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Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I can give you all you want in North Carolina.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I will say quite frankly that I do not know of any such condition in my district, although there are plenty of conditions that I would like to see improved. But I do not know of any that bad.
There is one other question that I would like to ask the witness. Mr. KELLER. Go right ahead.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Are you familiar with the Cramerton Mill village in North Carolina?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes; I have been there.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Those houses are fairly nice. They are bungalows. But the other day Mr. Cramer stretched out his spinners and cut their wages.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. I would like to have you tell us just what tactics the employers use to prevent the workers from joining a union and maintaining their membership in the union of the American Federation of Labor?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Well, that is a long story.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Let me condense the question as much as I can by asking you if they employ secret-service systems or spy systems by which to ferret out those who belong to the union?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. That has been very hard for us to prove. We know of one man who was in the State of North Carolina who went from mill to mill and worked like that; but I don't know where he is
We discovered him in the Stonecutter Mill in Spindale, N.C. Mr. SCHNEIDER. Do you think they use a system in learning what the union is doing and who belongs to it with the idea of intimidating the workers?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Oh, yes. They have their pets. I think sometimes they do not necessarily hire the workers to do it but there are some who are so scared of their jobs and are so desirous of staying in the good graces of the bosses that they will go to the union meeting and then come back and tell it of their own volition.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Sometimes workers are furnished the employer by. certain agencies whose responsibility is, when he goes on the job, to report to the agency all of the activities of the workers in the plant.. The agency then reports to the employer?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. Yes; that is true. With respect to the case I mentioned, we learned in the Stonecutter Mill in Spindale, N. C., this fellow worked from some agency in Atlanta, Ga., and he sent his reports down to the Atlanta office, and the Atlanta office, in turn, sent them back to the mill.
Mr. RamSPECK. What agency in Atlanta was that?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I do not know the name, sir. It went to a postoffice box, but the fellow later confessed how it was done.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. That meeting of the manufacturers to which you referred right after the N. R. A. was declared unconstitutional was one of many meetings of manufacturers all over the country to resolve to carry on conditions as applying under the code. You will remember that Congress was in session at that time and the Wagner-Connery labor disputes bill was before Congress, and the employers through their associations felt that by the continuation of the conditions applying under the codes they would be able to defeat the enactment of the Wagner-Connery Act. As I understand it, that was one of the purposes. And it was quite the general practice of the manufacturers to make that pledge among themselves to carry on the conditions as they applied under the code. Was that the case down there to which you referred?
Mr. CHRISTOPHER. I think that has some bearing on why they did it; yes, sir. I would like to qualify the statement. I believe there were quite a number of manufacturers, and in fact I might say the majority of them, who were very desirous of maintaining code standards. But they have not been able to do it because of the chiseling of those who did not want to do it.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Well, that is true in all industries.
STATEMENT OF T. F. MOORE, PRESIDENT, LOCAL NO. 1221,
UNITED TEXTILE WORKERS OF AMERICA, MOORESVILLE, N. C.
Mr. KELLER. Will you please state your name and residence?
Mr. Moore. My name is T. F. Moore. I am president of Local No. 1221, United Textile Workers of America, Mooresville, N. C.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee, I have a statement which is, you might say, just in the form of stating conditions in one particular plant, the Mooresville Cotton Mill.
I went to work for the Mooresville Cotton Mill when I was less than 12 years of age. I lost three fingers of my right hand.
Mr. KELLER. How did you come to do that?
Mr. Moore. Yes, it was; but it was an old type of machine and the door could very easily come out of it. I was a small kid, less than 12
Mr. KELLER. Go right ahead, Mr. Moore.
Mr. MOORE. Since that time I worked approximately 26 years for this one firm. My work apparently seemed to be very satisfactory until I was elected the president of the local union on March 3, 1934. Four years previous to that time this hand began giving me trouble, and the second hand at that time was very sympathetic with me. At that time I was not in the labor movement, and he put me on a job that I could handle very easily because my hand was giving me trouble. After I got in the labor movement and began taking an active part, they put me back on the job that I had been taken off of, and I could not make the grade, so they fired me last March 18 and evicted me from my home in April and set my furniture out in the street. And I have not been able to get work since that time.
Then they commenced dropping off members of our local right along until the 17th of September they discharged our financial secretary. We resented that, and a strike was called. The strike became effective September 23.
The morning of the strike the gates were guarded by a number of deputy sheriffs. We had no violence at all that day, but the next day when we came out there were 49 State patrolmen at the plant. In the State of North Carolina they are supposed to use the highway patrolmen to keep the traffic open; but these particular patrolmen went all over the village and made arrests. Sometime early in October although I cannot give you the exact date, they received a loan of $800,000 from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Immediately after this loan was made the mill officials began to evict people in a wholesale manner. Some 250 families were either evicted or forced to move to keep from having their goods set out on the street.
In our case the majority of the private homes were leased by this mill company. Therefore some of our families had to stay out for 4 or 5 days at a time before they could find shelter for their household goods.
We have approximately 600 or 800 people out at the present time. And I think our case is pending before the Wagner Dispute Bill Board. But since we have gone out on strike we have many, many workers who went back into the mill to work who are working two and three 8-hour shifts. Many people are applying for jobs but they seem to prefer making this double time.
Mr. Chairman, I believe that is all I have to say.
Mr. MOORE. Yes; I did, in the Mooresville Cotton Mill, August 1, 1899.
Mr. Wood. Did you receive any compensation for them?
