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COAL STORING AND RECLAIMING BRIDGE AND TRUNK LINE CONVEYOR JT SOUTH CHICAGO

THE IMPENDING COAL CRISIS

BY WILLIAM P. HELM, JR.

no obtain a clear-cut understanding of soft coal ever consumed by American these are the supply of railway cars and of the labor difficulties in which industries in any year.

the executive or selling ability of the the coal industry is involved one Six hundred thousand workers are operator by whom he is employed. should bear in mind three prime fac- employed in the soft-coal fields. About During the busiest year of which tors:

two-thirds are organized in unions. In there is a record the working time of First, that hard coal and soft coal are 1919 these workers received nearly the soft-coal mine employee, on the averentirely separate and distinct commodi $700,000,000 in wages, an average of age, throughout the country was less ties.

slightly less than $100 a month apiece. than twenty days a month. Last year Second, that the operators, or pro- The capital invested in soft-coal mines it was much lower than that. ducers, on the one hand, and the mine is about two billion dollars.

Hard-coal operators have two organiworkers, on the other, are effectively Mining soft coal is largely a seasonal zations covering nearly all the tonnage organized by producing areas (called occupation. In the fall and winter, as a mined. Soft-coal operators are organfields), and on a National scale as well. rule, the mines are busy. They work ized into about sixty associations, each

Third, that, while the operators' or- full time or part time, in accordance of these associations being composed of ganizations cover the entire country, the with demand and with the number of operators in a producing section or field. organization of the mine workers covers railway cars placed at the tipples to The soft-coal operators also are organfields which produce only about two- carry away the coal as it is mined. ized in a National association, which inthirds of the soft-coal tonnage, and does With few exceptions, soft-coal mines do cludes in its membership about twonot include workers in big and impor- not store coal as it is mined. It is more thirds of the tonnage produced throughtant areas of West Virginia, Pennsyl practical and cheaper to mine the coal out the United States. The miners, vania, and elsewhere.

as it is needed by the industries con- both of hard coal and soft, have a single Hardcoal, or anthracite, is mined in suming it. Also much of the soft coal organization which covers both producone small area in Pennsylvania. Pro- produced throughout the country, be- ing fields (by local unions) and the ducing capacity of this field is slightly cause of its physical characteristics, country as a whole in a National way. in excess of 100,000,000 tons a year. cannot be stored.

That organization, the United Mine About 150,000 workers, almost solidly In the spring and summer, when de- Workers of America, is the largest labor organized in unions, are employed in mand is slack, the soft-coal mines run union in the United States. It has on this field. Mining costs, roughly, are on part time. Some of them close, down its membership rolls more than 400,000 about three times the mining costs in altogether for weeks or months. The names. the soft-coal fields.

miner in the soft-coal fields, therefore, For some time past it has been cusSoft coal is mined in more than leads a rather precarious existence. He tomary for officials of the United Mine twenty States extending from Pennsyl- cannot possibly expect to work every Workers to meet every two years with vania to the Pacific coast. About 4,000 week-day of the year, no matter how representatives of coal-producing comfirms are engaged in the business. The booming the times are; and, in addition panies and arrange a contract covering producing capacity of the mines is in to this handicap, he is dependent for his wage scales and conditions of labor. excess of 800,000,000 tons a year, fifty wages upon several factors over which he These contracts generally run for two per cent more than the greatest amount exercises no control whatever. Chief of years, beginning April 1. At these meetings, called joint conferences, the mi

mandeered. The commandeered coal ners' officials presented their proposals LINCOLN AND THE was used first to keep the railways gopopularly called demands—to the opera

ing (the railways use for their locomotors' representatives for consideration.

QUAKER SERGEANT

tives about thirty per cent of all the Negotiations and, after a few days or a

Every Lincoln's Birthday brings soft coal mined in the country in norfew weeks, a contract followed.

out new Lincoln material worth

mal times), and thereafter to supply This has been the practice for years. having. This week we publish on

certain industries in order of priority Because of the widely · varying condi another page an illuminating com

determined by the Government. tions of soft-coal mining (the thickness ment on the Cooper Union address Some of this West Virginia coal was of the seams vary, in different fields, by Major George Haven Putnam. shipped west a thousand miles or more. from less than three feet to more than Next week The Outlook will print Railway cars were sent so far off their thirty), the negotiations were not con a remarkable letter discovered and home rails that even at this date not all ducted with the bituminous industry as edited by Mr. Leigh M. Hodges. of them have been returned. The transa whole, but with representatives of In it a Quaker sergeant tells how he portation system of the country suffered operators whose mines were in western saw and talked with Lincoln in the during that six weeks the most severe Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and illi White House in 1863. Lincoln said dislocation it has ever known. The nois. That great bituminous territory, to Senator Ben Wade: “Senator, Government collected a surplus million solidly unionized, has been popularly

we have had the head of the Army dollars for coal whose shippers it had denominated the Central Competitive here. .. Now we have here the tail not found, through confusion of records, Field, and the agreements reached at

of the Army, so let us get from him more than a year later. these joint conferences have served as

how the rank and file feel about Nearly forty per cent of the Nation's standard wage agreements upon which

matters." And he did!

soft-coal needs were met by the nonall other labor contracts in the soft-coal

Lord Charnwood, biographer of union fields. Were a strike to be defields were based.

