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FEBRUARY 25, 1937. This is to certify that I, Blaine Owen, did truly write the article titled “Night Ride In Birmingham,” which appeared in the August 28, 1935, issue of the New Republic magazine. The facts recounted in this article were an exact description of true experience with the following exceptions:
(1) Names used, other than my own, are ficticious.
(2) The incident described in the first part of the article, while a true happeningdid not occur on the same day as the events described in the main body of the article, beginning with paragraph #8 (“It was on my way home . ..")
(3) At the time I was siezed by those who took me for "a ride" and beat me, I was alone. The use of the term “us” in the published article was a typographical
I hereby certify that all other facts and details in the above mentioned article are an exact description of events as they took place, and are true.
BLAINE OWEN. Sworn to before me this 25th of February, 1937. (SEAL)
Max KITZES. Notary Public Bronx Co., Cert. filed in N. Y. Co. No. 354, Reg. No. 8K107. Commission expires March 30, 1938.
EXHIBIT 2841 STATE OF ALABAMA,
Jefferson County: Before me, Louise Gwillim, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared Arthur Green, who, being by me first duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:
I am Deputy Circuit Solicitor of the Bessemer Division of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, and have been such officer since January, 1935, and that I know Joseph S. Gelders, and have known him for the past 20 years or more, and that the said Joseph S. Gelders, in company with a woman who represented herself to be a Mrs. Barton, came to my office in the Court House at Bessemer on or about September 1, 1936, unsolicited and spoke to me about the case of the City of Bessemer vs. Jack Barton. I told them that I was familiar with the facts leading up to the arrest of Jack Barton and saw the communistic literature that was taken from the possession of the Bartons and that I had no connection with the City of Bessemer, did not represent the City of Bessemer and would not interest myself as prosecuting official of the State of Alabama in no wise towards aiding or helping Jack Barton. In this same conversation I did tell Gelders that he was mistreating and embarrassing his many friends in the community in which he was born and reared and that we resented his un-American actions and conduct that I had learned he was adopting and that it had reached such a point that I considered it dangerous for him to pursue such course and to remain in this vicinity and continue such practices, and that I was familiar with the fact that Dr. George H. Denny, President of the University of Alabama, had discharged him and his wife from the position of instructors in the State University and that he had brought about shame and disgrace to his family. I also told him that I had spoken to his brother-in-law in Montgomery about my opinion of him and her and he readily concurred in the same. I do most emphatically deny that the name of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company was ever brought into our conversation, and I do most emphatically deny that I ever made a statement to Gelders or Mrs. Barton to the effect "that the T. C. I. controls Bessemer and you won't get very far with your teachings here—why, even I have been called a radical, here, more than once". I most emphatically deny that I made the following statement on said occasion or at any other time, "Why, the communisits are the ones who started that ore mine strike, a while back. Ali the leaders in that A. F. of L. are communists”. I most emphatically deny that Mrs. Barton asked me, "Would you do the same with A. F. of L. leaders as you would with the Barton case?” and that I answered, “I sure would”, and as a matter of fact Mrs. Barton never opened her mouth or uttered a single word 1 See pt. 2, exhibits 338-339, pp. 726–729.
during the entire time she remained in my office. I most emphatically deny telling them that the T. C. I. or the "industrialists” or any committee were behind Buck Harrison or any one else in not permitting Barton to get a bond. As a matter of fact, I knew absolutely nothing about Barton or any one in his behalf attempting to obtain a bond for him as the charge against him was preferred by the City of Bessemer and not by the State of Alabama, and I repeat that I had nothing to do and have had nothing to do with the prosecution of cases before the Recorders Court of the City of Bessemer and was in no wise interested or concerned in the efforts of Bartons undertaking to make bond. I do further most emphatically state that from my conversation with Gelders in the presence of the said Mrs. Barton I could readily see that he was attempting to stir up strife and discord between the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company and other corporations with organized labor and I would not believe him under oath. I do further state that I am in no wise connected in any way whatever with the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company or with organized labor and am not influenced by either in the making of this statement as it is made solely at my instance for the purpose of correcting erroneous statements attributed by Gelders and Mrs. Barton as having been made by me and without any desire on my part to seek any publicity in the matter.
ARTHUR GREEN. Sworn to and subscribed before me this the 12th day of February, 1937. (SEAL)
Notary Public My commission expires March 7, 1939.
TENNESSEE COAL, IRON AND RAILROAD COMPANY,
August 17, 1933. It has come to our attention that some of our employees are being told that if they did not become members of certain labor organizations they would be discharged.