Mr. MOORE. They paid my doctor's bill, $25.25. They did not pay for what time I was off, which was some 4 months.
Mr. Wood. I wish Mr. Hartley were here.
The Mooresville Co. is a very phenomenal institution, then, is it not, Mr. Moore?
Mr. MOORE. Yes; it is.
Mr. Wood. He was $25 ahead. But they just gave you that $25 out of the fullness of their hearts?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir.
Mr. MOORE. I might say that we did not have any compensation law at that time. At the present time they do have some compensation law in the State of North Carolina, so that if you are injured in any way you get compensation from the State.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Yes; you get that because the law compels them to give it.
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Is this the company that got the loan of $800,000 from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. How long after that was it when you were discharged?
Mr. MOORE. I was discharged before that. I was discharged last March 18. I think they received this loan sometime about October 1935. I don't know the exact date.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Had they been evicting these employees from the company houses prior to getting this loan from the Government?
Mr. Moore. I don't think so, except myself. I was evicted about April 1934.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. This wholesale eviction then came after that, after they got the $800,000 subsidy from the Government?
Mr. MOORE. I think so. I do not know exactly the date they got their loan, but their evictions began sometime in the latter part of October
Mr. KELLER. Let me ask you this question, Mr. Wood. Why not have this committee ask this company to come up here and tell us about it?
Mr. Wood. That is a fine thing to do.
Mr. KELLER. If you instruct your chairman to communicate with them, he will do it.
Mr. Wood. I make the motion, Mr. Chairman, that the chairman of the committee request the managers of this Mooresville Cotton Mills to appear before this committee.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I second the motion.
Mr. KELLER. It is moved and seconded that the chairman of this subcommittee ask the Mooresville Cotton Mills to appear before this subcommittee.
What is the name of the president of the company?
Mr. MOORE. John F. Matherson is the president of the Mooresville Cotton Mill.
Mr. KELLER. Is that town named after your family?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. My great uncle was the first settler in the town.
Mr. KELLER. Then, Mr. Wood, that will be done.
Mr. Wood. I think the wage policy of this company was brought out yesterday or day before yesterday by another witness.
I would like to ask how long after joining the union was it until you were discharged?
Mr. Moore. I was elected president of the union on March 3, 1934. The first discrimination occurred later. Putting me back on the old
. job was about the first of August, and I was discharged March 18, 1935.
Mr. Wood. Your work was inefficient after you joined the union? Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir.
Mr. Wood. Hadn't they discovered any inefficiency prior to that time?
Mr. MOORE. Not prior to that time.
Mr. MOORE. I estimate that I worked approximately 26 years. I first went to work for them in 1899, but I was gone at different times for 3 or 4 years at a period.
Mr. Wood. But you always got work when you came back?
Mr. KELLER. Is there plenty of work you can do with this injured hand?
Mr. Moore. Yes, sir. The job they had me on I could handle very efficiently-a smash job.
Mr. Wood. How long has it been since you lost your fingers?
Mr. Wood. I thought you stated you was about 12 years old. And you have been working for that firm ever since?
Mr. MOORE. Practically so, except 4 or 5 years at a time. I farmed a little and I worked at other mills.
Mr. KELLER. I will now call Mr. Christenbury.
STATEMENT OF ED CHRISTENBURY
Mr. CHRISTENBURY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, Mr. Moore just spoke of this matter in the Mooresville Cotton Mill. That is where I have been working myself. I have worked for this company off and on for around 22 years.
I want to say that when the N. R. A. was in effect this mill was doing a very good piece of business; wages were paid which were fairly good. The code was $12 per week of 8 hours. But when they came to the code and $12, then those who got $18 or $16 were brought down. And I will say that about 30 percent were brought down equal to the $12.
At one time I was an unskilled worker and they paid me $12 a week for about 2 or 3 months. Then they put me on a skilled job as a feeder hand. I have been working off and on for about 7 years on that. When they put me on as a skilled worker they kept me under the skilled code, and I worked the same job as the unskilled, at $12. The pay as a skilled would have been around approximately $13 or $14 on that job.
Since the code was declared unconstitutional, or, as they say, "When the bird died”, that is, the Blue Eagle, they began the stretchup system again and the wage cutting. I have not been in the mill since the strike. We have been told by those who work in the mill that they have stretched out on them considerably and have cut the wages around 16 to 18 percent.
With reference to this strike, it came about in the way that the preceding brother said, because of union activities, we believe. They began to fire the officers of this local union no. 1221. We saw then that they were heading toward abolishing our organization, so we as a committee got together and appointed a committee of the local to go out to the management of the mill and try to get the matter corrected and stopped. We wanted to be peaceable and we wanted to work.
But it seems that the managers of the mill would not talk or would not take any active part in settling it.
For a few days after the strike they did call for the committee to come to the office. And the committee went to the office, but they did not say anything to them about the strike. Then they sent à conciliator from Charlotte, and the committee with the conciliator went up there and tried to settle it before the strike. But they would not do anything in any way, and we told them as a committee it seemed they did not want to sit down and arbitrate and settle the question without a strike. We told them that we would strike. The president of the mill said, "Well, just go ahead and strike and see what we care."
We did so. And, if I am not mistaken, when the strike was called it was right around 1,200 of the employees who went out on strike.
The third or fourth day of the strike they began to work against the strikers in the way that they demanded deputy sheriffs, the State bighway patrolmen, and so on, to protect the office and the mill and