The U.S. President’s Mediation Commission Report to the President of the U.S., January 9, 1918 documents labor strife throughout the country and specifically the Arizona copper mine strikes in the year of 1917. The Commission was clear to connect the U.S. copper industry to the country’s war effort. The Mediation Commission Report, on pages 11 – 26, appears in the U.S. Secretary of Labor Annual Report of 1918.
Special Collections H9791 B621 U58
Different edition: UA Government Documents L1.1: 918.
SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1918
WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
[pp. 9 – 17]:
SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D. C., October 31, 1918.
To the PRESIDENT:
Had the Department of Labor not existed at the beginning of the war, Congress would have been obliged to create such a Department.
As the history of all the belligerent nations proves, war is no longer a military undertaking alone. Although sound military strategy remains now as ever an essential factor in determining military victories, the history of the present war has demonstrated that the most valorous troops are helpless without adequate supplies of war material. Battles are fought not only between armed men but between the factories, workshops, and mines of the contending nations. Consequently upon the outbreak of hostilities it became one of our first concerns to keep in motion the wheels of our industrial machine.
Since industry is but the application of manpower to raw materials, the efficiency of industry was wholly dependent upon the efficiency of labor. The greatest essential, therefore, for our Government was the adoption of a central labor administration and a consistent labor policy.
Toward that attainment the Department of Labor has directed its efforts. At the beginning of the fiscal year the Department consisted of 4 bureaus, together with such agencies as had been created in the Office of the Secretary for conciliation and mediation in labor disputes. At the date of this report there are 13 separate bureaus and services, and in addition 2 boards, one a court of last resort with regard to labor disputes arising in war industries and the other an agency to harmonize the relations of this Department with other production departments. This growth has required much extension not only of organization but of functions and duties as well. Notable among the newer units are organizations for the training and housing of workers, for the superintendence of the conditions governing women in industry, and a special service to recommend and administer policies with regard to Negro wage earners. Of extraordinary
importance also has been the development of the United States Employment Service into a separate arm of the Department and the establishment of over 800 public employment exchanges. Thus the Department of Labor has become in fact as well as in name a War Labor Administration.
The expansion referred to has taken place steadily since the proper authority was granted in January of this year. Many of the final steps were postponed, however, until the close of the fiscal year 1918 through delay in obtaining the needed funds. In view of this f act and also of the extreme importance of the work, is has been thought wise to follow the precedent set in my last report and to extend my sixth report as nearly as possible to the present date.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY.
MEDIATION IN LABOR DISPUTES.
The war has been the immediate cause of an enormous increase in the number of labor disputes calling for Government mediation. Old wage standards, rendered obsolete by a sharp rise in the cost of living, the prevalence of profiteering, the faulty distribution of labor, and many other causes all contributed to a probable increase in the actual number of such disputes. The chief reason, however, for the increase in the work of the Department in this respect was not an increase in the number of controversies. It lay rather in the fact that when those disputes arose one side or the other hastened to call upon the Federal Government to prevent any cessation of work.
During the greater part of the fiscal year the conciliatory functions of the Department were exercised in two ways-through the relation of departmental officers to the President's Mediation Commission, and through the Division of Conciliation.
THE PRESIDENT'S MEDIATION COMMISSION.
During the summer of 1917 certain industrial disturbances had accumulated throughout the West and Northwest and had taken on such a form as seriously to lessen the output of several much-needed materials, notably copper and oil. In addition they were of such a character as to threaten the construction of aircraft and ships. Since these disturbances were apparently due to general rather than purely local causes, it was thought desirable to make an inquiry into the causes of labor unrest. A mediation commission was accordingly appointed by the President early in the fall for the purpose of conducting such an investigation and of making the specific adjustments required. The Secretary of Labor was chairman of the commission and the members of the commission were chosen in part from the Department of Labor.