This is to notify all of our employees that no man will lose his employment for declining to become a member of any labor organization and, further, we wish to inform our employees that the right to suspend or discharge rests entirely within the discretion of certain of our officials and superintendents.
The Company does not extend to any employee not an official or a superintendent, the right to suspend or discharge.
(Signed) H. C. RYDING,
TENNESSEE Coal, IRON AND RAILROAD COMPANY,
February 1, 1934. To all employees of the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company:
A circular is being generally distributed amongst our employees at our various Works today, which in effect tends to dictate to our employees as to their right to vote, even to the extent of ordering some of our employees not to vote at all.
Under the revised Plan, it is your inalienable right to express yourself as an employee and I urge you to avail yourself of the opportunity offered by your Committee to express yourself either as in favor of or as opposed to the Plan.
(Signed) Robt. GREGG, President.
TENNESSEE COAL, IRON & RAILROAD COMPANY,
Birmingham, Ala., April 25, 1934. To all coal mine employees:
It has come to my attention that some of our employees have been told that it is or will be necessary for them to belong to some organization in order to retain their position with this Company.
Such A STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE.
I want to assure every man on our pay rolls that it is not necessary for anyone to belong to any organization in order to work for this Company.
The law gives every worker the right to join any organization he pleases, but it does not require him to join any organization.
In accordance with this law, this Company will not require any man to join or not to join any organization in order to work for the Company.
(Signed) Robt. GREGG, President.
A MESSAGE FROM WILLIAM A. IRVIN To Employees of the United States Steel Corporation and Its Subsidiary Companies:
Much publicity has been released by an organization outside of our industry of its aim to unionize all of our plants. If this be accomplished it means a closed shop where no one can secure employment unless he is a member of such organization, submits to dictation by the self-chosen leaders and subjects himself to the dues and assessments imposed upon all members.
So that you may know at the outset where the United States Steel Corporation stands on this issue, the following outline of policy is set forth for your information and guidance.
We will resist with all our strength all efforts to impose such an organization upon the employees. We are convinced that the vast majority of you resent the idea of paying tribute for the right to work. We therefore stand squarely for the principle of the open shop.
No man in our employ has to join any organization in order to work for us. His progress in his work depends upon individual merit and effort and not upon his influence with some outside organization.
We are convinced that these are sound American principles which have been determining factors in raising American industry and labor to a higher level than exists in any other country in the world. We feel that these principles have the endorsement of the great majority of American workers, and we intend vigorously to defend them.
About three years ago a plan of employee representation was adopted in the manufacturing plants. It has been amended from time to time at your request, and it is in effect only where a majority of you, by secret ballot, have favored its adoption. It provides for the selection of representatives to negotiate with the management on all matters of mutual interest. The representatives are chosen by secret ballot at elections exclusively supervised by the employees themselves.
It is the fairest method of collective bargaining that the employees and the management have been able to devise. The representatives are directly answerable to their own group of employees, and there are no restrictions on the choice of the employees as to whom they want to represent them. Almost without exception, the representatives have shown themselves to be fearless, fair-minded, and diligent spokesmen for the employees.
About 90 percent of the employees voted at the annual elections of representatives recently conducted. This is to me clear evidence that the plan is satisfactory to the employees. Yet it is this very plan that this group of organizers declare they will destroy. The plan itself provides that it may be discarded at any time by action of a majority of the employees at any plant voting in a referendum election. And that is the only way the plan can be abrogated-even the management cannot rescind it.
Through this plan, both men and management have learned the benefits of working together in peace and harmony. They have learned, too, that they have one and the same interest-the success of the business.
It is through success alone that the business will be able to pay the highest possible wages in the industry and offer the best working conditions. Those who endanger the success of the industry by stirring up trouble are enemies of all who earn their living in the business.
Be not misled by the promises of false prophets who may appear in your midst for the sole purpose of creating discord and discontent for their own personal advantage.
The United States Steel Corporation has always stood for the open shop and will continue to do so.
It will never require employees to belong to any union in order to gain employment.
On the contrary, it will defend their right to work, free from outside interference and coercion.
WILLIAM A. IRVIN,
President, United States Steel Corporation. To the Employees of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company:
I am sure you will be interested in the above statement of labor policy made by Mr. William A. Irvin, President, United States Steel Corporation, appearing in the current issue of U. S. Steel News.
The policy as outlined by Mr. Irvin will apply in full force in the plants of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, and will have the full support of the management of this Company.
J. L. PERRY, President, Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, June 29, 1936.
Robert Gregg, President.
