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year against the same months in 1942 we find there was an increase of 205 percent in compensable accidents.
A part of this trend is due to the wartimes, but a greater part is because of a let down in maintaining discipline. This let down is induced by the agitation and uneasiness occasioned by the union activities.
We have on record a report that gives proof to this contention. One instance should be enough to put in to the record. This was the case where the president of the mine officials' union was asked to have the bosses ease up on the men at one of our mines. The matter received attention at the next union meting.
Many of our supervising officials express themselves as being unable to see how they can belong to this union and still do justice to the position as a mine official. I could take your time up reading signed statements that came to me unsolicited, but I will place them in the record to save time. They represent all the official positions that we are discussing here and any one or all of them would willingly come down here to testify.
(The statements referred to follow :)
SUPERVISORY FORCE MEETING, APRIL 1, 1943
Present: Horne, O'Neill, Thomas, Lee, Buchanan, Uchrinscko, Schallenberger, Durschlag, Gnoth, Deter, Comini, Hough, DalCanton, Novak, Bibby, Pigford, Smuzinik, Fuller, Migrock, Krivda, Golden, O'Brien, Narbut, Fustich, Mariana, Ronk, Stafford, Specht, and Leake.
This meeting was held at the request of several of the supervisory force, who had been contacted by members of local 2025 of the United Mine Workers of America with respect to supervisors being taken into the United Mine Workers of America, for the purpose of trying to determine what procedure should be taken in this problem. It was decided that the majority would rule in whatever decisions were arrived at.
Mr. Horne displayed one of the cards which had been distributed and called attention to the statement on it: "All members shall abide by the rules and laws of the United Mine Workers of America.” This meaning that everyone would be subject to the same rules and laws of the United Mine Workers of America. It was also pointed out that the card was for district No. 5 of the United Mine Workers of America and not district 50.
Several of the foremen had questioned the members of local 2025 for more information but it was apparent that they could not furnish any information whatsoever.
A committee was elected to act for the entire supervisory force of this mine. They are as follows: Martin Forsythe, John Narbut, George Bibby, Ralph O'Brien, and E. W. Leake. It was decided that no one would make any statements but if contacted they are to refer all matters to the elected committee. It was further agreed that no one would sign any cards or other agreements and that none of the supervisory force would attend the meeting in the union hall on Sunday, April 4, 1943. The following are comments made by various members of the supervisory force:
FUSTICH. What will be our status if the operators give in at the meeting in New York.
O'NEILL. If I am forced into the union and have to pay dues, I will expect full priviliges in the union which I know I will not get.
NARBUT. How can I belong to the union and maintain discipline. It is hard enough now. What would it be if I belonged to the union?
FORSYTHE. The only way I would go into the union would be with the same privileges.
SCHALLENBERGER. I won't be doing the job that I am doing now. I'd try to become head of the union.
DURSCHLAG. The way I see it is that it's just a method of collecting a lot more dues for which the officials would not get any benefit.
NOVAK. I couldn't do the job right if I belonged to the union.
FORSYTHE. The union don't want us; they are afraid of us.
HORNE. If we have to join a union our positions are not going to be as secure. The life of the coal business depends upon an efficient operation and if a reasonable cost cannot be maintained after the war is over there will be no jobs.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 a. m. All matters are to be handled by the committee that was elected for this purpose. All decisions will be made by a majority vote when they are brought up in the next meeting.
APRIL 1, 1943. I do not see how a supervisor can do justice to his company and workers if he belongs to the same organization as his employees, or any other organization which may be affiliated with same. In all fairness, I believe it would be impossible to do so as it would be an injustice to the organization, the company, and myself.
I predict same as a former United Mine Worker and know the functioning of the bylaws and meetings. As a representative of the company, and the State, it would be impossible to serve all three fairly. There must be a division line between management and labor.
APRIL 1, 1943. I am in favor of labor unions and management cooperation, but as a certified inside mine official under the existing mining laws of the State of Pennsylvania, I do not see how I can be affiliated with the United Mine Workers of America.
MARTIN FORSYTHE, General Inside Assistant.
APRIL 1, 1943. At one time I was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. As far as the organization is concerned, it has functioned satisfactorily within the limits as set forth in the contracts with managements.
At the present time I am in the supervisory force and from my past experience know that I could not successfully discharge my duties as a supervisor if I belonged to the same organization as the men under my supervision. It would be impossible for me to have discipline under these circumstances.
