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corporations have in lands, some of which have lain idle for forty years, and will not be mined for fifty years longer, while the minimum royalty sticks to the lessees like the old man of the sea." A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the State obliges them to pay the minimum as long as they occupy the land, although they pay for the coal many times over. In addition to this great investment is the expense of opening and keeping in repair the mines, the building of breakers and other machinery, the expenses of cars, mules, and the wages of the men. The item of repairs may mean the rebuilding of a burned breaker or the reopening of a flooded mine, either of which will take the earnings of several years. The profits of five years were spent by one company in draining a "drowned mine;" while another spent three years, at an outlay of one hundred thousand dollars, in overcoming a fault."
The coal monopoly failed in so far as controlling the coal market was concerned on account of the competition of bituminous coal, whose field is practically unlimited, which is more cheaply mined, does not need to be broken, and bears a universal royalty of only ten cents a ton when mined.
The coal-carrying companies look for relief from the burden of their stupendous investments in the mining business to their tolls as carriers, notwithstanding which some of them have been for a long time on the verge of bankruptcy.
To show what the coal-carrying companies earn in their business I annex the following schedule of dividends paid by them for the past
1 Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company..
2 Lehigh Valley Railroad Com
3 Delaware Lackawanna & Westera Railroad Company. 4 Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company.....
5 Central Railroad of New Jer
Pennsylvania Railroad Com
Schuylkill Railroad Company.
7 7 038
↑ Erie Railroad Company.
Pennsylvania Coal Company.. 28 9 New York. Susquehanna & Western Railroad Company.. 10 New York, Ontario & Western Railroad Company...
11 Delaware, Susquehanna
ง ง ง :
7 5 5 5 5 7
5 4 4 4 574
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6
16 20 16 21 16 16 16 16
These,-except the third, fourth, sixth, and tenth,-are known as the Morganized roads.
The Pennsylvania Coal Company capital stock is only $5,000,000.
THE COAL BARONS.
There are two classes of coal operators,-the coal-carrying companies, which we have just been. considering, and the private operators. The latter are at the disadvantage which a small business always meets in competition with a great monopoly. The carrying companies charge them extortionate rates and deny them cars until they are willing to allow them a commission of 65 per cent. of the price at tide for transporting and selling their coal.
In view of all these difficulties in the coal business, it may be pertinent to inquire, "Who are
the coal barons?"
The term is one of those mischievous titles which arise nobody knows how and are carelessly applied. The popular image of a coal baron is a lord of the manor who lives in splendor while his serfs dig a miserable living out of the dark and dangerous mines. Such a person does not exist; he is a creature of the yellow journals. The persons who come nearest to the popular idea of coal barons are the private operators,--whose workmen, however, have the fewest grievances, and many of whom have paternal relations with their men in the way of maintaining hospitals, schools, libraries, and model tenements.
The officials of the coal-carrying companies are so far away, and their stock is distributed so widely both here and abroad,-much of it in the hands of widows and orphans who do not know what a dividend means,-that they can hardly be termed coal barons. There remain only the landlords of the coal lands. These are the true barons. They lie behind and beneath the coal business ; their names are scarcely known to the public; they have no part in the strikes, for whether business is good or bad, the coal royalties go on. Personally they are of the gentlest; widows, children, old men; some of them already straitened in purse by the working out of their coal lands; some of them of great fortune, liberal in public enterprises and in public and private charities. Their benefactions are not limited to their own town or State, and their investments have helped to develop the remote parts of the country.
Acknowledgments are due to A. D. W. Smith, State geologist of the anthracite region, for maps and sections; to Prof. C. O. Thurston, of Wyoming Seminary, for photographs; and to Saward's Coal Journal for statistics.
BY TALCOTT WILLIAMS.
GREAT anthracite coal strike, laying idle 160,000 men and boys and affecting the profits of some $1,000,000,000 of capital, is not the simple thing many people think it. In a great street-car strike the strikers are all on a parity. In textile strikes they are of two or three closely related classes of labor. So in railroad strikes. In iron and steel they are of two classes; but of these only one, the skilled laborer, is admitted to the union or seriously regarded, the mere laborer being excluded. Lastly, and most important of all, these are all parts of an industrial machine in which the plant of production is closely geared to the need of consumption.