The commission spent several months in constant travel and investigation, visiting the copper districts of Arizona, the oil fields of California, the Pacific Northwest timber districts, and other sections where industry had been disturbed by labor unrest. Starting out in the early fall the commission finished its labors in December at Chicago, where there was a threatened strike in the meat-packing establishments. In that time hundreds of witnesses were heard and an extraordinary opportunity was afforded to study at first band labor problems in part created and in part modified by the war.
On January 9 there was transmitted to the President the report given below. Since its presentation there has been established machinery to interpret the Santa Barbara findings and to adjudicate grievances. This consists of a board of three, known as the Federal Oil Inspection Board upon-which the Oil and Gas Well Workers' Union has representation. Since the Santa Barbara conference and the resultant agreement the cooperation of operators and oil workers has prevented the rise of any trouble serious enough to result in cessation of work. Both employers and workers appear anxious to aid the Government, and there has been an obvious strengthening of morale by reason of bettered working conditions and the realization that a medium exists for the adjudication of grievances. In addition, the labor turnover has been greatly reduced and the supply of labor increased through added efficiency.
REPORT OF PRESIDENT’S MEDIATION COMMISSION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE
JANUARY 9, 1918.
Your Mediation Commission begs to set forth in this report (1) a summary statement of the results in the specific labor adjustments undertaken by the commission; (2) an analysis, as far as revealed by the limited scope of our investigation, of the difficulties and tendencies making for industrial instability; and (3) recommendations as to the direction that the labor policy of the United States should take, at least during the period of the war.
MEDIATION OF SPECIFIC DIFFICULTIES.
An accumulation of industrial disturbances west of the Mississippi gave rise to national concern and pressed for an understanding of its causes, with a view to the correction of disclosed evils. The immediate anxiety of the Government was the dangerous diminution of the copper supply available for ammunition, due particularly to the strikes in Arizona, and the hampering of the war program, both as to ships and aircraft, because of the disturbed labor conditions in the Pacific Northwest.
Primarily, therefore the objects of the commission were to open the copper mines of Arizona to their maximum output and so to keep them open for the period of the war, and to bring to pass such
a condition in the labor situation of the Pacific Northwest that the shipbuilding and aircraft programs of the Nation may proceed at the required pace and efficiency so far as labor is an element.
To these two specific fields for mediation others were added as, other difficulties arose after the commission began its labors. We shall confine ourselves here merely to major difficulties. Of these there were three: (1) A threatened strike in the oil fields of southern California, (2) a threatened and partly executed strike on the telephone lines of the Pacific States, and (3) a threatened tie-up of the packing industry centering in Chicago but affecting the industry of the entire country.
As to each of these situations, and several others not referred to, in this report as to which mediation was effected or attempted, the commission has made a detailed report setting forth the existing relation of employers, employees, and community in each of the industries, the causes of the unrest, the history of the strike-where difficulties culminated in strike--the steps necessary for the removal of such causes, the nature of the settlement secured by the commission where an adjustment was made, and the actual working of such settlement as far as the short time of its operation enabled its ascertainment. A program of industrial policy, either to meet the peremptory needs of war or looking to readjustments beyond, must proceed if warily by the light of accredited facts. The intensive studies, directed to the very concrete immediate ends which were the concern of your commission, have at least furnished a considerable volume of important material for the understanding of those complex and subtle phases of modern industry usually called the labor problem. In this report we shall attempt a compact summary.
DISPUTES IN ARIZONA COPPER DISTRICTS.
1. About 28 per cent of the total copper output of the United States is produced in the four copper districts of Arizona dealt with by the commission. In the early summer of 1917 strikes became widespread in these centers, resulting, through the total and partial shutdown of the mines extending for a period of over three months' in a loss of 100,000,000 pounds of copper. Necessarily such an industrial disturbance results in continued diminution of output for a considerable time following any settlement of difficulties.
