North Carolina Newspapers

UDor Unioa;
(he A. F. «f L.
Che Charlotte labor Journal
_TmthJul, Honest, Impartial
hr th* If. C. State F«te»
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VOL. IX—No. 44
|LN Par Yaw
LABOR SUGGESTS: A $10,000,000,000
Business at present is relying on
workers’ purchasing power to buy off
the inventories of goods accumulated
in last fall’s war boom. As expected,
production declined in the first 1940
quarter, falling about 10 per cent be
low the peak level of the last 1989
quarter, but remaining 13 per cent
above the level of a year ago. As
shofwn by the chart, workers’
income is holding at levels well above
the first quarter of last year; in Jan
uary, 1940, due chiefly to re-employ
ment, workers received per cent more
income than in January last year.
Since inventories of goods in retail
stores are up only 3 per cent workers
should be able to buy off present
stocks and create new orders. Auto
sales in February reached and all
time peak for that month, a good
Nevertheless, workers’ wages are
not increasing enough to bring about
industrial expansion. Many corpora
tions are not giving the wage increases
they can afford. The following com
parison suggests serious unbalance:
In 1939, as compared to 1938, indus
trial production increased 22 per cent
workers' hourly earning increased 1
per cent, profits of 300 industrial cor
porations increased 59 per cent. It is
important this spring for all business
firms to grant the largest wage in
crease possible.
Of all the goods produced in the
United States, nearly four-fifths
79% are sold to consumers and one
fifth (21%) are “capital goods.” These
consumer goods are such things as
food, clothing, automobiles, homes, the
materials that go into them and other
articles bought and used by American
families. The capital goods include
machinery, factories, railroad equip
ment, motor trucks, office buildings,
public buildings,' roads and other
things used to make and transport
consumer goods and to administer
business and government— These
capital goods serve only one purpose:
To make and distribute consumer
goods and services.
Thus American industry exists to
serve consumers and lives by selling j
to consumers.
Who are the consumers Everyone,
qf course, is a consumer, but which
consumer groups are the most im
portant buyers of American products?
The graph shows that 93% of all
families and single persons in Amer
ica have incomes of less than |3,000
a year. Most of this low income
group are wage and small salaried
workers, and three-quarters of them
have incomes under fl,500. Never
theless, because there are so many of
them, 37,000,000 in all, they buy
nearly four-fifths (78%) of all con
sumer goods sold on the American
It is significant that those with in
comes over |3,000, largely business
executives, form only 7% of all Amer
ican families and single persons. Al
though highly paid executives’ fami
lies can buy vastly more consumers’
goods than wage earners’ families,
as a group their consumer purchases
are relatively insignificant because
there are so few of them. Wage and
small salaried workers are very much
the largest group of buyers.
The graph shows also that these
low income families, chiefly workers,
buy 85% of all food products sold on
the American market by farmers and
manufacturers. They spend 77% of
all money paid for housing, including
electricity, gas, coal, furniture and
other coate of houae operation and
furnishing. They buy 74% at all
clothing, 68% of all paaaenger auto*
mobiles, and 74% of all other eon*
sumer goods and services, including
medical can, higher education, mo
tion pictures, radios, pleasure trips,
tobacco, carfares.
There an two reasons why Amer
ican industry must depend on the low
income groups to buy its products:
First, as shown above, because they
an so numerous; mass production re
quires mass buying. Secondly, be
cause they have to spend almost their
entire income to buy goods and can
save only a small fraction. Families
With incomes under $1,250 an con
stantly in debt; those with incomes
Under $3,000 spend 99% of their earn
ings and save only 1%. Families with
incomes over $20,000, on the other
hand, spend less than half their in
comes (49%) and save the rest (51%).
These facte are vital. They mean
that if the income of wage earners
and others receiving less than $3,000
a year is increased by $1,000,000,
then $990,000 will be moot for con
sumer goods and only $10,000 saved.
If, however, the million dollar in
crease should all go to high income
groups receiving over $20,000 a
year, only $490,000 would be spent
for .consumer -goods .and .$510,000
would go into savings and invest
In the past our country has de
pended on the savings of its citizen*
to create capital goods. Factories
and machinery, railroads, ships and
mines have beat built out at savings
invested in our expanding industrial
equipment Today, our banks and in
vestment markets are flooded with
idle funds, and much of our plant ca
pacity is standing idle. We need, not
investment money, but buying power
to put our plants to work, ana only
when buying power reaches a large
enough volume to justify further
plant expansion shall we find invest
ment for these idle funds.
