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back of the pit mouth (R. 1733); and Mr. Boone called this contract "a gentlemen's agreement."
Injunctions. The repudiation of the union scale, and the strike of April 1, 1927, were followed by a multitude of injunctions, both in State and Federal courts. Resort to the Federal courts has been made in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania on Federal grounds, namely, that the Sherman Act was being violated even by the activities of the union in peaceably persuading the employees to quit work and join the union.
The following are typical: The injunction in the Hitchman case (approved by the Supreme Court, 245 U. S. 229) was entered by the district court in 1908. It enjoined peaceable persuasion of employees under " yellow-dog” contracts. Fourteen years thereafter the miners' union issued a call “ to all nonunion mine workers of the country to join with union men in the suspension." Contempt proceedings were thereupon filed in the district court for the northern district of West Virginia against Van A. Bittner, and others, for attempting thus to call out employees of the Hitchman Co, in alleged violation of the injunction. (R. 3012.) Upon the hearing, which is set out in the committee's record, the court required the defendants to promise the court that they would refrain from any attempt to unionize said employees, and to publish in the Mine Workers Journal a declaration that the employees of the Hitchman mine “ were not to be admitted to membership in the United Mine Workers of America while they are in the employ of the company, as well as the fact that the injunction described in the amended petition forbids any effort to induce the Hitchman employees to leave their employment or to break their contract of service or to join the United Mine Workers of America, even by peaceful argument or persuasion.” (R. 3013.)
Here is plainly a code of laws established by the Federal judiciary regulating the local labor struggle at the mines. Before the same court, in 1925, certain union miners were enjoined from holding public meetings in the town of Wellsburg, near which are situated mines of the West Virginia-Pittsburgh Coal Co. The employees were under “yellow-dog” contracts and the meetings were charged to be intended to persuade the men to quit work and join the union. This injunction was appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (15 Fed. (20) 652). The following modification was secured :
“ Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to forbid the advocacy of union membership in public speeches or by the publication or circulation of arguments when such speeches or arguments are free from threats and other devices to intimidate and from attempts to persuade the complainants' employees, or any of them, to violate their contracts with them." (R. 3018.)
In other words, such public meetings would be attended with the hazard of contempt of court if the company could show that their employees attended meetings and were persuaded by what they heard to quit their service and become members of the union.
In the Red Jacket case in the southern district of West Virginia the Federal court, at the combined suit of 316 companies, enjoined the miners from peaceful persuasion of some 40,000 miners under “ yellow dog" contracts. This was appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. (18 Fed. (20) 839.) The injunction was sustained, the court declaring that the representatives of the union could not “ approach a company's employees, working under a contract not to join the union while in the company's service, and induce them in violation of their contracts to join the union and go on a strike." (R. 3019.)
This effectually insulated 40,000 nonunion miners from unionization. The Supreme Court declined to review this decision on certiorari. The jurisdictional ground that the miners were violating the Sherman Act in their attempt to unionize the men was adopted in the injunction cases in the Federal courts of Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the injunction in Clarkson Coal Company v. United Mine Workers (southern district of Ohio) elaborate arrangements were provided for regulating the activities of the strikers, and 25 United States marshals were appointed to patrol the mining fields affected.
Evictions; mine guard system.—The companies repudiating their contracts and those going nonunion after the expiration of the Jacksonville scale inaugurated their nonunion operations with wholesale evictions of miners. Some of these miners had worked for the company for 15 and 20 years, aiding in the development of their properties. Mr. Bittner testified that the Consolidated Coal Co, on the repudiation of its contract "not only evicted them by court order, but they had their mine guards go out to these houses and summarily dispossess these good people and throw them out on the country road."
(R. 1131.) He further stated, “The United Mine Workers of America have spent more than a million dollars for northern West Virginia. We have erected not barracks but towns of barracks at 44 mine centers in northern West Virginia." (R. 1131.) This also occurred at the Bethlehem mine. (R. 1131.) Among these evictions a miner named Watson had lived in a company house for 19 years; Willie, for 16 years; Castello, for 14 years; Higgonbotham, 23 years; Christian, 22 years; Yeidman, 21 years; Frank, 28 years; and many others for periods equally long. (R. 1140.)
In June, 1924, the Brady-Warner Co., an Ohio concern with mines in northern West Virginia, repudiated its contract and evicted its miners, without any court order whatsoever, by the use of its guards. (R. 1188.) These are but illustrations. The same eviction processes were resorted to by the Pittsburgh Coal Co. upon the repudiation of its contract and by the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Co. when it went nonunion. The record shows that some of the men had been with the company since the mines were laid out. After the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Co. instituted suits to evict the miners, it secured an injunction from the Federal court restraining the union to which these men belonged from defending them. In some instances an order of dispossession was made part of the injunction, as was the case in Clarkson Coal Co. v. United Mine Workers of America in the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In each case barracks have been built by the union, and the resources of the organization have been taxed for aid and relief. Mr. Murray estimated that 20,000 families had been evicted in Pennsylvania.
Sergeant Akers, of the coal and iron police employed by the Pittsburgh Coal Co., testified that he carried a pistol and blackjack and asserted authority to make arrests throughout the country (R. 130, 133, 134). Four thousand commissions of this character were issued by Governor Fisher during the course of the strike. (R. 19.) They are paid by the coal companies upon whose request they are appointed. Their lack of official responsibility has been manifected in a series of outrages brought to the attention of the committee. They make arrests upon the highways and in the villages; have unlawfully assaulted union, men (R. 100, 107, 109, 113, 115, 184), and dispersed gatherings with tear bombs. (R. 69.)
They were also equipped with shotguns and tear bombs (R. 129, 563) ; have dispersed pickets with tear bombs (R. 183); in one instance one of them committed rape (R. 185), for which he was not prosecuted. A number of other atrocities are set forth in the statement by Philip Murray. (R. 19, 22.) The coal and iron police are employed to this day, and their arrogance has grown with the consciousness of their immunity. As this brief goes to the printer, the Pittsburgh Press, of February 11, 1929, prints the following on authority of a law officer connected with the office of prosecuting attorney of Allegheny County, Pa.:
“ Out in an ice-locked countryside, where the coal and iron police administer the law according to their own lights, the widow and four children of John Barckowski, an honest, hard-working farmer, who dug coal in the winter to add to his income, are mourning over his body.
“Two coal and iron policemen, employees of the Pittsburgh Coal Co., are under arrest, accused of beating Barckowski to death.
“H. P. Watts and Frank Slapika are the company policemen under arrest. They were drunk when they beat the farmer so badly that he died, according to County Detective Frank Ritz, who investigated the killing.
“The farmer-miner was unarmed when he was murdered, according to Detective Ritz."
The following is the editorial comment of the Pittsburgh Press :
" COAL AND IRON POLICE AGAIN
“The alleged killing of a farmer yesterday by coal and iron police in one of the mining sections of Allegheny County will direct public attention once more to the bad system which has been fastened on the State of Pennsylvania.
" It should give added foree to the argument of those who have been urging the wiping out of a law which enables coal companies to select men for police duty in and about their properties and obtain commissions for them from the State.
“The legislature is in session now, and an earnest effort should be made to change the law.
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“It is a menace for the State to issue hundreds of commissions and have nothing whatever to do with the selection of the men to exercise the authority. conferred by the commissions. The evil of this was exemplified many timesduring the recent strike in the soft coal fields." Respectfully submitted.
T. C. TOWNSEND, Counsel for United Mine Workers of America,
OUTLINE OF OBJECTIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF RAILWAY EXECUTIVES OF WASH
INGTON, D. C., PREPARED BY C. S. DUNCAN, TO THE BILL TO CREATE A BITUMINOUS COAL COMMISSION
OBJECTIONS OF CLASS I RAILROADS TO SENATE BILL 4490
1. The carriers have confined their objections to section 7, first paragraph at top of page 8 of the printed copy, and to section 11 of the bill.