The anthracite coal mines have three distinct classes of labor,-miners, laborers, and men employed on engines and pumps and as mine bosses. The last class is employed through the year; pumps must be kept going whether mining is in progress or not. Their posts are permanent. The laborers work, as already described, at loading what miners have detached. The miner employs them, and receives in general two-thirds of the proceeds of the joint labor. The contract miner's object is to detach in the shortest time each day the largest amount of coal. Hours do not count with him. If he can gain in 200 days of 4 to 6 hours the wage of a year, -as in 1901, he is satisfied. Nothing helps him but a pro rata advance in the sum paid for mining" a "ton" of coal. The laborer must work a ten-hour day, the miner sees to that, and the laborer has two objects he is working at day labor in the hope of becoming a miner. This was once easy, when the anthracite output was expanding, and more miners were constantly needed, selected from ·laborers speaking the same tongue and of the same race as the miners. To become a miner has grown to be hard. The laborer must by law work two years in a mine; he must pass an examination, stiff for him,-in English, not his native tongue, and he must be selected for a "chamber" by a boss of another race, who prefers miners of his own tongue and stock,-English, Irish, or Scotch. Pay and hours mean less to the laborer than promotion, and a larger share in the joint wage of himself and the miner. Lastly, the men employed on pumps, engines, etc., care nothing for the tonnage, are free from the irregular days of anthracite miners, and are interested only either in reducing hours or increasing per diem pay, or both.
To weld these three diverse and conflicting interests in one union, and get them to strike together, is a remarkable proof of the strong tendency toward organization, and the determination of labor, in large homogeneous bodies of artisans, to trust to the collective rather than the personal bargain. This determination may be wise or unwise. Carried too far, it has dealt English industry a visible blow in the world competition of the day. The tendency exists. It must be reckoned with. No capital, however anxious to receive the largest output at the lowest cost, can wisely disregard it. As in the case of the United States Steel Corporation, it is wiser to accept it, and be guided by it in reaching a yearly standard of wages; but to keep "open "establishments, where men working free from union rules can provide, by the largest prac ticable output and individual initiative, a standard of product which matches and supplements the union's standard of wages.
The anthracite coal strike of September, 1900, was primarily for miners' wages. Pro rata, it advanced the wages of the mine laborers. motion having been, for eighteen months, slow during a period of great prosperity and unprece dented output, the laborers last winter demanded a larger proportionate share on the weigh-check or aggregate paid to the miner and the laborer. This plea was disregarded by the union. Had there not been a strike led by miners against operators, there would probably soon have been a strike led by laborers against miners. If the strike of September, 1900, was primarily for miners' wages, the strike now was primarily for laborers and engine men, pumpers, etc., and as to organization primarily for "control."
The coal mined is coal and slate. The coal paid for is coal, alone. Amazing as it may seem, the net coal mined is a matter of guess. The guess is close. It is like all guessing when men guess often, generally accurate. But it is a guess; and being a guess, is at times highly inaccurate. The actual coal mined is at times more than the coal for whose mining men are paid. Nothing could be worse. It irritates men. It loads the company weigh-sheets with the smell and savor of injustice. Like the old charge made for powder, it is a survival which, in the total, works little injustice. But in paying wages, the employer must not only be just, he must seem just. When the men asked for a net coal weigh
ing, they asked for something not easily done, costing some readjustment, trouble, and expense, but wise and worth, in reducing a sense of injus tice, such loss of a shaving of profit and such increase of clerical force as it might demand. In such increase of return to labor as this brought, the Slav laborer would share.
The demand of the miner's union for an eighthour day for pumpers, engineers, etc., was intended to give this class of permanent labor a reason for coming out. They hold permanent positions. They had not gained in the previous strike in the same way that the miners had. Being permanent, and an intermission of their labor working a permanent injury to their mines, it has been the unwritten law of coal strikes that a pumper could keep on working in a strike without being a "scab." Calling them out in a strike was like cutting down date trees in Arab warfare. The union could have done nothing without calling out its allies at the pumps; but when it did this, it very greatly embittered railroad managers and operators. Compromise became difficult and conciliation almost impracticable when this extreme step was taken.
With labor, however, consisting of these diverse elements, the union could never be intrenched in full control of the conditions on which it yearly bargained, unless all the labor was organized. The exclusion from the mines of all non-union labor was the final aim of the United Miners' Union. Its representative verbally admitted this at the conference held by the Federation of Labor, and when this was done collision was certain.
