« ÎnapoiContinuați »
Labor Relations Board. And the policy committee was to contact the different manufacturers who were not cooperating with the Board and who were discriminating against the employees. It was their duty to try to contact them and get them into line. And the members of the policy committee in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, were doing the same thing that their fellow manufacturers were doing and that they were trying to get them to quit doing. Yet they were doing the same thing.
Then follow the Edna Mill, of Reidsville, N. C. They made a wage cut recently, and they are making $6 or $7 a week.
Then come the Chadwick-Hoskins Mills, of Charlotte, the Worth Spinning Mill, Stony Point; the Stonecutter Mills, at Spindale; the South Side Mills, at Winston-Salem; the Henrietta Mill No. 2; the Cliffside Mill, which is a Haynes mill. It belongs to the people who make the Haynes underwear and who have a plant in Winston-Salem. Then there is the Gambriel-Melville Mill, at Bessemer City, working 55 hours a week and paying weavers as low as $5 a week.
In South Carolina there are the Springs Mills, at Lancaster, S. C., and at Chester; the Fort Mill, at Fort Mill and Chester, all operating 50 hours or more a week, with wage reductions. Then there is the Aragan Baldwin Mills, at Rock Hill and Greenville; the Saxon Mill at Spartanburg; the Clinton Cotton Mills, Clinton, S. C.
And here is a case I want to mention, gentlemen. Mr. W. J. Bailey, president of the Clinton Cotton Mills, held four people out of employment following the general strike. A hearing was held by the Textile Labor Relations Board in December 1934, and Mr. Bailey testified that there was no trouble of any nature during the strike, not even a pebble thrown. He also testified on cross-examination that these people were held out of employment because of union activities. But he never returned any of them to work. The Textile Labor Relations Board's decision was that they should be returned to work. But Mr. Bailey never returned any men to work but discharged still others who were active in the local union.
A hearing was held recently by the National Labor Relations Board, and a decision was rendered which, in effect, was that he should put 96 people back to work and pay them for the time that they had lost.
I might say that these 96 families lost the time from August to the date of the hearing, but they are still out because these people refused to sign a company union, because Mr. Bailey entered into a closedshop agreement with a company union, and these people who refused to sign up with the company union he refused to take back. He refused to take back those who refused to sign up with the company union and who refused to become members of that company union. They were held out of employment. And 96 of them who continued to refuse to sign and become members of the company union are still out, or were still out when the hearing was held. 'Mr. Bailey has never returned any of the 96 to work but, instead, has evicted from the mill houses 35 families, and 16 families are living down there in tents in this kind of weather.
The Pacific Mills, Lyman, S. C., presents a similar case. I will not go into the details, but Mr. Corby, president and treasurer of the Pacific Mills gave to the Textile Labor Relations Board a statement of policy as to how the people would be returned to work following the general strike and following several conferences. The people at Lyman have not been returned to work. And everything is being done by them, even to working people 16 hours a day in order that they will not have to return the others to work. That is how they are working other employees.
The Dunean Mill has reduced wages of weavers $4.50 a week. I am not saying anything about how much a man should receive in the way of salary. But Mr. Henry, president of the Dunean Mills, received last year a salary of $24,999.96. And it was during the latter part of the year, the last quarter of the year, that the wages of the weavers were reduced $4.50 per week.
The American Spinning Co., of Greenville, and the Victor Monoghan Mills, of Greenville, Greer, and Walhalla, have reduced wages and increased machine load.
The R. S. Norris Manufacturing Co., of Cateechie, S. C.; the Winnsboro Cotton Co., of Winnsboro, S. C.; the Marlboro Cotton Mills, of Bennettsville, and McColl, s. C., have reduced this year the wages of the employees in those plants 25 percent. Mr. McColl, president of the Marlboro Mills, received as salary and bonus last year $96,485, according to the newspapers.
Mr. KELLER. What did he pay as wages? What wages did he pay?
Mr. PEEL. Just barely above $12. And now he has reduced them by 25 percent.
The United Merchants & Manufacturing, Inc., in what is known as the Horse Creek Valley section of North Carolina, at Clearwater, Bath, and Langley, have plants located. I think it was mentioned here this morning about how_they moved down from the North and brought along machinery. Perhaps there was a difference in machinery. We will get to that after a little while.
There is a great hue and cry raised about improved machinery that the mills do not have. They are hiding an intolerable stretch-out system behind an invisible cloak of modern machinery. Some few manufacturers do have modern machinery; yes. Possibly they have installed improved machinery. But in most of the cases where you hear the employer talk of modern machinery he has no modern machinery; he has the machinery that has been in the plant 30 years. And all he is doing in order to compete with the manufacturer who has installed the modern machinery is giving the workers a double load.
