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and many more thousands of deluded negroes from the cotton fields of the South, to work in their mines for wages far below a living standard. This means wholesale unemployment for many thousands of experienced and skilled mine workers who insist upon a decent wage level.
RAILROADS ENCOURAGE REPUDIATION OF CONTRACT
It is well known that the Pennsylvania Railroad has been cooperating with the Pittsburgh Coal Co., the Hillman Coal & Coke Co., the Jones & Laughlin Steel Co., the Inland Steel Co., the Wheeling Steel Co., the Bethlehem Mines Corporation, and others in the policy of eliminating the union and sustaining the action of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. in repudiating its contract with the United Mine Workers of America. It is public knowledge also that the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Corporation, which refused to make an agreement with its employees after April 1, 1927, enjoyed the sustaining counsel and assistance of the Pennsylvania Railroad in this decision.
All of this activity on the part of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in conjunction with the above-named coal companies, has for its purpose the destruction of the United Mine Workere of America and the degredation of the wages of coal mine workers.
John H. Jones, head of the Bertha Consumers Co., a large coal producing corporation with mines in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, operated his mines with union labor for 37 years, under contract with the United Mine Workers of America. His company produces three and one-half million tons annually, and of this amount, according to his statement, 600,000 tons are sold to the General Motors Corporation. Mr. Jones called at the office of the United Mine Workers of America in June, 1927, and said:
“I am prepared to sign the Jacksonville agreement with you boys; I can pay the wages provided in that agreement. I would like to open my mines and go ahead and pay that wage, because I believe in harmonious relations between employer and employees. Yesterday I was told by the purchasing agent of General Motors that I can not sign the contract on any basis at all, and that I must conform myself to the policies of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. or they propose to ruin me."
At about the same time bankers in Philadelphia who hold securities of the Bertha Consumers Co. called Mr. Jones by long-distance telephone and said they understood he was going to sign the contract, and the banking company forbade him to do so under penalty of surrendering his company to the banks that hold his paper.
Another operator named Gilmore, in the Pittsburgh field, called at the office of the United Mine Workers of America a short time ago and said :
* I have a sufficient amount of business at my disposal now to sell coal in Youngstown, Ohio,'at a contract price of $6 a ton delivered, and I can pay your wages, but my mine is located on the Montour Railroad, which is owned by the Pittsburgh Coal Co. The policies of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. are dominated and controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Mellon banking interests of Pittsburgh, and if I recognize your union and pay the wage I am ready to pay they will ruin me."
The Bertha Consumers Co. and Mr. Gilmore went nonunion, and have been operating on that basis ever since. They have evicted union miners from their homes, employed armed guards and gunmen, and adopted all of the other tactics of the Pittsburgh Coal Co.
RAILROAD INFLUENCE IN OHIO
Not only did the Pittsburgh Coal Co. and the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. influence the wholesale repudiation of the Jacksonville agreement in western Pennsylvania, but this powerful influence was used also to direct and control the policies of coal operators in Ohio as well. The Pittsburgh Coal Co. owned mines in Ohio. When it scrapped its agreement in Pennsylvania it also scrapped it in Ohio and employed the same tactics there that it employed in Pennsylvania. A few other companies in Ohio also repudiated the agreement, but the majority of Ohio operators did not.
However, upon expiration of the Jacksonville agreement the Ohio operators fell in behind the leadership of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. and refused to negotiate a new agreement with the miners except upon the basis of a heavy reduction in wages. The Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central Railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and other interstate railroads with lines in the
Ohio Coal fields lined up behind this policy, and under the lash of these railroad companies, the Ohio operators have founght and still are fighting to destroy the United Mine Workers of America and reduce wages. As a result
of this policy, practically all of the mines in Ohio are idle, 40,000 mine workers * have been out of work since April 1, 1927, coal production in Ohio is negligible, while the railroads are shipping coal from other states into Ohio for their own
The result is destitution, suffering, and starvation for 200,000 men, women, and children of the coal-mining section of Ohio and business depression and bankruptcy for business men and merchants.
A purchasing agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. informed an operator in the Crooksville, Ohio, district that he could not consider giving him an order for coal as long as he operated his mine on a union basis. This purchasing agent told this operator that if he would operate his mine nonunion the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. would buy his coal and pay him a price that would make him a profit. This purchasing agent said to this operator: “We are not going to contribute any more to that damnable union."