Clearly then any effort to increase
the national income must lay first
phasis on raising workers'
power if It is to restore
NutioAuh Income pttll out- in 198L
was close to $70,000,000,000. At this
income level we had 10,000,000 unem
ployed, of whom 3,000,000 were liv
ing on relief and WPA; the rest were
dependent on relatives and others.
Millions of employed workers also
were living in poverty.. Our indus
tries turned out barely 50% of the
goods and services they are capable
of producing. Business men and
fanners suffered because this low
production level curtailed their profits.
We cannot have adequate living
standards until we increase national
income. This can be done in only one
way: By increasing production at the
goods and services needed by Amer
lean families.
Until it has not been possible to
map out an increase in nathmal pro
duction which would meet the needs
•of the American people. We have
not known how maeh of eaoh prod
uct could be sold if produced, ’ftere
fore, American producers have in
creased their output only when they
had orders and slackened production
when orders fell off. This meant that
millions of workers who wanted to
order goods were denied the chance,
either because they had no jobs, or
because their incomes were inade
quate. It also meant that employers
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Central Labor Union’s weekly meet
ins Wednesday night was well attend
ed and much interest manifested by
the delegates. Locals reported good
attendance and membership fains.
A feature of tbs next meeting was
announced by the president, when Mr.
Jack Lang, district wags and hour
chief, willbe present and make a talk
as to that law. All organised labor
is invited to be on hand.
President lloore made a few
changes in some of the standing com
mittee and in addition, commissioned
H. L. Kiser, H. L. McCrorie and J. H.
Plyler as organising representative*
Central Labor Union in recognition
of their splendid endeavor in this
line of wort A good delegation
from the State and County Employes
had no orders. The system defeated
itself and brought stagnation,
could not give them jobs because they
Today we have a study just released
the National Resources Committee
the United States Government
showing what goods would be con
sumed if our national income were
raised to $80,000,000,000. This gives
a basis for charting possible produc
tion increases.
The picturegraph below shows in
general what additional goods would
be consumed if national income were
raised from $70 to $80 billion. Pro
ducers of food (manufacturers and
farmers) would increase their sales
S $1,900,000,000 or 10%; suppliers
housing, coal, gas, electricity and
furniture would increase their sales
by $2,400,000,000 or 12%; clothing
makers by $900,000,000 or 16%; auto
manufacturers by $930,000,000 or
20%; producers of other consumer
products and services by $1,400,000,
000 or 20%. The total would repre
was present, and reported new activ
ity along this line of organisation.
L. R. Me El ice, of the Housing Com
mittee, made an extended report as to
the progress (and obstacles) of the
Housing Authority. He had much sta
tistical data at hand, and at times
waxed a little sarcastic when speak
ing of some of the opponents of this
federal project
H. L. Condor was made* chairman
of a new committee to look into the
feasibility of building a labor temple
in Charlotte. This matter has gone
through various stages during the
past five years, and It is hoped that
this latest effort will prove success
Remember the meeting next Wed
nesday night—7:80 P. M.—and be on
sent a 18% increase in sales of all
consumer goods and services.
This is a rough outline. The details
can be supplied. It would not be im
possible to work out a plan for in
creasing automobile production 20%,
clothing production 1K%, etc. Each
manufacturer would jump at the
Chance for such an increase if he
could sell the product.
The original tea company that had
its merchandise tossed into the sea
at the Boston Tea Party in 1778, is
still doing business at its old stand
at Creechurch street in London,
The Nanking “Reformed” Govern
ment in China has announced imme
diate enforcement regulations to en
courage domestic industries.
The average book sale in the United
States is 1700 copies.
Subscribe for the Journal
Washington, d. c—a new
drive for the adoption of eonstrutive
amendments to the National Labor
Relations Act was launched this week
as President William Green warned
Congress that failure to take such ac
tion at this session “may result in fu
ture moves to destroy or repeal the en
tire Act."
In a public statement. Mr. Green
announced that the American Federa
tion of Labor rejected the amend
ments introduced by the Smith Con
gressional Committee because as a
whole they “strike in a destructive
way at vital, fundamental principles
of the Labor Relations Act"
At the same time Mr. Green urged
favorable consideration of changes in
the law proposed by the American
Federation of Labor to assure just
and impartial administration and to
safeguard the Act’s fundamental
guarantees of protection to labor.
