Page images


Senator GOODING. I wish you would tell us about it. I never knew of any of them. We do not have them out West.

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, your steel industry has them. Why, does not your bank have a protecting officer? Your own banks in this town have private officers.

Senator GOODING. They do not have in my town.
Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, they have in most towns.

Senator GOODING. These officers employed by other industries that you speak of do not go out and stop free speech on the public highway, do they, as they do in the coal industry? Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, I do not believe in that myself.

Senator Gooding. But you are upholding it in West Virginia. And if your company employs a deputy sheriff and he would not permit members of the union organization to come down there and even duscuss the matter of organization of any kind, whether it was the American Federation of Labor or the Mine Workers of Americado you believe that is right?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, you know, Senator, it is a good deal the way you look at it.

To be frank, the situation is just the reverse in West Virginia, and I am not taking a brief for either side. Understand, I am for the Union in Ohio, always have been, and I always will be if we can come to terms with them. But in West Virginia the operator or employer of labor controls his labor, and his labor does not belong to a mining organization. It is open shop there. And you have said they signed contracts. They do. But it is just the reverse of the contract here. When you sign a contract with the United Mine Workers it means that no man is permitted to be employed in your mines unless he is either already a member of the United Mine Workers or is accepted as a member of the United Mine Workers before he began work.

Senator WHEELER. Down there you have what you call the "Yellow-dog" contract, have you not?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. I have heard it referred to here. Senator WHEELER. Well, that is the contract which says to the miner he has to sign if he wants employment, he has to sign that he will never join a labor organization.

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Now, Senator, that contract reads that he will not become a member of the United Mine Workers, a member of the I. W. W.'s, a member of any of these anarchistic organizations as long as he is employed at that mine.

Senator WHEELER. Well, you conclude

Mr. WILDERMUTH. If you will pardon me just a minute. It further states that as long as employed at the mine the company agrees not to require him to become a member of any of those organizations.

Senator WHEELER. Well, let me ask you this. Do you not think that that is actually taking away a man's liberty to ask him to sign a contract when he has to have employment to support his family?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well now, Senator, as a matter of private opinion I do not believe that it is taking away his liberty any more than it is to require him to become a member of the United Mine Workers before he obtains work.

9221428—PT 3- -19

you not?

Senator WHEELER. Well, you believe in the upholding the of Constitution of the United States?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Absolutely.
Senator WHEELER. Consequently you believe in free speech, do
Mr. WILDERMUTH. Yes, sir.

Senator WHEELER. But do you not think that these operators down there in West Virginia when they chase anybody out of the town and refuse to let him discuss the principles of organized labor are absolutely violating the spirit and the letter of the Constitution?

Mr. WildERMUTH. Well, Senator, I hate to pass on the other man's judgment. If you inquire direct of me

Senator WHEELER. Well, that is what it is.
Mr. WILDERMUTH. I would not do that myself.

Senator WHEELER. Let me put it this way: Any community or any organization which says to any individual in this country, You can not discuss the principles of organized labor in this community or this State,” is absolutely violating the sacred principles of free speech as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, is he not?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Why, I believe in the freedom of speech.
Senator WHEELER. Well, is he not violating it?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. I would not prevent a man discussing it. I might prevent a man coming to my home that was not welcome. I might prevent a man coming to my plant that was not welcome.

Senator WHEELER. Yes; that is a different thing.

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Yes. Well, that is what I am talking about, , Senator.

Senator WHEELER. No; but when they come into the community, when they come into the town

Senator GOODING. The public highway.

Senator WHEELER. The public highways. When a man says that because of the fact that you are a member of the United Mine Workers you can not come here and discuss the principles of your union, why you are just destroying the Constitution of the United States, and those people are just leading us into anarchy, that is all, by this sort of tactics.

Mr. TOWNSEND. Mr. Chairman, could I ask the gentleman one question?

Senator GOODING (presiding). Go ahead.

