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Senator Black. What effect would it have on your industry, the plant about which you are testifying, to put them on a 5-day week and a 6-hour day, with reference to the employment of those who are now out of work from displacement?
Mr. O'CONNELL. If it was a 6-hour day I presume our plant would have to have some added capacity, because we have been quite fortunate. The depression did not strike us until about 14 months ago, when we reduced our working time to a 4-day week. We had been running on a 5-day week. I have had my treasurer tell me the 5-day week was as profitable to him as the five and a half. Practically we were agreed on a 5-day week. We had our goods probably more prominently known and were better situated than any other brand of goods in the country, but when the depression struck us 14 months ago we went on a 4-day week. We gathered up a little bit and went on a 5-day week for about one-third of our plant, then back to the 4-day week, and this week when I left home they were talking possibly that we might go on a 37-day week. That is due to the lack of purchasing power; January is a heavy month -in sheet sales.
Senator BLACK. What hours are they working now?
Mr. O'CONNELL. Eight and three-quarter hours a day. In all other competitive plants they work 54 to 60 hours, from the North to the South,
The CHAIRMAN. That is hours per week?
Mr. O'CONNELL. Yes. They are working night and day. We had an agreement with our plant for a great number of years, for more than a decade, to attempt to keep our people continuously employed. Others have seemingly thought of it only from the point of view of profit, and would be willing to and do work night and day if they can get a thing out at a profit. They would give them three or four months work and then shut down for a certain period of time. We have never tried to do that. We have tried to keep ourselves steadily employed, and we have never tried to work nights, and only on one occasion did we work nights, in 1927. Practically every mill did then, when cotton struck a low, and everybody figured it was better for them to manufacture the goods and store them. They thought they would have more money in when they did sell the goods, when cotton went up again.
Senator BLACK. It would have been a good thing for the cotton farmer if he would not be able to produce so much, would it not?
Mr. O'CONNELL. Yes. That was the only suggestion I had to offer, The CHAIRMAN. We will adjourn until 10 o'clock Tuesday.
(Whereupon at 1 o'clock p. m. the hearing was adjourned until 10 o'clock a. m., Tuesday, January 24, 1933.)
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
UNITED STATES SENATE
A BILL TO PREVENT INTERSTATE COMMERCE IN
HOURS PER DAY
JANUARY 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, FEBRUARY 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, AND 11, 1933
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
WASHINGTON : 1933