Immediate progress was scored
when Senator Robert F. Wagner, of
New York, author of the law, an
nounced on the floor of the Senate
that he would favor increasing the
personnel of the National LaborRela
taons Board from three to five mem
This is the major amendment
sponsored by the American Federation
of Labor. Senator Wagner’s approval
leaves the CIO out on a limb- as the
only’group refusing to countenance
such a change. Opposition of the CIO
is to be expected because it has bene
fited most from the biased, unfair
sncTpartiaan rulings of the present
In his statement, Mr. Green declar
ed that investigation of the NLLRB
conducted by the Smith Committee at
public hearings had fully established
the A. F. of L.’s charges of malad
ministration against the Labor Board.
He added:
“It now becomes the duty of Con
Mr, William Green, President of
the American Federation of Labor,
is one of the moet able figures hi
American life today.
Regardless of the fact that he
has many responsibilities as head
of the American Labor movement,
Mr. Green has agreed to act as a
judge in the 4-Star Essay
Mr. Green will
with Edward
editor of the world’s
newspaper, and 0. B.
recognized'iM'OjM^of theNation’s
leaders in their respective
have all the qualifications to
excellent judges of the 4-Star
Mr. Green devotes considerable
time to the cause of the Union
Label, Shop Card, and Service
Button. He always finds time to
deliver an address at important
Union Label gatherings. At the
annual convention of the Union
Label Trades Department in Cin
Labor holds the Union Label
and ig high esteem. We consider
it an important branch of the
ut Federation of Labor. It
increasingly important
ough the splendid work
which this Department of the
(oration at Labor has
doing, the public has become
Union Label-minded. Mere and
more consumers have become con
scious of the value and the impor
tance of the Union Label, the Shop
Card, and the Service Button.
“When nsgstlsllng collective
bargaining agreements with nmna
facturers, the first thing they ask
about is the Union Land. They
insist that their repreeentatlves
arrange for them to use the Union
in the production of their
That to am Is most inter
Mr. Edward Keating, Editor and
Manager ef Laaoa, the OAeial
Washington Weekly Newspaper ef
the Standard Piilnmi T Or
with Mr. William Green and Mr.
0. R. Straekbein aa one ef the otfi
cial judgee ef the 4-8tar Eatu
Conteat by the Unioh
Label Trade* Department of the
American Federation of Labor.
Mr. Keetiiig i* well qualified to
act aa judge of eaaaye on "
He waa horn into a trad*
family, and has been in close
with the movement all his life.
His early life was spent on
in Denver, and for years
was managing editor of the
Mountain Nnwe, at that
time the oatstanding Progressive
publication of the Middle West.
He left the Ntwt when he par*
in Paeble, Colo.
gkind tkfl
Mr. Keating was elected to Con
gress in 1918, and served for sis
years. During all that'time he
was a member of the Committee
<)& Libor of ^ Hon—, oad far the
last two years of his service was
chairman of the “labor 9106” in
the House.
In 1916, Mr. Keating secured the
Keating i
passage of the first Federal Child
Labor Law. and a year later pat
over the first Federal Minimum
Wage Lew for women and children.
Both laws were declared uncon
stitutional by the Supreme Court
by a vote of 8*4. However, time
has vindicated both measures. Two
ago the Supreme Court re
' its position on the Mini
mum Wage Law, and that i
is now in effect in tbs city ef Wash
ington, where it has already mate
rially improved Cm wages of thou
sands of workers. The principle
of the Child Labor bill has been
incorporated to the Wage-Hour Act
*u^inedb»Mh*l,",litr ***
Mr. 0. R. Strmckbein, Member of
the Public Contract! Board, United
States Department of Labor, will
complete the triumvirate of judges
for the 4-Star Essay Contest con
ducted by the Union Label Trades
Department of the American Fed
eration of Labor.
From the standpoint of an econ
omist and an educator, Mr. Streck
bein fully meets the requirements
of a well-qualified judge in an
essay contest. He was graduated
from the University of Texas and
later taught economics in Washings
ton and Lee University.' It was in
this connection that he received
the distinction of being elected a
Fellow of the Royal Economic
Society, London.