Mr. LEWIS. Thomas C. Townsend, of Charleston, W. Va., counsel for the United Mine Workers of America.

Mr. TOWNSEND. Mr. Wildermuth, if you believe that the statement you just made is correct, that the miners of Logan County would drive out any member of the United Mine Workers that would come into that county and undertake to organize the county, then will you please state why your Logan County Coal Operators' Association in the year 1920 contributed $46,630 to the payment of deputy sheriffs, and in the year 1921 contributed $61,517 for the same purpose?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, in the first place, Mr. Townsend, you ask me if I believe the statement is correct. I will have you understand when I make a statement I believe it to be correct,

Mr. TOWNSEND. I do not doubt that.

Mr. WILDERMUTH. In the second place I am not familiar with that. Probably you did not mean it as it sounded. I took it as it sounded.

Senator GOODING (presiding). Judge, you say that your miners in West Virginia are satisfied? Mr. WILDERMUTH. Yes. Senator GOODING. Perhaps I should not make this statement, but I am receiving now—and I am not going to give any names, or offer them-I am receiving now not hundreds but thousands of petitions from miners in West Virginia protesting against the conditions that exist down there, naming many conditions, such as being robbed by the stores, and other conditions. I do not know anything about the facts, I have not been down there, but these petitions are signed individually by the miners who are now working there. Some of them tell very, very serious stories.

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, Senator, the conditions of employment in this country are generally deplorable to-day. You will find in the mining industry now or at any other time conditions in all mining towns that are deplorable, just as you find in your cities and you find in your smaller towns. There may be cases where there are company stores that are taking advantage of men, just as men are taken advantage of in the other avenues of life.

Senator GOODING. What will be the result in this country in the long run of such complete domination over humanity as that? Is it not coming to this—that when you destroy the unions you are going to have the I. W. W's in force in America to deal with?

Mr. WILDERMUTH. Well, Senator, one great reason why I am & friend of the union and a believer in the union is that they are absolutely against the I. W. W.s or any other such organization.

Senator GOODING. And they are about the only force that is fighting the I. W. W. Mr. WILDERMUTH. They are a splendid force. Senator GOODING. Yes. Mr. WILDERMUTH. Yes, sir. Senator GOODING. To my mind the safety of the Government depends on organized labor defending it against such organizations as the I. W. W. Mr. WILDERMUTH. It depends on the men.

Senator Gooding. I know something about that organization, because it originated in my State through the efforts of "Big Bill” Haywood during the time I was governor, while he was in jail there. So I am not a stranger to the I. W. W.'s and their methods. I know and understand what they mean. And the only force I know of in America that is out battling them in the open is organized labor. Haywood was on trial in my State for the blackest crime in history; the assassination of ex-Governor Steunenburg, for trying to enforce law and order. Under Bill Haywood's domination it was a criminal labor organization the same as the I. W. W. is a criminal organization to-day. It can be said of the great labor organizations of America to-day that they are 100 per cent American all the way through. No one has been paying more attention to what American organized labor means to this country than I have. I know that the great labor organizations of America are defending the Constitution and the principles of American Government. You have either got to encourage them to go on with that fight or you will turn over this country to the I. W. W.'s. It is coming. There is no escape from it. You can destroy the unions if you want to, but if you do the conditions which we hear exist all over Russia will be just a small story compared to what is going to happen in this country. I have confidence in the American people. But you can bear down a little too hard, you know.

Mr. WiLDERMUTH. Well, Senator, if that is addressed to me, I will say that I am not in favor of breaking down the unions.

Senator GOODING. It is pretty hard to find out what you are in favor of after you tell the story of what you are doing down in West Virginia.

Mr. WildERMUTH. What is that?
Senator GOODING. You have crossed yourself there.
Mr. WildERMUTH. Well, I have been honest in my testimony.
Senator GOODING. You prefer nonunion labor in West Virginia.