Had the miner's union in the past eighteen months exerted the rigid discipline of big wellmanaged unions, prevented small strikes, and worked for a cheap output, it might have divided capital. But it had not been "recognized." Therefore, its control was often loose. Local unions irritated local operators. In the Reading mines, the proportion of coal mined per miner fell one-eighth. It is part of a bad system of over-manned mines under which miners try to distribute work. Output was reduced and wages increased. The result was that the miners were without the responsible control of a big union, and the railroad managers and operators irritated by small strikes and ready for a fight.
When, at the Federation conference the miners' union was adroitly led to assert, though not as a sine qua non, the right to exclude nonunion men after eighteen months, with all the difficulties and none of the benefits of a large union, conciliation was impossible. The demand meant control." On wages, men can bargain. On control," compromise is so difficult as to be
impracticable. It has been made more difficult in the present strike by three conditions. Anthracite railroad managers and anthracite mine operators are under a grinding competition with bituminous coal. To accept a union of United Mine Workers of America, in which the bituminous workers were two to one, was, they believed, to render it certain that on most issues the management of the union would keep bituminous mines busy rather than anthracite. Anthracite mining greatly varies from mine to mine, and a uniform scale," as in bituminous mines, is diffi cult. It cannot be impracticable, for veins as narrow, tortuous, and varying are mined under a "scale" in England. Small strikes, on trivial causes, have been frequent,-too frequent, in the anthracite region. This is partly due to varying conditions. Partly to the habit of an irregular industry in which, working only one hundred and fifty to two hundred days in a year, men do not mind a day's holiday. Partly because organization has been by mines. The great unions make strikes more serious when they come; but they do not go to war about trifles, or stop work because a mine boss has "sassed a miner, or the two have disagreed on a weigh-check. The frequent strikes in the anthracite region have done much to array operators against any organization.
In these issues alone there was matter for collision, but all else was small by the side of the final facts on each side,-that the union could not keep its men together merely by maintaining the increase of October, 1900, renewed in April, 1901, -as it was, some 40 per cent. of the men voted against a strike, and that the railroad managers and operators felt that they had been coerced by an alliance between capital and politics, Morgan and Hanna, and humiliated before their miners by the settlement of 1900.
This feeling (and a railroad manager or coalmine owner is just as ready as any other man to sacrifice somebody else to gratify his feelings) has bred obdurate temper on both sides. It has been deepened by the fatal economic situation of the miner. Under competition, the anthracite plant is one-half larger in mines and one-half greater in labor than the utmost demand of the public. Two-thirds of the mines and two-thirds of the men, run more regularly and systematically, could in spite of the lack of demand in summer, produce the coal cheaper and more profitably, and at a higher individual aggregate average, even if at a lower per diem or per ton than the present system. What the anthracite coal industry really needs is a reorganization like that after the London dock strike of 1889, reducing the number of men but increasing
work for each. As it is, men who prefer work. ing all the year to working two-thirds of the year, and often half a day at that, have, by a natural elimination, been weeded out steadily, and have left a large share of men, bred to a habit of irregular work and short hours. This one fact is at the bottom of much fitful irregularity in the mines.
The railroad managers, holding public franchises weighted by public responsibilities, have
THE ANTHRACITE-CARRYING RAILWAYS.
BY H. T. NEWCOMB.
HE anthracite region of Pennsylvania is traversed by nine railways, all of which are controlled by corporations that are engaged, either directly or otherwise, in the business of mining and selling hard coal. The present constitution of the State prohibits grants of mining and transporting privileges to the same corporation; but the conditions of the supply and those under which it is mined and marketed render substantial identity of interest between the operators and the carriers necessary in order to prevent wasteful duplication of facilities, and to secure the conservation of the product. sult has been the progressive extension of the activities of the railways and their allied corporations and the steady disappearance of the independent operators. Those railways whose charters do not antedate the constitutional prohibition have successfully evaded it by the creation of coal companies which they control, or are themselves subject to the direction of security-holding corporations that are also owners of the control of mining property. Thus the Lehigh Valley
Central of New Jersey...... Delaware & Hudson...
Length of line
Par value. Par value.
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western..
New York, Ontario & Western..
