The Fulton County Glove Cutters' Strike of 1914 - Board of Mediation and Arbitration Hearings
The Glovers of Fulton County

The Glove Cutters' Strike of 1914: New York State Board of Mediation and Arbitration Hearings,
October 13, 1914 ~ Afternoon Session

 

ORIGINAL TEXT OF DOCUMENT STARTS BELOW

[Original manuscript pages 470-543] 


AFTERNOON SESSION

J O S E P H  M O S E S, resumed the stand.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Mr. Moses we will be glad to have you continue your testimony? A. Do you wish to ask me a question or shall I go on with other matters.

Q. Go ahead with your other testimony? A. In the taxing it don't always follow that the cutters cut less than estimated. In very many instances you will find the cutters over the estimate. In the very factories where complaints have been found about their over-estimating he may cut out more. Now gentlemen, in the building here in the hands of the officials, is a large number of skins that it is claimed were found in the hands of a party leaving this country that were marked as coming from the various factories, and in one particular case a very large number. In our own case there are some of our skins there. Those skins can not possibly come from any other place than from skins that are left over above taxation on amounts turned in for anothers goods.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. You mean they are entire skins? A. One skin, for instance can be taken out.

Q. Out of a batch? A. Yes. The proof of that is right here in the building here. These skins were found in the hands of one person who had collected them. Now that is proof. What more proof is there than the fact that there are concerns in this city who do nothing else than purchase scraps from the various factories. The one we sell to are Gifford Brothers. Formerly the business was run by his father who I understand has done that business for 40 years and has been able to save or make a considerable amount of money in the purchase of these scraps from the various stops that are found or placed by the cutter under his particular table. In these scraps he admitted to me this morning, and he is willing to testify, that he finds many pieces large enough to cut good size forchettes and also pieces large enough for tranks that he refills. Another conclusive proof that the over taxation is something that is being harped on that is not really as important as it is endeavored to make out is when the cutters left our factory it gave us a good opportunity for cleaning thoroughly the cutters tables, which we generally do at inventory time. Inasmuch as the cutters have left their work now I personally took that in charge and much to my surprise I found a number of pieces of leather under the tables that I instructed the young man who was taking care of it to take out rather than to put in the scraps that we were selling, proving conclusively that the very moment this complaint was being made out that there was still plenty of skins, pieces of skins, in the hands of the various cutters.

Q. No in the hands of the individual cutters? A. Yes, sir, because they are under their own tables and not in any individual place provided for them.

Q. Can the cutter always find the scraps to match under his own table? A. No, not always; I don't say that.

Q. He must occasionally go to the mill? A. No, not enter the mill - - the complaint brought to your attention is that he goes from one cutters place to another and I will admit that that is the fact. The conscientious cutter will do that more than the cutter who is not conscientious. The cutter who is not conscientious will turn in his lot short because there is no penalty. The conscientious cutter wants to turn in his goods as taxed to show he is a conscientious cutter.

MR. ROGERS: That does take some time?

THE WITNESS: It does.

Q. Shouldn't that be so that it will not take much time? A. If those conditions should obtain it would not take so long to change our entire system of costs. I can not blame the cutters in general from kicking to have a liberal estimation or liberal estimation or no taxation at all. Their work would be much easier yet at the same time it is not a proper way to conduct a business. That is one of the leaks in the general business that has to be watched the same as everything else. We have to watch the leaks not only of the cutters but of various departments all the way through. It is not in this business alone, it is in every well organized business in the country.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. Now Mr. Moses isn't it a fact or is it a fact that in some of the factories here that favoritism has been shown by the man that gives out the skins or the man that puts the tax on the skins? A. Yes, sir, that was proven conclusively in our own case.

Q. And they were subsidized by the men for doing so? A. Many years that was found to be the case in our own particular shop.

Q. Paying them so much a week? A. That we could never learn. We simply had it come to our notice that there was money or presents be given to the taxer and since then we have abolished that system whereby that occurred so that we have eliminated the possibility of such a thing happening today. Let me explain that Mr. Downey. You have undoubtedly been given something of that and confused it at the present moment. That is a matter of five or six years ago. One man had entire charge of estimating, and it was within his power to do whatever he pleased as regards favoritism to the cutters in general. Unbeknown to us this matter had been going on of either presents being given or money. It was brought to our notice. We immediately, upon being brought to our notice, we stopped the system that we had been working under for years. That man was not from that time on given the opportunity of giving out the skins to the various cutters. This very man that I spoke to you previously of, being the middle man, is the man who invariably places the name of the cutter on that work.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Do you know whether the other factories had such an arrangement? A. I have not heard for a positive fact that other factories have had a middle man, but, gentlemen, to my mind it is the proper way and the fair way, yet in spite of that fact there has been some complaints, not many - and it proves conclusively to my mind that there are some cutters who will always complain of the estimate or taxation, not because they mean to but it because they haven't the ability which these general cutters have.

Q. Haven't some of the men exceptional ability? A. Some men, oh yes, there are some men exceptionally good.

Q. You do not try to have the yield averaged up to the highest cutter? A. By no means, because the very proof lies in the fact of these over cuttings. We have what we know in our shops to be the average cutter or the men you speak of as being a good cutter. He never makes a complaint of an undercut or rather very seldom. His records show that.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Is the cutter of that type in the majority in your shop? A. The majority?

Q. Yes? A. I should say there are over fifty percent who will cut out in nine cases out of ten - yes nineteen cases out of twenty - will cut either his average or one or two pairs over and then occasionally fall short.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. You wish us to understand that a majority of your cutters, can either make their estimate or tax or come so near to it that there is no discipline or danger to their occupation connected with it? A. I wish to save that the average cutter does endeavor to get out in a satisfactory manner the estimate placed upon his work, but unfortunately there are many cutters who will never be able to cut out unless they are absolutely undertaxed and then it is easy enough to produce the taxed amount.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. How many of those are there? A. Not a large amount. I don't believe that there are more than fifteen percent, twenty percent of the cutters in our employ that you might term poor cutters. It don't necessary follow that they are poor cutters when they are not able to cut out even with these estimated amounts. Manipulation of leather has a great deal to do with it.

Q. You have to take those cutters into consideration in drawing your average? A. Averages are bad. Should we reconstruct our business for the sake of the fifteen percent. Might not it be better that these fifteen percent should do something else?

Q. But you can replace them with higher class cutters? A. Yes, but can you?

Q. Isn't there always present in the business the same proportion of slow working men? A. No, not always, because there are times when the business is not as prosperous naturally you mean in the prosperous times?

Q. Yes certainly? A. There are those times and we are compelled to employ them whether it is our wishes or not, but you see you can regulate a business of this kind to meet the wishes of that small percentage.

Q. Not the wishes, but the necessity? A. Or the necessity of that small percentage.

Q. Can you get along without them? A. Can we, yes, sir.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Do you think that you could regulate the business so that only those that are adapted for the business would work in it? A. Could we regulate it?

Q. Yes? A. I think we could.

Q. Physically and otherwise? A. I think we could, sir.

Q. Do you know of any other business that has ever been regulated that way, where they have everybody that was proficient? A. I don't know of any business that would be and yet I don't know of any concern that would accommodate their business to the necessity of meeting the demands of the poor workmen, especially in so small a percentage as 15 percent.

Q. But when they can not do it, don't they regulate their business to make an allowance? A. We have the means of doing that; undoubtedly that would meet the wishes of many of the cutters, but that unfortunately would be a plan that would be objectionable to some of them. We pay the expert cutter, no matter how expert he may be, just along the lines that I have mentioned, and the poorest cutter in our employ on the same class of work gets the same wages. We would be very glad to hear of any scheme that would work to the benefit of the expert glove cutter. I would like to speak of the average wage question. A great deal must be taken into consideration when you speak of the average wage scale. WE have much to contend with in that respect. We have the Saturday afternoon holiday, we have the holidays, we have the vacations. All of those really are not half so important as the most important one, the slow worker, the man who does not want to work a fair average working day. Gentlemen, the successful glove manufacturer today is working many more hours than these workers that I speak of now.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Not in one operation of it? A. The mind operation sometimes is much more difficult that the physical labor. I believe that you recognize that yourself. The working men do not have the mind matter to worry over as much as we have. Many years we have closed our year's business with a loss, yet the worker never knew it. That was our misfortune. Gentlemen, we have in this industry averages that I have talked over with many manufacturers, forty percent of the glove cutters, who conscientiously work nine hours and between nine and ten hours. We have fifteen to twenty percent of what we call slow workers. They work conscientiously but no matter how hard they work, not counting the hours they put in, they put in long hours, yet they never will earn high wages. A fast cutter might be able to work five and six hours and yet earn more money than a slow cutter working ten. Both of those you see are vastly different in their earning power but what pulls our average down is the fact that forty percent of the table cutters do work in our industry over the workers who don't want to work a reasonable amount of time. I want to illustrate that: in the case of a cutter testifying, claiming that he earned an average of eleven or twelve dollars, I believe he said twelve dollars which later I will show from other testimony he earned a larger amount. In his testimony he brings out the fact that once in a while his wife brings home five dollars a week. Gentlemen, the lady in question works for us, and I want to read against that testimony, what she has earned.