2. The occasions for such shocking dislocations of a basic war industry varied in the different mining camps. Behind and controlling, however, the factors which immediately led to the strikes are the underlying labor conditions of the mining industry of the State, which were devoid of safeguards against strikes and, in fact, provocative of them.
3. Distant ownership, wholly apart from its tendency to divorce income from the responsibility for the conditions under which it is acquired, creates barriers against the opportunity of understanding the labor aspects-the human problems-of the industry, and solidarity of interest among the various owners checks the views of any one liberal owner from prevailing against the autocratic policy of the majority. The resident management of the mines is wholly traditional in its effect, however sincere in its purpose. The managers fail to understand and reach the mind and heart of labor because
they have not the aptitude or the training or the time for wise dealing with the problems of industrial relationship. The managers are technical men mining engineers of knowledge and skill. There is no responsible, executive whose sole function it is to deal with labor problems. In fact it has hardly begun to be realized that labor questions call for the same systematic attention and understanding and skill as do engineering problems.
4. The employees, in their turn, present factors of special difficulty. Labor turnover is appallingly large, with all the economic and social evils that such a condition signifies. The striking phenomenon of migratory labor has not been wholly evil in its effects. It has helped to spread ideas of liberalism into our industrial life, however undiscriminating this educative process necessarily has been. But any benefits conferred by migratory labor are wholly offset by its costs, both economic and social. A large migratory working force is economically an intolerable waste. Socially it is a disintegrating element in society. It signifies, too often, men without responsibility of home or home making, men possessed of a feeling of injustice against lack of continuity of employment, serving as inflammable material for beguiling agitators to work upon. This large labor turnover is accepted too much as the plagues of old-something irremediable. There is only the faintest beginning of realization that labor turnover is an evil which can be substantially reduced if not wholly eliminated, and that the responsibility for its elimination is a duty confronting both the industry and the Government.
The polyglot character of the workers adds the difficulty of racial diversities. In one camp 26 and in another as many as 32 nationalities were represented. The industry contains within itself the Balkan problem on a small scale. In other camps, even where there was not great racial diversity, large numbers were non-English speaking, particularly Mexicans. The seeds of dissension among the workers render difficult their cohesion, and the presence of non-English speaking labor tends even to greater misunderstanding between management and men than is normal in American industry. The movement toward Americanization, so fruitful in its results in different parts of the country, has hardly penetrated into these outposts of industry. Next to nothing is done to integrate non-English speaking labor-citizens and prospective citizens-into our social life.
5. The trade-union movement is the most promising unifying spirit among the workers. The progress of the movement, however, is impeded by the traditional opposition of the companies, by difficulties due to racial diversities, and by internal dissensions in the miners' International. The resulting weakness of the organization deprived the industry of the discipline over workers exercised by stronger unions and gave the less responsible leaders a freer field for activity. Thus a numerically small minority could compel a strike because of the solidarity of workmen in time of strike.
6. As is generally true of a community serving a single industry, there was not the cooling atmosphere of outsiders to the conflict. The entire community was embroiled. Such agencies of the "public" as the so-called "loyalty leagues" only served to intensify bitterness, and, more unfortunately, to the minds of workers in the West served to associate all loyalty movements with partisan and antiunion aims.
7. The labor difficulties were further complicated by factors created by the war. This was particularly true of the situation in the Globe district. Doctrines of internationalism, the conviction that all wars are capitalistic, which before the war had permeated the minds of labor the world over, strongly marked the labor leadership in the Globe district. It led to resolutions of opposition to the war by the miners' local at the outbreak of the war. The situation was further intensified by refusal to display the flag at union headquarters. This incident provoked accusations of disloyalty against the men on the part of the company and its sympathizers. The uncritical opinion of the men that all wars are capitalistic and therefore that ours must be such, was encouraged by the heavy profits of the copper companies resulting from the European war before our entrance into it. The limitation of profiteering through price fixing and taxation had been only too recently accomplished to have made itself felt either in its actual operations or in the understanding of the workmen.
