Page images
PDF
EPUB

The informal file, which I have before me, discloses the following: (Interoffice communication)

OCTOBER 6, 1938. To Witt From Wheeler. Subject: Check-off and closed shop provision of United Mine Workers of

America.

A preliminary report covering R-94, C-395, from Henry H. Foster, Jr., to Paul F. Broderick, January 31, 1939, under the title "The Appropriate Unit,' in which an analogy is drawn between this case and the Longshoremen's case.

Inter-office communication from Paul F. Broderick, dated January 31, 1939, transmitting a report on Alston Coal Co.case, and written thereon in ink is the following:

Also attached is a letter from Henry Allai, District President, No. 14, which may be of some assistance in the determination of this petition.

Henry Allai is connected with what organization?
Mr. Ozanic. He is an appointed officer of the United Mine Workers.

Mr. TOLAND. The file further discloses a copy of the petition signed by 53 members of the United Mine Workers of America who had previously filed a petition for the Progressive Mine Workers of America, but now recommend dismissal of the charge. The file discloses a petition signed by 22 signers of the petition referred to above, alleging that they had to sign the previous petition from fear of losing their jobs.

Interoffice communication from Emerson to Witt, re Alston Coal Co., a "C" case, titled “Recommendation against issuance of complaint following appeal by Progressive Mine Workers from decision of regional director.” Page 3 contains the following appended in pencil:

I disagree. This is not a closed-shop contract, and the treatment of it as such seems to me inconsistent with such decisions as Electric Vacuum and so forth, requiring notice to employees.

That is initialed “ABH."

Interoffice communication from Hugh E. Sperry to Witt, dated August 24, 1939, refers to the various “C” cases filed in that region by the Progressive Mine Workers of America. On page'3 the following appears:

Of course, I could not have issued a complaint alleged 8 (5) violations as to the single mine, even if the Progressives had produced the requested evidence on single mine units.

This was after the Board's decision and order in the Alston case, known as R-3152.

Will you proceed, Mr. Ozanic?

Mr. Ozanic. I think I have covered the Kansas case, unless there is something in particular that the committee wishes me to bring out.

Mr. TOLAND. Will you tell the committee on how many occasions you have discussed the Alston case and the kindred cases with the chairman of the Board, or any other members of the Board, and what the conversation was and what the members of the Board said to you?

Nr. OZANIC. I personally discussed the Alston Coal Co, case with the chairman of the Board in October 1938, which was the only time

[ocr errors]

that I personally discussed that case with the chairman of the Board, but on numerous occasions I called him by long-distance telephone. I sent him telegrams, and in addition to that

Mr. ToLAND. Did you ever get any answers to the telegrams?

Mr. Ozanic. I received very few answers to any correspondence I ever directed to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington. They were all ignored.

Mr. HALLECK. I think we ought to have a specific answer to that question.

Mr. OZANIC. I said that,let me make it clear.
Mr. HALLECK. Counsel inquired as to a particular communication.

Mr. OZANIC. Of the telegrams that I sent to the National Labor Relations Board, very little response was given me in connection with those telegrams. By that I mean to convey to you here now that practically all telegrams that I sent to the chairman of the Board were ignored. No reply was given to me on those telegrams.

Mr. HALLECK. As a matter of fairness, though, weren't many of them the sort of telegrams that were a representation of your position, and possibly did not require an answer?

Mr. Ozanic. I feel that they did require an answer, because they were specific telegrams. One in particular here is introduced as an exhibit under date of August 12, 1939, in which I called attention of the chairman of the Board to the fact that men were being discharged by the Island Creek Coal ('o. in West Virginia. The telegrams, you understand, that I directed to him dealt not only with the Alston Coal Co. case but with the situation generally in other States. pointed out to him that the situation had become so critical because of the company's flagrantly discharging their employees simply be. cause they refused to accede to the demands of the company to join the United Mine Workers, and pleaded with him to give us some action. No response. And in that telegram I pointed out to him my conversation with the director of the ninth region, Mr. Phillips, where he informed me, after I asked him for action in the West Virginia case, he said, “Mr. Ozanic, I don't mind telling you that you can expect all your West Virginia cases to be dismissed without a hearing." And I said to Mr. Phillips this: "Mr. Phillips, do I understand you to say that all of our West Virginia cases are going to be dismissed without hearings, notwithstanding the fact that in the Island Creek Coal Co. alone, which operates some 7 mines in Logan County, W. Va., we have almost 95 percent of the total of 1,700 men employed at those 7 mines actually signed to membership in our organization, but who have been denied that recognition, and in the face of those men being discharged, that we can expect those petitions to be dismissed?" He says, “That's right." I said, “Do you recognize that we have a majority at all the mines, and we can prove it by authentic evidence if you will hear the case?" He said, “I assume that is correct, but I am getting my orders from Washington, and I don't control the Board."