Lincoln, calls this previously unpub. clared to-morrow, the non-union mines, When the coal industry was placed

lished letter “One of the most con given adequate transportation facilities, under Federal control during the war,

vincing and illuminating reminis

probably could supply, in the face of the Fuel Administrator, Dr. Garfield,

cences of Lincoln I have yet seen.” lessened requirements, nearly sixty per found that the wage scale which had

cent of the coal necessary to keep inbeen agreed to more than a year before to an end with a temporary wage in dustry going. It could not be supplied needed revising. Other industries threat- crease of about fourteen per cent and economically, for freights would mount ened by tempting offers of much higher submission of the entire dispute before a in many instances to three times the wages to draw from coal the flower of Presidential commission for arbitration. cost of the coal itself; but it could be its workers. And coal mining is a basic While the strike was in progress not supplied at a price. industry. Accordingly, in the fall of a ton of coal was brought to the earth's At the time of the strike the anthra1917, at his instance and with his sanc- surface in the Central Competitive Field cite mines continued in operation. This tion, operators and miners in union and other union districts. The tie-up was year, however, the anthracite and fields the country over entered into a complete. Only pumpmen and enginemen bituminous miners have joined hands. new contract which increased wages. The necessary to prevent the flooding of the Their wage agreements expire simulnew agreement was to last (note the lan- mines remained at their posts.

taneously. guage) "for the duration of the war.” In non-union fields in West Virginia As soon as the men went back to work

The non-union operators followed this and elsewhere the mines worked to the union leaders, realizing the key polead and raised the wages of their work- capacity. The Government stepped in, sition of the non-union mines, set about ers accordingly.

fixed prices, and took control through unionizing them. More than a million Coal production made new records the Railroad Administration. As fast dollars was spent in West Virginia during the war, but from the day of the as the coal was mined it was com alone, the chief citadel assaulted. Open armistice the industry began to flag. Demand slumped to almost nothing, stock piles were more than ample, idleness and dissatisfaction followed in the coal fields. Other industries, however, flourished and wages elsewhere continued to rise.

Thereupon ensued a series of events having an intimate and profound relation to the present crisis.

In September, 1919, ten months after the armistice, the miners in National convention voted their war-time contract ended, and ratified a set of demands which included a sixty per cent increase in wages, a six-hour day (instead of eight, as theretofore), and a five-day week. In joint conference shortly thereafter the demands were submitted to operators of the Central Competitive Field. The operators considered them for a time, and finally rejected them. The miners struck.

The strike began November 1, and lasted six weeks. The Government by injunction tied up the funds of the union; through a Federal Grand Jury it procured indictments charging conspiracy against the union leaders and many leading soft-coal operators; and,

(C) Under rood as an intermediary, it brought the strike

IN THE DEPTHS OF A COAL MINE

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year, the United Mine Workers claim, and average earnings fell to $500 a man. Hundreds of them worked, according to union claims, only from fourteen to twenty-six days in 1921.

In Indiana, according to union figures, the working year in 1921 was 148 days and average earnings about $750; and in southeastern Kentucky and Tennessee only one-third of the mines were operated at all.

Such were conditions when the time came last fall to frame a new wage demand. The miners in biennial convention named a committee to formulate the demands. So far as the soft-coal fields are concerned, the committee, at this writing, has not reported. Meantime President Lewis, of the United Mine Workers, sought a joint conference with operators of the Central Competitive Field under that clause of the present contract (the result of the Government's arbitration) reading as follows:

Resolved, That an inter-State joint conference be held prior to April 1, 1922; the time and place for holding such meeting to be referred to a committee of two operators and two members from each State herein represented, together with the international officials of the United Mine Workers of America."

On December 16 President Lewis issued a call for a preliminary meeting. He suggested Pittsburgh as the place and January 6 as the date. The object of the preliminary meeting was to arrange a joint conference. Illinois and Indiana operators accepted. Operators of southern Ohio, however, declined, basing their action on the ground that inequalities of cost of production as between that field and competing non

union fields, due to lower wages in the (C) Underwood

latter, made it inexpedient to negotiate COAL ON THE WAY TO THE BREAKERS, WHERE IT IS TO BE BROKEN INTO REGULAR SIZES “as heretofore."

