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A BILL TO REGULATE THE TRANSPORTATION AND
SIXTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION
FREDERICK N. ZIHLMAN, Maryland, Chairman JOSEPH D. BECK, Wisconsin.
WILLIAM D. UPSHAW, Georgia. MAE E. NOLAN, California.
J. FRANK MCNULTY, New Jersey. E. HART FENN, Connecticut. 11 WILLIAM P. CONNERY, JR., Massachusetts. WILLIAM F. KOPP, Iowa.
J. EARL MAJOR, Illinois, JOE J. MANLOVE, Missouri.
MEYER JACOBSTEIN, New York. GEORGE A. WELSH, Pennsylvania. LUTHER A. JOHNSON, Texas.
VICTOR L. BERGER, Wisconsin.
REGULATION OF INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION AND
IMPORTATION OF LABOR
COMMITTEE ON LABOŘ,
Friday, March 28, 1924.. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Frederick H. Zihlman presiding.
The committee thereupon proceeded to the consideration of H. R. 7698, which is as follows:
[H. R. 7698, Sixty-eighth Congress, first session] A BILL To regulate the transportation and importation of labor from one State to any
point in another State where a tabor disturbance or strike is in progress
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be unlawful on and after the passage of this act, except as hereinafter provided, for any person to import, transport, or induce, or to cause to be imported, transported, or induced, labor from one State to any point in another State where a labor disturbance or strike is then in progress unless said labor shall then and there be made acquainted with all conditions affecting labor as they then exist at said point of disturbance or strike.
SEC. 2. That the term “person ” when used in this act includes labor agents, labor agencies, individuals, partnerships, corporations, associations, and their officers and agents.
Sec. 3. That each individual imported, transported, or induced, or cause to be imported, transported, or induced, except as herein provided, from one State to any point in another State where a labor disturbance or strike is then in progress, and each day thereafter that each individual is permitted to remain at said point of disturbance or strike, constitutes a separate and distinct violation under the terms of this act.
SEC. 4. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each violation.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, this meeting has been called for the consideration of H. R. 7698, introduced by Mr. Wolff, of Missouri.
We will first hear from Mr. Wolff, and then Mr. Wolff can present those who favor the passage of the bill, after which we will hear those opposed to it, if there be any such present.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH'S. WOLFF, MEMBER OF CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
Mr. WOLFF. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish to say at the start regarding this bill that it was not in its inception strictly an organization bill; it was a bill that originated in my own mind. And I want to say in this connection that I have had some experience with strike conditions from being located in a strike-infested district, and I think that the bill as it stands now speaks
for itself. There is absolutely nothing antagonistic there; there is nothing nasty; there is nothing that any man should have any objection to-that is, any fair-minded employer of labor.
The bill simply provides as it stands now that before taking a man into a labor field where there is a strike on at the time that he must be notified that that condition exists there.
You gentlemen have read of the Herrin massacre. You possibly heard of some of the testimony before the grand jury and some of the testimony at the trials of men there who were indicted for those killings. A number of witnesses testified who had been imported there as strike breakers that they absolutely knew nothing whatever of the conditions existing at Herrin at that time; they claimed that had they known that that condition existed there they would not have been there; and the same condition existed in the coal fields in West Virginia, where there were a number of men killed. Some of those witnesses testified that they did not know that there was a strike on when they were taken there.
All this bill does is to simply make the employers or the agents who are employing these men to import them into these districts notify them that a condition of strike exists there; then if they want to go they go of their own free will, and after they are there if they get in trouble you can say it is their own fault, if they want to take that chance. But they are notified before they go there that the condition exists.
Hundreds of these men are picked up by labor agencies in different States and sent into other States; and even after these men get there when the pickets of the strikers reach them and get a chance to talk to them and they show them that this condition exists they are willing to go back, they do not want the job. But many of those fellows land there broke; they are out of a job when they are picked up, and after they are shipped and land at the point they are shipped to they are financially not able to get back. And I say that it is a protection for that man as well as a protection for the fellow who is on strike.
The only man that could object to this bill, the only fellow that could possibly object to it, would be the one who is absolutely unfair with his labor, unfair with the men who work for him; the fellow who wants to get men down there and make peons out of them. Some of these men testified that when they went into these camps that they were not permitted to get out after they were there; they were not only guarded by guns, private detectives, etc.; were not only guarded against the strikers, but they were also guarded against leaving—they were unable to leave—and I think, gentlemen, as I stated before, that the bill speaks for itself.
Some of the members of the committee a day or so ago, to whom I was speaking, suggested that we make one little change in this bill, or make one amendment, and that was at the bottom of line 8, starting with the word “ with," where it says “ with all conditions affecting labor as they then exist at said point of disturbance or strike and one of this committee suggested that we change that by striking out the words “ with all conditions affecting labor as they” and inserting, after the word “ acquainted,” the following “ with the fact that a labor disturbance or strike then exists at said point.” Well,