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ernment so that we would have a chance to eliminate any opportunity of its getting any place.
Mr. KELLER. I will not call upon Paul R. Christopher.
STATEMENT OF PAUL R. CHRISTOPHER, VICE PRESIDENT, NORTH
CAROLINA STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR Mr. KELLER. Will you please state your name and your position?
Mír. CHRISTOPHER. My name is Paul R. Christopher. I am an organizer for the l'nited Textile Workers of America and am vice president of the North Carolina Federation of Labor.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I do not want to try to discuss such a bill and all of the good that the textile workers will receive from its enactment and enforcement, because that has all been brought out by others. But I do want to say that we are heartily in favor of it.
I ccme from North Carolina, the State wherein the second largest number of textile workers are employed. More textile workers are employed in the State of Massachusetts than in any other State of the country, as I understand it.
I would like to make some statements here, but I do not want to be offensive to any of the employers. But I defy successful contradiction of the remarks that I have to make.
First of all, when the Cotton Textile Code first came into effect on July 17, 1933, there must have been in the State of North Carolina not less than 95 percent of the mills that violated the code the first day or the first 2 weeks of the code. I refer mainly to section 13 of the code, concerning the stretch out. The less-experienced workers were laid off then and there because they could not learn the new job that was given to them, which was an increased load. They could not run the new job. Older people, those who were 50 years and more, were told that they could not make the grade any more, and they were laid off.
Then, as regards the minimum wage, our mills all over the State of North Carolina at that time were not charging the employees rent for the shacks in which they were living. But in numerous instances I might say that on the first pay day after the code became effective that 15 cents, 25 cents, 35 cents and 50 cents a room was charged.
I might say here that I do not want to be sarcastic, but it is a fact that most all of the houses that the textile workers live in in the State have running water in them when it rains.
Mr. KELLER. Only at that time, am I to understand?
A few days ago I was amused when the representative of the Southern States Industrial Council spoke in opposition to the bill and when he talked about the inexperienced Southern workers in the cotton textile industry. It is absurd to say any such thing as that, and it cannot be proven. It is true that we do not have in all of the mills the utmost efficiency at all times.
When our drive toward unionizing the textile workers began after the N. R. A. became effective, many of the workers were working and other members of their families were working. But the bosses began laying off all of the members in the family, in many instances, except one man, experienced workers though the other members of the family were. And they began importing farmers and teaching them to work.
You will remember the code contained a clause where learners could be brought in. And sometimes they paid them nothing, sometimes they paid them $6 a week, and sometimes $12 a week.
The manufacturers did not live up to the Cotton Textile Code even during the duration of the code, when there was supposed to be a real spirit of cooperation existing throughout the textile industry among the workers, the employers, and the public. There were somewhere near 4,000 complaints that were in the hands of the Cotton Textile National Industrial Relations Board that were never settled. That was one of the main things that led up to the general strike of 1934.
Another thing, Mr. Gilbert, representing the Southern States Industrial Council, among others—and one of the others is David Clark, editor and publisher of the Textile Bulletin, Charlotte, N. C.--sent out notices and printed discourses on the very harmful effects that the National Labor Relations Act was going to have on the workers. It pointed out how harmful this Ellenbogen bill would be to the workers. Notices were posted in mills all over the South. In places where our workers were organized as soon as one of the notices would go up they would tear it up. But now they have glass-enclosed bulletin boards which they lock up and you cannot get into it without breaking the glass. All sorts of insidious propaganda is gotten outradio addresses and all of that tommyrot.
A member of the Textile Labor Relations Board stated that there were only 21 cases that had not been adjusted. Now, I do not want to convey the thought that the textile workers in the industry are not appreciative of the efforts that the Textile Labor Relations Board has devoted to helping the textile workers, but I would like to say here that the number of complaints that have not been settled in my territory in North Carolina alone is nearer 121 than 21. There is quite a difference between adjusting a complaint and getting the workers back on their jobs and just saying “We have reached a settlement here."
After the N. R. A. was declared unconstitutional the manufacturers had a meeting at Charlotte, N. C., in the Charlotte Hotel. One of the employers told me a story of what happened there. The mills were represented by men who were going to get a lot of free advertising and publicity. They were going to continue complying with the code, they said. And even as late as now we see statements that come from the heads of the various State manufacturers' organizations to the effect that 97 percent of the mills are still abiding by the code in letter and in spirit.
A man who represents the Burlington chain of mills, which chain has mills in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, was at this meeting. His name was Spencer Love.
This employer told me that in this meeting when the subject was introduced to the effect that they were going to abide by the code that Spencer Love walked out of the meeting after telling them that they were going to do just as they pleased; that the code was no more, that he would treat his employees as he wanted to treat them; that he would spread them out when he wanted to do it, and would lengthen the hours whenever he got ready to do it. And he did it, too. Immediately thereafter they went on to a 3-shift basis of & hours each.
Mr. Wood. How many men does he employ?
Mr. Christopher. I don't know how many he employs; bu there are some 20 or more mills. There may be 12,000, or perhaj 15,000. I don't know what the number is.
Then they had to get some more farmers and bring them into t mill. The textile workers who had had experience in the mills a who had given their lives to the industry, who were never taken bu and who have not yet been taken back since the textile strike of 19 were too inefficient; so they went out and got inexperienced farm That did not happen in every case but it was the widespread prac
Another thing that hampers our organization efforts to get workers into the union is the fear that they will not be able to re their jobs if they join the union. Certainly they cannot take active part or it means immediate and certain discharge.
We have a W. P. A. with the security wage. Just as soon as $4,800,000,000 appropriation was passed with the security clai it, the mills at St. Paul, N. C., cut wages down to 15 cents an and let the workers work 50 to 60 hours a week and told them i did not like it they could do as they pleased, that they couldn't any more on W. P. A.