The Republic Cotton Mills, Great Falls, S. C., is another one I might mention.
Now, in Georgia—and I am taking into consideration the fact that the Honorable Mr. Ramspeck is present. I am merely going to say that conditions in Georgia are just a little bit worse than they are in North Carolina and in South Carolina.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Don't withhold any of the effects on my account. Go right ahead.
Mr. PEEL. I only mentioned, as I said it. Not all are violating the code standards in Georgia, just as I said about North Carolina and South Carolina, but just some of them, some of the worst ones are doing so.
The Atlanta Woolen Mills, of Atlanta, and the Gate City Cotton Mills, I will mention. As to those two, we have had trouble with the Atlanta Woolen Mills since the general strike in September 1934. As to the Gate City Cotton Mills, perhaps you read in the newspapers the employees petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election there as the management of the Gate City Cotton Mills said they were in doubt as to whether the local union had a majority and they did not know just who to talk to because they did not know just who represented the workers. So they petitioned for an election.
And they have carried it as far as they can, except to the Supreme Court, I think. They have had it in court for some time and will try to prevent the election. As I understand it, if the National Board has not been enjoined they are restrained temporarily until such time as they can perfect their complaint or allegations.
The Southern Brighton Mill, at Shannon, Ga., is violating the code standards. And if you ask me why we do not go in and organize the workers there, I will say that the sentiment for organization is very strong, but it is almost worth a person's life to go into Shannon and talk organization when they have so many paid deputy sheriffs ready to commit murder in order to prevent organization.
And that is true throughout the South. Deputy sheriffs are paid by the mill companies. They are deputized and paid by the mill companies.
The Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill, Atlanta; the Harmony Groll Mill Corporation, Commerce; and the Hightower Cotton Mill, at Thomaston, Ga., and the Callaway Mills, which I have already mentioned, the Beaver-Lois Mill, at Douglasville, the Aragon Mills at Aragon, the Crystal Springs Bleachery, which is located up near the Tennessee line, the Mandelville Mills, at Carrollton, and the mill at Macon, I will mention in this connection.
Mr. Chairman, I have no intention of being insulting or of becoming sarcastic. I merely want to get at the truth of this matter.
Mr. W. D. Anderson is president of the Bibb Manufacturing Co., and when he comes to Washington to appear before a committee or in regard to legislation, he brings his prayerbook with him, which is quite all right with me. But in 1930 or 1931 Mr. Anderson-I will not say that he caused it to be done, but for some reason 1,500 employees of the Bibb Manufacturing Co. got together at a Labor Day rally. Well, it was not a Labor Day rally; it was a Sabbath day. Mr. Anderson addressed the 1,500 employees and he presented food budget for a family of four textile workers which amounted to $1.38 at that time. It included 24 pounds of flour, 8 pounds of lard, 8 pounds of potatoes, and a peck of meal. As an afterthought he added that if they wanted to they could add such luxuries as coffee and meat. And the total budget was $1.68.
Mr. KELLER. Did he add a little tea?
Mr. KELLER. I just want to stop you long enough to make a comment there. In carrying on my research work, as I have the past several years along this line, I happen to recall that toward the end of the eighteenth century when English workmen were trying to organize, and when some of them managed somehow to sip a little tea, they were denounced in the press and on the platforms of Great Britain, saying that they were aspiring to things beyond what a laboring man ought to ask for, and that the granting of any such luxuries would destroy the hardihood and discipline among British workers. And I cannot help thinking of it in this connection here. But I don't like to.
Mr. PEEL. May I proceed, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. KELLER. Yes; go right ahead. I did not want to inject that, but there are some matters that do come up.
Mr. Peel. Now, as to the 8 pounds of potatoes, anybody can see just what that means. A family of four means 4 times 3, which is 12. That is 12 meals to be eaten each day. Seven times 12 is 84.
I weighed a pound of potatoes; and I did not get the big potatoes nor the small potatoes, but I tried to get average-sized potatoes. I found that four potatoes weighed a pound. Four times 8 is 32. There are 84 meals to be eaten and there are 32 potatoes.
As I said, I am not a mathematician, but if you can figure out just how much of a potato each member of the family had you are a better mathematician than I am.
In submitting this food budget of $1.38 a week for a family of four, it shows it is less than some of the good women of our land pay for a bottle of bath salts with which to wash Fifi, the poodle dog.