8. This, roughly, is the background against which the copper strikes of 1917 must be projected. To these underlying conditions and to the absence of processes of orderly government in industry the strikes of 1917 must, fundamentally, be attributed. These conditions may not have been left unavailed of by enemies of our war Policy nor by exponents of syndicalist industrialism, but neither sinister influences nor the I. W. W. can account for these strikes. The explanation is to be found in unremedied and remediable industrial disorders.
9. Amidst all the diversity of conditions in the four copper districts there were three basic claims urged by the men and resisted by the companies:
(a) While not expressed in so many words, the dominant feeling of protest was that the industry was conducted upon an autocratic basis. The workers did not have representation in determining those conditions of their employment which vitally affected their lives as well as the company's output. Many complaints were, in fact, found by the commission to be unfounded, but there was no safeguard against injustice except the say-so of one side to the controversy. In none of the mines was there direct dealing between companies and unions. In some mines grievance committees had been recently established, but they were distrusted by the workers as subject to company control and, in any event, were not effective, because the final determination of every issue was left with the company. In place of orderly processes of adjustment, workers were given the alternative of submission or strike.
(b) The men sought the power to secure industrial justice in matters of vital concern to them. The power they sought would in no way impinge on the correlative power which must reside in management. Only by a proper balance of adequate power on each side can just equilibrium in industry be attained. In the minds of the workers only the right to organize secured them an equality of bargaining power and protection against abuses. There was no demand for a closed shop. There was a demand for security against discrimination directed at union membership. The companies denied discrimination, but refused to put the denial to the reasonable test of disinterested adjustment.
(c) The men demanded the removal of certain existing grievances as to wages, hours, and working conditions, but the specific grievances were, on the whole, of relatively minor importance. The crux of the conflict was the insistence of the men that the right and the power to obtain just treatment were in themselves basic conditions of employment, and that they should not be compelled to depend for such just treatment on the benevolence or uncontrolled will of the employers.
10. It was the correction of these underlying conditions making for instability at which the commission aimed in its adjustments. The objective was not merely to open the mines to their full productive capacity as quickly. as possible, but to guard against any recurrence of interruption or curtailment of production through labor difficulties, at least during the period of the war.
11. The commission made four specific adjustments in four mining districts. There were variations in detail to suit specific local aspects. In the large, however, the settlements established the framework of sound industrial relations between management and men:
(a) An orderly and impartial process for the adjustment of all grievances inevitable in modern large-scale industry was substituted for the strike. In asking labor, for the period of the war, to forego its ultimate weapon, a compensatory means of redressing grievances had to be supplied. Therefore there are established in each district United States administrators to decide all disputes where the parties themselves fail of agreement. The commission in effect applied the principle of trade agreements, making the duration of the war the time limit, and, through the mechanism of a United States administrator, provided for the means of determining any claims of breach of the agreement.
(b) Working conditions of industry should normally be determined by the parties themselves. Therefore channels of communication between the management and men were created through grievance committees free from all possible company influence. Through these representative contacts between management and men disputes find expeditious and informal settlement. Still more important, the contact engenders a spirit of mutual understanding and therefore of cooperation.
(c) The right of the men to organize was made effective by providing administrative enforcement for the prohibition against discrimination because of union affiliation.
(d) In view of the dislocation of the labor supply of the country it was important to husband the available man power. Therefore reemployment of the men on strike before employing newcomers was assured, excepting only those few in number who were guilty of seditious utterances, who had been proved inefficient, or who were members of any organization whose principles were opposed to belief in the obligation of contract. By casting the burden of reemployment of all the strikers upon the district instead of upon the individual company, the beginning was made toward recognizing the responsibility of the industry as an entirety for the solution of its problems.
12. Administration under this settlement has proceeded in these Arizona districts for over two months, and the results are encouraging.
