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tonnage from Harlan County and western Kentucky. They make no pretense at observing either the wage scale or the right of collective bargaining, or the prices set up under the Bituminous Coal Code. Yet there are witnesses who come before this honorable committee and say, “Our lot is indeed a happy one; just leave us alone and extend the coal code”, in the face of this record, which shows that the price structure has broken down; that the sales realization of the industry has broken down; that the sales realization of the industry is reduced to a degree that ruins the stability of the national labor relationship.
Why, Senators, the operators are demoralized. They met in joint conference in this city, the representatives of the operators and miners, to the extent of 200 men, 100 or so on each side, on February 18.
Do you wish to s'ispend now?
Senator NEELY. Yes. Will it be convenient for you to resume at 2:30?
Mr. LEWIS. Certainly.
Senator NEELY. The subcommittee will now adjourns until 2:30 this afternoon.
(Whereupon, at 12 o'clock noon, a recess was taken until 2:30 p. m.)
The subcommittee reconvened at the expiration of the recess, 2:30 p. m.
Senator NEELY. Mr. Lewis, you may proceed.
Mr. LEWIS. With the permission of the committee, I would like to yield a few minutes of my time to President Green of the American Federation of Labor, who is not able to stay indefinitely.
Senator NEELY. Mr. Green is recognized.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM GREEN, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF LABOR
Mr. GREEN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I feel that it is my duty to present to you the attitude of the American Federation of Labor toward this proposed legislation. The American Federation of Labor is in thorough accord with the Guffey bill and is standing fairly and squarely with the United Mine Workers of America in support of this measure.
It is not my intention to go into a technical discussion of the bill. We feel that it was carefully and scientifically drawn. A great deal of thought and care was given to the preparation of the measure. We are of the opinion that its administrative features are practical; that the provision for regulation and control are sound and constructive; and that it represents the practical and constructive approach to the solution of the economic problem in the bituminous coal industry.
Time and experience have shown that it is impossible for the owners and managers of the bituminous coal industry to establish and maintain stability. They cannot put their own house in order. Even the attempt to stabilize the industry, to eliminate unfair trade practices, and to protect standard rates of pay and standard working conditions throughout the bituminous coal industry through a coding process has not proved to be entirely successful. It is inconceivable that the American people would favor the continuation of cutthroat competition with all its demoralizing effects, tearing down standards that ought to be permanently maintained.
I want to make this one further point, that it would not be so bad if those responsible for the demoralized conditions in the bituminouscoal industry were its only victims. If the maragement sustained financial losses through the introduction of these demoralizing factors, through the policy of unfair trade practices, we probably could say amen, but the trouble is they are not the real victims. The victims are the men who enter the mines, mine the coal, risk their lives, and make sacrifices that no other workers in America make. These are the men who are the victims, and it is because we want to protect them and the communities in which they live that we are appealing to Congress to enact this Guffey measure into law.
That covers my statement, Mr. Chairman, unless you want to ask me some questions.
Senator NEELY. Mr. Green, the committee is very glad to have
Mr. GREEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. FURTHER STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH F. GUFFEY, UNITED
STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
Senator Guffey. Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a brief statement on the record. In the protest of the Northern West Virginia Subdivisional Coal Association against the passage of S. 1417, introduced into the record of yesterday by one of the officers of that association, you will find on page 45 thereof an insinuation that either some member of my family or myself is interested in a tract of 100,000 acres of coal land in West Virginia.
Senator NEELY. Senator Guffey, will you read that part of the protest to which you refer, in order that it may appear in the record?
Senator GUFFEY. The part to which I refer reads as follows:
If the Government takes these undeveloped coal lands off the hands of their owners at a fancy price, it will be very nice for the owners. As we have said, there are doubtless millions of acres of such coal lands. One company alone in this district, the J. M. Guffey Co., has over 100,000 acres of such lands. But wnile it will be very nice for the owners to be able to unload on the Government, it will be very hard on the rest of the industry and on the public, which has to pay the price, even assuming that the figures set up in the bill are adequate for the purpose.
In the latter part of the 1890's my uncle, Col. J. M. Guffey, acquired in West Virginia & coal field consisting of approximateiy 125,000 acres, and title was taken in the name of the J. M. Guffey Co. This coal field was later acquired by Andrew W. Mellon and his brother R. B. Mellon, through a banking transaction. Since that time the said coal field has been sold to the Koppers Co., and the Koppers Co., through the president of that company, is now appearing in opposition to the passage of the bill referred to. Neither my uncle's heirs nor any member of my family are in any wise interested in any tract of bituminous-coal land anywhere, to my knowledge. STATEMENT OF JOHN L. LEWIS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA-Resumed Mr. LEWIS. The main source of objection as expressed during the hearings by the operators opposed to the bill, has been that they would prefer to see the Bituminous Coal Code of Fáir Competition continued
for at least 2 years so that whatever its merits and defects might be, there would be more experience upon which to base permanent legislation. The attitude of our organization as well as that of the operators controlling a majority of the tonnage in the industry, is that the Coal Code has broken down in its price provisions, and so long as it does not contain production-control provisions, it will be ineffective.
Aside from this, however, the attitude of those who oppose the Guffey bill because they wish the continuance of the code, is fundamentally untenable and inconsistent, for the reason that the Guffey bill itself embodies the code and all its voluntary and democratic methods of procedure. If an operator is favorable to the code and not opposed to production control through the establishment of quotas, he should have no objection to the Guffey bill.
I quote from an editorial entitled "Government Control”, published in The Black Diamond, a trade weekly publication of the coal industry, dated March 2, 1935, as follows:
As a matter of fact, such stability, or approximate stabilty, that the industry has ever attained has inevitably come from forces other than those exercised by the producers. It was due to the stabilization of labor through union control of wages that a large section of the bituminous coal industry for a time enjoyed a degree of prosperity; it was only when N. R. A. forced standardized wages upon the remainder of the industry that figures approximating profits were found in the books of many companies in the heretofore nonunion fields. Frequently enough, it is true, high rates of wage for, union labor have penalized the union operators, but there are few of them that would go back if they could to the days before the anion.
I call the attention of the committee to the fact that almost without exception every witness representing the operators that came before this committee has indicated his satisfaction with the union relationship and the collective bargaining agreements that are in effect in the industry
As this editorial says, it is obviously true that before the N. R. A. gave labor an opportunity to organize in certain sections of the country, the operator who did deal with the union, and who did recognize collective bargaining, and who did pay a living wage, suffered a penalty every day that they were in the market for their benevolence; that the negotiation of the wage structure throughout the industry has equalized and stabilized that largest factor of cost in the industry known as the labor cost; and I am glad to quote this truthful statement of one of the leading organs of the coal industry, which makes clear the force of my previous statement that the operators are unable to organize themselves so as to be affirmatively articulate on any question.
Mr. Lesher has submitted on behalf of Mr. Harriman, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, a statement opposing the Guffey bill. In this statement Mr. Harriman expresses doubt as to the constitutionality of the mesaure and declares that it goes entirely too far in the exercise of Government control and regulation.
While it is true, of course, that the United States Chamber of Commerce may have various reasons for being opposed to a specific measure such as the Guffey bill, yet that organization went on record n as early as 1930 in favor of the establishment of a Federal tribunal to control production and to stabilize the bituminous coal, oil, and umber industries. This was done through a referendum vote, as a
result of which two-thirds of the membership voted for Government control. The proposition which was thus endorsed by the membership of the chamber of commerce was, as follows:
Then follows a statement of the United States Chamber of Commerce advocating Government control of the bituminous coal, oil, and lumber industries.
In the course of the hearings on the Davis-Kelly bill, Mr. John H. Hanna on May 25, 1932, made an appearance and explained that the chamber by a referendum vote had by a large majority placed itself on record as in favor of the stabilization and conservation of natural resource industries--coal, oil, and lumber-under the supervision of a Federal tribunal of some form. He explained the specific action of the chamber on the Davis-Kelly bill as follows:
The Chamber of Commerce of the United States has been consistently in favor of business initiative, unrestrained, insofar as possible, by governmental regulation (p. 1748). The chamber
feels today the serious situation of the coal industry makes necessary some action on the part of Congress in order that the meu in the coal industry may help to relieve their own situation (p. 1757).