Q. Who is the witness? A. Steiner. This lady sometimes earns as high as five dollars a week. Yet January 3rd she earned $8.34. That is the pay day time. That took up the January first closing day. The next week she earned $13.92. The next $11.73, following that $7.42, next $10.82; $10.08; $6.05; $9.44; $8.26; $14.04; $10.35; $11.42; $12.82; in January and February and March an average wage of $10.38 yet he says she sometimes brings home $5.00 a week.

A. VOICE: I do not think the makers wages are in question.

THE WITNESS: They are not but it is in the testimony.

MR. ROGERS: Such a correction as this is fair to make.

THE WITNESS: I would not do it otherwise except that the name was mentioned and especially as the party was working for us. Very interesting testimony came up with a gentleman named Wallach, who works for us. You will find in his testimony that he stated he earns from twelve to sixteen-fifty a week and states he is a fast customer. I would like to read some of the running weeks up to the time he got sick to see whether in those weeks, a single week, comes to the figure as to the topmost money that he earned: $17.98, July 5th and the following week $18.49.

Q. What year is this? A. This is 1913, from the time that your records asked us to take. Every one of these I mention you will find testified to in the record as taken off by your statistician: $18.49 is the second week, $20.10, 21.34, 18.12; 18.75; 21.27; 19.62; 21.25; 20.34; 18.49; 19.50; 20.64; and then he became sick our records show and out of the shop for nine weeks.

Q. By reason of the high speed at which he had been working? A. I won't say it is the high speed because I know that the gentleman can continue it every week he desires.

Q. He is a fast cutter? A. He says he is a fast cutter. I am going to prove to you gentlemen he is not a fast cutter.

BY MR. ROGERS

Q. But as far as his statement of average income is concerned, this past year, he probably figured up his lost time on account of the owners? A. Now the question was, as I remember it, whether it was average time. I believe his testimony was that he earned from $12.00 to $16.50; yet you see not a single week there is anywhere nears the $16.50 figure.

Q. Our general questioning of the witness was along the line of their weekly earnings this last year? A. Gentlemen it is fair to the workmen, it is fair to us, to figure the average wage of a man to bring his wages down when he takes his own vacation at his own time.

Q. We would not consider him if he were absent a number of weeks like that, of course, we would not take his total earnings as a fair sample in getting an average? A. Therefore we will take the gentleman's word, the Commissioner or I believe the Attorney, who stated I believe that the reason he broke down with sickness by reason of the high speed at which he had been working is it fair then to take sick man after he returns to work and include that in the average. Do you understand what I mean? Even if he returns to work and then it develops that owing to sickness he is not able to earn money, is it fair to try and average from a sick man who is returning to work who is unable to earn good wages - is it fair to take his wages as being the average of a table cutter or of his particular wage scale? It is along that point that I desire to bring out that a man who testified C. Walters, that his average was $12.46, I do not doubt whatever that the man's average wage was $12.46, yet when a man can earn $16 and $16.88 and as high as $18 in various weeks it is his own fault that his average is low, not ours.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. It is your contention that the work is always there fore them to do? A. It is so in our shop with but very few cases because - and that brings up just one point that I would like to bring up very strongly - it is a point that I have just thought of at the present moment. For years when our business showed a falling off we instituted a short hour closing and opening period. Instead of opening our cutting room at seven o'clock in the morning we opened it at eight o'clock and closed at four-thirty in the afternoon, usually in the Fall, when the business drops off. We could not quite understand having short closing hours that our weeks cutting and wages should be so close to when we kept the room open two hours and a longer that is, the average wage was nearly the same - not of the fast cutters, but it developed that the slow cutter could earn more money.

Q. Comparatively? A. Not comparatively, but truly so.

Q. You mean as a matter of actual fact he earns more money through the short hour? A. Yes, sir, for fear that there would be less work the next week. Gentlemen, we have Sam Spaas, who testified from our shop that his average was $11.25. Yet three weeks in August running he earns $13.59, $17.19 or $15.84. Is it his fault or our fault that his average is $11.25.

A VOICE: Sam Spaas is here and he denies that.

THE WITNESS: The records are here that show it and we have his signature.

MR. ROGERS: Ample opportunity will be given for contradictory testimony before the hearing is adjourned and we must insist there shall be no interruptions from the room.

THE WITNESS: I made a remark about fast cutters. In 1914, starting in at March a cutter - inasmuch as he has not testified I do not wish to give his name unless compelled to - started in March 28th and earned as follows: $21.17, $26.54; 23.80; 22.92; 23.92; 23.27; 23.76; 23.64; 24.20; 22.85; 19.49; 28.22; 24.16; 26.47.

MR. ROGERS: I might say that while we admit that as a general statement I would like to request you not to continue that because we have all of that information from the general payroll and if any high speed witnesses are desired to be introduced we can ourselves examine them directly as to their income? A. I would be very glad to see you do that. What I wanted to bring out, Mr. Rogers, was the fact, that we have here records which you will see of over sixty cutters that have been in our employ for the period that you have asked for all of which have been able to earn and have earned $20 in running time. Those records are there to show for themselves, therefore I wanted to bring that out that if it was necessary the cutters could earn more if they were - if they worked longer hours than they do. There is only one point in the matter that I would like to bring out and that is in the matter of apprentices. If you will allow me please.

Q. Certainly? A. We have a young man in our employ that was formerly an apprentice. I made particular inquiries to find out his age. The best I could find out was that he was either 21 or wasn't much over that. He works under his father. He could not have been an apprentice very long. He has been working for us himself for close to a year I believe and I would like to have an opportunity of reading his pay: first $18.29; and the following week $23.86; 24.70; 25.78; 25.21; 25.30; 25; 22; 25.37; 23.27; 24.63; 25.12; 12; 20.44; 20.77; 17.17; 18.49; 20.13; 19.60; 18.47; and he is a young man that attends strictly to business and has not been at it long.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. In the testimony here Mr. Moses it was stated that you opened your shops or some of the manufacturers do at six o'clock in the morning and allow the men to go into work at that time, the cutters? A. If it is it is unbeknown to us. Our engineer is the only one that could go into the building and attend to his duties which requires his earlier attendance than seven o'clock. None of our foremen - nor we do not request or require any one to get there before.

Q. Do you know of any of these cutters taking their work home and working Sunday and evenings after the shop closes? A. I have seen that in the testimony. Naturally that could not have happened this year when we had an over abundance of cutters. We do not allow it. If it is done, it is done without our knowledge, and I asked that point particularly of our man who receives the work. He said not to his knowledge.

Q. That would not stop taking it home whether you had a surplus of cutters or not, would it? A. Yes, sir, it would, because our foreman have known those things. There have been times I will admit that even we, years ago, have had that done, but not since we have the sized shop that we have today.

Q. And those large pays that you have read there you don't know how many hours these men work? A. Yes, sir, we do.

Q. Have you a system in your shop that you know just how many hours a cutter works? A. This sort of system, that our foreman knows, he can tell us immediately whether any man is working at home or not.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. But do you know that a man is putting eight or eleven hour day? A. Yes, positively.

Q. Do you know that he can get over nine? A. Yes, sir, he can get ten. One of our foremen out of the men we have is instructed to see that the cutting room is clear just as we do downstairs in our making department after six o'clock. Sometimes it occurs that five, ten, fifteen minutes later I will see a cutter come out and I will know the foreman is upstairs getting them out.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Do you know Mr. Moses how the prices to the cutters in New York City compare with the prices here? A. The work there as I understand is entirely different. There you will get this particular method that is spoken of here about the night work and they have an entirely different system. In many shops there the cutters are not required to cut forchettes. They turn in their leather that is left over other than the tranks and then I understand it is cut by women or young men in any of the shops. Many follow up the same system we have here except that there are many sweat shop methods there which we do not have here. Our work is in clean shops and conducted properly.

Q. It has been testified here that local manufacturers including Fownes Brothers Co. and Hallock & Stewart, Pannaci, Malone, Loucks and the Faultless Co. have granted an increased price to their cutters since this strike was inaugurated and the men have returned to work at an increased price; I would like to have you explain to the Board if you can just how it is that you see the impossibility of the trade standing such an increase as that? A. Will you please add the name of Fernandez to that. I wish you would please. You can take it out later if you wish.

Q. Eighteen cutters returned to work with Fernandez and later he cancelled the arrangement? A. The very argument, - I therefore wanted his name added to those employed the cutters.

Q. Why do you wish that added? A. For the very fact that there are many manufacturers that would be only too willing and perhaps some of those that would have granted an increase to the men to make up the orders that they have in hand just as in the case of Mr. Fernandez after the orders were cut up, I understand his cutters were let go, because he could not sell the goods at the advance price.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Was there an advanced price attached to those goods? A. He necessarily would be compelled to ask the advance if the employees work.

Q. Where does Fernandez sell his goods? A. I don't know anything about his business.

Q. Do you know for a fact that he could not sell his goods? A. I do know so from the fact that we had a letter from a particular concern.

Q. You understand that that letter referred to an advance in price? A. Yes, sir, advance in price.

Q. And that you assume is the condition existing throughout the business. A. I know that we could produce many letters which state that they are sending us orders and if there is any advance whatever they do not want us to ship the goods.

Q. These other firms you assume are selling their goods under an advanced price? A. Selling them under?

Q. Yes? A. I naturally do.

Q. And still you said it was impossible? A. No, sir I said it would be generally, it would not be for a few concerns, when the balance of the industry was shut down.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. You might add to this list too, if you want to make it complete and up to date the information which has just reached me from New York that our Bureau of Mediation has arranged a settlement of the strike of glove cutters there and that some 84 cutters I believe have returned to work on a basis of a 15 cent flat increase per dozen in price? A. Yet there would not be that difference between the rate of wages asked here, because it don't follow that they are working under the same arrangement as shown here, as in the case of Hallock & Stewart, the concern that gave in at Johnstown.

Q. Hallock & Stewart? A. It was admitted that they were working under a schedule that higher than ours here. They did not have to pay the flat rate.

Q. I assume in New York some concession had to be made in view of the higher cost of living there? A. I do not know whether that was the reason that it was conceded.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. The fact that they were paying a higher rate of wages would make that more difficult? A. I do not know that they do.

Q. But you said that Hallock & Stewart were paying above the price paid in Gloversville? A. In some slight cases I believe it was mentioned.

Q. And in that extent it would make it more difficult to advance them 15 cents? A. They did not advance them 15 cents, they advanced the rate; what would amount to 15 cents for an hour rate, that is what they advanced to. What their particular rate of advance was to other cutters we don't know. Their arrangement with their cutters we believe was a private one of rates that they made between themselves. Another case proving that we do not all pay alike.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. Don't you suppose that if they made that same condition with Hallock & Stewart that they would make the same condition with your factory? A. In our case it would mean the flat 15 if I gather rightly.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. You firm does comply strictly with the schedule? A. Not strictly, in some cases we have not. As I stated previously we have not complied strictly with the schedule.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. The testimony here was that some of them had granted an increase of twenty five cents and after one firm gave an increase of 15 cents the manufacturers that had given the increase of 25 cents were brought down to 15 cents so they did not exact from one firm because they had agreed to give them 25 cents that amount but they brought him down on a parallel with Fownes and that would apply I believe to any other manufacturer, at least so the testimony shows us? A. I don't understand that.

Q. I said now they have got to fifteen cents, a flat rate, so far as the cutters are concerned and no one is exacting any more irrespective if the firm had signed up to the 25 cent increase, the original demand.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. If a firm granted a 25 cent increase at the beginning of the strike and took its men back at that rate, that firm would come in under a 15 cent flat increase, wouldn't it? A. So I understand, yes. I would like to say gentlemen that when the tariff, the last tariff bill went into effect we were seriously considering the opening up of a foreign factory. Had we done so, or should we in the future ever be in the position of ever having a foreign factory we would be very willing to see wages advanced in the American factories. Two factories, one in each country work like a two edged sword to the detriment or to the gain of that particular concern.

Q. That is they would run one factory to the exclusion of the other, depending on which one is in the better position? A. Which one they desired to run to their own advantage. I want to bring out this fact this way that when this schedule for 1914 was talked over, it was requested by one of these concerns who have granted the increase, one of the large ones, that we reduce two lines of work on sewing. Now Gentlemen should prove something to you, that when the advance was granted to the men they were doing it for their own particular desire for the time being and not in the interests of the men.

Q. Why does Fownes run his American factory then? A. As I said it is a very convenient thing to have a double edge sword.

Q. Then you go on to state that when the advantage is in the running of the European factory that he runs that factory to the exclusion of the American factory? A. Not to the exclusion.

Q. Why not? A. Because there is always opportunity of making goods quickly that can not be quickly imported. It is a convenience that we all wish we had. Gentlemen I want to bring out one point very strongly and that is that if our cutters should be granted an increase when they ask for it or if they had been granted an increase upon the presentation of your Board it would have automatically reverted back to the self same schedule we are working on today, inside of four weeks. It is a strong statement to make, yet the condition of the business would be such that instead of 131 which left our factory at the time of the strike we could not honestly employ half of them today if they would have been at our door; who would be willing to take the place and anxious to take the place of the men working at an advance of the old rate of wages.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. How do you know that? A. How do I know that, Mr. Downey?

Q. Ye? A. Because the first six months of this year as I previously stated from 20 to 30 made personal application to me. Not one was put on; but, on the other hand Mr. Downey, I personally put on some cutters at the rate of wages that we pay and not at the reduced rate.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Do you mean by that these applications were at reduced rates? A. The applications were - willing to work at reduced rates in the first six months of the year. From January to July there were many cutters cut of work.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. In speaking of reduced rates, you mean table cutters were willing to work at that - - A. Pull down cutters rate, yes sir. So I say that even at an advance it would unquestionably revert back to the old rate of itself and we want to bring out strongly that the unsettled conditions of the business world, that in view of that condition, we could no possibly conscientiously do it unless it would be to the detriment of the business.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. How do you account for the statement that appeared in your Glovers' Review, I believe in the last month's issue of that review, that the manufacturers here were seriously considering an increase of fifty cents a dozen to a dollar a dozen or from a dollar to two dollars - it was either one or two - I did have it, but I have forgotten the figures - to the merchant for the price of your product? A. That was a dream of some of the merchants or manufacturers.

Q. Then they are all dreamers? A. No, sir, in that particular case it was, Mr. Downey. Events have proven that.

Q. Then this dream was put out to the public as a feeler to see what they thought of it, was that it? . No, in some cases that was compulsory. New rates on labor would compel the advance of a dollar a dozen and in many cases then not cover the invoice.

Q. You haven't had any invoices of leather since this war has taken place, have you? Did you buy any leather in Europe since the war took place? A. No sir.

Q. Then you don't know what the price would be, do you? A. Don't know the price, we know it can't be procured from the sections of the country that we get our supplies for the very reason that we own leather today in Berlin paid for, that we can not get.

Q. This leather you have on hand you were going to raise the price on? A. No, sir, we purchased considerable lots of leather and on these goods that we had leather in we did not advance as I testified to previously.

Q. Then this statement that appeared in the Glovers' Review which as I understand it is the official organ of the manufacturers of Fulton county - A. I beg your pardon - there is a private individual who runs that. He has no authority to take upon himself the fact that he is sponsor for the trade.

Q. The secretary of your association? A. He has nothing to do with our business. I would not appoint him to have anything to say for us. It don't follow. We attend to our own business. It is in his judgment something that could transpire or was transpiring.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Have you anything further that you would like to present Mr. Moses? A. Nothing.

S A M U E L  L E H R, called and sworn as a witness, testified as follows:

EXAMINED BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. What is your full name Mr. Lehr? A. Samuel Lehr.

Q. How old are you? A. 56.

Q. Are you a member of the firm of Lehr & Nelson, and is that a corporation? A. No, partnership, Lehr & Nelson.

Q. Yourself and Mr. Nelson? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you prepared a statement as requested by the Board? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a hand in preparing this statement yourself individually? A. Mr. Nelson takes care of it and I believe that he is right.

Q. You are not in position yourself to swear that it is true? A. No.

MR. BAKER: We can have Mr. Nelson here.

Q. How many cutters do you employ Mr. Lehr? A. From 30 to 40 or from 25 to 40.

Q. And you are unable to pay any increase? A. Not at present.

Q. Are you a member of the Association of Manufacturers? A. I am not.

Q. Are you regulated in your behavior on this side by what that association does? A. No, sir, I run my own business.

Q. But you are paying, or you were up to the time of the strike the same wages for table cutters that the other firms were paying? A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is that, a coincidence? A. They would not work for any less. There is a time in the year in which they ask me personally if I will give them a job for less and I told my foreman not to do it, either take them in at full price or not at all, if he needs them.

Q. What have you say - I assume you have read the testimony about taxation? A. Well, all I have to say about the taxation is I am you might say five days in the week in the room where the skins are taxed and I am every day in the cutters' room. They will call me to the table and show me this skin would not cut that amount of gloves. I looked it over. I say have you cut them yet? They say, no. How many will be shy? They say so many pairs. In a good many cases after they made the complaint they got a pair or two over.

Q. That is a good many cases - is that the rule? A. I would not say that it is the rule, no, but in a good many cases, they get over. I have found even cutters in my employ which I could not tax and as many as I taxed they will always have more.

Q. You can not tax them, why? A. Because he will always beat me. He will always have two or three more if I tax them.

Q. They are better cutters than you are? A. Yes, sir, some of them. I don't say that I am the only one or was the only one.

Q. What percentage are these good cutters? A. In my shop I might say 80 percent of them I have no trouble with. They always get what they are taxed and a pair or two over.

Q. And 20 percent object? A. They don't object but occasionally they will call me over and say they are a little bit tight taxed. They know all that I ask of them is to make a good glove and if they are shy a pair or two they get a skin for it. There never was a time that I can remember they had to pay for anything or pay even for damaged goods. If they are not right I let them go. I often find the case where there are five or six men around, - - I have two cases of short leather - when the cutters have pieces over they throw them in the cases and I will pass around and draw the cutters attention, - I say see here, there is a pair of gloves thrown away, I don't want to find out who done it, never did, and don't ask for it, but I suppose the same cutters are the ones that complain.

MR. BAKER: Do you sell your scraps every year?

THE WITNESS: I sell the scraps five or six times a year, anywhere from five to six hundred pounds.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Is there any definite system in force for defective gloves in your force? A. No sir, always did - they always find an excuse and I am easy with them.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. You are a glove cutter, Mr. Lehr? A. Yes, sir.

Q. What do you consider glove cutting, a highly skilled trade? A. With some it is and with others it is not.

Q. It requires a skilled man to cut gloves? A. I have some of them that only learned six months to become a cutter and I have the wages right here and they are making big wages and learned in only six months.

MR. BAKER: Do they get the regular price?

THE WITNESS: Regular price, I pay them all one price, I only got one price in the shop.

Q. Do you pay the average boy or man can go in your factory and learn to be a skilled cutter in six months? A. I don't say all of them. Some of them. If he wants to put his time to it, but I have some in the shop they are making big wages and they did not learn in more than six months. It isn't necessary to mention names, is it?

Q. All we want to know, I don't care about what they earn, we can get that through the pay rolls. Testimony has been given here that in England, France and Germany it takes five years to learn the trade and in this country three years and they claim it is a highly skilled trade? A. I didn't learn my trade in England or France, but I suppose it is all the same way. The first year the boy carries the water or carries the swill; the second year he goes for sandwiches and the last year he learns the trade. That was in my time. That is true too because I passed through the same school.

Q. Well I suppose that is true in all skilled trades but the last year is the year that an apprentice is, - generally polishes him of as a mechanic, isn't that the fact? A. The last few months.

Q. That is the last few months he gets the chance? A. You told me five years. I passed through the same school. My father was a manufacturer and I learn the trade from my father. I had to do it. If I did not do it I had what is coming to me.

Q. But today as a general proposition it is a skilled trade? A. Yes, but it seems to me that we could take any dummy and learn him in a year, any time.

Q. Not many dummies learn the business, do they? A. A good many of them.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Did you wish to correct any testimony of witnesses? A. Yes, sir.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Is there an employee in your factory by the name of Samuel Spinnock and just read if you will? A. $18.50; $13.90; 22.08; 21.25; 23.61; 22.91; 23.21; 22.98; 21.78; 20.13; 24.22; 22.34; 22.92; 24.83; 9.55; 19.38 - - do you want any more?

Q. That is enough, now Alvana? A. He was several weeks absent, $11.92; 16.17; 15.28; 15.07; 13.25; 17.15; 16.75; 8.75; 18.08; 17.22; 17.71; 15.88; 11.38; 11.34.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. What time does that cover? A. He started in July 1913 and if you wish me I will go right through it?

Q. Through to what date? A. To October 18th.

Q. Of last year? A. Yes, sir.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Now look at the payroll of Charles J. Citronberg? A. He only worked a few weeks.

Q. Just give us what you have there, commencing July 18th? A. He only worked three or four weeks, $20.42; 18.09; 15.87; 14.53; 17.27; 18.58 - that is all he worked there.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. What dates are those? A. Commencing July 19th to August 30th.

Q. This year or last year? A. August 27th.

Q. What year? A. This year, he only worked six weeks.

Q. 1914? A. Yes, just before the strike he started in.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. What is it claimed he testified to? A. The average was $13 a week.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Can you tell us about your comparative business for August and September this year and August and September last year? A. Yes, sir, there is a difference of 62 percent.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Which way? A. The other way.

Q. 62% less or 62% of the business you did last year? A. 62% less, you mean for August and September 38% this last year.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Your factory runs about how many weeks in the year? A. 52.

Q. You run right straight through? A. Right straight through? We stop a week from Christmas and start in the day after Christmas.

Q. What was the condition in relation to running the factory the entire year eight on or twenty years ago? A. Eighteenth or twenty years ago we ran some shops eight months, some seven months, some nine months, the biggest shop was nine months.

Q. And now most of the larger shops in your knowledge work from 50 to 52 weeks? A. Yes, most of them the whole year.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. How does your selling price compare this year since the war with the price before? A. I couldn't say anything about it because I don't sell anything. The orders that would come in were only a few duplicates, and we refused them so there was no increase in it at all.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Have you made and are you making the same effort to sell goods since the inception of the strike that you did before? A. No, I don't make the same effort.

Q. That accounts to some extent for these shrinkages in your business? A. No, nothing at all.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Just tell how you get your orders? A. For instance we get our orders in December and January for the whole year. We sign contracts of whether stock goes up or down. If it goes down we lose. If it goes up they give us - - we don't ask for revised orders - - we got to deliver them, because there is no such thing that you can compel him, even if he signs an order, you can not compel him to take the goods, you can not take 12 pairs of gloves and make them look alike even if the most expert cutters cut them. There is no such thing as getting 12 pairs of gloves alike and if he wants to find fault, even if you pay $12 for making them he will find the fault. Now if you make his gloves, put in his buttons, put in the style he wants them, then if he begins to find fault and throws them back on you, you are better off to take his cancellation, but the situation is that if skins go up everything is nice, he doesn't say anything, and say practically the beginning of the year was in December, January and February, we are selling our entire output for the year to any customer who gives you that order. There is no such thing that he gives you the scales or sizes right off - he gives you a portion from month to month and takes September and August we do not have any but we get the orders yet from them.

Q. You sell to the jobbing trade almost exclusively? A. About eighty percent of it.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Do you sell to Marshall Field? A. I don't know if I shall answer things like that . I don't know if it is right. I sell a good many but I do not think it is right to ask me to whom I sell my goods. I am not afraid of the cutters but there are manufacturers here and I don't want them to know to whom I sell my goods.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. If you were to concede this 15 cents a dozen for cutting gloves that would only necessitate an increase of a cent and quarter a pair on gloves, isn't that a fact? A. Yes.

Q. In your judgment don't you think the trade could stand it? A. To answer you I don't think they would. They are always looking for less, not more.

Q. But 70 percent or 75 percent of the mens gloves manufactured in this country are made in Fulton county and if all the manufacturers were to say that as far as labor was concerned there would not be any - - A. (Intg) When you talk about 15 cents, it is nice to say it, but take a sample case and try to sell them and see if you can get a shilling more, or take one percent which is less than that. The glove business isn't a thing that you can fake people - - this is an article if it isn't this year it is next year and if it is not then it is five years afterward and when it comes to asking more we find it for the last ten years or twelve years, every year we find that skin goes up a little and when it comes to asking more they cut down the business.