The administrators at once proceeded to their duties. Resourceful energy is needed in the days immediately following a strike in order to prevent misunderstandings and old suspicions from again flaring up. Extremists of both sides have to be diverted. In a word, the problem is to educate the estranged sides to deal directly with one another on the basis of a new faith and a new confidence. This educative process is now being carried out by the administrators with skill and measureable success. Reemployment of the workers was sought to be effected with all practicable old and new grievances were promptly heard. In one district 250 grievances were disposed of in five weeks. Many of the grievances were found to be trivial or groundless; they were, however, the surviving surface manifestations of the old unhealthy relationship. The prompt disposition of such grievances prevented that balked sense of justice on the part of men which so often leads to the explosion of a strike. Instead of a policy of drift, with, intermittent eruptions, there is now the continuous administration of industrial machinery, which serves as a bulwark for stability. Conditions are by no means fully normal; old feelings and old bitternesses still smolder, but new habits and new hopes of cooperation between management and men are steadily being built.
CALIFORNIA OIL FIELDS DISPUTE.
1. The oil fields of southern California have an average output of 8,000,000 barrels per month, about one-third of the total oil output of the United States. Eleven companies produce about 95 per cent of this total output. Of these companies the Standard Oil is the largest, employing about 5,000 of approximately 18,000 men in the California field. A strike in the fields of the independents was threatened in the summer of 1917 but averted, and again threatened still more ominously in November last. The country was already embarrassed by oil-fuel shortage, and the commission therefore promptly responded to the call for its intervention to avoid a tie-up.
2. The men presented specific grievances as to hours, wages, and conditions of employment, and sought protection against alleged discrimination because of union membership. The labor employed in this industry, unlike that in most of the industries investigated by the commission, is English-speaking and almost wholly American. A very large proportion of the workers are highly skilled. Nevertheless, it was not until April, 1917, that the men were organized. Their union had grown to include between 9,000 and 10,000 men and is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.
3. Commissioner Reed, who acted for the commission, found that it specific grievances needed correction and that means were required for securing redress of future grievances. The major specific demands of the men were for an eight-hour day and a minimum wage of $4. In effect they asked that the conditions prevailing at the Standard Oil plants should be introduced by the independents. It was found that the 5,000 employees of the Standard Oil had been on an eight-hour basis since January 1, 1917, and according to the experience of the Standard Oil Co. No loss in efficiency or output resulted from the introduction of the eight-hour day.
It was the intention of some of the independents voluntarily to go on the eight-hour basis. Therefore, in providing for an eight-hour day effective January 1, 1918, the commission merely adopted the labor standard as to hours which had been vindicated by experience. To guard against the needs of emergency of the Government in war time, provision was made for a longer working-day if required by the Government. The principle of a minimum wage of $4 on an eight-hour basis, effective December 1, 1917, was likewise introduced. The company further agreed not to discriminate against men because of membership in any union affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.
4. Here, as in the copper districts, machinery of enforcement was essential. Provision was therefore made for Government inspectors to determine the governmental need, if any, for increase in the working hours. Administrators were named for all disputes which the parties can not settle between themselves.
5. The men thus secured betterment in hours and conditions of employment and the means of redress for future grievances. In effect, the settlement operated as a trade agreement for the period of the war, and thereby displaced the strike and the lockout. The Government is thus assured stability as to labor conditions in the oil production of California. Opportunities are afforded the men to become disciplined through responsible organization, with resulting increase in efficiency; and the contact between producers and men will make for the healthier relationships between them indispensable to peace and productivity in industry. The response to the Government's needs, once they were made clear to both operators and men, gives full hope for the growth of a cooperative spirit between them. The men showed every readiness to produce the much-needed oil; the operators, both independent and Standard Oil, placed all their resources without stint at the disposal of the Government.
[pp. 23 – 26]
CAUSES OF LABOR DIFFICULTIES.
