Stabilization of the Bituminous Coal Industry

July 24, 1935

Report Outline
The Mine Strike Threat and the Coal Bill
Need for Stabilization in Soft Coal Industry
Operations Under N. R. A. Bituminous Coal Code
The Guffey-Snyder Coal Bill in Congress
Special Focus

The Mine Strike Threat and the Coal Bill

Wage Negotiations and Postponements of Bituminous Strike

Negotiation for new wage and hour contracts in the bituminous coal fields are to be resumed July 25 between operators and representatives of the United Mine Workers of America. A strike of more than 400,000 bituminous coal miners is scheduled to begin August 1 unless a settlement is reached by that date. Such a strike has been averted three times since March 31, twice as a result of promises by President Roosevelt, that he would use his influence to obtain speedy passage by Congress of the Guffey-Snyder coal stabilization bill. The Guffey-Snyder bill, which was drawn by officials of the United Mine Workers, has not yet been taken up on the floor of either house. Secretary of Labor Perkins said, July 23, that she expected a favorable report on the bill from the House Ways and Means Committee “within a day or so.”

The miners' organization is demanding a 10 per cent increase in basic daily wage rates and a reduction of the present 35-hour week to 30 hours. It is agreed, however, by the miners and a majority of the operators that a restoration of the price-fixing features of the N. R. A. bituminous coal code, as provided in the Guffey-Snyder bill, is essential as a basis for any further concessions to mine labor. A peaceful settlement of the pending dispute is unlikely, therefore, in advance of congressional action on the coal stabilization bill.

The membership of the United Mine Workers is now believed to number about 95 per cent of the miners in the bituminous coal fields. In the spring of 1933 union membership had fallen to as low as 45 per cent of the miners. When it became known in April, 1933, that the National Industrial Recovery Act, then being formulated, would guarantee collective bargaining a vigorous and highly successful organizing compaign was instituted by the United Mine Workers. Although the union is now in position to tie up bituminous coal production more completely than at any time in its history, it has shown great reluctance to date to employ its new economic strength in a strike, preferring, for the time being, to bring its pressure upon Congress.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Coal Industry
Jun. 17, 2016  Coal Industry's Future
Jun. 24, 2011  Mine Safety
Oct. 05, 2007  Coal's Comeback
Mar. 17, 2006  Coal Mining Safety
Apr. 21, 1978  America's Coal Economy
Oct. 25, 1974  Coal Negotiations
Nov. 19, 1954  Coal in Trouble
Apr. 04, 1952  Coal Supply and European Rearmament
Jan. 22, 1947  Labor Costs and the Future of Coal
Jul. 24, 1935  Stabilization of the Bituminous Coal Industry
Jan. 01, 1929  The Anthracite Coal Situation
Dec. 01, 1928  The Bituminous Coal Situation
Jun. 30, 1927  The Bituminous Coal Strike
Aug. 15, 1925  The Bituminous Coal Problem
Aug. 01, 1925  Strike Emergencies and The President
Jul. 25, 1925  Miners' Wages and the Cost of Anthracite
Economic Crises
Unions and Labor-Management Relations