II. Both of these provisions, if enacted into law, will seriously handicap the carriers in their efforts to carry out the requirements for efficient management and economical operation of the railroads in section 15a of the interstate commerce act and will, by impairing the high standards of transportation seryice of the carriers, adversely affect the public interest.
1. Coal is the principal railroad fuel. Consumption of bituminous coal by Class I roads in 1927 was 115,882,570 tons.
2. The selection of railroad coal is a technical engineering problem.
(a) There is no such thing as a common quality of coal for the use of the carriers.
(6) A carrier will need to purchase coal for a large number of uses, such as for heating stations and office buildings; the operation of small stationary boilers and in terminal shops ; for the generation of power for local use; lowvolatile coal for use on locomotives operating in terminals where the volume of smoke is restricted by city ordinance; smithing coal for shop purposes; specially sized coal for use on passenger, freight, and yard locomotives equipped with stokers; special coal for use on passenger, freight, and yard locomotives not equipped with stokers; and for use in electric-power houses for generating power for train operation in electrified zones.
(c) Even the ruling gradient of an operating division may exclude certain kinds of coal that would be serviceable on operating divisions of other gradients.
(d) Locomotive equipment of the railroads is designed for and adapted to certain character of coals that necessity and experience have proven best suited for economical and efficient service and operation.
3. Due to great variations in the character of coal, to the varied uses for coal on the railroads and because the adequacy and continuity of a complete supply is so essential, there must be a well-organized purchasing department connected with each carrier and equipped by a personnel of highly trained experts.
(a) These men must know coal, coal mines, coal seams, the chemical and physical qualities of coal, coal performance, coal markets and prices, together with a detailed and intimate knowledge of the coal needs and requirements of the individual carriers.
(6) A reduction of as little as 5 per cent in the heat content of coal used in locomotives would require the additional consumption of 6,250,000 tons of coal, or 125,000 fifty-ton cars, per year for Class I carriers.
(c) A difference of only 1 per cent in ash content in locomotive fuel would require an additional 25,000 fifty-ton cars per year to haul the coal to locomotive coaling stations, with the consequent effect upon combustion efficiency and the disposal of the additional burden of refuse still to be considered.
4. The conditions set forth above denronstrate the need for the free exercise of a flexible, experienced judgment on the part of the rail carriers in the purchase of their coal, both as to existing sources of coal, that is, mines now oper'.. ating, and to potential sources of supply.
(a) Any interference in the fields of purchase, as contemplated by the provisions of this bill cited above, that have been carefully selected by the railroads, could result in nothing but an interruption to the present efficient railroad operation.
(6) It is believed that the shippers of the country would not willingly see legislative action taken that would imperil the high standard of transportation service which is now being rendered them.
5. The public interest is also involved.
(a) The carriers believe that in the light of their record during recent years of economical and efficient service no need now exists for such provisions as those referred to herein.
(6) Ample authority for supervision of railroad management already exists in the interstate commerce act, administered by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
(c) The carriers further believe that the enactment of such provisions would be detrimental not only to the interests of the carriers in increasing operating costs and in impairing adequate standards of service but would, likewise-and this is a matter of paramount importance-be adverse to the general interests of the country as a consequence thereof.
(a) The provisions of this bill cited above would interfere with the supply of railroad fuel. The experience of the railroads during the World War and subsequently leads to the conclusion that, since the allocation of the purchases of coal by carriers which require a suitable character of coal would be beyond the control of railroad management, the operation of this bill would interfere seriously with the continuity of their fuel supply.
(e) The provisions of this bill would increase railroad operating costs.
(1) No one disputes that this bill aims to increase the cost of fuel and thereby increase the cost of railroad operation.
(2) The provisions of this bill would place the buyer at the mercy of the seller and would no doubt result in exorbitant demands and continuously increasing prices for railroad coal.
(3) Furthermore, there is no provision here requiring a coal producer to sell to the railroad, thus limiting and restricting the powers of the carriers as purchasers of coal while leaving other purchasers and the seller free.
(4) With the carriers as a whole earning considerably less than the rate of fair return established by law, the resulting increase in cost of fuel would no doubt have to be met by an increase in rates.
(f) We are also advised that the provisions of the bill constitute an invalid invasion of the carriers freedom of contract. The attempted restriction in this bill on the right of purchase has no such relation with legitimate regulation as to bring this bill within the power of Congress to regulate commerce.
C. S. DUNCAN, Economist, Association of Railway Executives.
DIGEST OF THE STATEMENTS AND ARGUMENTS MADE BEFORE THE SENATE COM
MITTEE ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE WITH REFERENCE TO S. 4490, DECEMBER 14, 1928, TO JANUARY 23, 1929, PREPARED BY THE NATIONAL COAL ASSOCIATION
Having in mind the reasons given by the committee for requesting the Na. tional Coal Association to prepare a digest or synopsis of the statements and arguments before it with reference to S. 4490, and in order to best meet the expressed object of the committee, the National Coal Association will not follow the chronological order of these presentations and arguments but will adopt, rather, a topical plan, under which all that was said on each particular point, of fact or argument, will be grouped together, believing that this method will give to the members the information desired in the form most easily accessible and in the manner most logical and understandable. (References will be made to the printed record.)
PLAN OF DIGEST OR SYNOPSIS
The arguments for and against the bill naturally fall into two classes :
The United Mine Workers of America is the author and the only proponent of the bill, according to the record of the committee. The opponents of the bill on record may be grouped under the following classes :
This latter classification might well be broadened to include business and professional people, as represented by the all-embracing membership of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Hon. James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor :
The analysis of the arguments for and against the bill presented at the hearings before the Interstate Commerce Committee may well be preceded by a brief summary of the ideas expressed by Secretary James J. Davis in his interesting detailed statement before the committee.
His testimony falls naturally into two parts: The first, setting forth his idea of the difficulties confronting the industry; and the second containing his sug. gestions as to methods of meeting those difficulties.
“ The principal technical ill of coal is overdevelopment." This overdevelopment was enormously stimulated by war demand. The result is that neither operators nor miners are “getting anything out of coal.” (R. 5.)
Other difficulties are differences in mining and marketing conditions in different fields, wasteful mining methods, and the tendency of large buyers of coal to take advantage of the situation and buy their coal at the lowest possible price. (R. 6.)
On the side of demand increased competition has resulted from the expending use of oil, gas, and water power, as well as the adoption of improved methods of preparation and combustion of coal. (R. 8-9.)
At the same time another increase in capacity is taking place through the expanding use of mechanical equipment in coal mines, a movement that has also lessened the demand for men. (R. 9.)
"I have long believed that one apparently simple way to remove overdevelop ment would be the closing of the less profitable mines, the industry absorbing and conserving the coal in these at present high-cost mines.”
“If the warring elements were brought together, if disastrous competition were to cease, if unity prevailed and a sane, practicable, workable method of cooperation were established, the evil of overdevelopment in the mining of coal could be stopped.” (R. 7.)
The Secretary considers that the only way out is through the consolidation of existing companies, expressing the opinion that if the number of corporations were reduced to 100 or 200 producing concerns, there would still be reasonable competition. (R. 9.)
If necessary to bring that about, the American people would not object to a modification of the antitrust laws, or to the establishment among the operators and miners themselves of a code of ethics and fair practices to guide the industry. (R. 10.)
Neither in the Secretary's prepared statement nor in his replies to questions from members of the committee did he state that the solution of the ills of the industry required the adoption of any system of Federal regulation, such as that proposed in S. 4490. He evidently believes that with a little more freedom of action, obtained, if necessary, through suitable modifications of the antitrust laws, the industry would be able to solve its own problems through consolidations.
ON BEHALF OF THE PROPONENTS OF THE BILL There is only one proponent of the bill, namely, the United Mine Workers of America, which was represented by three spokesmen; Mr. John L. Lewis, Mr. Henry Warrum, and Mr. T. C. Townsend.
The United Mine Workers of America, by John L. Lewis, president:
The executive board of the United Mine Workers of America indorsed the text and principles of Senate bill 4490, since the coal hearings last spring, and