1. The commission had wide opportunities, both as to the extent of territory and the variety of industries investigated, to inquire into industrial conditions in war time. The commission visited Arizona, the Pacific Coast, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Chicago; studied the situation in the copper mines, the telephone industry, the Northwest lumber industry, the meat-packing industry as centered in Chicago, the rapid-transit situation and the related industrial condition in the Twin Cities, and observed as well other industries in the States adjacent to those it visited. All relevant sources of information were tapped, for close contact was had with workmen on strike and at work; employers and professional men and Federal and State officials who are brought particularly in touch with labor matters; and in addition, the voluminous official files of Federal and State authorities furnished much knowledge. While undoubtedly each industry presents its own peculiarities, certain underlying general factors applicable to all industry emerge from the three months' work of the commission.
2. Throughout its inquiry and in all its work the commission kept steadily in mind the war needs of the country. The conclusion can not be escaped that the available man power of the Nation, serving as the industrial arm of war, is not employed to its full capacity nor wisely directed to the energies of war.
3. The effective conduct of the war suffers needlessly because of (a) interruption of work due to actual or threatened strikes, (b) purposed decrease in efficiency through the 11 strike on the job, (e) decrease in efficiency due to labor unrest, and (d) dislocation of the labor supply.
4. These are not now conditions in American industry, nor are their causes new. The conditions and their causes have long been familiar and long uncorrected. War has only served to intensify the old derangements by making greater demands upon industry and by affording the occasion for new disturbing factors.
5. Among the causes of unrest, familiar to students of industry, the following stand out with special significance to the industrial needs of war:
(a) Broadly speaking, American industry lacks a healthy basis of relationship between management and men. At bottom this is due to the insistence of employers upon individual dealings with their men. Direct dealings with employees' organizations is still the minority rule in the United States. In the majority of instances there is no joint dealing, and in too many instances employers are in active opposition to labor organizations. This failure to equalize the parties in adjustments of inevitable industrial contests is the central cause of our difficulties. There is a commendable spirit throughout the country to correct specific evils. The leaders in industry must go further, they must help to correct the state of mind on the part of labor; they must aim for the release of normal feelings by enabling labor to take its place as a cooperator in the industrial enterprise. In a word, a conscious attempt must be made to generate a new spirit in industry.
(b) Too many labor disturbances are clue to the absence of disinterested processes to which resort may be had for peaceful settlement. Force becomes too ready an outlet. We need continuous administrative machinery by which grievances inevitable in industry may be easily and quickly disposed of and not allowed to reach the pressure of explosion.
(c) There is a widespread lack of knowledge on the part of capital as to labor's feelings and needs and on the part of labor as to problems of management. This is due primarily to a lack of collective negotiation as the normal process of Industry. In addition there is but little realization on the part of industry that the so-called "labor problem" demands not only occasional attention but continuous and systematic responsibility, as much so as the technical or financial aspects of industry.
(d) Certain specific grievances, when long uncorrected, not only mean definite hardships; they serve as symbols of the attitude of employers and thus affect the underlying spirit. Hours and wages. are, Of course, mostly in issue. On the whole, wage increases are asked for mostly in order to meet the increased cost of living, and such demands should be met in the light of their economic causes. Again, the demand for the eight-hour day is Nation wide, for the workers regard it as expressive of an accepted national policy.
6. Repressive dealing with manifestations of labor-unrest is the source of much bitterness, turns radical labor leaders into martyrs and thus increases their following, and, worst of all, in the minds of workers tends to implicate the Government as a partisan in an economic conflict. The problem is a delicate and difficult one. There is no doubt, however, that the Bisbee and Jerome deportations, the Everett incident, the Little hanging, and similar acts of violence against workers have had a very harmful effect upon labor both in
the United States and in some of the allied countries. Such incidents are attempts to deal with symptoms rather than causes. The I. W. W. has exercised its strongest hold in those industries and communities where employers have most resisted the trade-union movement and where some form of protest against unjust treatment as inevitable.
