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1934 & 1935|
Bombings, Explosions, Riots, Shootings, Mayhem & Murder continue
The Progressive Miners of America (PMA) was a coal miners' union organized in 1932.
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- 1935 -
|The Urbana Evening Courier, Urbana, Illinois, January 4, 1934, Page 1|
Federal Probe of Peabody Mine War Launched Today
Harrisburg, Ill., Jan. 4. --(United Press.) -- One of the major "sore spots", in the mine union factional warfare in Illinois today came under the scrutiny of federal authorities as the labor board opened a hearing in the Peabody Coal company's controversy with Progressive Miners of America.
Headed by Dr . John A. Lapp, the regional board summoned officials of the company and Progressive leaders to obtain information to guide toward a settlement of the dispute.
For more than a year the refusal of the Peabody company tor recognize the Progressives union has caused strife in the Saline county coal field.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, January 6, 1934, Page 3|
NEW ELECTION ORDERED FOR STATE COAL MINERS
CHICAGO, Jan. 5. -- AP -- Dr . John A . Lapp, chairman of the regional coal labor board, today ordered a new election January 17 to determine whether the Progressive Miners union or the United Miners of America shall represent the workers at the Mark mine in dealings with the company.
Dr. Lapp said the balloting will be secret and that he and his two colleagues of the board would supervise the election. The colleagues are Ora Gasaway, Brazil, Ind., and Harvey Cartright, Terre Haute, Ind.
It is the first such vote to be ordered in Illinois by the bituminous coal board. No provision was made by the board for the workers to vote on the question of being represented by a company union. Dr . Lapp indicated he believed few of the employees of the mine would be in favor of such representation.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, January 12, 1934, Page 3|
Open Peabody Shaft With United Miners
HARRISBURG, Jan. 11. -- AP -- Peabody Mine No. 47, closed for many months owing to strife between warring union factions, will be opened tomorrow with United Mine Workers of America, company officials announced today.
The re-opening will follow a ruling of the federal labor board, made yesterday, that a contract between the United Mine Workers of America, and the Peabody Coal company was valid. The Progressive Miners of America had sought recognition of their union on the ground the contract was illegal.
Peabody mines in Saline county were ordered closed October 5, following a riot at Peabody Mine No. 42 between Progressive Miners and United Mine Workers employed at the colliery.
Twenty-two persons were injured in the clash and national guardsmen were rushed into the turbulent area to subdue the outbreak.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, January 15, 1934, Page 1|
TROUBLE IS BREWING AGAIN AT TAYLORVILLE;
GOVERNOR IS READY TO DISPATCH TROOPS
Taylorville, Ill., Jan. 15. -- (United Press.) -- This coal mining region, scene of bloody factional union strife which has cost numerous lives, was a bristling armed camp today as sheriff's vigilantes prepared to block a miners march on working coal mines here.
The march scheduled for Wednesday is planned by the Progressive Miners of America combating operation of diggings under wage contract with the United Mine Workers of America.
A strikers' committee, issued a state-wide appeal for all unemployed miners to join in the "march," the object of which is to force four Peabody coal company mines here and nearby to either close or recognize the P. M. of A.
More than 10,000 miners, it was said, will be in the "march" which is to form in Springfield and at Gillespie and thence proceed in a motor cavalcade to the objective.
Frankly, anticipating bloodshed If the striking miners, former members of the U. M. W. of A., are allowed to reach any of the mines, Sheriff C. Wienke of Christian county, (Taylorville), and Allan Cole of Sangamon county, (Springfield), have sworn in numerous deputy sheriffs to assist in preventing the march.
The Sangamon county authorities plan to prevent any "marchers" from leaving here. State highway police will be posted along roads leading to Tavlorvllle to detour "marchers."
In the meantime Christian county vigilants, composed of farmers and "white collar" workers, patrolled highways stopping automobiles to prevent the trickling in of small batches of Progressive miners.
Occupants were questioned and if able to give satisfactory replies were allowed to go on. Otherwise they were turned back.
"We mean business," said Wienke, "I am not going to have any bloodshed."
That state troops may be called was also more than a possibility.
Seriousness of the situation has been placed before Gov. Henry Horner and Adjutant Gen. Carlos Black of the Illinois National guard, and if the "March" prove too much for Weineke it is believed troops, ready for instantaneous transportation, will be rushed to Taylorville.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, January 18, 1934, Page 1|
SPRINGFIELD, Jan. 18. (Thursday) -- AP -- Headquarters of the Progressive Miners union at nearby Kincaid were reported to have been damaged by the explosion of a bomb early today.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, February 11, 1934, Page 6|
Labor Board Ends Headings
(By the Associated Press)
SPRINGFIELD, Feb. 10. -- The regional coal labor board concluded a three-day hearing today after taking evidence in seven disputes between Illinois miners.
Blanket objections to the participation of Ora Gasaway, Brazil, Ind., in hearing disputes involving United Mine Workers contracts were entered by the Progressive Miners of America.
Gasaway is a member of the international board of the United Mine Workers, and the Progressives charge that he is prejudiced in favor of the United Miners.
The Progressives assert that the United Mine Workers contracts were negotiated by union officials without consent of the rank and file.
|March 1934||No entries at this time|
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, April 19, 1934, Page 2|
LABOR SITUATION ASSUMES NEW LINEUP WITH MINE DIFFICULTIES INCREASING ALL THE TIME;
Kincaid, Ill. One miner killed and five others wounded as old hatreds break out among rival unions in the Midland coal fields.
Washington, April 18. -- Progressive Miners of America in Illinois have been urged to return to work pending a decision on appeals of operators for the existing Progressive union wage contracts. Wayne Ellis, deputy administrator in charge of the bituminous code, sent telegrams to union leaders. He called attention to the fact that Gen. Hugh Johnson was expected soon to rule on the order establishing a $5 day.
One Dead, Five Wounded
Kincaid, III., April , 18. -- (UP) -- One miner is dead, five others are wounded, two of them critically and an other man severely beaten today following an outbreak of mine union warfare in the Midland mining area near here last night which was as aftermath of a village trustee election.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 21, 1934, Page 2|
Breakfast Table Chat
By Jack Hanafin '35
When Deputy Sheriff J. H. Betterton attempted to stop the speech of Mr. Norman Thomas, once socialist candidate for president, in strike torn Taylorville the other day, he did not realize his action would cause as much comment and criticism as it has. Sheriff Betterton was acquainted with Taylorville. He knew the city is occupied by two warring factions of the state mine union dispute. He also knew that Mr. Thomas was professedly in sympathy with the Progressive miners cause. In addition, he was aware that a speech by such an espoused advocate of the Progressive union was bound to cause trouble in Taylorville and Christian county. He did the best he could to stop the impending trouble. Mr. Thomas should have known better than to go to Taylorville. He was aware of the situation and should have realized that his presence would tend to further hostilities in the bloody conflict which has taken nearly a score of lives in the midland mine fields since September, 1932.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, April 27, 1934, Page 2
Chicago, April, 27. -- (UP) -- The bituminous coal labor board today upheld the Progressive Miners of America in their dispute with the United Mine Workers of America, rival union, over a contract in effect at the Rex Coal company's mine at Eldorado, Ill.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, May 5, 1934, Page 2|
Breakfast Table Chat
By Jack Hanafin '35
A RESOLUTION passed by the state senate urges a referendum vote to solve Illinois mine troubles and end the bloody strife between the two mine unions. Miners would be given the opportunity to vote on which mine union they prefer. The result would be adduced as evidence in the series of NRA labor board hearings to determine which union has the contract with certain Illinois mines. The state-wide referendum has been urged by the Progressive faction ever since its organization but no one had suggested what to do with it after it was taken. The referendum resolution recently introduced by Senator Harry C. Stuttle and passed by the senate is a good thing. Such a vote would help to end the veritable civil war which has dragged out in the midland coal fields for nearly two years and has cost a score of lives.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, May 9, 1934, Page 1|
TWO MINES NEAR SPRINGFIELD DYNAMITED AND HEAVY DAMAGE DONE;
UNION WARFARE BLAMED
Springfield, Ill., May 19. -- (UP) -- Dynamite bombs early today wrecked equipment at two Peabody Coal company mines located near Springfield, doing damage estimated by officials at slightly less than $30,000.
No one was injured in either blast. the first of which occurred at midnight and the second at 1 o'clock this morning.
The first explosion occurred at Mine No. 52 located at Riverton and wrecked the mine fan house and did damage to several other structures. The total damage was estimated at$18,000.
The company's Cora mine located at Andrew, several miles north of here, was the scene of the second explosion and it wrecked the fan house which later caught fire. ;Other buildings were slightly damaged with the total loss being estimated at $10,000. Authorities attributed the two blasts to a new outbreak of violence in the long standing mine union controversy between members of the Progressive Miners of America and the United Mine Workers of America which has been raging for nearly two years.
Officials of the Peabody company believe that the bombs were aimed chiefly at wrecking the fan houses at the two mines to prevent possible operation of the two pits for some time.
The Riverton mine has been idle for two years.
|The Progressive Miner - June 1934|
GILLESPIE, IL. -- A picnic and large parade was held by the Progressive Miners of America with attendees from all over the state. The mealtime was enjoyed at Reservoir Park.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 6, 1934, Page 6|
Will Continue Fight
SPRINGFIELD, June 5. -- (AP) -- President Claude E. Pearcy of the Progressive Miners of America today described the NRA ruling against the mine union referendum in Illinois as a contradiction of the intent and purposes of the NRA, a violation of the spirit of democracy and an open endorsement of company unionism. Without direct comment on the long struggle of the Progressives against the United Mine Workers of America, Pearcy said his union would continue its fight.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, June 8, 1934, Page 1|
Writ Contemplated To Force Illinois Mine Hearing
WASHINGTON, June 7. -- (AP) -- George W. Dowell, general counsel of the Progressive Miners of America, said today that members of his organization were contemplating starting mandamus proceedings against Attorney General Cummings to force him to take part in their controversy with the mine operators of Illinois.