Q. Wages didn't go up any? A. No, but the price of gloves didn't go up but the skins went up. I will admit that twelve to fifteen years ago that there was more money in the glove business than there is today. You will find that in the report which you got.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. While the price has remained fairly stationary hasn't the quality of the goods been reduced a little? A. In some instances. The stock isn't what it used to be.

Q. Do not the manufacturers get even on the increased cost of leather and any other increases in the cost of reduction? A. It is awful hard to do it; I wouldn't say yes, because it is hard.

Q. Hasn't there been, as a matter of fact, a reduction in quality to compensate for the increased cost of production? A. I don't think so. You see the idea I think is if you ask them for ten or fifteen cents more or twenty cents more they will say we will take a domestic glove in place of that and we are knocked out of it.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. You haven't the same leather that you had? A. You can change the leather, it is the same leather right along.

Q. Is it as good as it has been? A. In some ways it is not as good.

Q. Not as good? A. In some cases.

Q. Then you are turning out better gloves? A. No I do not.

Q. You are making the same high class glove out of better leather? A. Yes.

Q. How? A. We try our best, where we can't cut those gloves we use it for a cheap glove and keep that glove up to the standard.

Q. That increases your cost of production? A. I told you beforehand it increases but we can not get it.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. In your judgment has the cost of living increased and if so, how much in the past seventeen years? A. I know it is more, but I don't know how much; I never bothered my head about it.

Q. But there has been no substantial increase in the cutters' wage in the past seventeen years? A. Well I wouldn't say much, but there was a little increase, but when you come to that po;int - fifteen, or sixteen or seventeen years ago, as you mention, that business began to build up Gloversville, there began to be a demand for more gloves and for more cutters. At that time they made the price here high enough that any cutter can write home, that the wages are so that cutters will come over. At that time they made the price at the top notch and since then the skins get a little high and the profit goes down.

Q. The cutters made the profit at that time? A. No, the cutters did not.

Q. Who did? A. We did, we gave them wages high enough.

Q. You did it after a ten weeks strike? A. Seventeen years ago there was no strike.

Q. It was testified to in 1897, they testified here there was a strike at that time and that the men were out for ten weeks and they got a ten percent increase in wages and from that time up to date they never have received any substantial increase in wages? A. They did receive.

Q. Not a substantial increase? A. What do you mean by substantial increase?

Q. Flat increase? A. We did give them a flat increase.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. At that time, since 1897 has there been any general increase? A. Yes.

Q. When? A. I guess three years ago. They didn't ask for it.

Q. In 1910? A. Yes.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. How much of an increase was that? A. We gave them 6 cents on some and 2 on others.

Q. You were saying that there was a general flat increase; you mean for your special adjustment? A. It runs all through and when we take suedes it means all styles; when we take mochos, it means all kinds.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. What did you do with silk lined, did you reduce that five cents? A. Not that I know. I paid the same now as I did then.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. All the other manufacturers that have testified here stated that they had to reduce on silk lined 5 cents? A. I don't remember. I was a cutter, but I don't remember if I ever had five cents excess for silk lined.

Q. A reduction? A. No I never had five cents more for that glove than for another glove.

Q. It was five cents less, five cents reduction on the silk lined at the same time that they put into effect the increase of 6 cents and 2 cents? A. That is what I am answering you, I never knew I had five cents extra for silk lined. I didn't know of it. It was in a shop or two but I never had it.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. That was in reference to the binding of a certain glove? A. That is different.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. I understood that there was a reduction on the silk lined? A. No, on the binding.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Is it your opinion that the condition of the glove industry won't stand any general increase in the price of cutting gloves? A. Not at present.

Q. Have you made any offer of a flat increase to your own cutters since the settlement with Fownes Brothers? A. I did.

Q. That offer that you made them was contrary to your judgment? A. It was. And only now made to fill the orders that I had and then to stop, to do the same thing that Fernandez did, to get through with them instead of disappointing the people. Gentlemen I want you to understand this, by putting that increase of ten cents I was urged for over two weeks by people in the town and by the cutters to give them that. I considered I will do that and get the orders out.

Q. Is there any other statement you would like to make? A. I don't know of any.

A B R A H A M  B A C H N E R, called and sworn as a witness, testifies as follows:

EXAMINED BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. How old are you Mr. Bachner? A. 26.

Q. And what firm are you connected with? A. Lefi Bachner, Hall Co.

Q. How many cutters are employed there? A. Oh, 25.

Q. Is that a corporation or a firm? A. A Corporation.

Q. How many stock holders or will that appear in your statement?

MR. BAKER: No, that can be gleaned from the records right in Albany.

MR. ROGERS: What is the objection to stating here if we should ask it?

MR. BAKER: If it is limited to that there is none.

Q. How many stock holders and how many of those are officers? A. We have four stock holders, three rather.

Q. Each of them is an officer? A. No, sir, by our by-laws it is not necessary for a man to own stock to be a director of a corporation or an officer.

Q. Are there officers outside of the stock holders? A. Yes, sir, one of them is.

Q. And two stock holders are officers? A. Yes, sir.

Q. And one stock holder is not an officer? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is your firm able to pay these increases that the cutters ask? A. At one time owing to the fact that we consolidated so late this year with the Tennant concern I thought it advisable for the firm to take the loss of a raise of ten cents a dozen, to give the people the satisfaction of knowing we could fill our orders this year, the first year of our consolidation. I had a talk with the men to that extent and they laughed at it. The proposition they put to me was to make a proposition to them to go back at the old wage for four weeks and then offer them 25 cents, some of them saying they would be willing to take a 10 cent raise although offered 25 cents if it could be done in a round about way. My idea of the whole thing was I did not intend to be made a fool of before the rest of the manufacturers. If they wanted a 10 cent raise I was willing to give it to them. They threw that down and since then I have made no rate to them at all.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. Is your firm a member of the association here? A. No sir.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Have you joined any temporary association of manufacturers? A. We are not in any one of them. We did not attend the meetings of the Manufacturers' Association or the unassociated members that got together.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Have you prepared the statement that the Board has asked for? A. Yes, sir, it is in my possession.

Q. Did you prepare it yourself? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you swear it is true? A. I do.

Q. And a correct transcript from the books of your company? A. Yes, sir.

Q. How is the taxation at your plant? A. I have never had a complaint either direct or indirect from my men. Not only that but I can show my books where they do not get as high as one or two pair over but they get six pairs over owing to the lax taxing we have had.

Q. How long have you been in business? A. Since March 12th, 1912.

Q. In your present consolidated form? A. No, sir, in the Lefi Bachner & Co.

Q. And how long since you have been consolidated with Tenant? A. Middle of June, June 15th.

Q. And in either of those conditions, either your former or your consolidated form have you had any complaint? A. Never had any complaint either direct or indirect in regard to the sizing up of our skins; I don't know what you mean by taxation; I have a man there that is competent, being a cutter, and if they can not get the gloves out of them, this man will get them out.

Q. This man does the cutting for the establishment? Does he? A. He would do the cutting in a minute, that is what he is there for. I watch that part of the business myself as I think it is a very important part of the business. I watch the skins to see that there is absolutely no favoritism shown. If we can divide our lots and are in condition to watch them every cutter gets the same work.

Q. That's all? A. I would like to say this in regard to an increase in wages for the cutters, that this Spring I had requests from at least 12 to 20 men saying that they would come and do the work not for the pull down cutters, they were table cutters, but for 75 cents a dozen, less than a pull down cutter gets, and offered to measure the tranks and so on. None of those men were put on. If we can not use the men for the price we want to work them at, that is the full price, we don't want them. Another thing I would like to say in regard to our factory is that we do not go by the schedule that any other manufacturer has. For instance another manufacturer may have a special glove to cut with a strip or a gore in it or a little tab of some kind. He might have a die that would cut out the two of them at one time. Some of our stuff has to be cut by hand and instead of paying five cents for that we pay 15 cents. We pay 10 cents where a lot of places pay 5. They had the dies where we did not have them, so our prices are regulated by the amount of time it takes the man to work to cut them out. I know that in our own factory that the men that work - I do not believe that we have ever had a man who worked ten hours. If a man worked 9 hours in our place it is as long as I ever have seen them. I do not think any of them ever get there before 7:30. If they got there before 7:30 or quarter past seven they usually leave early at noon or come back late in the afternoon. Now my records show that men that work 10 hours a day or nine hours a day can very easily make an average wage of from $18 to $24 a week. In getting up my payroll, when we moved some of our books were lost. Since that time I have found some of the records on cutters scales and their pay which they have signed themselves and I was very much surprised to see the record of one man there - - he has not testified in any way, but he is a man who will not average over seven hours a day during the week and his mind is not on his work and still that man average $17 a week.