If I am forced into any labor organization, I would rather go back into the rank-and-file and give up my position as master mechanic, because I know far as the organization is concerned, it has functioned satisfactorily within the I am responsible to the State for the discharge of my duties.
JOHN NARBUT, Master Mechanic, Banning No. 1.
APRIL 1, 1943. The United Mine Workers as a bargaining agent representing labor is an excellent organization, but I do not understand how I, as an official and as part of management, can belong to any labor organization and still perform my duties as a mine foreman.
In order to have discipline and safety and to abide by the mining laws and rules, in my opinion, there must be a separation between the officials and the employees working under their supervision.
If it should come to pass that the officials belonged to a labor organization, there would be too many opportunities for corrupt practices such as discrimination between workers and jobs, payment of time for work not performed, and eventually the mine foreman could control the union and thus destroy the purpose of labor organizations.
In conclusion I wish to state that I am responsible to the State for the enforcement of the State mining laws and to the company for the company rules under the present system. It is very difficult for me to discharge these duties now. If my position as mine foreman is to become more complicated by forcing me to 80329-43
belong to a labor union, then I feel that my position as mine foreman is hopeless and I shall seek employment in some other industry.
LEWIS HORNE, Mine Foreman, Banning No. 1.
APRIL 1, 1943. As an American citizens, I do not believe that anyone should be forced into any labor organization or any other organization against his will.
I shall do everything within my power to resist any pressure from any source which may be used to force me into any organization against my will.
It would be impossible to maintain discipline and efficiency in the event that supervisors came under the same authority as those persons directly under their supervision.
I feel that the United Mine Workers have done an excellent job for the workers, but when they attempt to include management under their jurisdiction they have got out of bounds.
If being affiliated with a labor organization is to be a condition of employment, I shall seek employment elsewhere. This is still a free country and I expect the protection of my Government in this present controversy.
E. W. LEAKE, Chief Clerk, Banning No. 1.
APRIL 1, 1943. The United Mine Workers and management have both proven over a period of years that labor and management can work together for the benefit of both parties, but I do not think that I as a supervisor and being held responsible for the safety of the men under my supervision would be able to do a good job of supervision and still protect the life of the employees under my supervision. I believe that there is no place in organized labor for mine officials since it would work to the detriment of both labor and management.
RALPH M. O'BRIEN,
Foreman, Champion No. 5. My company has been charged before this committee with preventing officials from stopping a portion or section at the mine that they believed was dangerous, or likely to become dangerous.
The statement is untrue. Everyone of our supervising officials has signed a statement to the effect that he understands his duty as defined by law and that he can stop any portion or all of the mine that he believes is unsafe.
I have accounts of recent occurrences where the assistant foreman and fireboss stopped their sections. I will not read them but will place them in the record for your convenience. (The reports referred to follow :)
APRIL 21, 1943. R. H. NICHOLAS:
The following instances have been cited to us by the superintendents at Mon. tour No. 4, Montour No. 10, and at Westland, as cases where the assistant fore man has shut down a producing section on his own initiative because of danger to the safety of his men.
Montour No. 4 Mine.-February 15, 1943, Thomas Coneby, assistant foreman, shut down the section in 35 butt, 20 north, for 4 hours.
February 18, 1943, Thomas Haughins, assistant foreman, shut down 13 and 14 butt, 25 north, for two shifts.
February 10, 1943, Thomas Coneby, assistant foreman, and Robert Baughman, fire boss, shut down 33 butt and 35 butt, 20 north, for a period of 5 hours.
In each of these three instances discovery of accumulations of methane necessitated this action on the part of the foremen.
Jontour No. 10 Mine.--February 1943 Dave Sleith, assistant foreman, and Ray Glasser, fire boss, shut down No. 38 face entry for a period of one shift due to the accumulation of methane.
December 1941 George Cicci, fire boss, and Jack Tomko, assistant foreman, shut down 35 face entries on two different occasions due to accumulations of methane gas.
Westland Mine.-February 1910 John O'Rourke shut down a producing section in two southwest faces after the cutting crew had cut through to a gas well.
March 25, 1942, Angelo Callegher, assistant foreman, 30 butt right in 2 northeast Westland 2 shut down the section for the remainder of the shift due to an accumulation of methane.
March 3, 1943, Tony Pawlosky, assistant foreman, removed the men from 42 butt right, 2 northeast, when a squeeze became active. This section due to the squeeze was shut down for a period of approximately 1 month.
April 11, 1943, William McCloy, assistant foreman, removed the men from 33 right, 2 northeast, when metliane content exceeded one-half of 1 percent.