The movement, he said, has developed since efforts to bring about departmental and Presidential intervention in the union controversy with the United Mine Workers of America in that state have failed.
Dowell, who has been in the capital for the past 10 days attempting to enlist Presidential sympathy for a referendum to decide whether Illinois miners shall be represented by the Progressives or the United Miners organization, said his announcement followed receipt of several letters from department of justice officials.
These letters, he said, pointed out that neither the attorney general, nor a district attorney, could take action in a labor controversy without he request of the national recovery administration.
"Inasmuch as our cause," Dowell said, has been rejected by every NRA appeal body because, being dominated by John L. Lewis, international president of the U. M. W. of A., they are all incapable of impartial decisions, there is no other resource but to attempt mandamus."
At the same time Rep . Nesbit (Dem., III.), complained to the House judiciary committee that a mine receivership case conducted by Federal Judge Walter C. Lindley of Danville was being administered unfairly to the Progressives.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 21, 1934, Page 1|
P. M. A. PROTESTS COAL CONTRACTS
Commissioner Barr Consents To Intervention By Rebel Union In Hearing
Chicago. -- (UP) -- The Progressive Miners of America today were permitted to intervene in the Illinois Commerce Commission's study of 100 million dollars in contracts given the Peabody Coal Co. by three Illinois utilities.
The commission began hearing evidence on contracts, extending over a period of 24 years and involving, the Commonwealth Edison company, Public Service company of Northern Illinois and the Super Power company of Illinois.
George W. Dowell , representative of the Progressive miners asked the right to study the contracts and perhaps intervene in the case "for protection of miners at mines which have not received utility contracts and for protection of the consuming public.
Commissioner Harry A. Barr of Urbana, presiding at the bearing, commented.
A. T. Foley, coal expert of St . Paul, Minn., who helped draw the contracts for the utility concerns, testified they were fair and that the Peabody Co. was allowed only six per cent profit.
C. C. LeForgee, of Decatur , Attorney for the Illinois Power & Light Co., appeared to protest the contracts.
LaForgee, accompanied by Allen Van Wyck, vice president of the Illinois Light & Power company, said that as a minority stockholder of the Super company, his client had objected to the coal contracts.
|The Evening Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 27, 1934, Page 1|
Progressive Mine Union Loses Fight on Peoria Shaft
Chicago. -- ( UP ) -- The Progressive Miners of America suffered a defeat Wednesday as the bituminous coal labor board upheld a contract between the United Mine Workers of America and the operators of Dorthell Mine No. 2 at Peoria.
The Progressive Union charged hat the company has refused to bargain with its representatives unless the organization became a company union. The board ruled that a contract still is in effect between the Dorthelll operators and the United Mine workers and must remain in force until canceled by mutual agreement.
The Dorthell mine shut down on Aug. 10, 1932. Of 260 men employed, 235 now are members of the Progressive faction, union officials said.
|July 1934||No entries at this time|
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 11, 1934, Page 5|
Organized Doctors Raise New Ethic Against Cut Rates to Union Miners
Medical Society State Judiciary Council Refuses Reinstatement Appeal of Taylorville Doctor Who Cares for Families at $18 a Year.
By William Gisinger, Courier Staff Correspondent
DR. R. J. MILLER, Taylorville, has come Into collision with the American Medical Association as a result of his effort to make medical service available to coal miners at low cost.
The situation created by Dr. Miller's acceptance of a contract with unions of coal miners has resulted in his expulsion from membership in the Christian county medical society. He is preparing to carry his appeal to the convention of the state medical society.
In the meanwhile, a new battle ground is being prepared for the old warfare of the medics against any and every movement that suggests "state medicine". In this case, it is a contest, not between the doctors and the state, but between the doctors' trade union -- interested in keeping up the levels of charges for medical service -- and the miners' trade union, Interested in obtaining service for Its members at a cost they can afford to pay.
Dr. Miller has lost the first round in the battle. His expulsion from the Christian County Medical society carries with it expulsion from state and national organizations, unless he is reinstated on appeal. The judicial council of the Illinois Medical society in June upheld the action of the Christian county organization In expelling him. His next appeal is to the state convention, next May.
A graduate of the University of Illinois college of physicians and surgeons, 50 years old and long a practicing physician respected in his home community, Dr. Miller continues his contract practice pending the final decision In the matter.
Dr. Miller has contracts with the Kincald and Tovey Peabody coal mine unions to furnish unmarried miners adequate medical services for a union check-off of $1 a month. Married men's families, even unto dependent nephews and nieces, get "contract medicine" for $1.50 a month.
Contract medicine, under which a physician can give individuals or whole families medical service for a contract price, apparently, in the face of a wide-spread trend toward contract-medicine in California, Washington, Michigan and Illinois.
Swinging farther to the right, the American medical society in the current issue of its Journal announced three specifications of medical ethics which retrench rather than liberalize the associations position of thumbs down on contract-medicine.
No doctor, according to the newly emphasized ethic, can be employed by a corporation without provision for rebate of cash balances to employees assessed for the corporation physician's pay.
The announcement affects physicians employed in hospitals and clinics maintained by assessments from employees. Lack of direct contact between the physician and patient, lack of a free choice of physicians by patients, and the pressure "middle men" in corporation hospitals and clinics is unethical, according to the announcement.
Dr. Miller has indicated that he will personally put the ethic of contract-medicine, as represented by his appeal, before the state meeting of the Illinois society in Rockford In May. Dr . Miller has been "worrying along" with a good practice without membership in medical societies. "They have held that it is all right for a physician to have a contract practice with a corporation, but that he can't have a contract practice with a labor union," Dr . Miller contends. "Local union heads are going to protest such action if my appeal is denied.
Officials of the Taylorville U. M. W. A. sub-district plan to protest Dr. Miller's expulsion, through appeals to the state federation of labor.
The state society and the Christian county society themselves indulge in and approve of contract medicine, according to Dr. Miller's appeal, which exhibited the half-price state relief contract formulated by relief officials working with a committee of the state society.
The appeal exhibits the 1930 minutes of the Christian county board of supervisors wherein county physicians bid for a contract for pauper practice . Dr. C. L. Young, according to the appeal, was charged with the care of 550 paupers in Taylorville township for $200 a month. "That Is contract practice for 10 cents a patient per month, ; or only $1.20 a year," Dr . Miller said.
"The May issue of Medical Economics reported the results of an exhaustive survey made by the Michigan medical society. It shows that 70 per cent of patients earn less than $1,500 a year; and that this $1,500 a year group spends an average of $24.25 annually for physicians, hospitals and surgery.
"Michigan Is on record in approving contract practice for families on that basis, $118 a year for the average family of four. But it can be done much cheaper than that," Dr. Miller declared.
Approximately 800 of the 1,200 men employed in the Kincaid and Tovey mines have voluntarily joined Dr. Miller's contract practice. "I've had no complaints of inadequacy of service," Dr . Miller said. "I have arrangements with Dr. S. B. Herdman and Dr. G. L. Tankersley to assist me in emergencies. And Dr. R. A. Smith is my regular associate. I may appeal the case to the council of the American medical association. Why should the council hold that a physician may have a contract practice with, a corporation and not with a labor union?"
Dr. Miller's appeal included affidavits by Max Klemm and Herman "Duke" Lisse, presidents of the union locals involved, stating that the contracts are voluntary, that there was no solicitation on Dr. Miller's part, and that the service is adequate.
The appeal declared the only mention in the county society by-laws regarding contract practice is a 1904 entry under which members agreed not to bid for pauper practice, not to do pauper practice below regular fees, and that paupers should have a free choice of physicians.
'There is no specific rule against contract practice in the state by-laws, Dr. Miller stated. "And a 1927 report of the American medical association says that contract practice is not only legitimate, ethical, but in fact the only way competent medical service can be provided in some cases, such as when large numbers of men are employed remote from urban centers, as in some mining or logging camps.
Dr. Miller's tiff with the county, state and American medical societies over contract medicine is an outgrowth of the Illinois mine war. The appeal repeated how 70 per cent of the men employed in the Kincaid and Tovey mines were imported from Southern Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee in 1932-33 to work in United Miners in pits where resident diggers had bolted to the Progressive Miner's union to strike against the John L. Lewis-Peabody contract signed "without sanction of a referendum vote."
"Most Of these miners brought in had been out of work for months; they had to assign wages six months in advance to secure credit for food, clothing and shelter, Dr . Miller explained. "I have $40,000 on my books for 1,381 accounts between 1929 and 1933 ; 99½ per cent of it is uncollectible. I no longer do work unless credit Is guaranteed. Their local unions were the only hope of these men. So their unions approached me for contract practice and I give it to them. The appeal charged that Dr. Miller was summarily expelled from his county medical society, he received notification at 3:30 p. m. May 2, the appeal stated, three and a half hours before he was ordered to appear, at 7 p. m. to show why he should not be expelled. Dr. H. M. Wolfe, Taylorville, and Dr. D. M. Littlejohn, Pana, county censors, signed the letter notifying Dr. Miller, April 17, that the county medical society would present the unethical practice case against him, on or about May 1.