"In due time," the operators wrote, and prolonged warfare followed, but the the gambling then going on in coal. "the operators of southern Ohio will promines were not unionized.

Most of the big companies deplored it pose a new scale for their employees Under the pressure of economic neces- and refused to accept inordinate profits, which will not include the check-off and sity, wages were reduced in the non- but hundreds of other companies made which will eliminate the inequalities union fields in 1921. Producing costs the financial killing of their existence. placed upon this district." thereby dropped, and as a result the The miners seized their opportunity Western Pennsylvania operators also non-union mines have been getting the and succeeded that summer in forc- declined to meet the union officials. cream of the business. The mine work- ing wage-scale amendments providing "We desire to say," the operators wrote, er in those fields had more working time higher rates of pay for certain classes of “that we see nothing beneficial to the and made more money in 1921 than his workers. Operators sought by hand- public or the coal industry in a meeting brother in union territory. Outlying some bonuses over and above a generous such as indicated in your letter, and defringes of the non-union fields-in West wage scale to win away one another's cline to meet." Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mary- men. Coal for immediate delivery sold Indiana operators then suggested that land, and Pennsylvania-hard pressed at one hundred per cent profit at the the proposed meeting, lacking Ohio and by the competition, sought to lower mine mouth, and that profit was doubled Pennsylvania representation, would be union wages in their fields, and in some in many instances before the coal futile. Illinois operators insisted that it cases succeeded.

reached the consumer. It was not be held. It was not held, however. In the early spring of 1920 the Presi. strange that the miner, seeing such With some slight changes, that is dential commission made its award, profits, should seek to participate in where the situation stands as this is further increasing wages. Industrial them.

written, late in January. Much has been peace settled over the coal fields and Finally the spree ended, as sprees said both by miners and operators about from the slough of despond the industry always do, and the industry came back the merits of the case. There has been shot to the heights of speculation.

to consciousness—and a headache. talk of reducing wages and talk of deLack of sufficient railway cars and There followed a year of extreme de- manding an increase. Each side has slowness on the public's part to buy pression. It is estimated that 200,000 stated its attitude and its justification. caused sectional shortages, and a big ex- soft-coal miners were out of work. In But there has been no preliminary meetport demand aggravated them. Coal the New River field of West Virginia, ing to formulate the new wage scale and prices soared. A multi-millionaire oper- producing soft coal unsurpassed in avert a strike. Such a meeting to-day ator told me in the summer of 1920 that quality, the miners worked, on the aver appears unlikely. Meantime the days to the Mississippi Bubble was dwarfed by age, only eighty days during the entire April 1 are shortening.

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BY DOROTHY CANFIELD
THE SECOND OF A SERIES OF FIVE EXCURSIONS

ALONG THE BYWAYS OF HUMAN NATURE
TV THEN my pretty little cousin and tion, offering no resistance to such cook- clenched. “I won't stand it," she cried.

goddaughter, Flossie, fell in ing as Flossie turned out. Peter's skin "I won't stand it!” But she looked horV love with Peter Carr, we all began to grow rosy and sleek, his hair ribly frightened, all the same. felt rather apprehensive about her fu- from being rough and bristling began to “What can you do?" I asked, sympature. But Flossie faced the facts with look smooth and glossy. It was quite thizing painfully with the poor little an honest, even a rather grim, resolu- beautiful hair as long as it lasted, but thing. tion which surprised us. She said, with as the years went on and the twins be. "I shall go to see her the minute she only a little tremor in her voice, that gan to be big children it, unlike the rest reaches town." she never expected entirely to occupy of Peter, began to look thinner. Peter “What can you do?" I asked again. the place in Peter's heart which Eleanor with a bald spot was queer enough, but “I don't know. I don't know. WhatArling had taken forever, but that she before he was thirty-five it was not a ever I have to do to make her go away loved him so much she was willing to spot, but all the top of his head. We and not take Peter,” she said, wildly, take whatever he could give her. It thought it very becoming to him, as it and went away. wasn't his fault, she said, with the gave him a beneficent, thoughtful, Ten days after this she darted in, her quaintest chivalric defiance of us, if kindly look, like a philosopher. And his face pinched, and told me that the time poor Peter hadn't more to give. She added weight was also distinctly an im- was now, and that she wanted me to be thought "a great love like that was a provement to his looks.

