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hour week, but that only tells part of the story because you make different amounts. You are not all on the standard of $1.95 per hour with a 35-hour week.
Mr. Hout. There are men above ground who work more than 35 hours a week.
Mr. McCONNELL. You also have those who are not on an hourly basis.
Mr. Hout. That is right, we have hourly men and piece-rate men.
Mr. McCONNELL. And I imagine your earnings are on a different basis, then.
Mr. Holt. The mine foremen and I are on a different basis. The miners are on the basis of $13.65 a day.
Mr. McCONNELL. Is your income based on the fact that you have more stock or more interest in this company than the others?
Mr. Hour. No; we all have the same.
Mr. MCCONNELL. In other words, they have set up a salary schedule according to the responsibility in the mine?
Mr. Holt. That is right, and around the mine. Our two mine foremen are actually responsible for the operation of the mine.
Mr. McCONNELL. Then you do not share alike?
Mr. Holt. That is where it is not a cooperative. A cooperative set-up, as I understand it, would be the distribution evenly among
Mr. McCONNELL. In other words, it is half socialistic and half capitalistic
Mr. Holt. I would not know that; it might be.
Mr. WIER. Is this mine operated under this hybrid corporation organized under the law of the State of Ohio?
Mr. Holt. Yes: Ohio.
Mr. Hout. I was not prominent in it when it was organized. Representative Crosser set this thing up.
Mr. WIER. Representative Crosser?
Mr. Holt. Congressman Crosser set this thing up, and as I understand it, an attorney by the name of Blython set it up: I believe he was Mr. Crosser's attorney at the time.
Mr. WIER. Are you incorporated; you say you are organized under the Ohio la ws?
Mr. HOLT. Yes.
Mr. WIER. Were you not organized under the corporate laws of the State of Ohio?
Mr. Holt. I could not tell you anything about the law,
Mr. Holt. From the standpoint of the legal set-up, I cannot tell you anything about it.
Mr. WIER. Well, you are president of the company?
Mr. Holt. It is not necessary that I know that. I am a worker at that mine just the same as the rest of those men.
Mr. WIER. For what did you incorporate?
Mr. Holt. In order to form this partnership and purchase the property.
Mr. WIER. It is a partnership, then ?
Mr. WIER. Do you carry on the stationery of the company anything about incorporation or a corporation!
Mr. HOLT. Just John M. Hirst & Co.
Mr. PERKINS. What did you say your contract provided that your special partners should pay into the partnership in order to be a member?
Mr. Holt. Whenever a person is taken into the partnership he pays $100 before he starts to work. Then from his earnings each 2 weeks he pays $6.25 out of his earnings until he gets $900 paid into that partnership. Then he is a full-fledged partner, and he does not pay any
Mr. PERKINS. Then, it is much cheaper to belong to the union than it is to that partnership.
Mr. Holt. I know you are done, then.
Mr. HOLT. Just day wages, and when they are acting officially on the policy committee they are paid for whatever hours they put in.
Mr. McCONNELL. Are you on the policy committee?
Mr. Holt. I am present at their meetings and have the authority to call the policy committee together, but I am not a member of the policy committee.
Mr. McCONNELL. What would be the earnings of the men on the policy committee, the five of them?
Mr. Hout. Their earnings would be the same
Mr. McCONNELL (interposing). Are they in the group making $1.95 an hour for 35 hours a week?
Mr. Holt. They would just be the same except when they had a meeting, then they would be paid, and if that meeting lasted 2 hours, they would be paid for 2 hours' wages, and if it lasted 3 hours, they would
be paid 3 hours' wages for that meeting. Mr. McCONNELL. Now, suppose you are ordered to make certain changes or your mine will close down, and say the only way you could make them would be to work a lot of extra time for nothing. If that should
occur, what would happen to your earnings during that period ? Mr. Holt. I would have to work my time for nothing just the same as every man at that mine would.
Mr. McCONNELL. In other words, you have more to lose when you have that mine fixed up than anybody else?