An operator of a mine near Coshocton, Ohio, was advised by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. that it would support him if he would operate his mine nonunion. This operator told officials of the United Mine Workers of America that he could not operate on a union basis and sell his coal.
An operator of a mine near Roseville, Ohio, operating on a union basis, sought a contract with the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. for the sale of his coal. The purchasing agent of the Pennsylvania told this operator:
"I will pay no price for fuel that will justify the miners' Jacksonville scale."
A coal company whose mine is on the line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the Bellaire, Ohio, field had a contract with the Baltimore & Ohio to supply coal to that railroad. In the summer of 1927 this coal company signed a contract with the United Mine Workers of America in which it agreed to continue paying the wage rates provided in the Jacksonville scale pending a final settlement of the wage controversy between operators and miners. Five days after publication of the fact that this temporary agreement had been signed the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad canceled its contract with this coal company, and officials of the company say the railroad took this action because of the signing of this temporary agreement.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Co. informed the operators of three mines in the Crooksville, Ohio, field that if these companies would start their mines on a nonunion basis the Pennsylvania would buy their coal and pay them a price sufficient to guarantee a profit.
We are advised that the operator of a mine in Jefferson County, Ohio, on the tracks of the Wabash Railroad, signed a temporary agreement with the United Mine Workers of America to continue paying the Jacksonville scale pending a permanent settlement of the wage question, and that he started his mine and loaded three cars of coal. When he ordered more cars for loading he was informed by the railroad company that it had no more cars. Being unable to obtain cars for loading purposes under these circumstances, this operator's mine is idle while railroad fuel coal is being shipped into the State of Ohio from other States where miners' wages have been depressed to very low figures.
We are advised that the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. is standing 60 per cent of any losses that may accrue to a coal company whose mine, near Shadyside, Ohio, is now operating nonunion. This company has imported, and still is importing, green, inexperienced men to work in its mine, some of these men being recruited in eastern cities and many more from the cotton fields of the southern States.
RAILROADS PRACTICE A GAUGE IN FREIGHT RATES
When the present freight rate structure of the country was established by the Interstate Commerce Commission the large railroads told the commission they were paying from $2.20 to $2.40 a ton for their locomotive coal, and that this fact should be taken into consideration by the commission in rate making. Freight rates were based upon that price for coal. Now, however, these same railroads have hammered down the price of coal until they are arbitrarily refusing to pay more than $1.60 to $1.75 a ton for coal, thus reducing their own operating cost, but they are still collecting the same rates for hauling freight and passengers that they charged when they paid $2.20 to $2.40 for coal. Coal companies can not pay decent, living wages to their miners and sell their coal at $1.60 à ton.
RAILROADS REFUSE TO BUY INDIANA UNION-MINED COAL
In Indiana, representatives of the Pennsylvania Railroad encouraged the Indiana producers to resist the making of a wage agreement at the Miami, Fla., conference of operators and miners of the central competitive field in February, 1927. Mr. E. D. Logsdon, president of the Knox County Consolidated Coal Co., of Indiana, large producers of fuel coal for the Pennsylvania Railroad, assumed leadership of the Indiana operators and organized the Indiana Bituminous Coal Operators' Association for resistance to the making of a new wage agreement and the necessity of beating down wages. Since the official termination of the strike in Indiana and Illinois the Logsdon interests, the Pike County Coal Co., and other mines heretofore supplying railroad fuel for the Pennsylvania, have declined to resume operations, because the Pennsylvania Railroad refuses to place any orders with these mines for railroad fuel mined under the existing wage rate—the Jacksonville scale. The Pennsylvania Railroad is fueling its lines in Indiana with coal brought in from the east and southeast at a higher cost than that for which Indiana coal could be purchased. And while this condition exists, the mines in the Indiana field are idle and thousands of miners out of work and reduced to a state of destitution.
In November, 1927, the Pennsylvania Railroad served notice on Indiana coal operators that, beginning December 1, that company would pay $1.60 a ton and no more for coal in Indiana. Under this ultimatum from the Pennsyl. vania Railroad, those Indiana operators that had been supplying the Pennsylvania with coal were obliged either to close down their mines or attempt to operate nonunion with strike breakers in a 100 per cent union organized field. They chose the former course and closed their mines, thus throwing thousands of men out of work.