Dr. Wilfred S. Miller, Assumption, president, and Dr. Perry K. Duncan, Taylorville, secretary of the Christian county medical society signed the following notification of unethical practice which was mailed to Dr. Miller April 19:
"In accordance with the report of the censors of the Christian county medical society, which states that the censors have found Dr. R. J. Miller of Kincaid, Illinois, to be engaged in the practice of his profession contrary to ethical standards of the American medical association and the Illinois state medical society by solicitation of families of miners unions and treating the same for a monthly monetary consideration far below the regular schedule off fees adopted by the Christian county medical society, and in accordance with the unanimous adoption of this report by the Christian county medical society at its meeting on April 18, 1934, and by order of said society, we, the president and secretary of this society, hereby call upon you to attend a meeting of said society on May 2, 1934 at the Taylorville country club at 7 p. m. to answer the above charges and to show reason why you should not be expelled from the Christian county medical society. Dr. Miller was himself the third censor of the county society before his expulsion. Dr. I. H. Neece of Decatur, a state censor, does work for the Decatur Wabash Hospital association.
|The Progressive Miner - September 1934|
GILLESPIE, IL. -- The second constitutional convention was held by the Progressive Miners of America at the Colonial Theater.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 9, 1934, Page 5|
Attempt to Open Mine Fails As Progressive Miners Mass Together to Stop Their Rivals
FREEBURG, Sept. 8. -- AP -- An attempt to reopen Red Ray mine with United Mine Workers failed today when company officials closed the mine this afternoon after picketing by 3,500 Progressive miners. The crew of 36 United Mine Workers and 5 guards filed out after leaders of the pickets promised they would not be molested. Earlier in the day nine guards and one member of the crew had quit, leaving the mine amid jeers and catcalls from their Progressive rivals.
Officials of the Union Electric coal company, which operates Red Ray mine, announced after a conference with picket leaders that the mine would be closed for 30 days. They did not say whether they would attempt to reopen the mine at the expiration of that period.
The Red Ray was regarded as a test case, it being the only mine operating in St. Clair county with United Miners, who reopened it quietly yesterday when a Progressive scouting party did not make its usual appearance.
Pickets appeared early this morning after a mine holiday was declared by the Progressives in order to concentrate their forces. No violence was reported.
Red Ray, a strip mine, had been operated under a United Mine Workers contract until April, 1932, when the miners joined the Progressive movement. The mine was worked without a written labor agreement until early last year, when the company offered the men a U. M. W. A. contract which the men refused.
The mine was closed and no attempt made to operate it until last month, when the company advertised for miners, but none reported for work because of a large gathering of Progressives.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 12, 1934, Page 2|
Illinois Federation Of Labor Will Be Requested To Favor Increase Of Money Supply
PEORIA, Sept. 11. -- AP -- The Illinois Federation of Labor, in convention here, will be asked to go on record favoring a speedy increase of the money supply of the nation.
The resolutions committee tonight made public 23 resolutions, mostly dealing with labor conditions, which the convention will be asked to adopt tomorrow.
The resolution referring to the currency situation said that a "vicious increase in the value of our money" since 1928 made unprofitable "investment in active production and in the construction of buildings and other improvements."
The money situation was blamed for unemployment, devaluation of tangible property, increase in debts, the decline of wages, by the resolution, adding that "these conditions have been but partially relieved."
"We ask the American Federation of Labor to adopt at its next meeting a resolution calling upon the President and Congress to speedily provide an increase in the money supply, sufficient to reduce the value of our money to its average value during the year 1926, and thereafter to maintain its value steadily at the average level of the year 1926, the resolution said.
Another resolution prepared attacked the Progressive Miners union movement in Illinois, calling upon all affiliates of the state federation to refrain from support of dual union movements.
"It is well known that the dual union movements are derogatory to the parent labor organizations," said the resolution presented by Arthur Julian, John Carr, and Ray Edmundson, all of Zeigler. "The United Mine Workers are affiliated with the state federation and are confronted with the fact that certain craft unions also affiliated with the federation have aided and abetted that dual movement known as the Progressive Miners of America."
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 14, 1934, Page 12|
LABOR GROUP OF ILLINOIS PRAISES ROOSEVELT PLAN
State Federation Adopts Resolutions of Praise for Administration of Labor Policies.
Peoria, Sept. 13. -- AP -- The Illinois Federation of Labor today unanimously adopted a resolution Commending the labor policies of the Roosevelt administration, and asserting that the "ingenuity and far sightedness of the President was restoring confidence to the nation.
Referring to the President as "our it beloved leader," the delegates lauded the NBA and especially section 7-A as a constructive stand.
A resolution calling for an expansion of currency and greater inflation was thrown out by the resolutions committee.
The 400 delegates approved a resolution calling for a campaign by local unions to bring the subject of unemployment insurance before the national convention of the American Federation of Labor.
Continuation of civil works administration activities this winter or the substitution of some plan with a similar purpose was urged in another resolution.
An attempt to put the convention on record as opposing the state sales tax failed when a motion to that effect was unfavorably reported by the resolutions committee.
With the situation in the Southern Illinois coal mine area especially in mind, the convention condemned the countenancing of violence in labor disputes and denounced, dual labor organizations. James B. Conners of Chicago, a vice-president of the state federation, charged that through strife such as that between the United Mine Workers and their rivals, the Progressive miners, the employers sought to undermine the American. Federation of Labor.
Company unions and "isolated" organizations, such as the council of the unemployed were denounced in the same breath by the convention. Also condemned was the utility operators' association, which was termed in a resolution as "a most vicious type of company union."
The convention expressed its opposition to Congressman - at - Large Walter Nesbitt, after a bitter attack on the legislator by John D. Hood, United Mine Worker from Springfield.
The convention denounced "labor rackets" and warned local unions to resist any attempted invasions by racketeers.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 30, 1934, Page 3|
Police Fearing Crowd, Fail to Arrest Miner
HARRISBURG, Ill., Sept. 29. -- AP -- Shot as he stood on a street corner here tonight, Harry Newkirk, 19, son of a coal miner, was in a critical condition in a local hospital as a crowd of several hundred milled about a bank building where officers said his assailant had taken refuge.
Police blamed Norman Tavender, 24, a United Mine worker, for the shooting and said he fled into a nearby bank building as Newkirk fell to the ground. The quickly formed crowd jammed all entrances and officers were unable to arrest Tavender but they were confident he had been unable to escape from the building. Police, alarmed by the crowd, indicated they would not attempt to arrest Tavender until it had dispersed.
Witnesses said Tavender walked up to Newkirk as he stood near a street intersection and shot him without warning. The bullet struck him in the head and he was reported near death. Officers were unable immediately to determine the union affiliations of Newkirk's father, Bert. Several months ago this city was the hub of mine warfare between the United Mine Workers and members of the Progressive Miners of America union.
|October 1934||No entries at this time|
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 4, 1934, Page 1|
TWO STRIKERS WOUNDED IN MACON MINE CLASH
DECATUR, Nov. 3. -- AP -- Two striking miners were shot today when a large group of pickets at the Macon County coal mine clashed with a strong force of police and deputy sheriffs in a violent flareup of the protracted Illinois coal miners war. Neither of those shot was wounded seriously.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, November 27, 1934, Page 3|
Mine Workers Enter Rivals' Court Dispute
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill., Nov. 26. -- AP -- In the legal cloak of a friend of the court, the United Mine Workers today entered a private court battle between its rival, the Progressive Miners of America, and a coal company.
A hearing of the case, an injunction suit by the United Electric Coal company to restrain the Progressives from interfering with the company's mine operations at Freeburg, Ill., were expected to extend through the week.
The United Miners became a party to the action when Federal Judge Fred L. Wham permitted George L. Grant, attorney for that union, to enter the case as a friend of the court. Counsel on both sides expressed a belief it was the first time a rival faction had been given entrance to a legal skirmish between a coal company and a union.
Progressive picketing of the Freeburg mine led to the filing of the injunction suit on November 15. Three separate attempts to open the mine since April, 1933, have been balked by Progressive pickets, company officials said.
H . A . Swallow, president of the United Electric Coal company and the principal witness at today's session, told the court his company was suffering an annual loss of $350,000 because it could not open the mine at Freeburg. He was on the stand more than an hour reciting the actions of the Progressive Mine Union which he said had prevented opening of the mine with the United Mine Worker labor.
|December 1934||No entries at this time|
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, January 10, 1935, Page 4|
Bombing Must Stop
Bombing of coal trains is an outrage that can be stopped and must be stopped. A sneaking, cowardly, despicable offense; bombing injuries most of all the cause in which it is ostensibly done, and secondly the great number of innocent persons who have no part in any labor conflict.
The identity of persons responsible for bombing is never a great mystery. Honest and courageous police work is capable of ending such offenses, where public authority wants them ended. When the homes of Progressive mine union leaders in Taylorville were bombed, no person well acquainted in the community had any doubt who was responsible. When Peabody Coal Co. property, or railroad trains serving Peabody mines, are bombed, the trail of the offenders is just as plain.
No matter what the justice of a controversy, dynamite is a contemptible form of argument that can not he tolerated in a civilized society. The trades union, the racketeer or the industry that uses it as a weapon loses all sympathy and in the end will be brought to accounting for the atrocity.
|The True Republican, Sycamore, Illinois January 12, 1935, Page 2|
||In recent months at least five coal trains have been bombed on railroads running through southern Illinois coal fields, in which bitter feuds between coal mine unions rage. Directed against railroad and coal companies, vandalism has taken the place of the picketing and bloodshed of previous years. Wreckage of this coal train, bombed near Springfield, Ill., is shown being removed.|
|The Progressive Miner - February 1935|
GILLESPIE, IL. -- Gillespie was the location of a convention by the Progressive Mine Workers of America. Delegates from throughout the state attended.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, February 1, 1935, Page 2|
Edmundson Elected Provisional Head of Miners' Association
SPRINGFIELD, Jan. 31. -- (AP) -- William J. Sneed of Herrin, who has served nearly two years as provisional president of the Illinois district of the United Mine Workers of America, was replaced today by Ray Edmundson of Benton.
