NO PROPER BASIS FOR EXTENDING ANY RELIEF TO THE CONTRACTOR BEYOND THAT CERTIFIED BY YOUR OFFICE.