In issuing this ultimatum to Indiana operators the Pennsylvania Railroad Fery well knew that the operators could not comply with the price terms and pay decent, living wages to their miners. It was well aware that in order to sell coal to the Pennsylvania Railroad at $1.60 a ton they would be compelled to ignore, repudiate, and break away from their contract with the United Mine Workers of America, which was negotiated and signed at Terre Haute, Ind., in the summer of 1927.
Whether by understanding and agreement, by concert of action, or mere coincident the attitude of the New York Central Railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and other railroads in Indiana in this matter are parallel with the policy of the Pennsylvania Railroad. All are working for elimination of the United Mine Workers of America from the bituminous coal industry. With the Miners' Union destroyed and out of the way, there would be no minimum limit to the wage reductions which might then be forced upon the mine workers of the country, for they would then be without any means of self-protection against such onslaughts.
NEW YORK CENTRAL INTERESTS WOULD ELIMINATE THE UNION
As further proof of this fact, the New York Central Railroad, through its subsidiary coal company, the Clearfield Bituminous Corporation, has assumed the leadership of the commercial operators in the Central Pennsylvania bituminous producing field, first, in terminating its contract with the United Mine Workers of America on June 30, 1927; and, second, in the application of the policy of elimination of the union, entailing evictions, injunctions, employment of armed guards and gunmen, coal and iron police and the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Constabulary. Mr. F. H. Herriman, president of the Clearfield Bituminous Corporation, which is owned by the New York Central Railroad, in a telegram to Secretary of Labor Davis on December 13, 1927, advised that his interests would never again deal with the United Mine Workers of America and considered the elimination of the United Mine Workers of America as imperative.
The United Mine Workers of America is the one and only restraining in. fluence in this country that prevents the New York Central and other strikebreaking interests from hammering coal miners' wages down to the poverty and starvation level. It is for that reason that these powerful interests are endeavoring so diligently to destroy the union.
WESTERN RAILROADS DEMAND LOW-WAGE COAL
This general campaign for the destruction of the United Mine Workers of America and lowering of miners' wages is not confined to Eastern fields alone. The Western Coal & Mining Co., a subsidiary of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, maintained contractual relations with the United Mine Workers of America for years. But when the Jacksonville agreement expired and the large eastern roads began their fight against the union, the Western Coal & Mining Co. used its full power and influence to prevent coal companies in Kansas from making a new agreement with the union.
The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad openly asserted that it would not buy a pound of coal produced under the Jacksonville agreement, and it has religiously followed that policy. That company buys in the low-wage, nonunion fields of other States all the coal it consumes in the State of Kansas, while Kansas mines stand idle and Kansas miners are unemployed.
The Frisco Railroad buys in Kansas about 25 per cent of the total amount of coal which it consumes in that State. It ships in some coal from the lowwage nonunion field of Western Kentucky and the rest of its supply from the nonunion fields of Alabama where wages of mine workers are as low as $2 a day.
Similar conditions exist in other States.
A high official of the Rock Island Railroad visited Appanoose County, Iowa, in his private car, and while he was there he notified coal operators of that county who were operating with union labor that they should immediately prepare to run their mines on a nonunion basis, as the Rock Island had adopted a policy of buying no coal from mines that were operated on a union basis. He said the company was going to put this policy in effect as soon as possible and that it was warning the operators to prepare themselves. Recently the Rock Island refused to take any coal in Appanoose County that was mined by union men. The company shipped coal to Iowa from Trinidad, Colo., several hundred miles distant, although union-mined Iowa coal would have cost it much less than the Colorado product when transportation charges are considered.
The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad is buying practically no coal in Iowa, where union miners are employed. This company is shipping coal for its own use in Iowa from nonunion fields of Kentucky on which the freight rate alone is far more than Iowa coal would cost it on its engines.
DISASTROUS EFFECTS OF LOW WAGES
During the years when the Pittsburgh Coal Co. operated its mines with union miners and paid the union scale of wages its average cost of production of coal was $1.89 per ton. Since it repudiated its agreement with the United Mine Workers of America and employed strike breakers its production cost has been $3.78 per ton. These figures are taken from the reports of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. A similar situation exists with reference to other companies that followed the lead of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. under the lash of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, and other interstate railroad companies that are parties to this conspiracy.