Sneed will act as a special representative of the National union, International President John L. Lewis announced from Washington. The switch in leadership came as a surprise and no reason was given. Edmundson, who will take office tomorrow, made no comment and Sneed was not in Springfield.
There were reports that Sneed, a former state senator who previously served as vice president of the Illinois district, would be used at Washington in the negotiations of the Mine Workers of America for a new wage scale contract.
The union has not announced plans for negotiating a wage contract to replace the one that will expire March 31 in Illinois. Edmundson, who has been international board member for the Illinois district, has played a prominent part in the union's fight against the Progressive Miners of America, which was organized in 1932 when a large group of coal diggers revolted after the present wage scale was signed.
|Urbana Daily Courier, [The Evening Courier - Illinois Magazine] Urbana, Illinois, February 9, 1935, Page 13|
Murder Stalks the Coal Field
By Bill Gisinger, Illinois Magazine Staff
Do you want to solve 13 "murders", send 13 or more men to die in an electric chair ?
Then come to Taylorville, small city capital of Christian county, Illinois, say John W. Coale, probably the most overworked state's attorney in the state.
Not counting Thomas G. Jamison ol Peoria and John D. Charles of Monmouth, members of the Illinois National Guard who met accidental deaths from bullets while stationed in Taylorille, twelve men and a woman have been slain by "mine war" guns here since 1932.
Who fatally wounded Andy Gyenes as he stood unarmed in his own front yard in Tovey, Oct. 13, 1932?
That is easy. Corporal Russell Myers of Peoria, did it -- shot him in the leg with a .30-.30 rifle because Gyenes made no move to obey an order to get inside his miner shack. Quickly put under military arrest, Myers was exonerated by a military court martial.
Who killed Mrs. Emma Cumerlato, member of the auxiliary of the Progressive Miners of America, as she stood on the front porch of her home in Kincaid in the dusk of Jan. 3, 1933?
Who killed Vincent Rodems, Springfield youth employed as a United Mine Worker in the Kincaid-Peabody shaft, hard by Mrs. Cumerlato's home?
The questions are getting harder.
A scattered band of 150 Progressive Miner pickets clashed with 150 United Mine Workers who marched m columns of fours down Mine street to where the pickets were strung out along the state route highway. The rattle of submachine guns, rifles, shotguns and pistols left Mrs. Cumerlato and Rodems lying dead. A score were wounded.
Albino Cumerlato swore out a warrant against Douglas McWhinnie, Kincaid United Mine Worker, on the strength of his wife's alleged dying statement that "Doug McWhinnie did it." But the warrant against McWhinnie was never served, and Albino Cumerlato himself is one of several Progressives indicted but never tried for the murder of his wife.
Who fired the rifle that sped the bullet which blew out the brains of James Guy Hickman, United Mine Worker special deputy, as he emptied his revolver while touring the Kincaid "square" the foggy morning of Jan. 4, 1933?
Albert Mattozzo, Kincaid chief of police, and Emil Dupire, Mt. Olive truck driver, were tried for Hickman's murder. But they were acquitted by a jury of farmers; and Coale has not wasted public funds prosecuting indictments returned against them for the murders of Mrs. Cumerlato and Rodems.
No United Mine Workers were indicted for the murders of Rodems or Mrs. Cumerlato.
Who shot to death Melville "Cy" Staples, diminutive Taylorwlle Progressive who was in Springfield, Oct. 19, 1933, while Donald Richberg, present head man of the NRA, conferred with Governor Henry Homer and embattled union leaders and mine operators in a futile effort toward peace?
Staples companions identified Pete Haines, Taylorville U. M. W. of A. official of the Kincaid local, as the man who used the gun that caused Staples death. Indicted by a Sangamon county grand jury, Haines is free under $10,000 bond and has never come to trial.
Who killed "Crazy" Joe Agotis, United Mine Worker, May 13, Mother's day, 1934?
"I did." says Eddie Newman, youthful Progressive Miner veteran of two score fist fights. Found guilty of manslaughter by a
"marathon" jury of young men who deliberated two days and two nights, Newman, now free under $10,000 bond, will hear the judge impose sentence of one to 14 years in the penitentiary unless his appeal for a new trial is granted. Agotis, filled with booze and "mine war" hate, fired on Newman, his sweetheart, Geraldine Thompson, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Schwab, as they dug for fishing worms m he Schwab-Agotis alley.
Newman swears he shot Agotis while Agotis was outside his shack and still firing. The state maintains that Newman fired blindly, five times, into Agotis' shack after Agotis had barricaded himself in.
Who used the guns in Kincaid which fatally wounded Frank Angenendt, United Mine Worker, and Sam Ronchetti, Progressive Miner, April 18, 1934?
That question is not as hard as asking who killed William Core, alias William Swift, United Mine Worker, as he left Kincaid the same day.
There was a village election in Kincaid on that April 18. Then there was a United Mine Worker auto parade to celebrate the surprisingly heavy vote. And then there was a post-election riot which left Angenendt, Ronchetti and Core dead in its wake.
William Boogh, lanky United Mine Worker, admits that he started the ball rolling when he got drunk and took on two too many Progressives in a fist fight in front of the P. M. A. commissary, across the "square" from the United Mine Workers' side of the tiny business section of Kincaid.
United Mine Workers poured across the intervening "no man's land" to rescue Boogh's bruised body. Some one fired the first shot. Then several guns blazed. Bullets made a sieve of the boarded-up front of the commissary, the windows of which had been blown out months before by mine war bombs.
When the shooting stopped, Angenjendt and Ronchetti, the more seriously wounded, were taken to St. Vincent s hospital in Taylorville. They died within a week.
Core, alias Swift, gunman imported from Morgantown, W. Va., met death about 9 p. m. that day as he drove his coupe from Kincaid into the adjoining village of Bulpitt. Riding with Core was Douglas McWhinnie, who at the inquest told a tale of mine war terror but did not aid in identifying his companion's slayer.
Bulpitt's able-bodied male population carried special police commissions in 1933, stood guard over their darkened streets every night. Buckshot slugs tore into Core's car as he turned off the hard road. One slug entered his brain. McWhinnie, wounded crawled from the bloody wreck and fled for his life across back lots to his home in Kincaid.
Dick Johnson and Paul Pruett, Kincaid Progressives, were indicted for Angenendt's murder, but never tried. No United Mine Worker was indicted for Roncherti's death.
Who killed Dom Hunt?
Jack Glasgow, John "Joker" Wilson, Sr., and Earl "Joker" Wilson, Jr., the state charges in the Hunt murder trial.
An unidentified Progressive gunman did it, successfully maintained the defense. Glasgow and the Wilsons, the only United Mine Workers to be brought to trial in Christian county for a major offense in the "mine war", were acquitted by a jury of farmers.
In the midst of a Christmas-shopping crowd of men, women and children Dec. 23, 1933, Hunt was shot in the abdomen as he stood between the Brass Rail and the American Cafe saloons, both of which are within 100 yards of the sheriff's office and the police station in Taylorville.
A Progressive Miner in the Brass Rail called Ernie Dees a "scabby" so-and-so. Dees went into the American cafe, returned to the crowded street with reinforcements.
Several fist fights had started when Glasgow and the two Wilsons pulled guns. Hunt died five days later. He had been a striking Progressive Miner until a few weeks before his death. But he died a United Mine Worker, having returned to work in a Peabody pit.
Who killed Barney Alecks?
Shot in the knee by a bullet which came from the general direction of Kincaid at 4 a. m. May 11, I 934. J. Alecks, Bulpitt Progressive Miner guard, died June 14, 1934.
Harry Jones and Joe Sigler of Bulpitt were the next to leave bereaved families to mourn their "mine war" deaths.
Booze, as is so often the case, was the immediate cause of the tragedy. One "Hap" Donnelly, one of two _United Mine Workers bold enough to live in the Progressive-inhabited village of Bulpitt, got drunk, roaring drunk, the Saturday night of Sept. 8, 1934, in his favorite Kincaid saloon.
Donnelly was afraid to go home, and said so, So Jones, a neighborly Progressive, and Sigler, a neutral garage owner, volunteered to see Happy home.
About 1 p. m. Jones and Sigler got Donnelly to his front porch, but he would not go in his house. Mrs. Donnelly came out into the yard to talk with the men. There was talk for several minutes.
Suddenly from out of the darkness across the road came the muffled roar of a shotgun, the muzzle of which apparently was wrapped in rags.
Sigler, standing where Mrs. Donnelly had been a moment before, doubled up in pain, mortally wounded in the abdomen with a buckshot slug. Jones, wounded in the back and in the leg, was paralyzed. He died about a week later.
Half of the life in the village was awake that night. In fact , half of the life in the village stays awake every night. But who shot Sigler and Jones? Whoever may know is not telling. The "mine war" takes care of its own; and it makes a good business for the undertakers.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, February 14, 1935, Page 6|
Back to Work !
A cheer is due today for Claude Pearcy, recently retired as president of the Progressive miners union. The constitution of this union, almost unique among labor organizations, is drafted in a way to favor real workers for all offices. It is further provided that after a brief term in office a member must return to work in the mines, if he wants to hold his rights in the union.