with her. “I must have somebody noble thing in any one's life, even if it Flossie had not changed an atom. there,” she said piteously. did make them perfectly miserable.” “If Those tiny, slight women occasionally I was thoroughly alarmed, protested, Miss Arling felt that happiness must be remain stationary in looks, as though but found myself in Flossie's highsacrificed for her art, why that was a they were in cold storage. She contin- powered car, driving at a dangerous great, exalted attitude to take, and ued to worship Peter, and as he had rate of speed towards Miss Arling's Peter's sorrow was sacred in her eyes," made a good husband we were not sur- hotel. and so on and so forth.

prised, although of course you never can We were shown into the sitting-room So they were married, with the under understand what an excessively devoted of her suite, and sat down, both breathstanding that Peter could still go on wife sees in her husband year after ing hard. I am very fond of Flossie, worshiping the very sound of Eleanor year. Flossie never mitigated in the and I was very sorry for her, but I cerArling's name and turning white when least the extremity of her attention to tainly wished her at the other end of he came across a mention of her or of Peter's needs. When he was called the world just then. her pictures in the cabled news of the away on a business trip, she always saw Presently the door opened, and a art world in Paris. Flossie was, as my that his satchel was packed with just stout middle-aged woman came in, her brother said, a good sport if there ever what he would need; and she would gray hair bobbed and hanging in strings was one, and she stuck gamely to her have risen from her grave to arrange his around a very red, glistening face. It bargain. She had transferred the big coffee in the morning exactly to his taste. was terribly hot, and she had, I supsilver-framed photograph of Miss Arling The rest of us had forgotten all about pose, just come in from the long motor, from Peter's bachelor quarters to the Miss Arling's connection with Peter, and trip there. She had a lighted cigarette wall of the new living-room and she had grown so used to the photograph of in one hand. Her cushiony, shapeless dusted it as conscientiously as she did the big handsome woman that we did feet were thrust into a pair of Japanese the Botticelli “Spring" which I gave her not see it any more. Then one morning sandals. She distinctly waddled as she for a wedding present. It was not easy when I came downstairs I found Flossie walked. We supposed that she was for her. I have seen her flush deeply waiting for me, very pale, with dark cir Miss Arling's companion, and I said, and set her lips hard as Peter looked up cles under her eyes. She was holding because Flossie was too agitated to at the great brooding dark eyes shad- a newspaper in her clenched hand—the speak, “We wished to speak to Miss owed by the casque of heavy black New York newspaper they took on ac- Arling, please." braids. Flossie is one of the small, count of its full gossipy “World of Art” “I am Miss Arling," she said, casuquick, humming-bird women, with noth- column. Flossie opened it to that col- ally. "Won't you sit down?" ing to set against Miss Arling's massive umn now, and read in a dry voice: I don't know what I did, but I heard classic beauty, and by her expressions “'American art lovers are promised a Flossie give a hysteric little squeak like at such moments I know that she felt treat in the visit of the famous Eleanor a terrified rabbit. So I hurried on, saythis bitterly. But she never let Peter Arling, who arrives on the Mauretania. ing the first things that came into my see how she felt. She had taken him, Miss Arling plans an extensive trip in mind, desperately: "We heard you were the darkness of his unrequited passion her native country, from which she has coming-in the newspapers. We are old heavy on him, and if she ever regretted been absent for many years. She will residents here-a cliff, water, and pine it she gave no sign.

visit New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, trees—I know the view—we thought She flashed about the house, keeping Denver, and San Francisco. Her keen perhaps we might show you where--" it in perfect order, feeding Peter with artistic perception and memory is She was surprised a little at my inmost delicious meals, and after the shown by her intention of breaking her coherence and Flossie's strange face, but twins came caring for them with no trip for a few days at-'" Flossie's evidently she was a much-experienced strain or nervous tension, with only a voice broke. “She's coming here," she woman of the world whom nothing bright, thankful, steady enjoyment of gasped, then, collecting herself, she con- could surprise very much. “Oh, that's them that was warm on your heart like tinued reading: “'Miss Arling told our very kind," she said, civilly, tossing her sunshine. Peter enjoyed his pretty interviewer that she once passed some cigarette butt away and folding her home and devoted wife and lively babies weeks there and remembers with pleas- large, strong, fat hands on her ample and excellent food. He began to lay on ure a composition of cliff, water, and knees, “but I went that way on the road flesh and to lose the haggard leanness pine trees. She wishes to see it again.' coming in. I remembered it perfectly. which, just after Miss Arling had gone Cliff, water, and pine trees," repeated I used it as the background in a poraway, had made people turn and look Flossie. Her eyes were blazing. “Of trait some years ago." after him in the street. Architecture is course we know it is nothing in the way she saw no reason for expanding on even when you are busy and successful of a landscape she is coming back to see the topic and now stopped speaking. I as Peter is, a rather sedentary occupa- here!” I saw that her little fists were could think of nothing more to say.

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