481 3,739 1,454
clearly no right, as they have all united in doing, to refuse all compromise, conciliation, or adjustment, and simply stop work, letting the public pay the cost in higher coal. They are bound either to reach an adjustment themselves, to let some one else reach one for them, or to reorganize the whole industry on a basis which will reduce the material and moral waste of the present system, where poor mines are worked and men are onethird of the year idle even in a prosperous year.
Railway owns all of the stock of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, while the capital stock of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway is owned by the Reading Company, which also controls, in a similar manner, the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. The superficial observer rarely has any difficulty in condemning this union of interest between the producers of utilities of form and those of utilities of place; but the fact is, beyond question, that the development of railway mining has been marked by the abolition of many of the wasteful practices of former years and the introduction of machinery and methods which permit a much more complete utilization of the total supply.
The following statement shows the names of the companies that control anthracite mining and transportation, their present mileage and capitalization, the proportion of anthracite tonnage to their total traffic, as shown by the census of 1890 (the latest date for which such data are available for all companies), and the amount of anthracite marketed by each in 1901:
176.271,300 | 174.967,100
Traffic in 1890.
Tons. 13,693,959 5,526,358 10.936.685
269,394 16.269,656* 13,550,167 1,473.788 49.848.353 20,597,939
Proportion of total.
11.5 9.3 14.1 3.0
These figures relate to the New York, Lake Erie & Western, but a portion of the present Erie Railroad. In 1890, the anthracite tonnage of the Erie & Wyoming Valley was 92.87 per cent. of its total traffic; that of the New York, Susquehanna & Western, 69.07 per cent.; of the Chicago & Atlantic, 5.79 per cent.; and of the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio, 3.04 per cent. All these properties belong to the present Erie corporation.
The figures for traffic in 1890, of course, can but roughly indicate the present importance of their anthracite tonnage to the carriers named. It is certain, in fact, that most of them have greatly increased their miscellaneous traffic, and that the latter is now relatively much more important than it was a decade ago.
The increase in hard coal shipments from the mines, from 1890 to 1900, was from 35,865,174 tons in the earlier to 45,107,484 in the later year, or 25.77 per cent; while during the same years the number of tons of all freight carried by the railways in the group of States to which Pennsylvania belongs increased 55.10 per cent., from 240,576,704 to 373,139,488, and the aggregate freight transportation from 23,236,827,478 to 41,275,547,319 ton miles, or 77.63 per cent. Among the anthracite lines are several of the most important in this group, and they operate approximately 50 per cent. of its mileage.
The history of anthracite transportation has been characterized by successive efforts to restrict the competition of the producers. The capacity of the collieries is considerably beyond that necessary to meet the demand at a profitable price level, and experience has taught that unrestrained rivalry in mining and selling is always the preliminary to inevitable disaster. Dr. Peter Roberts, an authority on this subject, calls attention to the fact that the four bank. ruptcies of the Reading Railway have each followed very soon after periods of strenuous competition. Yet the conditions which render harmonious action necessary make it very diffi cult to secure the observance of agreements when they can be effected, and many statutory obstacles make additionally laborious the path toward reasonable profits and industrial order.
During the year 1901 prices were exceptionally stable, and there was a good deal of evidence that some of the worst difficulties of former years had been neutralized. This was undoubtedly brought about, in part at least, by the establishment of very close relations between companies that had previously been, in a greater or less degree, competitors. There was unquestionably some progress toward a real consolidation of interests, but its extent has been exaggerated by the daily press. The principal recent changes were the purchase of a majority of the stock of the Central of New Jersey by the Reading, the distribution of a considerable interest in the Lehigh Valley among several other companies, including some that are not anthracite carriers, and the establishment of relations with the Lackawanna which have made that company less of a disturbing factor in the situation. The Pennsylvania Railroad occupies an absolutely independent position, the Delaware, Susquehanna & Schuylkill is merely an adjunct to the business of Coxe Brothers & Company, large independent operators, while the position of the New York, Ontario & Western and Delaware & Hudson companies is one of relative independence. Corporations are governed by boards of directors, and a glance at the membership of those of the nine anthracite carriers will show how far there is associated management. The total membership of the nine boards is 107, and these places are filled by 88 individuals, 77 of whom serve in but one board each. Of the remaining eleven, one is a member of four directorates, six belong to three, and four to two. The following table presents the facts regarding common membership in these boards: