December 1917

[page 2]


President’s Mediation Commission Make Investigation and Report of Bisbee Conditions.

By H. S. McCluskey

The President’s mediation commission after hearing all sides to the controversy and going into every phase of the situation that resulted in the deportation of some 1200 men on July 12, and the criminal activities of the county and city officials and the Loyalty League after that date, reported its findings in three parts.

     The following correspondence took place between the commission and the managers of the companies. A copy of the plan of agreement was also addressed to President Moyer and accepted by him:

Department of Labor, Office of the Secretary, Washington.

Bisbee, Ariz., November 6, 1917.

To G. H. Dowell, General Manager Phelps Dodge Corporation, Copper Queen Branch, Mine and

Smelter Departments; W. B. Gohring, Superintendent Mine Department, Calumet & Arizona Mining

Company; Harry Clark, Superintendent, Smelter Department Calumet & Arizona Mining Company;

Arthur Houle, Superintendent Shattuck Arizona Copper Company.


The country must have the maximum uninterrupted output of copper from this district during the period of the war. No grievances on the part of the men, whether well-founded or imaginary, must be allowed to result in stoppage of production. Practicable machinery must be devised for the adjustment of grievances, whether real or imaginary, to prevent interruption of production.

With full confidence that men of all classes are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, the president’s mediation commission, in the name of the President of the United States and by virtue of authority vested in it by him, directs that the following plan for the adjustment of future grievances as they arise to be put into immediate operation. In presenting this plan it is not the purpose of the commission either to encourage or discourage trades unions. That is a matter that must be left to the judgment of the workers themselves.

First: No man shall be refused employment or be discharged or discriminated against in his work because he does or does not belong to a union.

Second: Grievance committees representing the employés, selected from men actually in the employ of the companies and by such methods as the employés themselves may agree upon, shall be recognized by the management in the presentation of such grievances as may from time to time arise; provided, that in selecting committees all men shall be notified and have an opportunity to vote, and no one shall be eligible to membership on a committee who had not been in the employ of the company for at least six months next preceding his selection.

Third: If the grievance committee and the management are unable mutually to adjust any difference in dispute, the same shall be submitted to a United States administrator, whose decision shall be final and binding on both parties. There shall be two alternate administrators, who shall act whenever from any cause the administrator is unable to act. The administrator hereby appointed is Hywel Davies, and the alternates are Joseph S. Myers Judge George W. Musser. When any vacancy occurs in these positions the same shall be filled by the secretary of labor, with the approval of the council of national defense. In all cases of individual grievances, the administrator shall render his decision within five days after the case is submitted to him, and in all grievances of a general character, the administrator shall render his decision within thirty days after the case is submitted to him.

Fourth:  when any dispute affecting a workman is submitted to the administrator for decision, such workman may have his case presented by a representative of his own choosing.

Fifth: The machinery provided in this order will take the place of strikes and lockouts during the period of the war, and no other method for regulating relations between the companies and employés shall be substituted except by mutual agreement.

The prompt acceptance by you of the plan herein directed would be highly appreciated by the commission, which desires to take this opportunity of thanking you for the cordial spirit of cooperation you have shown in our work.


W. B. WILSON, Chairman,





Phelps Dodge Corporation, Copper Queen Branch Mines, Bisbee, Arizona.

November 6, 1917

The President’s Mediation Commission, Bisbee, Arizona

Gentlemen – I have received your communication of this date directing this company to put into immediate operation the plan therein outlined for settlement of possible future grievances between the company and its employés during the remaining period of the war. As stated to you yesterday, it is our conviction that the adoption of any such plan in this district is unnecessary in view of existing conditions and this action is contrary to our best judgment. But, since we have no alternative in the matter, we shall endeavor to carry out your orders in spirit as well as in letter to the end that copper production by this company shall not be curtailed.

            Yours respectfully,


                 Copper Queen Branch.

 (signed)          G.H. DOWELL,


Calumet & Arizona Mining Co.

Warren, Arizona, November 6, 1917

To the President’s Mediation Commission, Hon. W.B. Wilson, Chairman.  

Gentlemen:–I beg leave to acknowledge receipt of your directions of November 6th, providing for the adjustment of future grievances that may arise between ourselves and our employés.

While we protest that conditions here do not necessitate the appointment of a federal administrator and maintain that the most harmonious relations exist between ourselves and our employés, we recognize this as an official governmental order, an emergency war time measure and assure you that we will carry out its provisions to the best of our ability.

We consider, in view of our protest, that the government assumes responsibility for the successful continuation of our operations during the life of this agreement–we promise our utmost cooperation.

We wish to express our appreciation of the courteous treatment shown us during the negotiations and assure you of our sincere wish that your important mission may meet with the utmost success.

                                                                                                Yours very truly,

                                                                                                    HARRY A. CLARK,

                                                                                                   Superintendent of Smelter.

                                                                                                    W. B. GOHRING,

                                                                                                   Superintendent of Mines.

     For the Calumet & Arizona Mining Company.

Shattuck-Arizona Copper Co., Bisbee, Arizona.

                                                                                                            November 6, 1917.

The President’s Mediation Commission, Bisbee, Arizona.

The Shattuck-Arizona Copper Company acknowledges receipt of the plan proposed by the President’s mediation commission for the adjustment of real or imaginary labor grievances, so that the production of copper may be maintained at its maximum for the period of the war.

As directed by the commission, the plan shall be put into operation and every effort shall be made by the management of the Shattuck-Arizona Copper Company to co-operate with the commission and obtain the desired results.

The Shattuck-Arizona Copper Company does not assume responsibility for the successful outcome of the plan of the President’s mediation commission, except as concerns its own part to this agreement.

We trust that the commission may be able to obtain the loyal and patriotic co-operation of the employés of this company, so that the proposed plan may be carried out to a successful conclusion.

                                                                                                Yours very truly,

                                                                                    SHATTUCK – ARIZONA COPPER COMPANY.

                                                                                                                           ARTHER HOULE,



We protested to the end against the imposition of official regulations on our relations with our employés, which relations we believe to be satisfactory and based on justice and fairness. The plan imposed by the commission is a presidential order and is not an agreement between ourselves and any labor organization.

The commission in its formal directions explains its attitude on unions. The commission stated that it was not its purpose to provide for union recognition or closed shop and denied any responsibility for or connection with the recent attempt to organize a union in this camp.

The policy of these companies as to the open shop is unchanged by this order and will continue as heretofore.

We have promised the commission that we will faithfully endeavor to carry out the plan as directed by it and we now request the loyal co-operation of our employés in carrying out its provisions.

     Signed by


          Copper Queen Branch.

                             G. H. DOWELL,



                             W. B. GOHRING,

                      Superintendent of Mines.


                               ARTHUR HOULE,