Q. Have any of your cutters testified? A. Not a one of them, not a one of my cutters have complained to me. They say to me we are satisfied with the wage, we are satisfied with the old price, we have nothing against you, we are striking because the rest of the fellows are out and we hate to go back. I have on today in the factory eight men and they are perfectly satisfied at the old wage, they are perfectly satisfied and they are making good money because they work there nine hours a day. That is what they are there for. While they are there they work and when they go out in the evening they are out for fun or whatever they want, but while they are in the factory they work and are earning good money.

Q. They are earning good money now and in the event an increase is granted they w ill be in a position to take advantage of the increase? A. We can not afford to give an increase at this late day.

Q. But in the event that an increase should be granted these men would step into that increase? A. I do not see how we can grant an increase. I say at one time it would have paid us to give the increase to fill our orders, to put this over. When this flurry of the war came on, we went out and bought leather, paid a big price for it, not for future orders but for orders we had on hand. We did not take any business because of the salesmen we had not one of them went on the road. We had all the business we wanted and that is why I offered an increase at 10 cents per dozen, which is really 13 percent.

Q. How long would that have lasted? A. It would have lasted until the end of the year because I had business enough to keep them going until the end of the year, but today I am satisfied. I don't want to slash my goods and ruin a reputation which we have built up in a couple of years, which is a good reputation. I do not intend to put on men today to slice them up any way they see fit and I hate the merchandise coming back or the merchandise getting a bad name. For that reason we will not grant an increase because we can not afford it.

Q. If the other manufacturers granted an increase would you? A. It would make no difference to me. We run our factory ourselves. No other manufacturer has the right to say what we shall do. We are not affiliated with any association - which is a big mistake on our part - because an association is one of the best things that a city can have - the advice that a firm receives by talking to one another, not in regard to the labor question but as to other matters. It is a friendly organization.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. How do you know that? A. I know several of the members although I am not a member. In fact my brother-in-law is a member and I know he would not give up the association for anything because he feels that it does him a lot of good to hear these men tell what the conditions are in Europe and what they are in this country outside.

Q. Did you hear any of the testimony of the other manufacturers this morning, members of the association? A. I was here for a couple of minutes. I have been in Europe myself. I have seen the factory conditions over there as far as that goes. What is it, you are driving at, may I ask?

Q. Do you understand by that that the manufacturers want to keep European conditions out of this country as far as your factory is concerned? A. What's that?

Q. I ask you if one of the objects of the association according to your statement, - is the manufacturers getting together here - if one of their objects is to keep European conditions out of this country and not bring into the factories the conditions they have in Europe; is that what you want me to understand is one of the objects of the Association? A. The conditions in Europe in regard to business, in regard to conditions over there, in regard to leather, in regard to everything that pertains to business, not the laboring question, the laboring question over there - if a man over here has to work the same wages Lord knows what he would do. So there they are perfectly satisfied and it costs good money to live over there. I have known of a man last year who worked in France that cut chamois and received 30 cents a dozen for the same. He came over here and was one of the biggest kickers in the town when he was paid 86 cents a dozen for them, an increase of two hundred percent.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Is there any difference in the purchasing value of the money? A. I don't see any; it was divided differently.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. But the scale of living is different, isn't it? A. I couldn't see it; things were just as high over there, just as high as in this country, food was high.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Do the laboring people live there as they do here? A. Well they were satisfied with much less.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. How do you know that they are satisfied? A. Because I went amongst them, I went down in their districts, I was taken around by a manufacturer - not only the manufacturer but others and I saw the mills and other things.

Q. And they all told you that they were perfectly satisfied and happy over there? A. Not all of them; I didn't question them all; I did not go to that extent.

Q. How many did you question? A. If a man is dissatisfied it is not the hardest thing to find it out. You see men over there sticking at their work. They are not yelling and kicking over there, they are satisfied.

Q. They were all single and satisfied? A. They were taking their work as it came. There were not any fights going on the way you see in the domestic factories.

Q. Then they come here and as soon as they get here they become dissatisfied? A. That's just it; there is no limit to what they want.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Any further statement you would like to make? A. Mr. Erhlich was on the stand saying he worked over there eight or nine hours a day, I don't know which. I know for a positive fact that the factories were closed on Saturday afternoon of last Fall; that Mr. Erhlich would come around to my factory there and wait for his wife's pay from nine to ten thirty, and if he worked at Dempster & Places he did not go up that way - - he generally went down town. If he went up there I don't know. That above conclusively that he did not work six days a week. He probably worked five with a little time on Saturday, and if he went to work before - - he probably went to draw his own pay. He was the first man there and usually waited until the pay was put up.

MR. BAKER: What time of day do you pay?

THE WITNESS: We pay about ten o'clock or ten thirty.

Q. Once a week would that happen or would that happen every day? A. It don't happen every day, we pay once a week over there.

Q. How many hours did he lose that day to your knowledge? A. I did not watch his hours, I say he was there every pay day and some days he was there at ten, ten thirty and some days eleven o'clock.

Q. Then how do you know that he only worked eight or nine hours a day? A. Because on Saturdays the factories were closed in the afternoon.

Q. Then how about the other five days in the week? A. The other five days I don't know anything about.

MR. EHRLICH: I also believe it is in the testimony that I said that Saturday mornings I did not work all the morning, I believe that is in my testimony.

A L F R E D  S A U N D E R S, called and sworn as a witness, testified as follows:

EXAMINED BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. What is your firm Mr. Saunders? A. Littauer Bros.

Q. You are employed there or are you a member of the firm? A. No I am employed there as superintendent of the manufacture of gloves.

Q. You are in charge of the factory? A. In charge of the manufacturing part of the factory.

Q. Is there any one here in Gloversville other than you in charge? A. No.

Q. What has been done that you know about the statement of the affairs of the company?

MR. BAKER: I will answer that. I wrote to Mr. Littauer yesterday. He is ill in New York City and I wrote him what you gentlemen wanted and that the manufacturers had conceded that you should have, and asked that he have his proper officers there, that being the place where the books are, get up a statement and forward it at the first opportunity. As I say, he has been ill for several week.s No one here has access to the books because they are not here.

MR. ROGERS: The books are all in New York?

MR. SAUNDERS: All in New York, everything of that nature.

MR. ROGERS: Should there by any delay on that score we can reach them through our New York representative.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Can you state whether your firm is able to pay an increase? A. I do not believe under present conditions, the general state of the business of the country, the laxity of business, and the poor lookout before us that it can be done. That is my opinion.

Q. Do you know the earnings of your company? A. No, those are matters that are done exclusively in New York.

Q. How is the taxation in your mill? A. The word taxation - I never heard the word taxation until the last two years. We used to call it sorting and estimation. In our factory we have efficient men - I will say very efficient men - not only are they efficient but I believe they are honest.

Q. Are they cutters themselves? A. They are practical men and very efficient. In choosing a taxer we make it a point to get the most efficient men that we can obtain irrespective of salary. Now estimation or taxation as you like to call it, or sorting, the taxer takes the batch of skins as you are aware and sorts them into qualities for the man's or for the ladies gloves. He sorts them into their four pairs or their three pairs or their five gloves.

Q. You split pairs do you? A. Some times we have skins that cut five gloves, but these goods are put up in batches so that when they reach the cutter, the cutter can readily tell how they are sorted.

Q. Is there much complaint by the cutters that they are unable to get out the amount? A. No, I will be frank with you. I can't recall any specific case. You may think that is strange but I can not recall any specific case that that been brought to my notice where a man has returned in our factory to our foremen a batch of skins that he refused to cut because they would not produce what they were taxed for.

Q. Have you any statement that you would like to make in regard to the taxing? A. Well the only thing that I could say about taxation is this; of course I am speaking now from the standpoint of our own factory. I do not believe that the taxation that they had had lessened the amount of money earned by our operatives. You know a table cutter can be divided into three standards, or the cutter as you call it, as you chose it. We, have the efficient man who is conscientious; then the efficient man who is not conscientious; then we have the man who is not efficient and yet is conscientious, and it would be impossible for us to run a factory unless we took an estimation of our skins. Now I find many men in our factory who it is absolutely needless to examine their work, whom it would be almost necessary to tax the skins for because they are so honest and so efficient. Then I regret to say that I find others who need constant watching from us all the day - I am talking now in an honest candid way to you.