7. The derangement of our labor supply is one of the great evils in industry. The shockingly large amount of labor turnover and the phenomenon of migratory labor means an enormous economic waste and involves an even greater social cost. These are evils which from grievances such as those we have set forth; they are accentuated by uncontrolled instability of employment. Finally, have failed in the full use and wise direction of our labor supply, falsely called "labor shortage," because we have failed to establish vigorous and competent system of labor distribution. However, means and added resources have been recently provided for a better grappling with this problem.
8. It is, then, to uncorrected specific evils and the absence of a healthy spirit between capital and labor, due partly to these evils and to an unsound industrial structure, that we must attribute industrial difficulties which we have experienced during the war. Sinister influences and extremist doctrine may have availed themselves of these conditions; they certainly have not created them.
9. In fact, the overwhelming mass of the laboring population is in sense disloyal. Before the war labor was, of course, filled with pacific hopes shared by nearly the entire country. But, like other portions of the citizenship, labor has adjusted itself to the new facts revealed by the European war. Its suffering and its faith are the suffering and the faith of the Nation. With the exception of the sacrifices of the men in the armed service, the greatest sacrifices have been from those at the lower rung of the industrial ladder. Wage creases respond last to the needs of this class of labor, and their returns are hardly adequate, in view of the increased cost of to maintain even their meager standard of life. It is upon the war pressure has borne most severely. Labor at heart is as devoted to the purposes of the Government in the prosecution of this as any other part of society. If labor's enthusiasm is less vocal, its feelings here and there tepid, we will find the explanation in e of the conditions of the industrial environment in which labor laced and which in many instances is its nearest contact with the activities of the war.
(a) Too often there is a glaring inconsistency between our democratic purposes in this war abroad and the autocratic conduct of those guiding industry at home. This inconsistency is emphasized by such episodes as the Bisbee deportations.
(b) Personal bitterness and more intense industrial strife inevitably result when the claim of loyalty is falsely resorted to by employers and their sympathizers as a means of defeating sincere claims for social justice, even though such claims be asserted in time of war.
(c) So long as profiteering is not comprehensively prevented to the extent that governmental action can prevent it, just so long will of inequality disturb the fullest devotion of labor's contribution war.
The causes of unrest suggest their own means of correction:
1. The elimination to the utmost practical extent of all profiteering during the period of the war is a prerequisite to the best morale in industry.
2. Modern large-scale industry has effectually destroyed the personal relation between employer and employee-the knowledge and cooperation that come from personal contact. It is therefore no longer possible to conduct industry by dealing with employees as individuals. Some form of collective 'relationship between management and men is indispensable. The recognition of this principle by the Government should form an accepted part of the labor policy of the Nation.
3. Law, in business as elsewhere, depends for its vitality upon steady enforcement. Instead of waiting for adjustment after grievances come to the surface there is needed the establishment of continuous administrative machinery for the orderly disposition of industrial issues and the avoidance of an atmosphere of contention and the waste of disturbances.
4. The eight-hour day is an established policy of the country; experience has proved justification of the principle also in war times. Provision must of course be made for longer hours in ease of emergencies. Labor will readily meet this requirement if its misuse is guarded against by appropriate overtime payments.
5. Unified direction of the labor administration of the United States for the period of the war should be established. At present there is an unrelated number of separate committees, boards, agencies, and departments having fragmentary and conflicting jurisdiction over the labor problems raised by the war. A single-headed administration is needed, with full power to determine and establish the necessary administrative structure.
6. When assured of sound labor conditions and effective means for the just redress of grievances that may arise, labor in its turn should surrender all practices which tend to restrict maximum efficiency.