In conformity with this provision Mr. Pearcy, after two years in a white collar job as spokesman for all the men in the union, has put on his overalls again and gone back into the pit. To appreciate just what this means, one needs only try to imagine any of the sleek, fat labor leaders in Washington going back into the mines to dig coal. These gentry, living for years on fat salaries and occupying luxurious hotels, are so far away from the workers they pretend to represent, they would hardly recognize one on the street. The racketeering sort of union leader making a business of shaking down the rank and file who actually work, hasn't much of a chance to develop under the Progressive system. The real workers in the great and powerful A. F. of L. would do well to consider that example.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, February 21, 1935, Page 1|
Murder Conviction of Five Miners Affirmed
SPRINGFIELD (UP) The state supreme court today affirmed conviction of five miners, four of them members of the Progressive Miners of America, On a charge of murdering La Verne Miller, a Du Quoin school girl, on April 6, 1932. The conviction was in Union county circuit court.
Otis Battaglla, Sam Ferro, Robert Shingleton, and Barney Bossetto were given life sentences and Emory Albers 40 years by the Union county circuit court where the case had been taken from Perry county on a change of venue.
The high court's opinion related the " bitter factional strife in Perry county" between the United Mine Workers and the Progressive Miners and how the girl was killed while studying in her home by bullets from high powered rifles fired from a passing automobile. All except Ferro made alleged confessions, later repudiated.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, February 22, 1935, Page 10|
Miner Demands $200,000 From P. M. A. In Suit
Move May Lead to Series of Actions Against Progressives in Union Warfare.
DANVILLE (Special Suit for $200,000 damages against the officers and 300 members of the Progressive Miners of America was on file in United States district court here today. The action was instituted yesterday in behalf of Alwin Karnes, Madisouville, Ky., as result of an attack while he
It was indicated today that the suit may be one of a series to be filed soon by victims of bombings, shootings and beatings in connection with the Illinois mine war. Progressive Miners union is responsible for the widespread violence and terrorism accompanying the mine union controversy.
Asks Tort Judgments
The suit asked tort judgments, meaning that a victory for the plaintiff will permit even the homes of the defendants to be seized to satisfy judgments. The suit was filed in the federal district court as court of original jurisdiction because the plaintiff and the defendants live in different states. Karnes, the plaintiff, lives in Kentucky. All of the defendants, individual and collective, are residents of Illinois.
The bill of particulars in the suit recites a story of terrorism, with names. dates, times, places, all of which are declared to be of the same fabric -- an effort to break down the established government of Illinois.
Included in the recital are assaults with stones, clubs, blackjacks; stabbings, shootings, bombings of churches, homes, railroads, bridges and mine properties; arson and murder. Twenty-six slayings are listed.
Officers of the Progressive union who are among individual defendants, are William Keck, Gillespie, president; Lloyd Thrush, Peoria, vice-president; and Sylvester L. Jones, Belleville, secretary-treasurer.
Board members named include Duncan Smith, Peoria; Lester Douglas, Springfield; Joe Ozanic, Mt. Olive; Russell Smith, Edgemont Station; Charles Rudolph, Herrin; George Reinie,Harrisburg. Then follows a long list of individuals whom Karnes identifies as a "strike committee," established in September 1932.
Of that committee, and named as defendants, are Jess Anderson, Harrisburg; John Richard, Gillespie; Raymond Tombozzi. Taylorville; Andy Newman, Taylorville; Edward H. Lee. Springfield; John Fancher, Springfield; Jack Chance, Galesburg; Thomas Smith, Peoria; Jack Mundell, Farmington; James Gerekson, Farmington; Raymond Skinner, St. David; Edward Murphy, Canton; George Bedell, Pekin; Melvin Henry, Harrisburg; George Heinie, Harrisburg; Jack Allen, Zeigler; John Rodden, West Frankfort; Arch Griffith, Valier; Cecil Browning, DuQuoin; Sam Wood,De Soto; Carl Delbarti, Dowell; Jeff Briggs, Belleville; and David Hannoning, Belleville.
Name Benld Firm
Named as among those who supplied dynamite, powder, firearms, ammunition, are Joe Turigliatto and Avinere Toigo, doing business at Benld, Macoupin county, under the firm name of Turigliatto Toigo.
Karnes recites in his bill that on May 23, 1933, he was employed in mine 43. of the Peabody Coal Co. at Harrisburg. Near Galatea, adjacent to Harrisburg, he declares that he was seized, dragged from his automobile into nearby woods; brutally beaten, stabbed and shot.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 2, 1935, Page 3|
P. M. A. Wage, Hour Demands Rejected
Operators Hare Submitted no Counter Offer, However
SPRINGFIELD (UP) Illinois coal operators negotiating a wage contract with the Progressive Miners of America have rejected a proposal for a six-hour day, five-day week and $6 daily minimum wage. it was announced here today.
Proposal of the Progressives was submitted by William Keck, president of the union, at a conference with operators which adjourned here late yesterday until next Tuesday.
R. J. Wilcoxson, Springfield operator who acted as chairman of the conference, said the coal operators rejected the Progressive proposal but were themselves undecided on the proposition they will submit to the union.
Indications were, however, that the operators dealing with the Progressives would await the result of deliberations between operators negotiating; with the United Mine Workers of America, before closing with the Progressive.
Officials of the Illinois district of the U. M. W. of ., will meet here March 11 to prepare for negotiating a contract with the Illinois Coal Operators association. Indications are they will seek a 36-hour week and a daily minimal wage of $5.50.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 8, 1935, Page 14|
Five Indicted In Mine War
United Member Charged With Murder; Three Progressives Named.
HARRISBURG (UP) Recent investigation in the Illinois mine war violence today produced grand jury inditments against five men allegedly involved in a flagrant outbursts of recent months.
Louie Stull, Harrisburg, a member of the United Mine Workers union, was indicted on a charge of murder in the fatal stabbing of John Seers, a Progressive union member, at a dance here last Dec. 8.
Henry Johnson, also known as Curly Jones, and John Obstello, both Eldorado Progressives, and Hernan Stovall, Muddy, former railroad employee, were indicted on a charge of procuring dynamite for the purpose of damaging railroad property.
It is alleged these men stole a speeding car from the Big Four railroad at Eldorado last Dec. 2, loaded it with dynamite and started it toward Peabody mine No. 47 on the Big Four tracks. The explosion occurred before the car reached the mine, tearing up track and demolishing the car. Johnson, Costello and Stovall also are named in true bills charging burglary and larceny.
Johnson, along with Elliott Widick of Eldorado, both Progressives, were indicted on a charge of procuring dynamite from the property of Herman Turner, an Eldorado United Mine worker, on Jan. 7 for the purpose of destroying property.
On that date, it is alleged, three men placed the explosive on Turner's car in his yard. Turner fired at the men as they fled. A few minutes later, it was said Johnson entered an Eldorado hospital with a bullet wound in his left arm necessitating amputation. Bonds of $5,000 were fixed in the dynamiting cases. There is no bail In the murder case.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 12, 1935, Page 1|
Belleville Miners Seized in Kentucky
PINEVILLE, Ky. (UP) Four Illinois men held in jail here on charges growing out of their activities as Progressive Mine union organizers were to be admitted to bail at 1 p. m. today as a result of a habeas corpus action.
The men are Al Row, J. Allen, Charles Grace and William Thompson of Belleville, Ill. The habeas Corpus action was based on the contention that the men were jailed on charges of threatening lives confederating and banking together, and that they were denied bond. The attorney of the four said the men were arrested as a result of a dispute between their union and United Mine Worker who wished to restrain them from testifying in a case in Tennessee involving the latter organization.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 13, 1935, Page 2|
Majority Rule For Miners Is Asked In Bill
Assembly Measure Calls for "Plant Unit" Elections, Recognition of Winners.
SRINGFIELD (Special) New mine war legislation -- calling for plant unit elections to determine union preference -- was proposed today in the legislature.
The new bill, introduced in both houses by Sen. Harry G. Stuttle (D) Litchfield and Rep. Frank Fries (D) Carlinvllle, would empower circuit courts to conduct the plant elections upon petition by any union organization, or by any unorganized group of workers numbering 100 or more.
For Majority Rule
Mine operators would be bound to recognize the union or group casting the majority of votes in the referendum, which would be conducted under jurisdiction of the court with outside election officials.
By authorizing the courts to determine what workers are entitled to vote the measure would strengthen the majority representation theory outlined in the 7-A section of the NRA, sponsors said.
In the Senate, the bill was advanced to second reading without reference to a committee.
Entirely New Law
The lengthy bill of approximately 6,000 words would be entirely new law. The bill is supported by the Progressive Miners organization, whose state headquarters are located in Macoupin county, where Representative Fries was former sheriff. Representative Fries said he hoped to advance the bill to second reading today, but was told this would be opposed toy Rep. R. G. Soderstrom of Streator, president of the Illinois Federation of Labor, with which the United Mine Workers are affiliated. It will be referred to committees.
Belief the bill provides a means for peaceful determination of the union preference question was expressed by Mr. Fries.
"It settles one of the big question heretofore at issue by allowing the court to determine workers entitled to vote in the plant elections." Fries said.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, March 28, 1935, Page 18|
P. M. A. Accepts Same Contract During Parley
Diggers to Continue Work Under Present Scale Until Negotiations Are Completed.
SPRINGFIELD (UP) An agreement between officials of the Progressive Miners of America and the Coal Producers association of Illinois; whereby mining operations will continue after expiration of the present contract until a new one is signed, was made public here today.
Officials of the mine union and the operators group said that there will be no interruption of work when the present contract expires Sunday. The terms of the present contract will prevail until a new agreement is made, it was stated.
Both Sides Stand Pat
William Keck, president of the Progressive union, said that his organization is still standing pat for a $6 basic day wage and a 30-hour -week. R. J. Wilcoxson, Springfield, president of the operators, declared the operators would continue to refuse the demands.
Neither side would venture a statement as to when a new contract agreement might be reached. A conference over wage problems has been in session for five weeks, but little progress has been made, it is said.
Can't Agree By March 31
"The joint scale committee of the Coal Producers association of Illinois and the Progressive Miners of America today agreed to continue work after March 31 on the present basis, pending further negotiations for the completion of a new contract," a statement issued by the conference said. They gave as their reason that it appears to be impossible to agree on a contract by March 31 to replace the one which expires on that date, and it was the desire of both miners and operators that there be no interruption of work at the mines represented.
The joint scale committee of miners and operators will continue their negotiations for a new contract until an agreement is reached.
United Miners Eye Washington
Meanwhile officials of the United Mine Workers of America in the Illinois district awaited action at Washington in connection with new contracts for the mining industry.
Ray Edmundson, president of the Illinois district, and other district officials have been in Washington for several weeks conferring with federal authorities on contract problems.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 6, 1935, Page 5|
SPRINGFIELD, April 5. -- AP -- The joint scale conference of representatives of the Progressive miners union and of the Coal Producers association of Illinois adjourns today until April 16 without reaching an agreement on wages. The adjournment ended six weeks of negotiations.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 23, 1935, Page 1|
MINE WORKER HEAD CHARGED WITH MURDER
Wounded Edmundson Held for Death of Rival Miner After Easter Riot
CENTRALIA, April 22. -- (AP) -- Citizens of Mt. Vernon and Centralia, angered by a strike that has deprived four Southern Illinois towns of gas, voted unanimously here tonight to accept a proposal of a Cleveland, O., concern to take over the gas plant of the Illinois Power and Light corporation and operate it until the labor controversy is settled.
CENTRALIA, April 22. -- (AP) -- A proposal of a Cleveland, O.. firm to take over the operation of the Illinois Power and Light corporation's gas plant and restore service to consumers was under consideration by a joint committee of citizens of Mt. Vernon and Centralia here tonight.
SPRINGFIELD, April 22. -- (AP) -- Wounded and charged with murder, state president Ray Edmundson of the United Mine Workers of America was held in jail tonight for the death of a rival miner in Springfield's Easter Sunday riot. No statement was made by the labor official as he was brought back to Springfield from Taylorville, where he was secretly held in a hospital after surrendering to the sheriff last night. He had a "fairly severe neck wound."
Edmundson who has taken a leading part in his union's struggle with the rival Progressive Miners of America for labor supremacy in the Illinois coal fields, is charged with the murder of Edris Mabie, Progressive organizer, in a gun battle in which 10 were wounded.
Two Others Arrested
He was brought to the back entrance of the jail and hurried to a cell. Already under arrest, charged with murder, are two men alleged to have been with Edmundson in his automobile when the riot broke out in front of the local Progressive headquarters.
William Furlow of Alton, his neck bandaged where he had been cut by flying glass, surrendered to police this morning and refused to talk. It was reported he had been with Edmundson at Taylorville.
The third prisoner is Fred Thomason of Springfield, identified as a former member of the old Birger gang under the name of Thomasson. Thomason, slightly wounded, was taken into custody soon after the riot.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, April 23, 1935, Page 5|
Union Leader Mum On Slaying Of Rival Miner
U. M. W. A. Head Held in Springfield; 5,000 Expected at Murdered Man's Funeral.
SPRINGFIELD -- Ray Edmundson, president of the Illinois district of the United Mine Workers of America, was held in the city jail here today while preparations were made for the funeral of Edris Mabie, rival mine unionist, with -whose murder Edmundson is charged.
Services for Mabie, 45, member of the Progressive Miners of America, will be conducted in Springfield Wednesday More than 5,000 miners are expected to attend.
Two Others In Jail
Mabie was shot to death in a gun battle on a downtown street here Sunday afternoon. Nine other men, including Edmundson, were injured. Besides Edmimdson, who was wounded in the neck, William Furlow, Alton, and Fred Thomason, Springfield, are held for Mabie's murder.
Edmundson surrendered to Sheriff Ed Marvel in Taylorville early Monday. He remained under guard in St. Vincent's hospital there until Monday afternoon when he was returned to Sangamon county. Furlow gave himself up here Monday morning. Thomason had been arrested Sunday a short time after the shooting.
Objects to Fingerprints
Thomason, said to be a former member of the one-time Charlie Borger [sic - Birger] gang of Southern Illinois, objected to being fingerprinted or photographed. He was taken back to his cell, neither he nor Edmundson having their fingerprints or photos taken.
None of the trio would talk to authorities concerning the shooting. Edmundson refused to discuss the shooting until he has talked to his counsel.
State's Atty. Alfed Greening has announced he will attempt to block any move to obtain release of the three men on bond. Attorneys had indicated they might seek bond for the three. It is probable, however, that they will have to remain in jail until a grand jury has acted.
Another May Die
Athur Gramlich, one of the other men wounded in Sunday's rioting, remains in a serious condition at the hospital with physicians giving him an even chance to recover. All of the other wounded are recovering, with their condition not considered serious.
Officials of the Progressive union mapped plans for Mabie's funeral at a special meeting last night. The procession is expected to move through the business district and then to Oak Ridge cemetery where burial will be made.
Many Locals To Attend
In addition to the miner, a number of union auxiliary members, garbed in white uniforms and caps, will take part in the mass demonstration.
Local unions from Springfield, Divernon, Pawnee, Auburn, Thayer, New Berlin, Athens, Lincoln, Taylorville, Kincaid, Tovey, Decatur and Pana and possibly Belleville. Gillespie and Benld will send delegations.
|Urbana Daily Courier, [Editorials], Urbana, Illinois, April 24, 1935, Page 6|
The American Shame
A pitched battle, fought in a crowded Springfield street Sunday between members of two antagonistic miners unions, illustrates again the American shame.
Members of the Progressive Miners and of the United Mine Workers unions dislike one another. That is a fact sufficiently well-known in Illinois. When a group of officials of the one union came past the spot where a group of the other union were known to be assembled, naturally it was taken as something other than a friendly call. Taunts were exchanged, also naturally enough.
In any other civilized country, the matter would have ended there. At the worst, there would have been some flying fists. In our United States, however, private citizens known to be belligerent are permitted to go about with firearms on their persons, without any public restraint whatever.
In the Springfield collision of Sunday afternoon, exchanges of words were instantly followed by exchanges of bullets. It is not established who fired first, and it does not matter in the present argument. The point is, that among both parties to a private feud of longstanding, there were men with pistols in their pockets, waiting only a provocation to begin shooting. On an Easter Sunday afternoon, when members of the one group were attending a social gathering, and members of the other group ostensibly were taking a pleasure ride in spring sunshine , guns had been carried along. As a consequence, instead of a few bloody noses, the normal result of any such meeting of antagonistic persons, we see one man shot dead, seven wounded, and all innocent persons along the street menaced.
Inexcusable folly! How long are we going to permit private armies to swagger about in this country, like hoodlums in some drunken, Wild West frontier town of the last century? How long are we going to allow pistols to be sold like gum drops over a counter to all comers, and face the hazards of having irresponsible people going everywhere, prepared to deal death any moment they are annoyed?
It is time to stop gun-toting in America. The disarming of hostile factions is a public responsibility that ought not wait until after battles are fought in our streets. No law-abiding private citizen of the United States has any business going about with a gun upon his person, and the sooner the guns are confiscated, the indiscriminate sale stopped, the sooner we shall be rid of a national shame.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 25, 1935, Page 7|
Capital Fears Picketing Riot; Miners Gather
SPRINGFIELD, April 24. -- (AP) -- Fear of an early morning picketing riot was expressed tonight as thousands of Progressive Miners congregated in Springfield following the funeral of Edris Mabie, slain in the Easter gun battle.
Spokesmen for the Progressive Miners of America said they would not abandon plans to picket the Peabody Coal company's Woodside mine, in the Southeastern part of the city, where members of the rival union, the United Mine Workers of America, are employed.
City, county, and state officials expected gunfire if the rival factions meet. The Peabody company said it would not suspend operations.
Thousands of miners and their wives marched this afternoon as the body of Mabie was carried to Oak Ridge cemetery. One estimate was that three or four thousand persons were in the procession.
Mabie was killed Sunday in a downtown gun battle. Ray Edmundson, provisional state president of the United Mine Workers, and two others are held in jail on murder charges.
In the city for the funeral were delegations from Progressive locals in a dozen central Illinois cities. It was expected they would join the Springfield Progressives in attempting to picket the Woodside mine when the crew of United Mine Workers go to work early tomorrow.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, April 27, 1935, Page 5|
QUIET PICKETING IN MINE STRIKE
Strikers Permit - Members of United Mine Workers to Work.
SPRINGFIELD, Apr. 26. -- (AP) -- The Illinois mine union feud, threatening to break again into open warfare, today was marked by peaceful picketing by approximately five hundred members of the Progressive Miners of America.
Groups of pickets, most of them keeping back from the Woodside mine entrance, made no effort to stop members of the older union, the United Mine Workers of America, from digging coal for the Peabody Coal company. Several dozen policemen and deputy sheriffs, heavily armed, guarded the Woodside mine during the early morning hours until nearly all U. M. W. A. members had arrived and the pickets dispersed.
In the tense situation, Progressive leaders claimed they had two thousand men on the picket line. City and county officials placed their estimate at about 500.
A close watch was kept for an outbreak of violence. Police and deputies returned to the mine this afternoon to see that the working miners, numbering more than three hundred, were able to leave for home without interference. Progressive pickets failed to appear when employees were leaving, a rain which had commenced to fall a short time previously keeping them within doors.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, May 17, 1935, Page 2|
P. M. A. Wage Parley to Be Resumed Monday
SPRINGFIELD (UP) Conferences between representatives of the Progressive Miners of America and the Illinois Coal Producers association on a new wage scale will be resumed here Monday, William Keck, president of the mine union announced.
Representatives of the miners and operators conferred here for several weeks prior to scheduled expiration of the existing contract April 1. When the contract was extended the conference adjourned.
Keck said that he did not believe an agreement was any closer than before, because operators will not meet demands of the miners that wages be increased from $5 to $6 a day.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 4, 1935, Page 7|
Autonomy Restored to U. M. W. in Illinois
BENTON (UP ) Ray Edmundson, president of the United Mine Workers union in Illinois, Monday restored to the local unions in Illinois sub-districts the right to nominate find elect their own officers. The elections will be conducted in the way provided by the international constitution for the union. The United Mine Workers have been naming provisional officers in many local unions since the Progressive Miners first started to get a foothold in Illinois.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 5, 1935, Page 2|
U. M. W. Seeks to Avert Strike
Report Action Is Result of P. M. A. Plan to Continue Work; Fear Union Shift.
CHICAGO ( UP ) The Illinois coal operators association today sought to avert a threatened strike Of United Mine workers in the state June 16, when wage agreements lapse.
W. J. Jenkins, president of the association, said he hoped, a conference between operators and union members would avert the walk out.
Jenkins sent a letter to Ray Edmundson, state president of the United Mine Workers of America, requesting a conference to arrange to keep Illinois mines working. Should state union officials agree, the next step would be to seek permission from national United Mine Workers officials.
While industries laid in heavy stocks of coal preparatory to the strike, miners downstate were beginning to conserve their resources in anticipation of a long period of idleness. Trade slumped sharply in Franklin county, the largest coal producing area in Illinois, and in Perry and Christian counties.
Saline and St. Clair counties will not be affected by the strike since miners there belong to the Progressive Miners of America, and have announced they will not walk out.
Ask Wage Increase
The United Miners are demanding from operators with whom they have contracts a six-hour day instead of seven, and a wage increase of 50 cents a day over the basic dally scale of $5.
Coal men here expressed the opinion that there is not sufficient time before June 16 to halt the strike.
There were unconfirmed reports today that coal companies under contract with the U. M. W. might switch to the Progressive Miners union in order to keep their mines operating, if the United Mine Workers walked out.
The fact that the U. M. W. is seeking to avert its proposed strike in Illinois, which otherwise is to be on a national scale, lends strength to the report.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, June 10, 1935, Page 1|
Rival Unions Plan Meeting
Strike June 16 to Leave 10 Operators to Make Contracts.
SPRINGFIELD (UP) Invitation has been extended to Illinois coal operators who hold contracts with the United Mine Workers of America, to join in negotiations between the Progressive Miners of America and the Coal Producers association of Illinois for a new contract, according to William Keck, state president of the P. M. A.
Keck said the invitation was extended last week to at least 10 operators, employing a total of about 10,000 men. These mines, he said, have been worked by members of the U. M. W. of A. who are scheduled to strike next Sunday at the expiration of their contract.
Free to Negotiate
The operators, who have declined to employ P. M. A. miners in the past on the grounds they have a contract with the older union, will be free of contract bonds after next Sunday, Keck said, and there will be nothing to stop them from making contracts with the P. M. A. if they choose.
United Mine Workers are expected, to confer with the Illinois Coal Operators association this week in an effort to halt the strike in Illinois. The Progressives, Keck said, will continue work until a new contract is negotiated.
The two miners union have been engaged in a feud of several years. It has cost more than 30 lives and heavy property damage. It has been marked by street gun battles, riots and hundreds of bombings. More recent turn has been the bombing of freight trains in various parts of the state. The trains are those which operate in coal mining regions.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, July 3, 1935, Page 9|
Rival Union Miners Fight; One Is Held
HARRISBURG ( UP ) Harrisburg police today charged William Thompson of Eldorado, a progressive mine worker, with assault after a fight between Thompson and Ban Duncan, Eldorado, a member of the United Mine Workers. The fight occurred during a miners' meeting yesterday. Duncan was knocked unconscious, but was not seriously hurt.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, July 29, 1935, Page 1|
Throng Attends P. M. A. Picnic at Springfield
SPRINGFIELD (UP) Several thousand members of the Progressive Miners of America attended the organization's annual picnic here yesterday. Delegations from all parts of Southern and Central Illinois attended the celebration which wasn't concluded until late in the evening.
Helen Parkinson, Harrisburg, was crowned beauty queen of the annual celebration and presided at the dance held during the evening. She won the honor in a contest with several other girls. They included:
Barbara Gent, Springfield; Emma Golis, West Frankfort; Theresa Lantefmo, Mt. Olive; Mary Ketalinick, Benld; Helen Balla, Panama; Eleanor Brady, Gillespie, and Bertha Brock, Lincoln.
Speakers on the picnic program included William Keck, East St. Louis, president of the union; Laura Clerick, president of the union auxiliary; Lester Douglas, Springfield, district board member; and Lloyd Thrush, Peoria, vice president.
A number of races and other competitive events for girls, boys and men featured an athletic program that was conducted during he afternoon along with the other festivities. A band concert also was presented.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, August 26, 1935, Page 1|
Jefferson Coal Co., P. M. A. Reach Terms
SPRINGFIELD (UP) Announcement of an agreement between the Mid-State Coal Co. and the Progressive Miners of America to operate a coal mine near here, was made today by Lester Douglas, Springfield, board member of the union.
Supt. F. J. Devlin of the company, who confirmed the contract, was unable to state the exact date of the opening of the mine, but said that it probably would be some time this week. The agreement to open the mine, has been pending nearly two months. Approximately 215 men will be given employment at the mine.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, September 16, 1935, Page 1|
Labor Meeting, Called Success
Secretary Olander Averts Convention Strife; Lauds Polities.
BELLEVILLE (UP) Officials of the Illinois Federation of Labor expressed satisfaction today at accomplishments of the 53rd annual convention, which adjourned Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the week, Sec. Victor A. Olander pointed out, the 700 delegates consistently concurred in policies formulated by the executive board.
It was the most successful convention in the history of the federation, especially from the point of view of policies, Olander said.
Outstanding resolutions included: Adoption of the six-point labor rehabilitation legislative program. Definite assurance that the I. F. L. will not compromise with WPA on labor's demand that the federal government pay the prevailing wage rate.
A movement, launched looking toward, reunion of the Progressive Miners of America and the United Mine Workers of America, which have been at bitter odds for years.
The two instances when the convention threatened to bolt its leadership were:
The fight against Robert J. Dunham, head of the Chicago park board and PWA director for Illinois. The Chicago delegation wanted Dunham singled out by name, denounced for refusing to let the Chicago federation use Soldier field for its Labor day exercises.
The leadership didn't want to go that far, so pruned the resolution down to a mere demand that the board reconsider its whole policy in granting use of Soldier field. That resolution won out.
The second came earlier in the week when Olander led a successful fight against a resolution to put the convention on record in favor of the industrial form of union, rather than the current craft union. Olander branded the proposal "communistic" in origin, and swept it into the discard.
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, September 24, 1935, Page 1|
FAIL TO REACH FINAL ACCORD IN COAL STRIKE
McGrady Describes Atmosphere as Friendly, but Miners Refuse 7 1-2 Cent Raise
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2. -- (AP) -- Continuation of the soft coal strike at least one more day came tonight when the committee of Appalachian producers and United Mine workers, seeking a new wage-and hour agreement, recessed until tomorrow without reaching an accord.
Edward F. McGrady, assistant secretary, of labor, and President Roosevelt's representative in the negotiations, said, however, that he still was hopeful of an early agreement.
"In fact," he told reporters jokingly, "we hope to get a settlement in time to get to the prize fight in New York tomorrow night."
"There's Hope" -- McGrady
"As long as they agree to sit down at a table and talk to each other there's hope."
The strike started at midnight last night after the miners and operators had failed to agree on a new contract to succeed the five times extended pact that expired at that hour.
The miners ask higher pay:
Tonight, the two sides had agreed on all but the new wage for tonnage men -- miners paid for the coal they dig and load.
Through McGrady, the operators had proposed an increase of 7½ cents over the old rate, the labor department official told reporters. The union demanded a nine-cent increase.
Who's proposal ?
Several operators who are members of the negotiating committee told reporters that the 7½ cent proposal was McGrady's, and that the operators acceptance was conditioned upon the agreement of the union. McGrady insisted, however, that this offer originated among the operators.
The atmosphere at today's conference McGrady described as "very friendly," contrary to last night's session when bitter, words were hurled across the conference table.
McGrady earlier had called upon members of the full Appalachian joint wage conference to remain in Washington while their negotiating committee of nine miners and nine producers conferred.
"Stand by all day and all night if necessary so that this unfortunate situation can be cleared up," he urged.
No Coal Shortage
Phillip Murray, vice-president of the United Mine Workers union, said a survey showed that a few Illinois mines employing Progressive Mine Workers of America, and "a few" Kentucky mines not under union contract were all that operated today.
Mines in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Western states were "down 100 per cent," Murray declared.