I immediately sent that telegram to Chairman Madden, telling him of my conversation with the regional director. He didn't answer my telegram. And on top of that our representative, Mr. Eccher-who is bere to testify for himself-on numerous occasions went to the regional office in Kansas City, Mo.—either Kansas City, Mo., or Kansas City, Kans.. I don't recall which and conferred with Mr. Broder

a

ick numerous times, pointing out the situation to him, and every instance was unavailing.

Mr. HALLECK. I think, Mr. Toland, if I might suggest, probably those things had better be followed up.

Mr. TOLAND. We are coming to that in the cases.
Mr. HALLECK. He is in a better position to tell us what happened.
Mr. TOLAND. They are coming out with the cases as I examine him.

Now, Mr. Ozanic, will you direct your attention to the petition filed in the Island Creek Coal Co. case?

Mr. MURDOCK. Mr. Toland, may I ask whether you are leaving now the Kansas cases? Before doing that, might I ask a few questions at this time?

Mr. Ozanic, these cases that you have referred to, all of which were dismissed by the Board subsequent to the decision in the Alston case, the facts in those cases were very similar, were they not, to the Alston case?

Mr. OZANIC. Practically, yes.

Mr. MURDOCK. In each instance the operator was a member of the association, the operators' association ?

Mr. OZANIC. Right.

Mr. MURDOCK. And had delegated authority to the association to bargain for it?

Mr. OZANIC. I assume they did.

Mr. MURDOCK. And where you are bargaining with an association you find it very conducive, do you not, to stability of the industry and peaceful relationship among the employees and the employers ?

Mr. OZANIC. We find that to be the case in Illinois, Mr. Murdock. Illinois is not comparable to the association in Kansas and elsewhere.

Mr. MURDOCK. But my question is this: You have found that the association-wide unit, both for employers and employees, is conducive to stability in the industry and peaceful relations among employees and employers in your Illinois set-up, where you are the bargaining agent for the employees?

Mr. Ozanic. Not necessarily, Mr. Congressman. We find that there is just as much stability in the mining industry where we negotiate with the single employer as we do where we negotiate with the association. The fact of the matter is that in Illinois, where we do negotiate with what is known as the Coal Producers Association through that sort of a set-up, stability is more or less maintained in the mining industry. We find that in Kansas, where the Board mentions the Illinois Coal Producers Association and the method of bargaining there as a means of maintaining stability in the mining industry, that the direct opposite has happened in Kansas, because the wage structure, the working conditions, have been broken down by the association to which the Board refers in Kansas, simply because contracts that are negotiated between those associations and the United Mine Workers are not enforced after they are made. So I say it is not a factor entirely that maintains stability in the industry simply because associations bargain, and the same would be true even though it was done on an individual employer basis.

Mr. MURDOCK. You say that as the result of the action of the Board the Progressive Union is not representing the employees in Kansas? Mr. OZANIC. That's right.

218054-40--Vol. 2

3

Mr. MURDOCK. It is not the result, however, of error in the system ! Mr. OZANIC. That is correct. The entire result of it will be, if

you will pardon me, because the contracting parties, who in this case happen to be the United Mine Workers and the so-called Southwestern Coal Operators Association in Kansas, have no regard for written contracts, understand, and you will find in that field that even though there is a contract made between that district, which is a provisional district of the United Mine Workers and Operators Association, that there are mines working for less wages and under different working conditions, even though an association-wide contract has been negotiated, which has broken down the stability of the mining industry throughout that entire area.

Mr. MURDOCK. And, as I understand it, the only thing wrong in that set-up is the inefficiency of the bargaining agent for the employees?

Mr. Ozanic. That, I will say, is one reason.

Mr. MURDOCK. If the United were replaced by your union, everything would be 0. K.?

Mr. OZANIC. Or by any other union that is the choice of the rank and file miners themselves.

Mr. MURDOCK. Now, another question. This condition of association-wide bargaining has been carried on in that region over a great number of years, has it not?

Mr. OZANIC. No; that is not true. The evidence will indicate that that is true, but, Mr. Congressman, when the Board held that hearing in Pittsburg, Kans., we didn't anticipate-in fact, I didn't participate in those hearings at all—but we didn't anticipate that the Board was going to be so interested in ancient history rather than in the rights of the workers to exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, and had we known that they were going to center that entire case around what constituted an appropriate bargaining unit, or try to establish how long that particular operators association functioned, we could have shown that that association did not function for a period of 36 years, that it had disintegrated and was reorganized on at least four occasions during that 36-year period. We didn't know that, and consequently were not prepared to offset that sort of thing.

Mr. MURDOCK. In your request for a rehearing, did you submit those facts?

Mr. OZANIC. I don't recall whether we asked for a rehearing, but we did appeal to the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. MURDOCK. You don't recall whether those facts, then, were presented in your request for a rehearing, and, as I understood you, you did not participate in the hearings on the Alston case?

Mr. Ozanio. Right.

Mr. MURDOCK. For which you had been clamoring over all these months?

Mr. Ozanic. My representative participated.
Mr. MURDOCK. But you yourself were not there?

Mr. Ozanic. I personally was not there. I didn't deem it neces. sary-in fact, my time was so occupied that I couldn't have been there had I wanted to.

Mr. MURDOCK. And after you found out that the Board was taking into consideration the situation which had existed-I refer now to the association-wide bargaining—notwithstanding the fact that you

found that the Board was referring to that and depended on it, then you did not see fit to call that to their attention in your request for a rehearing!

Mr. Ozanic. Mr. Congressman, the representative of our union that was in that hearing, who presented our side of the case, apparently was not aware of those facts, but the evidence will show, the transeript of that case will show, as do the findings of fact of the Board itself, that we, in that hearing, contended that an individual employer was an appropriate unit within the meaning of the act, and that association collective bargaining, or negotiation, did not supersede the right of the workers.

Mr. MURDOCK. I know, but the Board ruled against you.
Mr. OZANIC. The Board ruled against us.

Mr. MURDOCK. The thing I want to develop is that after your clamoring for months for a hearing, you didn't attend it, and then when you say you couldn't anticipate that the Board was going to stress the fact that this association-wide bargaining had gone on for years, then when you found out that they did stress that fact you didn't call these facts which you have related here to the attention of the Board on your request for rehearing.

Mr. Ozanic. I learned that after the hearings were fully completed; and secondly, there was no appeal or petition for review in that case, because the National Labor Relations Board itself made that decision. It was not the regional director. There is no review of the decision rendered by the National Labor Relations Board itself.

Mr. MURDOCK. What is that?

Mr. Ozanic. There is no review forthcoming to us on a petition or decision rendered by the Board itself.

Mr. MURDOCK. Aren't you in error on that? It seems to me that one of the exhibits that has been introduced shows that you had requested a rehearing on the petitions and charges in “C” cases that were dismissed by the Board following this particular decision on the “C” cases.

Mr. OzANIC. The regional director refused to issue a complaint and dismissed the charges and petitions on the basis of the Alston Coal Co. decision. We then petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a review of the regional director's decision, and in which case the National Labor Relations Board sustained the regional director; but in the Alston Coal Co. case, which was decided by the Board itself, there was no review forthcoming in the matter.

Mr. MURDOCK. Let me ask you this question: Is there an appealI would like to direct Mr. Toland's attention to this also, and Mr. Fahy-is there an appeal from the decision of the Board in a case similar to the Alston case, that is, a representation case?

Mr. OZANIC. No; there is no appeal.

Mr. MURDOCK. So nothing could be done and nothing has been done to attack the Alston case in the courts?

Mr. Ozanic. Right. We haven't gone to any other court. The only appeal, as I understand it, would be in a “C” case, and we could then resort to the proper court, the United States court of appeals here in this district, and take it up to that court.

Mr. MURDOCK. If there is no objection, I would like to have Mr. Fahy answer that question—whether or not there is any way that an

« PreviousContinue »