Some of those workers struck. Unless somebody was a reg relief client on November 1, he cannot get W. P. A. jobs on the pi
A lot of the textile workers had the intestinal fortitude to j union when they could not get direct relief, despite all of ti that they were not going to get on the W. P. A. job. They kn could not get on the W. P. A. job, and if they joined the un were not registered relief clients on November 1, it is just g
Mills have started three shifts all over. Almost every weaving plant in North Carolina is on a three-shift basis. them are stopped; they cannot run; they have no orders.
Not long ago Mr. Love's mill, the Burlington chain, did any more orders and they could not afford to run three s! more, so they stretched the men out from 8 looms to 14 wages proportionately.
I do not like to say this, because this is the mill where start. But in the Cleveland Cloth Mill in Shelby, owned by friend Max Gardner, former Governor of the State of North some of the workers in that mill worked 80 hours a week, 1 day for 5 days during the week. Numbers and numbers of working 12 hours a day, two men performing the job. The pany says that it is voluntary. But workers have been disc not doing it.
Mr. Wood. That is since the N. R. A. was declared v tional?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. That was since N. R. A.
Mr. Wood. What was he working before the N. R. A. W unconstitutional?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Eight hours; two shifts of 8 hou hours maximum. But that is not an outstanding exan is just ordinary, we might say. We must have some reg have to have it. The Federal Government is the only ag United States that can give it to us. The mills themsel
going to get together. They never have and they never will. Conditions are getting worse and worse now and are becoming intensified as the weeks go by. They are far worse now than they were a few
Mr. Wood. Is this the Mr. Gardner who is the moving spirit among the textile manufacturers in the South?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I understand that Mr. Gardner is employed by the Rayon Institute and makes a salary of a hundred thousand dollars a year. His office is here in Washington. Naturally his plant there in Shelby-and he owns stock in a number of other mills-has been sort of a model mill. I will say this, that at one time the Cleveland Cloth Mill paid the best wages of any mill in the South.
Mr. KELLER. I do not want to embarrass you nor to interrupt you; you are talking exceedingly well. However, I do want to ask you this question. What is going to happen if we pass a law and the Supreme Court says to us "Nothing doing”? In other words, if the Supreme Court declares it null and void, then what?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I wish I knew.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. If you will permit me to do it I would like to go over a number of the mills I have selected, starting at the western end of the State and going to the eastern end of the State.
Mr. KELLER. Have they been named before?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I think perhaps they have been named as among the worst offenders. But I would like to get in the list, if I may.
Mr. KELLER. I am not going to try to limit you, Mr. Christopher, but I would like to call your attention to this fact: We are holding hearings long hours and are doing it gladly, as you may rest assured. But I want you chaps to make it snappy.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I would like to have it put in the record.
Mr. KELLER. Unless there is some special reason for it being read I think it is a good idea. Is there any reason why you cannot file it?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. It is not in shape to do that now. I can submit it later.
Mr. KELLER. Then, will you do that?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes, that was Mr. Love. I don't know whether he owns it or not, but he is the head of it.
Mr. Wood. What is the condition in those mills since the N. R. A. was voided? Have they stretched the hours and reduced the wages and speeded up?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Well, to this extent; they have what is known as the 8-hour shift, of course, but they are running 24 hours a day.. Quite a number of the workers are asked to work 12 hours a day. And another one comes on the night shift, and in that way they build up 24 hours a day. But they eliminate a worker. I do not mean eliminate, but they just have not added on so many.
Mr. Wood. Has there been any change in these 20 mills since N. R. A. was voided, that is, in the wage standard?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes, there has been.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes, sir, there have been. The weavers on one fabric, as I said a little while ago, have been stretched from 8 looms to the weaver at a rate, I believe, of 80 cents a hundred thousand picks, to 14 looms now, and they are getting paid about 44 cents per hundred thousand picks.
Mr. Wood. Do you know any mill in your district now maintaining the N. R. A. standard, that is, that have not gotten away from the N. R. A. standard?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. That is, doing it completely?
Mr. Wood. Yes; any who have completely complied with the 40-hour week, the wage standards, and in connection with the stretchout system?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. No, sir; I do not; not a single mill.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. They stretched out the workers or sniped on them.
Mr. Wood. Or speeded up?
Mr. RAMSPECK. You made the statement that all of the mills villages in the South had houses that had running water when it rained. Can you name any mills in Georgia that are in that condition?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I think I said in North Carolina. Mr. RAMSPECK. You used the expression "the South.” That is why I wanted you to particularize in your statement with respect to the State of Georgia.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I am quite sure there are a number of houses in Georgia.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Are you personally familiar with any of the mills in Georgia? Have you been to any of them personally?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes, sir; I have been down there.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I have been through there from Greenville down to Gainesville and Atlanta and on down to Newnan and West Point.
Mr. RAMSPECK. What mills in Atlanta have you been in?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I have never been out to the mill village hill in Atlanta. Vy work is all confined to the State of North Carolina. I was not down there in an official capacity.
Vír. RAMSPECK. Your statement about the condition of houses did not apply to the State of Georgia?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. No, sir. I limited it to North Carolina. But I am willing to make this statement; that I am quite sure there are mills in Georgia where the workers have to carry cups to catch the water when it rains.
Vír. RAMSPECK. I want to make this suggestion to you and to all of the rest of you who are interested in getting action on this matter: Do not make those charges unless you can back them up. The members of this committee know that I am not here to defend, and have not for the past 6 years defended any wrong conditions in industry in my State. And I never will do it as long as I stay here. But I like to have the facts. I do not think any general indictment helps your case unless you can state the facts of your own knowledge.