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many of the mines the drivers have, at different times, declined to deliver cars to nonmembers of your association.

It is the inalienable right of a man to labor, and this without regard to nationality, creed, or association. To seek to prevent it is a crime, and we can not, even by implication, sanction such a course.

The business of mining anthracite coal is entirely different and distinct from that of bituminous, and no common practice can succeed. As a result of the experience of years, different methods and different prices have obtained, not only in the different regions, but in the different mines as well, and to undertake to change those or to attempt to bring about a condition approaching uniformity is impossible. Any agreement would necessarily have to be of the broadest and most indefinite character on account of the varying conditions. The interpretation of such a general agreement would result in endless strife, ill-feeling, and petty strikes. Were the association in the anthracite region composed entirely of English-speaking adults, dealing with them would be an entirely different question from what is to-day presented, when over twenty different nationalities, speaking some fourteen or fifteen different languages and dialects, are involved, and when approximately 20 per cent of the labor employed is composed of boys and youths under 21. We believe it impossible for any association to so control or to enter into any agreement for them as a whole that will have beneficial results.

It is no concern of this company whether the men belong to an association or not. It is their inalienable right to take either course that they may deem for their best interests; nor ought we to be asked, in view of the grave responsibilities resting upon us, to consent to join with persons not in our employ in making general laws applying not only to our districts but to others and affecting as well large numbers of persons not belonging to your association.

You now ask this company to join the representatives of other anthracite coal interests and a representative of the Mine Workers to formulate a scale of wages and conditions of employment which shall govern the coming year.

In our judgment this is impracticable, and the best interests of the companies represented, no less than those of the miners themselves, · render impracticable any such efforts. This company prefers to deal with its own employees. It is prepared to pay them the highest wages in force for similar work; to accord them fair, considerate, and liberal treatment; to listen patiently and to endeavor to the utmost extent to remedy any injustice of which they may complain, and in every manner within our power to make pleasant, profitable, and permanent the relations between us. Such is the course that for over fifty years it has pursued in dealing with its employees, and the experiences of the past have demonstrated the correctness of this position. There would

seem to be no good reason for now departing from this course and proceeding on new and untried lines, especially in view of the experiences of the past year, which, to our mind, demonstrated the impracticability of what you propose. Yours, truly,

E. B. THOMAS.

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MR. FOWLER'S LETTER.

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NEW YORK, February 20, 1902. DEAR Sırs: I have received your communication of the 14th instant, addressed to me as president of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway Company. That company operates no coal mines, but I

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have invited me to attend the conference you propose calling at Scranton, because I am president of the Scranton Coal Company and of the Elk Hill Coal and Iron Company, both engag in mining anthracite coal and whose product is shipped over the lines of the railway company named.

In reply I desire to state that the collieries operated by the com panies named differ so widely in their character and the conditions of work vary so greatly that even a conference of the men employed in all our collieries, for the purpose of settling the conditions of work and wages of the employees in each individual colliery, would be impracticable.

At present there are no differences between our companies and the employees; but should any arise, the only practical method of settlement is by discussion by the men themselves with the immediate superintendent; that failing, the executive officers of the companies stand ready at any time to take up any matter in dispute and, to the best of their ability, adjust it fairly.

This being my view, you will see that it would be futile to discuss any such questions as you indicate may be brought up by you at your convention with those whom we do not recognize as representative of our men, nor even conversant with the subject you propose to discuss. Believe me, very truly, yours,

T. P. FOWLER.

MR. WALTER'S LETTER.

NEW YORK, February 20, 1902. GENTLEMEN: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 14th instant, inviting this company to attend a meeting to be held in Scranton with representatives of your organization, for the purpose of discussing a wage schedule for the year beginning April 1, 1902, and ending March 31, 1903.

The proposition you submit is not one we can entertain, as the matters which it is proposed to discuss, it seems to us, are those which we should arrange by dealing directly with our own employees, and do not call for the intervention of the organization which you represent. Yours, truly,

ALFRED WALTER, President.

MR. OLYPHANT'S LETTER.

NEW YORK, February 19, 1902. GENTLEMEN: On February 17, 1901, in reply to a telegram from you asking if the company which I represent would join in a conference with others for the purpose of arranging scale of wages for the anthracite coal region, I said that I understood the matter of wages had been satisfactorily adjusted in the previous October, and could therefore see no reason for such a conference. On February 20, however, you invited me to such a conference. On March 6 I addressed you a letter in reply, setting forth at length the reasons why I was compelled to decline your invitation; and now that you and others have invited me to a similar conference, I beg to refer you to that letter, simply adding that time has confirmed my faith in the action then taken, or, rather, strengthened it, as in your last communication you plainly intimate that you expect the wage schedule to be reviewed yearly—a condition which is at once unbusinesslike and utterly opposed to the proper conduct of the anthracite mining industry. I must, therefore, once more decline your invitation,

. Yours, very truly,

R. M. OLYPHANT, President.

MR. STEARNS'S LETTER.