TENNESSEE COAL, IRON & RAILROAD COMPANY
JUNE 7, 1934. To the Employees of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company:
There is so much loose talk about an impending strike in the steel industry that it seems desirable at this time to frankly discuss with you the situation as we see it.
To begin with, the depression has made the conduct of our business very difficult for all of us. The following illustration will indicate something of the extent of our difficulties. During the three years 1931–2–3 the entire U. S. Steel organization operated at a net loss of somewhat in excess of $78,000,000.
Some businesses did better than the U. S. Steel Corporation, and some did worseas a matter of fact, many businesses went broke entirely. The point I want to make with you is to indicate what a hard problem we have been up against.
The employees of the Corporation certainly had a tough time of it too. In 1929 the average number of employees was almost 225 thousand while in 1932 there were only about 19 thousand employees working full time and 139 thousand working part time. Also the earnings per man dropped due to lower rates per hour in 1932 and to the lack of business which required so many men to work only part time. In 1933 and 1934 the wage increases have fully restored the 1929 rates even though the weekly earnings may not be up to those of 1929 due to slack business and code limits on maximum hours.
It is true that business is improving—we all certainly hope it will continue good enough to put the Steel Corporation in a position to earn at least a small profit; but there can be no hope of that if this threatened strike occurs in the manner now proposed by union agitators.
This Company, like practically all other Companies in the Steel Industry, received formal notice and threat of strike from the Amalgamated Association of
Iron, Steel and Tin Workers of North America, on May 21st, which caused each of their local lodges to file with each plant a demand for recognition of the union and that we deal with them exclusively as representing our employees in matters of wages, hours and working conditions. Public statements by their National officers indicate that in addition demands will be made for increased basic wage rates and reduced hours per week which are unreasonable and if not granted they will stage a general "holiday.”
The “Amalgamated” is an old American Federation of Labor Union-it has been trying to establish itself as the closed-shop organization of steel workers for many years and you probably know more about it than I do. But I want to remind you that, with more than thirty years of effort, it, according to report, now has less than ten per cent of the steel workers enrolled as members. And I want also to remind you that it is not incorporated, has no legal or financial responsibility, has paid no benefits since 1926, and has never published or publicly accounted for the many thousands of dollars of dues collected.
It is a matter of public information that the present strike program of the "Amalgamated” is engineered by a radical "rank and file party' within the ranks of the Union. It is not sponsored by the older members or the National officers, many of whom allege that it grows out of a combination of the radical element of the “Amalgamated” with the Communist union.
I think we all agree that collective bargaining in some form or other is not only desirable but is genuinely necessary in a Company and a Corporation as large as ours. But-do you want the Amalgamated to be your only spokesman in the many matters you have in common with the Management?
I have a right to ask your careful consideration of the matter before you take such a step, or permit others to force you into such action.
Only recently, after some months of experimentation, the Management of the Company worked out with your elected representatives a modification of our plan of employee representation that provides, among other features, that
1. Every employee (except foremen) shall have a vote as to the choice of his representative. 2. Any person (fellow-employee or otherwise) may be chosen as representative.
3. The representatives may meet by themselves and jointly with the mamagement.
4. The representatives can bargain collectively for all the employees with the management on any complaint, or question of wages and hours or on any other matter of mutual interest.
5. Any such matter, if necessary, can be carried to the president of the company, and may then be arbitrated if settlement is not effected.
6. The operation of the plan does not require the payment of one cent of dues or special assessments.
7. It is, and can continue to be a friendly medium of direct contact between men and management, through agents of their own choosing, and who know what they are talking about, for the transaction of any and all of the business we have in common.
8. The plan can be readily amended to meet any new conditions, and it can be scrapped any time by a majority vote of the employees.
A copy of the new plan was given every employee to study, by your representatives, and by secret ballot, conducted entirely by your representatives, you recently adopted the plan by a large majority.
The Plan of Industrial Relations isn't a "Company Union”-it isn't a union at all. But it is an orderly, decent and effective medium for us to use in settling any differences we may have and, in addition, to work out together the ways and means of making better steel, understanding the need of our customers and getting this business back on a basis of profits and efficiency that will be a matter of pride to all of us.
Plans of employee representation are in effect in 120 plants in the U. S. Steel Corporation (all but two of the units now operating). The employees have chosen some 962 representatives, every one of whom is a fellow employee. One hundred thirty-nine are foreign born and nine out of ten representatives are married. The average age of them all is over 42 years, and they average over 14 years of continuous service. It would seem that, in the Corporation as a whole, as in this Company, you employees have selected men of mature age and experience and of responsible social position as your agents. · I venture to suggest that they are at least as capable and as trustworthy as the average union business agent.