The Pittsburgh Coal Co. has made three wage reductions since it repudiated its contract and adopted a nonunion wage-cutting policy. The last of these was on January 10, 1928. The minimum wage now paid is $3.30 a day for outside labor and the maximum is $5.05 for inside labor.
When the Jacksonville agreement was in effect and the maximum wage rate was $7.50 a day the mine workers were employed an average of only 160 days a year. This gave them a total annual income of about $1,200 per man. After ducting an average of $150 a year for the cost of powder, tools, and supplies, the net earnings for the year were about $1,050 per man.
When these coal companies instituted their wage-cutting policy they represented to their employees that reduced wages would enable them to sell more coal and give their employees steady employment. But the fact is their mines are now operating only half time or less, even under their low wage policy. This proves that cheap wages will not solve the problem of the coal industry.
THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES EVICTED IN THE DEAD OF WINTER In carrying out their policy of wage reductions and destruction of the United Mine Workers of America, these coal companies under the domination of the big interstate railroads have resorted to the most brutal methods of warfare. They employed armies of armed gunmen, recruited largely from the criminal element of the country, and placed these men in and around their mining camps for the sole and only purpose of intimidating their employees and inflicting cruelties upon striking union miners and their families.
These companies have obtained from courts injunctions of the most amazing character, curtailing and destroying every right that is guaranteed to American citizens by the Constitution. One injunction even goes so far as to prohibit the United Mine Workers of America from supplying any aid of any kind to striking union miners or their families, even to avert starvation.
In Pennsylvania alone 12,000 families of union miners have been evicted from their homes by coal companies, because the miners refused to accept wage reductions. Eight thousand of these evictions have taken place in the Pittsburgh X district and 4,000 in central Pennsylvania. It is in the latter field that the Clearfield Bituminous Corporation, owned by the New York Central Railroad, obtained the injunction above referred to which prohibits the United Mine Workers from giving any aid to starving union miners or their families, and which also, amazing as it may sound, prohibits the union miners from assembling and singing hymns in the Magyar Presbyterian Church which happens to be near a mine of the. Clearfield Bituminous Corporation.
John S. Fisher, present governor of the State of Pennsylvania, was a member of the board of directors and general counsel for the Clearfield Bituminous Corporation, but he says he resigned this connection when he assumed the office of governor.
It may also be of interest to know that Mr. Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, was a member of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. up to the time that he became Secretary of the Treasury, and that his brother, Mr. R. B. Mellon, has been a member of the board of directors ever since Andrew W. Mellon resigned as a member.
The 12,000 families above referred to were evicted and thrown out of their homes in the dead of winter. In order to take care of these unfortunate families the United Mine Workers of America has erected in the Pittsburgh district alone temporary barracks or shacks that house and shelter 1,896 families. In these barracks there is a total of 4,708 rooms. The remainder of the 8,000 ericted families have been placed in other temporary places of habitation. Coal companies are still making evictions and are threatening to evict hundreds of additional families, all of whom must be cared for. It would be impossible at this time to estimate the total number of evictions that will take place or the number of barracks or rooms that must be constructed in order to supply them with temporary shelter.
We have in our hands 218 affidavits setting forth in a graphic manner the atrocities and brutal conduct practiced by coal-company gunmen and thugs upon striking union miners and their families in western Pennsylvania alone, all of which we are ready to submit to your committee.
Conditions in the mining fields of West Virginia are like those in other fields mentioned herein. Coal companies openly repudiated their contracts with the United Mine Workers of America, reduced wages, hired strike breakers, evicted thousands of families, obtained dozens of injunctions to prohibit the United Mine Workers from even making an effort to organize the men of that section, hired hundreds of armed gunmen and thugs to intimidate, browbeat, and assault union miners and their families. The conspiracy between railroad companies and coal companies is as flagrant in West Virginia as in the other coal-mining fields, all of which can be brought out and established in a hearing on Senate Resolution 105.
We charge that full responsibility for present deplorable conditions in the above-named coal mining fields rests upon the shoulders of those coal companies that so brazenly and immorally repudiated their agreements with the United Mine Workers of America and those great interstate railroad companies that forced these companies to take such action.
We charge that the present chaotic situation in the bituminous-coal industry is due solely to this railroad-coal company conspiracy and that it is necessary for all of the facts in relation thereto to be brought out before a proper remedy can be applied in the public interest.