Mr. WildERMUTH. That is because of the situation we found when we went there Had the situation been union we would have undoubtedly opened union. Senator Gooding. All right. You may step aside.

GOODING (Witness excused.) Senator GOODING. We will call Mr. Barr.


(The witness was duly sworn by Senator Gooding.)
Senator Gooding (presiding). Give your name to the reporter.
Mr. BARR. C. E. Barr.

Senator GOODING. Your address and your occupation; whom you have been employed by.

Mr. BARR. Pricedale.
Senator WHEELER. Who are you employed by?
Mr. BARR. Pittsburgh Coal.
Senator WHEELER. Pittsburgh Coal Co.?
Mr. Barr. Yes, sir.

Senator WHEELER. Mr. Barr, do you remember the day that the Senate committee visited your home in Pricedale?

Mr. BARR. I mind when you were there.
Senator WHEELER. How?
Mr. Barr. I mind the day when they were come to Pricedale.

Senator WHEELER. And you were not at home the day the committee visited and talked with your wife, were you?

Mr. BARR. No, sir.

Senator WHEELER. Do you remember when the committee left there?

Mr. Barr. No; I do not.

Senator WHEELER. Well, you remember the day that they were there?

Mr. Barr. Yes, sir.

Senator WHEELER. And do you know at about what time the committee left there?

Mr. BARR. No, I don't know what time.

Senator WHEELER. Well, did anybody discharge you that day that the committee was there? Were you discharged from your em- : ployment?

[ocr errors]

Mr. BARR. Yes, sir; I was. That is what I thought. That is

, what the superintendent told me.

Senator WHEELER. What did he tell you? Mr. BARR. Well, I gone to work at about 5.30 he called me in his office.

Senator WHEELER. You came to work about 5.30 in the afternoon?
Mr. Barr. Yes; I come away, yes.
Senator WHEELER. What did he tell you?

Mr. Barr. He called me in and tell me that I would have to go out. I said, “Does that include my work?” He said, "everything."

Senator WHEELER. Did he tell you why?

Mr. BARR. Well, because they was there and that woman had talked too much, you know.

Senator WHEELER. He said that who was there? That the committee was there?

Mr. BARR. That the committee.

Senator WHEELER. And that your wife had talked too much to the committee?

Mr. BARR. Yes.
Senator WHEELER. Is that all he said to you?
Mr. BARR. Yes.
Senator WHEELER. What was the name of the man that fired you?
Mr. Barr. Baughman, the "Super." Bob Baughman.
Senator WHEELER. And was that all that he said?

Mr. BARR. Yes, sir. I turned around and I said, “All right." I said, “All right, sir," and I gave the key over to Dan Chew, that is the outside boss, and started out. And so I got about-Í expect

I about 75 yards from the building, and Mr. Chew called me back.

Senator WHEELER. Who was Mr. Chew?
Mr. Barr. That is the outside boss, the labor boss.
Senator WHEELER. What did he say to you?

Mr. Barr. And he give me the key and told me to remain on until I got out.

Senator WHEELER. He told you to remain in the house until he got out?

Mr. BARR. Remain at work until I got out.
Senator WHEELER. Oh, until you got out?
Mr. Barr. Remain at work until I got a house and got out.
Senator WHEELER. Oh, until you got a house and got out?
Mr. BARR. Yes.
Senator WHEELER. How many children have you?
Mr. BARR. Well, there is eight all together.

Senator WHEELER. Eight children. And who lives next door to you? Is it a colored family or a white family?

Mr. Barr. Well, a colored family lives on one side and a white family on the other.

Senator WHEELER. And who lives in the house opposite you, the opposite side of the street? Mr. BARR. Across the street? Senator WHEELER. Yes. Mr. BARR. I couldn't tell you. Senator WHEELER. Well, are they colored or white?

Mr. Barr. They are colored that lives across from me, across the street.

« PreviousContinue »