Mr. Holt. That is one way of looking at it. If it is up to me to donate a day's labor at that mine, I donate a day's labor just the same as they do, and the mine foremen do also, and it is so up and down the line.
Mr. McCONNELL. You would lose that day's pay?
Mr. PERKINS. Í believe you told the committee that your eranings are approximately $450 a month.
Mr. Holt. That is right.
Mr. Perkins. Now, let us assume that one of the special partners voluntarily quit work there. Perhaps he did so on account of unsafe conditions or because of some other factors, I understand from your testimony that he would not have any equity in that mine. In other words, he would not have any money coming to him if he voluntarily quit?
Mr. Holt. Not at the present moment. He would not have until the mine was liquidated at the end, and then, of course, he could come in for his share, but he still has the right to come back to work at that mine. Any time he takes the notion he can come back to work at that mine.
Mr. PERKINS. That is all.
Mr. BURKE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question? I am sorry I was not here before during the early part of the testimony.
Mr. KELLEY. Yes.
Mr. BURKE. What happens to the proceeds of the mine? Does the mine operate strictly on wages and other operational costs and sell its product on that basis?
Mr. Holt. Yes; that is right. If the earnings of the mine are high, the wage rates advance, understand. If the earnings are low, the wage scale comes down.
Mr. BURKE. It is all adjusted according to the earnings of the mine? Mr. Holt. By this committee, by the earnings of the partnership. Mr. BURKE. Really, it is not day wages, then; it is shares.
Mr. Holt. Well; I do not know; I would not know what to say about that.
Mr. BURKE. I mean it is share and share alike in the proceeds.
Mr. Hout. It is set up as a partnership to simplify bookkeeping and everything. It is set up this way because of that.
Mr. BURKE. Do you belong to the Mine Operators' Association in Ohio?
Mr. HOLT. Yes.
Mr. BURKE. Is that the one Elsworth Scott is president or vice president of ?
Mr. Holt. I am not familiar with the set-up at all. · Mr. BURKE. What is the membership, if you know, of the Mine Operators' Association ?
Mr. HOLT. I cannot tell you; I do not know. We have a broker in Cleveland who handles these people, who takes care of most of that for us.
Mr. BURKE. He takes care of the membership?
Mr. BURKE. Are you familiar with the position of the Mine Operators' Association on the various mine safety bills in the Ohio State Legislature?
Mr. Holt. No, I am not.
Mr. PERKINS. When you get back home, will you forward to the chairman of this committee a certified copy of the partnership formation agreement in order that it may be made a part of your testimony in this case?
Mr. HOLT. Yes; I will do that.
Mr. PERKINS. And will you include the wage scale, that is, how the 'different partners, the special partners, and the general partner are paid at this mine
Mr. Holt. Yes.
Mr. BAILEY. I would also like to have the gentleman supply the committee with a copy of the mine inspector's report of the Bureau of Mines of the State of Ohio, and let us see what that contains. I would like to have it in the record to compare it with the Federal report.
Mr. KELLEY. Without objection it is so ordered.
Mr. WERDEL. How is that pertinent, and for what are we going to use it?
Mr. KELLEY. The Ohio inspectors have also inspected this mine and they made a report as well as the Federal inspectors. Of course there will be differences between them, very likely, as the Ohio mine law is different from the Federal law. Do you object, Mr. Werdel ?
Mr. WERDEL. No; I do not necessarily object to that, if he wants to voluntarily send that in. We can send and get it from the Ohio office just as well as we can have him do it, but I fail to see what the pertinence of a copy of this partnership agreement is. We just force him to furnish to the committee a certified copy of something.
Mr. Bailey. I will withdraw the request and ask the Ohio inspector to furnish it.
Mr. KELLEY. It was testified here that your fan is not in continuous operation, and if it is closed down for periods of time when the mine is not working, no device was provided to give an alarm.
Mr. Hour. That is correct.
Mr. KELLEY. And that you do not make any preshift inspection of the mine.
Mr. Holt. That fan is stopped about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Then at about 9 o'clock, from 9 to 11, a man goes in that mine and the power is put on, and the fan is started again, and then a pumper is in there already, pumping water out. Then he comes out and the men go in.
Mr, KELLEY. There is no examination of the working face?
Mr. Hout. There is no examination of the working face made in that mine.
Mr. KELLEY. I have no further questions. Are there any further questions? If not, that ends your term of office here.
Mr. Holt. I am done?
Mr. HOLT. Thank you.
Mr. PERKINS. Send it to the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, House Office Building, Washington, D. C.
(The inspection reports referred to appear at p. 506; the partnership agreement and schedule of compensation appear at p. 531.)
SUPPLEMENTARY STATEMENT BY G. W. GROVE
In previous testimony given by_me on June 17, 1949, before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Education and Labor in connection with the hearing on H. R. 3023, a statement was made that hazardous conditions existing in two mines as disclosed by Federal inspections were referred to the Chief of the Ohio Division of Mines, and that no action was obtained toward correcting the hazardous conditions from the State agency. The mines in question were the Leesville mine of the Muskingum Coal Co., Leesville, Carroll County, Ohio, and the Sterling mine of the John M. Hirst Co., Salineville, Carroll County, Ohio.
In the first-named instance action toward correcting hazardous conditions was obtained from the local mine union and officials of District No. 6, United Mine Workers of America, who withdrew the men from the mine until conditions were corrected.
In the other instance, the Sterling mine, an inspection was made August 5-11, 1948, following which a letter was written to the chief of the Ohio Division of Mines. Again an inspection was made March 21-23, 1949, and another letter was written to him pointing out the existence of hazardous conditions and requesting action in their correction. These letters were in addition to copies of the reports which were sent to him. However, on the date of the presentation of testimony we had no information that anything had been done to correct the conditions. As a result, the subcommittee decided that it would be well to have the person in charge of the Sterling mine and the district inspector of the Ohio Division of Mines, together with the chief of the division, appear before the subcommittee to obtain from them information as to why hazardous conditions had not been corrected; however, before doing this, it was decided that another inspection would be made by Federal inspectors to obtain current information regarding existing hazards. This inspection was completed on June 24, 1949, and since but a few of the violations of the Federal code observed on previous inspections had been corrected, the chairman of the subcommittee was advised accordingly, and the Federal inspectors who made the inspection, Messrs. W. J. Symons and R. J. Kirk, together with Mr. M. J. Mechling, engineer in charge of the St. Clairs. ville, Ohio, office, of the Bureau of Mines, were requested to appear before the subcommittee, as were Mr. Walter W. Holt, general partner (president), John M. Hirst Co.; Mr. D. J. Coneybeer, deputy Ohio mine inspector; and Mr. Stephen Williams, chief of the Ohio Division of Mines.
This supplementary statement is being filed at the request of the chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Augustine B. Kelley, to provide additional information as to why the Federal inspectors consider the Sterling mine to be in a hazardous condition, and to reply to some of the statements made by Messrs. Holt, Coneybeer, and Williams. All three of the men admitted that hazardous conditions existed in the Sterling mine but stated they were not of such a nature that they were likely to result in a disaster.
Mr. Williams defined the hazards as being technical, and all three men stated that they were not unduly alarmed regarding the hazard from coal dust since the mine was a nongassy mine and the amount of coal dust (in their estimation) was relatively small; moreover, Mr. Williams stated that samples collected showed sufficient incombustible content to prevent propagation of a coal-dust explosion. To offset these statements the following is submitted :
1. Mr. Williams stated that dust samples collected and analyzed by the laboratory of the Ohio Division of Mines showed that there was sufficient incombustible material present in the coal dust to prevent propagation of an explosion. We question this statement because of 16 samples collected in this mine during a Federal inspection in 1942 (table 1), only one sample was above the 65 percent incombustible content which is necessary to prevent propagation. Subsequent samples have not been taken because, from thousands of tests made and experiments conducted by the Bureau, it has been well established that all bituminous coal dust, unless treated with inert material such as rock dust, will propagate an explosion. Moreover, the amount of coal dust necessary to propagate an explosion is extremely small, as only about 0.05 ounce per cubic foot of space is