7. Uncorrected evils are the greatest provocative to extremist propaganda, and their correction in itself would be the best counter propaganda. But there is need for more affirmative education. There has been too little publicity of an educative sort in regard to labor's relation to the war. The purposes of the Government and the methods by which it is pursuing them should be brought home to the fuller understanding of labor. Labor has most at stake in this war, and it will eagerly devote its all if only it be treated with confidence and understanding, subject neither to indulgence nor neglect, but dealt with as a part of the citizenship of the State.
W. B. WILSON, Chairman.
ERNEST P. MARSH.
VERNER Z. REED.
JACKSON L. SPANGLER.
JOHN H. WALKER.
FELIX FRANKFURTER, Secretary and Counsel.
MAX LOWENTHAL, Assistant Secretary.
The excellent preliminary results of the appointment of administrators in Arizona were amply borne out by later experience. The earlier report to the President with regard to that region was upon the basis of two months' experience and was of necessity only fragmentary. More than 10 months of additional experience has justified the settlement. An enormous increase in the output of copper and a year of continuous operation without the loss of an hour by reason of strikes, alike testify to the wisdom of the commissioners' course. The following letter under date of October 21, 1918, from Mr. Hywel Davies, one of the two administrators, sets forth the progress of the adjustment:
Mr. H. L. Kerwin,
Director, Labor Adjustment Service, Washington
Washington, D. C.
Sir: When the President's Mediation Commission left Arizona in November, 1917, they had laid the foundation for the possibility of industrial peace for the duration of the world war in the State.
The terms of settlement in the various disturbed copper districts provided for the final adjustments of all labor disputes and fixing of wages by the two Labor administrators (Joseph S. Myers and Hywel Davies) appointed by the commission.
The maintenance of peace depended on the cooperation of all concerned, viz, employers, employees, and administrators. The best evidence of the thoroughness of this cooperation is shown in the fact that not a single shift in a single mine, mill, or smelter has been lost through any suspension or strike since November 1, 1917, to this date, October 21, 1918.
In addition, thanks to such regularity of operations, the copper production of the State for 1918 indicates an increase of over 100,000,000 pounds above that of 1917.
This briefly outlines the splendid results of the work of the President's Mediation Commission in creating not only the machinery to insure continued peace and therefore production, but in creating a spirit of loyal cooperation that materially simplified the work of the administrators.
During this period the administrators have handled hundreds of individual, and some large collective, cases without friction. Yet many of these cases contained explosive possibilities that would have ended in a suspension or strike if they had occurred prior to the coming of the President's Mediation Commission. That none have matured into a strike proves the loyalty of labor to the agreement or award of the commission. Nor has any appeal been made to the commission from any interpretation or decision rendered by the administrators.
During this year wage advances ranging from 75 cents to $1 and over per day have been granted or awarded, partly as the result of increased cost of living or due to the necessity of readjusting the relative wages between districts. These changes also were made without friction.
Arizona works on the open-shop principle with grievance committees elected by all the employees recognized and dealt with by the managers in all local matters.
The creation of this substitute for a trade-union organization (which did not exist except in a minor way) by the President's Mediation Commission
has materially helped toward peace, because these committees have served as safety valves that relieved the tension, now that they can go direct to the managers for a full, free, and frank discussion without fear or favor. This elbow touch has helped also to eliminate some of the bitterness of the past as they come to a better understanding of one another.
Therefore it is not only a pleasure but a matter of some pride on the part of the administrators that they are privileged not only in helping to carry out the President's Mediation Commission's awards, but to be associated with a State that is slowly but surely evolving itself into an industrial community life and spirit that will express itself in the not distant future in trade relations of some form that will be the fruit of the spirit of cooperative relation inculcated by the President's Mediation Commission.
In addition, the undersigned has been able to render material help through the cooperation of the War Industries Board in the securing of supplies, raising railroad embargoes, etc., in order to insure continuity of operations. This feature of cooperation has made a very favorable impression on the companies affected regarding the real helpfulness of the Department of Labor.
Yours, very respectfully,