In Alabama there is the Saratoga Victor Mills, at Guntersville and Albertsville. There were evictions, and the people were thrown out of their houses because they dared to become members of a labor union.
Mr. Comer is president of the Avondale Mills, of Birmingham, Stevenson, Sycamore, Sylacauga, and perhaps there are others. I happen to know of those that I have mentioned. Mr. Comer was a member of the Alabama Manufacturers' Policy Committee. And Mr. Comer was doing yeoman service in trying to get his fellow manufacturers to cooperate with the Textile Board. And Mr. Comer has been doing the same thing that the other fellow was doing that he was trying to bring into line, that is, insofar as our members were concerned.
There is the Dwight Manufacturing Co. at Alabama City, and there is the Pepperell Mills at Opelika. I will also mention the Alabama Mills Co., Dadeville, Fayette, Haleyville, and Russellville. All of those I have named are violating the code standards. And many others are doing so. Just because I have read those does not mean that they are all doing it; but those were some of those I selected.
With respect to Tennessee, the Bemis Bag Co. discriminated against our members. We have appealed to the National Labor Relations Board and a hearing was to be held. Yesterday a week ago it was to begin. At that time the attorneys for the Bemis Bag Co. went into the courts and sought an injunction. They wanted to enjoin the National Labor Relations Board from continuing to or holding the hearing
Federal Judge John T. Marshall denied the injunction, and the hearing started last Friday. I am informed that today they are to go into court again on some other charge. They have raked up something else they say is unconstitutional in the Wagner law or National Labor Relations Act, and the hearing will be halted while that is threshed out in the courts.
I just want to read what the attorneys for the Bemis Bros. Bag Co. said as one of the reasons why they did not want the hearing to proceed or did not want a hearing.
In asking a temporary stay order preventing the hearing pending further proceedings in behalf of a permanent injunction, the Bemis Co. averred the hearing would force its representatives to disclose
confidential information and might cause irreparable damage. They did not want the hearing to proceed because the witnesses for the Bemis Bros. might have to tell the truth, I suppose.
The Kingsport Mill, Kingsport, Tenn., is a silk mill. That is one of the mills that moved down South from up North, I think. Mr. J. Shapiro is the agent or is the president. At any rate, he is the official who seems to be holding up the proceedings just at the present time.
The employees of the Kingsport Silk Mill decided that they wanted to organize about 3 months ago and they asked that an organizer come in and assist them. Notices were posted that if they proceeded with the union that the mill would close down. They did not believe it and they proceeded to organize. And the mill did close, and it is closed yet because they wanted to join a labor organization. The Kingsport Silk Mill is still closed.
Cleveland Woolen Mills, Cleveland, Tenn., and the AmericanBimberg Corporation, Elizabethton, Tenn., I will now mention. In the South we are patriotic, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, and we are so patriotic in the South that a few years ago we were advertised by our chambers of commerce as being a 100-percent Anglo-Saxon people-cheap, ignorant people, willing to work long hours and for low wages. We southerners were not only advertised as such in America but we were advertised to the civilized world—“Bring your mills down here where you have the benefit of cheap, white, ignorant labor."
And this German corporation, the American-Bemberg Corporation, built a plant in Elizabethton. And some of our so-called statesmen were so patriotic that it was all right to use troops to force girls to work in the mills for low wages when the wages were so low that they had to buy silk hose on this basis. I know they had no business to buy them, but they bought them at 25 cents down and 15 cents a week.
Yet we talk of patriotism in this country. We invite the civilized world to come into the South and bring their plants. And they are going to force us southern people to work in those plants for whatever wage the employer wants to give us and under the banner that they are going to force us to work under.
How many times do the people say, "The people of the South have not as much intestinal fortitude and brains as they have in other sections of the country?".
We have the brains, we have the intestinal fortitude. But what we need is a break. That is what we need.
When we have people out of employment, and who have been out of employment since September 1934, walking the highways trying to get jobs but unable to get them because they are blacklisted, Mr. Chairman, it is not lack of intestinal fortitude; it is just that we need a break. We need a law to help us. It shows that they have intestinal fortitude when they continue to remain true and loyal to their principles under such conditions.
The Dyersburg Cotton Products, Dyersburg, Tenn., the StandardCoosa-Thatcher Mill, Chattanooga, Tenn., who also have a mill at Piedmont, Ala., and the Brookside Mill, and the Cherokee Spinning Co., of Knoxville, I will now refer to. I have already said that they obtained a loan of $400,000 from the R. F. C. And this is not