The referenda of the chamber recommended that a Government tribunal be authorized to permit agreements for curtailing production of coal (p. 1767).
But the chamber opposes the creation of a tribunal which will have such direct and complete control over the industry as we feel the enactment of the proposed legislation would bring about (p. 1761).
I am unable to say what kind of constructive action the chamber of commerce really wishes to carry out in the mandate of its membership. It opposed the Davis-Kelly bill and now opposes the Guffey bill. This is more inconsistent because the Guffey bill directly provides for what the chamber of commerce membership voted-namely, control of production in the bituminous coal industry.
One would think at least that the United States Chamber of Commerce would be consistent in its own action.
The American Association of Railway Executives, the National Association of Manufacturers and a small number of operators have claimed that the United Mine Workers of America have endeavored in this bill to secure a monopoly of the labor forces of the industry and thus to dictate the administration of the Guffey bill, by reason of the fact that they have provided for the majority of the national labor organization in the industry to govern, through agreement with the operators, maximum hours of work.
This provision is in reality carrying forward the democratic procedure of the code itself under which through agreement with a majority of the tonnage in the industry, national standards of wages and working conditions are arranged. Moreover, such a provision in national legislation is by no means new. Similar provisions occurred in the Transportation Act of 1920 and are now contained in the Railway Labor Act where provision is made for representation and action by the "standard railway labor organizations."
The term used in this bill, or the Guffey bill, namely, the "national organization of mine workers” is by no means exclusive except in the sense that it shall be the national organization of which the majority of the workers in the industry are members. It gives the right of action to the United Mine Workers of America because the majority of the workers in the industry are members thereof. This is as it should be, and should continue so long as the mine workers wish the United Mine Workers of America to represent them.
Coal operators have the same method of procedure in dealing with the mine workers and in dealing with all other matters that pertain to their interests, such as the various district organizations of operators and the National Coal Association for national action.
As to quotas, the bill would hold up economic and social structure of coal districts through its quota provisions. If, with a quota, a local mine could not meet its prices, it would lose its quota and pass out of production. It would have the opportunity, however, to apply to the Government to purchase its lands and thus suffer no loss.
The quota by restricting competition to district areas would thus prevent the disadvantages which would arise from more wide-spread price cutting in the neutral markets, affecting the industry as a whole. The quota provisions, in other words, together with the price provisions of the bill would have the effect of maintaining economic and social stability during the present emergency and thus preventing an undue amount of dislocation through unemployment, and so forth.
The bill from the standpoint of the coal industry, therefore, (a) prevents price cutting, (6) permits covering of all costs and a reasonable profit through price stability--really practically assures a fair return to the operator on his output, and (c) if the operator is unable to compete within a district, he can offer his company for sale to the Government. The industry bears the burden of these sales through a tax on coal produced. Without the bill, if the operator could not compete, he would be thrown into bankruptcy and suffer partial or entire loss of his investment.
The quota provisions, stressed in the bill, are necessary for the conserving of economic and social stability; otherwise, national production without local quotas, both district and mine, would be objectionable, for the reason that it would give to lower-cost mines the privileges of invading districts and disrupting established concerns. This might be proper in normal times when, for the benefit of the consumer and for the purpose of developing the highest efficiency, production might be confined to the low-cost mines, but during a period of unemployment such as at the present, operations should be carried on with the least dislocations possible in order to conserve the interests of mining communities.
A long-time view of the operation of the bill would assume, under normal conditions, the concentration of production in low-cost mines, thus benefiting the consumer and also providing for the maximum possibilities in the conservation of coal.
May I point out again that the young men and the research workers employed by the Consumers Board of National Recovery Administration utterly ignore the practical features of the application of this measure to the bituminous coal industry.
Mr. Mahan this morning asserted that far from 10 cents being added as an extra cost of fuel, the very operation of the act itself, if passed by Congress, would operate to reduce the cost of mining and producing coal; and that the production cost would be vastly in excess of the 10 cents a ton set cost forth in this bill for the retirement of marginal coal land or excess mines in the industry.
' Board would come to the conclusion that the coal industry in this manner was purchasing these lands from revenue secured from its own increased efficiency and was giving them to the Government,