WILKESBARRE, Pa., February 19, 1902. GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt of your favor of the 14th instant, asking that our company be represented at a proposed conference to be held in Scranton on March 12 to formulate a wage scale for the year beginning April 1, 1902, and ending March 31, 1903.

I am not aware that there is any question of wages between our employees and the companies I represent.

You have said, if correctly reported, that if the employers would meet their employees and discuss with them the various questions that arise strikes would be avoided and both parties would be mutually benefited. I beg to say that we have in the past, and will in the future, meet our employees to discuss and, if possible, adjust any questions that may arise. Knowing that our employees are thoroughly familiar with the existing conditions and much better qualified to discuss intelligently questions of wages than strangers would be, I must, in justice to our employees, as well as to the company I represent, decline to take any part in the proposed conference. Yours, truly,

IRVING A. STEARNS, President Coxe Bros. & Co., Inc.

On March 14, 1902, the operators posted the following notice at each colliery:

“The rates of wages now in effect will be continued until April 1, 1903, and thereafter, subject to sixty days' notice.

“Local differences will, as heretofore, be adjusted with our employees at the respective collieries."

MR. MITCHELL'S TELEGRAM.

MARCH 22, 1902. By direction of miners' convention, I wire to ascertain if your company will join other anthracite coal companies in conference with committee representing anthracite mine workers for purpose of discussing and adjusting grievances which affect all companies and all employees alike. Please answer.

John MITCHELL, Chairman.

ANSWER.

MARCH 24, 1902. Always willing to meet our employees to discuss and adjust any grievances. I had hoped that my letter clearly expressed our views.

GEORGE F. BAER.

The United Mine Workers held their convention at Shamokin and published in the new papers a demand upon the operators for an increase in wages, an eight-hour day, for the weighing of coal, for a uniform scale, etc., with notice that after the 1st of April the miners would only work three days a week until the operators had come to an agreement, and appealing to the Civic Federation to aid them in securing their demands.

The Civic Federation, through its chairman, Senator Hanna, invited certain of the coal operators, and especially the presidents of the larger coal companies, to meet the officers of the United Mine Workers and the Civic Federation to discuss the subject. The coal presidents met the officers of the Mine Workers and the Civic Federation in the city of New York. Mr. Thomas submitted the following propositions, which were understood to be the basis of the conference:

First. The anthracite companies do not undertake in the slightest manner to discriminate against members of the United Mine Workers of America, but they do insist that members of that organization shall not discriminate against nor decline to work with nonmembers of such association.

Second. That there shall be no deterioration in the quantity or quality of the work, and that there shall be no effort to restrict the individual exertions of men who, working by the ton or car, may for reasons satisfactory to themselves and their employers produce such a quantity of work as they may desire.

Third. By reason of the different conditions, varying not only with the districts but with the mines themselves, thus rendering absolutely impossible anything approaching uniform conditions, each mine must arrange either individually or through its committees with the superintendents or managers any questions affecting wages or grievances.

After discussing at great length the anthracite coal situation, an adjournment was taken for thirty days. At the expiration of the thirty days another meeting was held with the Civic Federation, with Mr. Mitchell and his district presidents, together with a large committee of miners. Another full and free discussion took place without reaching any conclusions.

At the suggestion of the Civic Federation a committee composed of Mr. Mitchell and his district presidents, and Messrs. Thomas, Truesdale, and Baer, were appointed to further consider the points at issue and report to the Civic Federation at a date to be fixed by the chairman. This committee spent two full days in a friendly discussion without obtaining practical results. The Civic Federation was not again reconvened. Mr. Mitchell, however, convened his district executive committee, and on May 8 he sent the following dispatch:

SCRANTON, PA., May 8, 1902. Conscious of the disastrous effects upon mine workers, mine operators, and the public in general which would result from a prolonged suspension of work in the anthracite coal regions of Pennsylvania, and with earnest 'desire and hope of avoiding the impending calamity, the representatives of the anthracite mine workers have authorized us to submit the following propositions: First, inasmuch as the anthracite mine operators have proposed to continue the present wage scale for one year, and inasmuch as the anthracite mine workers have unanimously resolved to ask that an increase of 20 per cent should be paid on present prices to all men performing contract work, that eight hours should constitute a day's labor for all persons employed by the hour, day, or week, without any reduction in their present wage rate, and that coal should be weighed and paid for by weight wherever practicable, and inasmuch as in our recent conferences the anthracite mine workers and mine operators have failed to reach an agreement upon any of the questions at issue, we propose that the industrial branch of the National Civic Federation select a committee of five persons to arbitrate, and decide all or any of the questions in dispute, the award of such board of arbitration to be binding upon both parties and effective for a period of one year. Second, should the above proposition be unacceptable to you, we propose that a committee composed of Archbishop Ireland, Bishop Potter, and one other person whom these two may select, be authorized to make an investigation into the wages and conditions of employment existing in the anthracite field,

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