There was no immediate prospect of a coal shortage. A government report September 7 indicated there was a 53-day supply -- about 43,000,000 tons -- above ground.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, September 25, 1935, Page 1|
P. M. A, Split on Walkout; Fear Split in Ranks
Proposals for Sympathy Strike to Join U. M. W. Hotly Debated in Illinois.
SPRINGFIELD -- Factional mine union strife renewal in Illinois was feared today as so called "left wingers" in the Progressive Miners of America, through a spokesman, urged a strike in sympathy with the nationwide walkout of the United Mine Workers of America.
Seriousness of the situation is denied by heads of the P. M. of A., but incidents at several places in the state indicate that prolongation of the U. M. W. strike may be followed by picketing of Progressive mines by diggers affiliated both with the U. . W. and the P. M. of A.
In this case Progressives loyal to their leaders would be faced with the same situation that confronted U. M. W. miners when mines which they operated were picketed in recent years by Progressives, in some cases resulting in killings, stabbings and dynamiting of homes and railroad trains. In connection with a sympathy strike it was learned that Progressives at Gillespie last night voted not to take action on a motion adopted last April which called for a walkout if the U. M. W. went on strike. The vote was said to be close and followed acrimonious discussion.
Progressives Still Working
Progressive Miners were working today at seven Saline county pits. The Progressives at Sahara No. 10 mine near Eldorado remained away from work yesterday , but voted to return today.
Meanwhile, the Progressives today renewed efforts to negotiate a new contract for higher pay and shorter hours. After several weeks adjournment, P. M. A. officials met here with representative's of the Illinois Coal Producers association
Head Wage Conference
R. J. Wilcoxson, president of the Producers association, and William Keck, president of the P. M. A., headed the wage conference. Wilcoxson has offered a renewal of the present contract based on $5 a day for a 35-hour week. Keck has asked for a $6 basic wage and a 30-hour week.
Appeal for a sympathetic strike with the U. M. W. by Progressives was made here today by Jerry Allard, member of the Springfield subdistrict strike board America. He said if Progressives do not Join the strike "irreparable harm will follow."
"Future Hangs on Thread"
The P. M. A. rival of the U. M. ., includes miners who rebelled against rule of John L. Lewis, president of the U. M. W. of A.
"The future of the Progressive Miners of America, hangs on a thread," said Allard. "The strike of the miners belonging to the United Mine Workers of America for a wage increase and better working conditions is mostly certainly of concern to the rank and file miners as a whole."
"The Progressive Miners of America should not surrender their militant tradition at this time by refusing to join in the nationwide walkout. In this strike Lewis is a secondary issue, the economic welfare of the mine workers is the primary concern.
Cites 1932 Case
The fact that the United Mine Workers refused to join the Progressives to combat the 1932 wage cut would not justify the Progressives doing the same thing again. Two wrongs will not make one right.
'Let it not be said that the miners of Illinois failed the coal diggers of the nation in their fight for economic justice."
"If the Progressives fail to do their duty in this situation irreparable harm will undoubtedly overcome the organization at least as far as the outlying coal fields are concerned.
Fox Hughes, vice-president of the Illinois district of the United Mine Workers, said that Progressives at two mines in the Pekin area last night met with U. M. W. miners and agreed to stay out as long as the strike is on.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, September 28, 1935, Page 1|
P. M. A. Leader Held for Shooting U. M. W. Miner
HARRISBURG (UP) William "Big Bill" Thompson, a leader in the Progressive Miners union in Eldorado, was held for questioning today following the shooting last night of Tom Haley, 45, a member of the United Mine Workers.
Haley was shot in the stomach, climaxing a fight which broke out in a tavern near Harrisburg between members of the two mine unions, according to Sheriff Earl Evans, Haley was taken to a hospital here where doctors said he could not recover.
Thompson is said to fit the description given police by Haley and his son, William Thompson, the sheriff said, was known to have been in the tavern at the time , accompanied by John Costello, Eldorado, and George Heine, state board members of the Progressive organization. There were five or six members of the U. M. W. A. in the tavern, when the fight began, police said.
Sheriff Evans gave no other details of the shooting, but said he would continue his questioning of witnesses.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, October 15, 1935, Page 1|
A . F . L . Liberal Cause Espoused Openly by Lewis
Break With Conservatives Occurs at Convention With Presentation Of Resolutions.
ATLANTIC CITY, N. J. (UP) President John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers, making a dramatic appearance on the floor of the American Federation of Labor convention, today led an open break of liberal forces against conservative elements within the labor movement.
Lewis introduced two resolutions, one aimed at the national civic federation and the other designed to shut off open shop advertising in the American Federalionist.
Matthew Woll member of the executive council of the federation and identified with ant--Communist movements in and out of the A. F. of L. carne under attack in the first resolution because he is acting president of the organization under fire. The first resolution sponsored by Lewis and his powerful union would prevent any A. F. of L. officer from acting as an officer in the national civic federation or even being a member of it.
Opposes Union Movement
The civic federation was founded by Mark Hanna 30 years ago to "harmonize the interests of labor and capital." Progressive labor forces have regarded its recent activities as generally opposed to the trade union movement.
It was Lewis first active participation in the convention. Speaking in his deep booming voice, he demanded recognition and asked for unanimous consent to present his resolutions.
There was an instant clamor from other parts of the convention hall. Lewis had not mentioned the nature of his proposals and delegates were on guard against any move that would throw the convention out of line.
After thi excitement had subsided, Lewis read his resolutions. There was applause from the Liberal wing.
"If these resolutions are good ones let them be adopted," Lewis said, "If they are bad, let the convention deal with them.
It was necessary to obtain unanimous consent because the time for presenting resolutions had expired. After the resolutions had been read there was no further objection and they were referred to the resolutions committee.
The convention, working along through its routine business, then adopted a resolution supporting a "buy-American" campaign.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, October 23, 1935, Page 1|
PMA Accepts Wage Scale
GILLESPIE (UP) A new wage scale, providing a basic daily wage of $5.50 increased tonnage rates and a 35 hour week, has been approved overwhelmingly by the Progressive Miners of America, W. E. Keck, president of the union said today.
"There isn't any doubt about it being carried although we will not have complete returns in for a few days," said Keck. "We understand it was carried in the Belleville region by a vote of five to one.
"Here in Gillespie a local with a membership of 1,700 voted last night, seven to one, to approve the scale. We expect that a final count in yesterday's referendum will show that the proposal carried by at least three to one."
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, November 5, 1935, Page 1|
Edmundson's Coal Board Appointment Protested
SPRINGFIELD (UP) A written protest against the appointment of Ray Edmundson, state president of the United Mine Workers of America, to labor's position on the Illinois coal board to administer the Guffey law, was drafted today by officials of the Progressive Miners of America.
William E. Keck, president of the Progressives said the protest will be sent to the national bituminous coal commission at Washington as soon as it has been properly prepared. He said the protest is expected to be forwarded to the federal body this week.
"We will make the protest on the ground that Edmundson does not represent a majority of the miners in Illinois." Keck said. Why should a man like Edmundson, who has never been a choice of the miners, be appointed to the board? (This was in regard to Edmundson being appointed provisional president of the Illinois union.)
|The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 13, 1935, Page 6|
JUDGE STAYS MANDATE IN COAL INJUNCTION SUlT
CHICAGO, Dec. 12. -- (AP) -- Presiding Judge Evan A. Evans of the circuit court of appeals today granted a motion to stay the issuance of a mandate in the injunction suit of the United Electric Coal company, of Freeburg, against the Progressive Miners of America for 45 days. In granting the motion, Judge Evans ordered the posting of a bond of $15,000 by the union from which to pay possible damages in the event the United State supreme court declines to review the case. The circuit court of appeals recently reversed the action of the U. S. district court at East St. Louis.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, December 20, 1935, Page 8|
Hapgood Accepts PMA Challenge to Debate
By Staff Correspondent
TAYLORVILLE -- No arrangement had been made Thursday for the proposed debate between Powers Hapgood, United Mine Workers representative and an unnamed person representing the Progressive Miners in Christian county.
In a telephone conversation Hapgood said Wednesday in Springfield that he would be glad to accept the challenge if he received written notice from the local Progressive board. However, he said, his only notification had been newspaper accounts of the challenge.
The debate challenge was issued following a board meeting of the local Progressive union. It came shortly after Hapgood's three-day visit in Christian county in which he came expressly to convince the Progressives that they should return to the
U. M. W. A.
|Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois, December 27, 1935, Page 3|
DOES EDMUNDSON HEAD MINERS ?
Question Faces Bituminous Coal Commission; Progressive Miners Protest
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26. -- (AP) -- The national bituminous coal commission had the task today of determining whether Ray Edmundson, president of the Illinois district of the United Mine Workers of America, represents the majority of miners in that state.
A protest against Edmundson's appointment as labor member of the state price fixing board under the Guffey coal act was filed with the commission today by the Progressive Miners of America, a rival miners union.
International officials of the United Mine Workers here refused to comment on the protest, the first of its kind brought from any of the 23 districts. An official said the "matter is entirely in the hands of the commission and, pending decision, the United Mine Workers of America has no comment on the protest."
Attaches of the commission said the next step was to determine if the protest was in legal form and, if so, to set a date for a hearing.
Edmundson was appointed to the state board by the commission. It appointed officials of the United Mine Workers in all districts on the theory that union represented the preponderant majority of the miners.
The Progressive miners announced soon after the appointment that they would file protest.
The two unions have been clashing in Illinois for several years. The issue at stake before the commission, it was learned, is solely , that of determining if Edmundson represents a preponderant majority of Illinois coal miners.
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