MR. BAKER: You were a table cutter yourself?

THE WITNESS: I was a table cutter myself.

MR. BAKER: Where did you learn your trade?

THE WITNESS: I learned my trade in Worcester, England.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. You served an apprenticeship? A. Served an apprenticeship.

Q. How many years? A. In England in those days they used to serve five years and I feel that it was unnecessary.

Q. You served five years? A. Yes, sir, for the latter two years I was so capable that I earned as much money as the man who taught me.

Q. Then the entire period of your apprenticeship was not occupied in learning the business? A. No, sir.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. You consider glove cutting then a highly skilled trade? A. Well sir, you can not see across the road now, but if you looked sometimes and see a beautiful pair of ladies' gloves, 16 button gloves or 10 button gloves, and see how beautifully they are made up, any men of common sense will tell you that it took skill to make it. It takes skill to make a garment. It naturally takes skill to make a glove.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Are these men being paid the wages that a skilled operative is entitled to? A. Our men if they work steadily and providing, understand, they are not slow men, can earn fairly good wages.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. What do you consider fairly goods wages? A. Well now I will tell you; a man that works steadily - I don't say works ten hours a day, but works 9 hours a day - on the ordinary work and providing he is a fairly quick man - not exceptionally quick man, should earn at least from $2.80 to $3.00 per day. Now I am not putting it to you so that I can tell out as it appears to me. Then there are, sad to relate, some men who are extremely slow, who, if they worked every hour of the day, can not earn big wages. Of course that we can not help.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Are there many of those? A. Not in our factory.

Q. What percentage, roughly? A. I should say there were about, in our factory, about fully 60 percent of what you may call the efficient and fairly rapid workmen. Then there will be about 25 percent of the moderate workmen and the balance would be made up of a few of those people who unfortunately for them are extremely slow. When I say extremely slow I mean they will take up a thing and look at it and put it down where the moderate workmen would do it quicker.

Q. Can your moderate workmen earn from $2.80 to $3.00 a day? A. The moderate workmen would earn, I should say, from $2.60 upwards.

Q. $2.60? A. Yes, call it $2.70

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Do you consider $2.80 to $3.00 per day for 9 hours a day, ideal compensation for a skilled mechanic? A. That is a question I could not fairly answer you.

Q. Are you familiar with the wages of skilled mechanics in this country? A. I am not familiar, only in our own industry. Of course there are men, understand, who cut on ladies gloves exclusively that can make more than three dollars per day. I am talking now about the mens' work entirely. You, speaking in that way, brought it to my mind that there are men who cut ladies work who can earn from $3.25 to $3.30 per day. There are quite a number of men who do that.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Do you know how many skilled trades are working more than 9 hours a day? A. No, sir, I do not.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Have you any other statement that you would like to make on behalf of the Littauer Company? A. No, the only thing I can say is that we try to use our men fair. They never come to us with any complaints but what we look into it fairly and study them up and be fair as we can. Our sorters know these men, are acquainted with them, and associate with them. I doubt very much that they would tax skins that would hurt their fellow men. I am positive of it. There has never been a single case in the Littauer Bros' factory where a man has ever been charged - I want to emphasize this - where a man has ever been charged for lack of production. If it is brought to my notice I will take it over to the man and I will take it over to the foreman. If I find that the foreman wrong I tell him so but if I found the man wrong I should tell him also, but I am positive that we have never made a charge for lack of production.

Q. Have you ever discharged workmen for that cause? A. Have I discharged workmen for that cause - I will tell you and I want to be very frank. Remember that I watch very carefully the individual. That is my business. If I notice in looking over the ticket - - for instance we take you three men - your production is good, your production was good but the Commissioner's there was poor, I should inquire into it. I should say to my foreman, give those three men the same thing again, and if the same results came, I should say give it to them again and then I should speak to you very confidentially and give you one more show, and if I found that you were incompetent then it is my duty to my employer to tell you that I have no more work for you. Now the question of the fitting up - there has been much said about that and I want to be permitted to say that I think it has been exaggerated. You have simply laid the emphasis very strongly on the matter of the cutters going around and finding pieces to match in their lots. It is done but I can assure you not to a very large extent for I made the rule in my factory a year ago which I do not carry out because it is almost needless, that when a man finishes up his lot, he should bring the scraps back, that he had from them, and invariably there was always considerable of them, and then again we make it a point to keep a man on one grade of stuff. For instance here is a hide. He has six pairs of gloves to cut of that color. The next lot we try to give him the same color because I think it is our duty to do so, but I think that this matter of fittings by the table cutters has been a little exaggerated.

BY MR. McMANUS:

Q. Do you have men confidential talks with these men who run short? A. I don't have so many shortages, but where I do have them I always go and talk to them as man to man. I find that that is the better plan and if a man has any aspirations or if a man has any common sense or if he has any strong liking for your business if he can do it he will do it. It would not be good policy for the manufacturer to tax to the extent which you seem to think that they do, because if he did - for instance here is the paper - - you say to me I want that paper divided up into so many parts and you give me one part that they will cut and it simply spoils the entire sheet. If I say to my men there are six dozen skins they must get out so many of them. He may possibly get them but you don't always get what you should get. You lose by the transaction therefore. I do not believe these things are done. They are not done in my factory. I do not know about the rest of them.

Q. The testimony here is they claim they were driven hard and one of the ways in which they were driven was by the manufacturer telling each man individually that the other fellows were getting a great deal more than he was getting out of the skins? A. I do not believe that any of my men are here, but I do not think they will tell you that; if that was done it never came to my knowledge. It may be so but it never came to my knowledge!

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Your employer is a member of the Manufacturers Association? A. Yes, they are members of it.

Q. Mr. Littauer is President of the Manufacturers' Association? A. Yes, I believe so.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Do you sell scraps? A. Yes, we always sell scraps. We sent out a lot the other day. We sell them at various times of the year . In those scraps, to show you how large they are some times - at one time in Fulton county there was a great many cloth gloves made - made by the hundreds of dozens, in which there was put on leather forchettes. The men who made those cloth gloves were never known to buy skins but they bought the remnants that were not used by the cutters to make those forchettes, so that will give you some adequate idea that there was a certain amount of waste that can not be obviated and a certain amount of scraps all the time.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Does the Littauer Company employ exclusively table cutters or pull down cutters? A. They employ table cutters and some pull down cutters.

Q. Do you manufacture all the goods you sell or do you purchase some from other manufacturers? A. Oh we purchase some from other manufacturers.

C L A U D E A. P E D D E R, called and sworn as a witness, testified as follows:

EXAMINED BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. What is your firm? A. V. Perrin S Cie.

Q. Have you prepared a statement? A. I have written down to our New York office who have charge of that end of it and I will probably get that tomorrow.

Q. The factory here is a branch of the company? A. Yes.

Q. They have how many factories in Europe? A. They have two or three to my knowledge.

Q. Do you know whether or not your company is in position to grant the increase asked? A. You refer to this branch here?

Q. Yes? Do you know? A. They are not in a position to do it.

Q. How is business? A. Very poor indeed.

Q. Have you anybody working in the factory? A. Have we any cutters you mean?

Q. Yes? A. No we have none at all.

Q. Have you any gloves in stock? A. Yes.

Q. Have you men on the road? A. Yes.

Q. Are they bringing in business? A. From our Western territory since the War we have not received one order and we have three men covering that territory. From the Eastern territory our men have been out and they all send in reports that they are not doing any business at all.

Q. What is your title, are you superintendent? A. I am superintendent.

Q. Are there many complaints about taxation? A. As I remember now, no complaint has reached me personally.

Q. Did you hear of any rumor? A. No, we have had no trouble at all with out cutters in regard to that point. If they do not reach the quantity at which the skins are estimated they simply turn that in short or else if our sorters sees they need another skin he gives them another skin.

Q. Are they reprimanded? A. Not at all.

Q. Is there a fining system in vogue for defective products? A. We have never fined a cutter there in the time of my experience.

Q. Have you any rebuttal on the income of any of witnesses - have you any statement that you want to make as to the wages of your men? A. No, I have not.