After his experience in the edu
cation field, be served as a repre
sentative of the Department of
Commerce in foreign countries,
and later he acted as a special
expert with the United States Tar
iff Commission. ,
His familiarity with Labor
Union problems was gained in
several years he served as econo
mist for the Cigar Makers’ Inter
national Union, the Tobacco Work
ers’ International Union, and the
Boot and Shoe Workers’ Union.
As a Member of the Public Con
tracts Board, Mr. Strackbein takes
part ia the finding of minimum
wsges which iw»niiT>cturerg who
supply the Government are re
quired to pay under the provisions
of the Walsh-Healy Act He to the
author of a recently published bode
entitled "The Prevailing Minimum
Wage Standard” which to devoted
to the Public Contracts Act.
to tain aaeh action as the facto
wanrant ud demand in order to pra
vent the Labor Relatione Board **».«
continuing its K|—H and prejudiced
administration of the Labor
Act It srmis inconceivable that Con
Peaa should fail to discharge its dSt,
m this respect Failure to act at this
session may remit in future mores to
destroy or repeal the entire Act.
“Amendments to the Labor Rela
la0n*,_Af? been prepared by the
Smith Committee and submitted to
toe Labor Committee of the House of
Representatives. Some of these amend
meats are practical and constructive.
However, it is the opinion of the
American Federation of Labor that
toe amendments offered by the Smith
Committee as a whole strike in a de
structive Way at vital, fnndim—tol
of toe Labor Relations Act.
principles of to*_
The American Federation of Labor
lms repeatedly stated and emphasised
ito opposition to any impairment of
toe fundamental principles of the La
b°r Relatione Act in any way whatoo
ever. We again urge and insist that
ito principles and its fundamentals
shall be preserved and protected. The
Labor Relations Act still remains the
Magna Charts of Labor. Our appeal
to Congress is to amend and change
features of the
the administration _
Act and policies of the Labor RHs
tions Board without impairing ito
fundamentals os that the Labor Rela
tions Act will be administered fairly
to all, just to labor and industry, and
maccordance with its spirit and its
“It is the opinion of the American
Federation Of Labor that amendments
to- *c®omPli*b this purpose
should be simple, direct and construe
a —— — — viv> wmwvv mim vUUSUUC
rive. If amendments providing for a
reconstruction of the LaborBoard;
tb* ri*bt of employers to petition for
elections under certain conditions: the
abdirion of the right of the Board
to invalidate contracts honestly and
just negotiated through collective
bargaining: the acceptance of the
san Federation of Labor ree
dations relating to the vtlvr
: and establishment of the appro
ite collective bargaining unit,
acceptance of a simplified form of
‘ nistnitive and judicial procedure,
adopted by Congress, toe Labor
ions Act could then be applied in
justice to alL
bor will petition and appeal to Con*
gress to act favorably upon rec
ommendations and to adopt Hoye
f ‘k amendmento to the
Labor Relation! Act.”
Boohitiou Suggested
editors of the
Asked hr the
United States News to suggest
Now Tear raaotations for bastoeea
gavanuaent, Preaideat A.
S’ .ybitoy. ef the Brotherhood of
Railroad Trainman, offered toe fol
lowing, which can he enthaslastie
***y seconded by the membership
ef the International Typographical
Union and the entire labor mem
“Lot Bostoesa resolve: <1) To
cease ito unprincipled attack oa la
bor unionism and collective bargain
tog; (2) to agree to support the
Md Hours Law; (J) to get
out of the labor spy racket; (4)
to pay ito fair share of taxes to
support the unemployed.
“Let Government resolve: (1) Tb
guarantee that it will immediately
turn its attention to solve the prob
lem of unemployment; (2) to pro
vide useful work for those who are
to need; (2) to stay oat of aB for
eign ware; (4) to enforce the
American Bill of Rights to
of all sections of our population.”
News of Labor Is
Asked of Charlotte
A. F. of L. Locals
Labor publications rely on news
natter primarily from all Labor
Officials and Represents tires. If
this news matter is not fortbcom
in* from some of them, the
Press fails in its duty to friends
and members of organised Labor.
Such failure, however, is not en
tirely the fault of those editing the
publication serving as 1 An's
Complete co-operation of Union
officials and representatives is
accessary if the Labor Press is to
serve its avowed purpose. Keep
the Managing Editor of the Labor
Journal supplied with news and
“your” Labor paper will bo a
“live’* publication. Call S-MM, and
publication will be assured!

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