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LABOR DISPUTES.

All labor is unorganized, and the mines are operated on the "open shop" principle. The community suffered from no labor dissensions until a few years ago, when an attempt was made to organize the labor in the community by the United Mine Workers of America. Contemporaneous with the movement toward labor organization, the mining company gave notice that, on the first of an approaching month, there would be a general increase in wages. However, a few days before the increase was to go into effect a strike was declared, due to a strong feeling against the prevailing system of weighing coal on the tipples without a check weighman. The leader of the movement, a Slovak, first organized the resulting strike in an effort to force the mining company to recognize the union, which it refused to do, continuing its policy of dropping men from the pay rolls as soon as they joined it. The organization subsequently demanded, in addition to recognition: (1) An eight-hour day, (2) the employment of a representative on each of the company's tipples, (3) a readjustment of the wage scale, (4) reinstatement of all men discharged for union membership.

To the scale of wages the company agreed, but they would make no other concession, positively refusing to recognize the union. The company also adopted the policy of withdrawing credit in the company stores from all persons dropped from the pay rolls. Matters grew steadily worse for about three weeks, when mob violence began, resulting in bloodshed. At this point the State interfered by sending troops into the community, which put an end to the strike. The union was completely defeated, and the policy of the company is now to extend no recognition whatever to labor organizations. After the strike was over the company discharged large numbers of men, but in the course of a few months the matter was dropped and employment was opened to all who cared to avail themselves of it, irrespective of race and of whether or not they had participated in the strike. The Magyars and Slovaks took the most active part in the strike, while the Italians were least interested.

The point of contention in the community has always been the system of weighing coal on the tipple, where the miners assert they receive short weights and have no way of knowing how much they are loading in the cars, as they are not represented by a check weighman. The company, on the other hand, defends itself on making reductions in weight by claiming that dirty coal is loaded.

CHAPTER XV.

INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS AND EFFICIENCY.

Industrial progress and efficiency-The use of intoxicants in its relation to efficiency— Preferences of the mining operators for mine workers.

INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS AND EFFICIENCY.

The greatest progress along all lines has been made by the Magyars, Poles, and Slovaks. In the mines they are advancing to the skilled occupations, and in business they are progressing and gaining the confidence of the American population. This is especially true of the Slovaks. Practically all of the North Italians are making progress in the mines, where they are found as loaders and miners, but there is a tendency among them to get out of the underground work and enter such occupations as that of tippleman, where they can remain on the surface. Among the Italians from southern Italy little progress has been made, and they are found as laborers in the mines and in the railroad and general construction corps. The native whites, Germans, English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh, are engaged only in the higher and skilled occupations and positions both in the mines and in business, having risen (taking the English as an example) from the ranks of the mine workers. None of the other races in the locality merit particular mention for their progressiveness, since this characteristic is not very pronounced among them. The better class of Italians (chiefly North Italians) are the most industrious and lose fewest days by reason of holidays and drunkenness, but they can not turn out as high a tonnage per month as do the Slovaks, Poles, and Magyars, notwithstanding the last named are less constant workers. From the standpoint of industriousness, the North Italians are placed first, Slovaks second, Poles third, and Magyars fourth. Slovaks and Poles are the most efficient workmen, also the most adaptable. Tractability is said to be a characteristic of the Slovaks and Poles in the community, as well as of both races of Italians. The Slovaks and Poles possess the greatest initiative and do not have to be very closely watched while at work. The Italians, especially the South Italians, require a good deal of supervision. Nearly all races in the community are addicted to the excessive use of intoxicants, but the Italians are least inclined in that direction. A knowledge of English facilitates the carrying out of instructions, as few, if any, of the foremen and subforemen speak any language other than English. The Magyars appear to acquire English more readily than others, although the Slovaks and Poles advance faster when they learn to speak and understand the language. The South Italians, except in a few instances, are rather slow in acquiring a knowledge of English, but the North Italians are desirous to learn.

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THE USE OF INTOXICANTS IN ITS RELATION TO EFFICIENCY.

The habits of the immigrants as regards intoxicants have a pronounced effect upon the output of the mines. A great amount of drunkenness and consequent failure to report for work usually follows the semimonthly pay day. From Saturday, pay day, until the following Thursday is the period of general drunkenness among all the races. The superintendent of the coal company gives the following figures to show the effect of drunkenness in diminishing the output of coal for this period. The figures are approximate:

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PREFERENCES OF THE MINING OPERATORS FOR MINE WORKERS.

Excluding the English-speaking races, and the Germans and Swedes, who are nearly all in the skilled occupations, the Slovaks, Poles, and Magyars are preferred by the company, in the order named, in all occupations. The North Italians are preferred after the Magyars in all occupations, but more especially on the tipple. Of all the races in the community, the South Italians are the least desired, and they are being dropped from the rolls at every opportunity, the company maintaining that they are not reliable and that they are unable to perform the average amount of work per day demanded of each employee.

The original English immigrants are leaving the locality, and the few who are found in the mines now hold the highest and most skilled occupations, together with the Germans, Swedes, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and native whites. These races are preferred by the company in every way, but they will not work in the lower occupations, which makes necessary the employment of the southern and southeastern European races.

In all races the second generation is much more advanced industrially than the first, but as the community is only about 12 years old, very few of the second generation have reached maturity while residents thereof. The few that have been reared in the locality have nearly all left, due to the constantly changing population. Opinions offered with regard to the second generation must be accepted as relating to persons born in other sections of the United States. Employers are unanimous in stating that children born in this country of foreign-born parents are showing great progress along all lines. They are better educated and less clannish, and have higher standards of living; among the southern European races the Slovaks, Poles, and Magyars are considered the most progressive.

a No work.

CHAPTER XVI.

SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS.

Conjugal condition of mine workers-Location of wives of foreign-born mine workersAge classification of employees―[Text Tables 263 to 266].

CONJUGAL CONDITION OF MINE WORKERS.

Information was received from 2,987 mine workers in Community A as to whether they were single, married, or widowed. The data thus collected are presented, according to age groups and general nativity and race, in the table on the next page.

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TABLE 263.-Conjugal condition of male employees, by age groups and general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)

Number within each specified age group.

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