Q. Have you any further statement that you are to make? A. Yes, I would like to make a little explanation that why we are not able to pay an increase to the cutters at this time and the reason is on account of foreign competition. I think I may be in position to make that statement as much as any other manufacturer for the reason that we have an English factory in competition with ours besides a French factory. At the time the tariff was changed last year we immediately received cancellations amounting to two or three thousand dozens gloves which would otherwise be made in Gloversville in our factory. That business was placed with our French and English factory. The business that we lost at that time would have amounted for the cutters to around two thousand dollars, to labor in general through other branches of industry, it would have meant about six or seven thousand dollars to the locality. Also, not only did we lose that business last year, but that entire business has been withdrawn from us this year as well. Not only then but we have met with the same experience this year on additional business which has been transferred from our factory to our English factory. The houses who have bought our domestic goods for years this year for the first time have placed their entire business abroad on account of English competition.

Q. Still with your firm? A. With our firm and with our factories too. If I amy explain a little further, I would like to put in evidence a few gloves I have here. There (indicating) is a glove made in our English factory which costs landed in New York with the full factory profit in England and the tariff paid $9.53. That glove costs us to make, including only cost of material and money actually paid out for labor $9.07 a difference of 46 cents. That does not include any overhead expenses, rent, interest on money, salaries paid to foremen of cutting department, making department, shipment department, neither does it include any profit at all and that is where our business is going and I venture to say that the more burden, the heavier the burden we place on our domestic product, the more of that business will go to the other side. I would also like to state that I have here in my pocket, which might be interesting, plans of a factory that our concern was going to build in Gloversville here before this last tariff was changed. We had options on two or three properties and also got our plans drawn up by an architect and it was the firms' intention to put up a modern, fully equipped factory here in Gloversville. Immediately on the change of the tariff we had to abandon the whole thing.

Q. You hope that is a temporary abandonment? A. I sincerely do.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. How large a factory was that, going up, how many employees? A. That would have employed in the neighborhood of from 80 to 100 cutters.

Q. How many have you in your present factory? A. We have employed from 40 to 50.

Q. That would be in addition or in place of this factory? A. That would be in place of it.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. You now rent a factory? A. We now rent a factory. I have other samples here to show the close competition which we are up against. I have one glove here where the price landed in New York - and all these gloves compete with our domestic numbers - that glove landed in New York and our foreman can buy it with full factory profits twenty cents cheaper than it costs us to produce it. That is the cost of the material plus the cost of the labor and does not include overhead expenses or factory expenses at all, and I consider that if year's business is a fair criterion - or the effect of this tariff has not been fairly felt by us but as time goes on in two or three years time we will find that the business has been going to the other side more than it has.

Q. How is your stock of leather; how long could you work with a full force of cutters? A. In regard to our stock of leather - -

Q. There isn't any leather coming in? A. Absolutely not.

Q. Then if these men came back under conditions how long could they work? A. You mean in regard to our stock or as regards our orders.

Q. Either? A. As regards our orders we would work probably a few weeks. We have no new business to work on at all.

Q. You have more leather than that? A. Oh yes, small stock, three or four months supply.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. Have you any information as to how your factories abroad are running? A. I have none. In a general way we know our French factory is running and also our English factory is running.

Q. How much of a reduction, what percentage are they running? A. I would not be prepared to state, but I know for the last few weeks we have received very heavy importations from firms and I have also had ample advice from our English factory that they are prepared to accept orders for either immediate delivery or future delivery.

Q. Do you think they are running at more than half their capacity? A. I have no information to enable me to make any statement at all.

Q. Are either of your factories shut down? A. Not absolutely shut down, no. Our English factory is working, but I do not know to what extent but I imagine they are in pretty good shape. They are not effected much by the war. If I may further enlarge on the question of competition, I would like to state that in the nine months since the tariff was changed compared with the nine months of the year before, importations of leather gloves into this country increased by over 48 percent, which competition would come directly in touch with us.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. You stated this glove was made in this country and sold for how much? A. No, i said that glove cost us to bring into New York $9.07, all duties and expenses paid - pardon me $9.53.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. You can manufacturer it for $9.07, the bare cost of manufacturing? A. The bare cost, no overhead expenses, no selling expenses.

Q. Can you estimate what the price to you would be on this glove, making it and bringing it up to the same condition that the imported glove is in, that is, ready to sell? A. I don't quite just get that.

Q. You have some other expenses, the selling is done from New York? A. Yes.

Q. To bring this glove into New York ready to sell, your domestic glove, do you know what the cost would be? A. It would be $9.07 plus our profit, what fair profit we are entitled to make, plus our overhead expenses.

Q. Do you know what that would be? A. Well the question is how much profit a manufacturer is entitled to make on a glove. If you were to give us 50 cents, even then our overhead expenses would not be included at all, so we would make the glove at a loss.

Q. Would 50 cents a dozen be a low profit? A. I do not know anything about the profit.

BY MR. DOWNEY:

Q. How long has this firm been in Gloversville? A. Six years.

Q. There was a duty on the gloves up to last year? Was there not, up to $4 and some odd cent? A. On mens' gloves.

Q. During that six years the men have made application for an increase in wages, haven't they? A. I have heard they have.

Q. In 1912 they made a demand for an increase in wages and with the tariff on you could not see your way clear way to grant them an increase in wages at that time; what reason did the manufacturers give; did you know of any reason at the time the application was made for an increase in wages when you did not have this competition of the tariff then, why that was not given? A. It was just at the time when this competition was coming in when that request was made.

Q. During the time, previous to that time, there was never voluntarily or otherwise any increase given to the men? A. I have not heard of any at all.

Q. Some of the men testified here that so far as the tariff was concerned that their wages either on a low or high tariff, that it did not benefit them any, that the employers of Fulton county never were ready to give them an increase at any time? A. I never made any statement of that kind at all.

Q. The cutters have made that statement so what have you to say as to that? A. I don't know that I have much to say at all. If the article would stand an increase in wages I think it would be to the manufacturers' interest to pay it because it would be naturally to our interest to foster the industry in this country rather than scatter it abroad because just as soon as labor is dissatisfied they disburse.

Q. Of course you don't know anything about the 1897 increase or the strike at that time for an increase? A. No, sir, I was not here.

Q. So in your judgment this is not the psychological time for the men to ask for an increase? A. I hardly thing so.

Q. And there has been no time in the past that has been the psychological time for them to ask for it either? A. I don't say that.

Q. And they have to continue on in the same rut without ever getting an increase in wages? A. I don't say that.

Q. There is no chance in the immediate future for the manufacturer to grant any increase, is there? A. Not unless this business improves and the competition is eliminated. Before we raise the cost of our merchandise here the more we send the business on the other side. It is a question of whether we want business here or pay higher wages and get no business at all because we have had in our experience time when we have lost orders simply on account of the foreign competition, where our factories would be running partially and not be running to full capacity.

Q. Are you a member of the Glove Manufacturers of Fulton county? A. Our firm is, our firm in New York.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Who represents the firm in the meetings of the Association, do you? A. Yes, I attend the meetings.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. Has there ever been since 1907 or 1908 an increase in the cost of the leather which you use in the manufacturing of your gloves? A. Yes, there has been a very considerable increase any where from twenty to thirty percent.

Q. If you know, what is the average cost per dozen for cutting gloves similar to those you have exhibited here, in England? A. I believe from 36 to 40 cents a dozen.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Those are table cut gloves, are they? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know that the number of dozens produced per week of those gloves is the same? A. I imagine that a cutter on the other side would produce about the same as they do here.

BY MR. BAKER:

Q. What do you say in France is the cost of cutting those gloves? A. I think it is about the same as the cost in England.

BY MR. ROGERS:

Q. In other words you are paying here more than double the actual cost? A. Well we might say double.

Q. Of course it would not be double if the value of the payment because of the different in the purchasing power of money here and abroad? A. Yes.

Q. And an income of $16 a week here we will say will purchase a certain grade of living? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where in England $10 would purchase just as good a living? A. Yes there is a relative difference.

Q. There is a relative difference, perhaps I have not stated it exactly but is somewhere in that neighborhood? A. Yes.

Q. We have perhaps among our workmen a higher standard of living than is required in the rural communities of France and England? A. Yes.

MR. ROGERS: Have you any other statement you wish to make?

THE WITNESS: No, that is all.

MR. McDONALD: Mr. Stitt, this morning in testifying as to the importation of gloves made the statement that is was two million dozen. He meant to have said two million dollars and ask that that correction be made.

MR. ROGERS: The stenographer will note that and make the correction. Have the testimony appear as it was originally given and note the statement of counsel.

Further hearing was adjourned until

Wednesday, October 14th, at 10:00 A.M.

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