In coal mines the air must be circulated by a fan on the surface. The air is coursed through the mine passages, in part, by doors. These doors are found across haulage tracks where trains of cars must pass. These doors are a vital part of the ventilating system. When left open the air flow is interrupted and explosive gas may accumulate in the workings and cause a dangerous condition.
As further evidence of a disregard for safety we have record of two recent cases and the action taken. In one case the State mine inspector caught four men, a motorman, a snapper, driller and shotfirer, who had willfully latched the door open and interrupted the flow of air. The men were prosecuted and they pleaded guilty. In this case, the assistant foreman expressed his fear to discipline his men because of what might happen when he was forced to join the union.
The other case, this week, a man was given 1 day penalty for leaving a door latched open. The crew of nine men refused to work because he was disciplined and laid off with him.
The history of coal mining is replete with reports that indicate that doors latched open were the cause of gas accumulations that became ignited and caused serious and widespread disaster. Yet some of the very men whose lives are endangered will support the violators.
There is proof in our files to support our contention that discipline is not being maintained in spite of the fact we offer incentives for better accident performance.
I could go on offering factual evidence to support my claim that activities for unionization have caused a let-down in discipline that is resulting in lost tonnage, but I don't want to take more of your time.
In considering this case where supervising officials may be forced into a union with men whom they supervise we must remember that the average supervising mine official, at one time or another, was a member of the United Mine Workers of America, and they know, therefore, of the penalties which are imposed on those who do not obey the wishes of the union.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nicholas, how many employees are in he service of the Pittsburgh Coal Co.?
Mr. NICHOLAS. At the present time about 7,200. Before the war activities we ran around 8,400. We lost about 1,235 to the service.
The CHAIRMAN. How many mines does the company operate?
Mr. NICHOLAS. Sixteen. Last year we produced 10,600,000 tons of coal.
The CHAIRMAN. They are all mechanized!
Mr. FENTON. According to the testimony, I do not know whether you have read it or not, Mr. McAlpine testified the other day. His testimony is on page 627 of the hearing. He made this statement :
From the standpoint of safety, I have heard it discussed here and I have read it in the record, and I say this without fear of contradiction that there will nerer be safety in the coal mines until the supervisory employees belong to a labor organization and operate under a contract so that it will definitely state the hours that we work and what we receive while we are working those hours so that we will have some protection and we will know what we have got to do
And so on and so on.
It is practically impossible for the supervisory employees to enforce the State mining law in a coal mine for fear of being discharged. The mining law in the State of Pennsylvania is not now being enforced because the supervisors of employees who know of violations committed by the coal companies are afraid to do anything about it because in Pennsylvania the secretary of mines and mine inspectors are completely under the domination of the coal companies through political power.
I would like to have your thoughts along that line.
Mr. NICHOLAS. I happen to be a personal friend of the chief of the department of mines in Pennsylvania. That does not seem to make very much difference to him when he thinks that we are not doing things according to the law. He will not stand for any violation on our part, neither will any of his inspectors that visit our mines. We have six different inspectors to our mines. They certainly do not let us get away with anything. Also, we have our mines inspected by Federal inspectors. At the present time there are four different Federal inspectors coming into our mines. We maintain our own inspection force. We have three men full time inspecting our mines along the same lines as the Federal and State inspection for the purpose of finding out whether the law is being violated. My files are filled with their reports. I get them every day. Every time there is anything in violation of the law, regardless of who is responsible, something is done about it. We are very jealous of our accident record and the safety of our mines for the protection of the property and the lives of the men in there. We are doing everything we know how to do to maintain the best discipline possible. Our records show that. A year and a half ago our supervising officials, when they felt free and not under the domination of a threat of having to join a union, enforced discipline; today some violations that call for penalties, such as leaving a door open, instead of penalizing a man he is just given a warning: Every time they do that they are endangering their own lives and the lives of the men under them.
Mr. FENTON. I was very much shocked to hear a man make that statement, knowing, as I do, the character of the man who is secretary of mines.' I know something about that gentleman. I think it was a great injustice. I am glad to have somebody think differently than does the gentleman who testified the other day. You do not agree with the statement that anything found in violation of the State law of Pennsylvania would be covered up by the fire boss in fear of his being fired if he made a record of such an infraction of the law?
Mr. NICHOLAS. I do not. I do not think that we have an officialfire boss, assistant foreman, or foreman—who would deliberately pass up any danger in the mines. If I may take the time of the committee;