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In a recent meeting with President Roosevelt he stated to us that he was familiar with the fact that for every building-trades worker who was put to work, there would be four other persons put to work in manufacturing, fabricating, and so forth, in connection with the commodities that go into the erection of a building, such as quarries, railroading, lumber yards, the delivery of lumber, the forests, and so forth. So, we are very much interested in the bill, and we would ask you gentlemen to give this bill some speed. Our members have been out of work for a long time. Many of our organizations, international and local, have used their funds to give to their members, to keep them from going on the Federal Emergency Relief. The local union to which I belong gave away, in 60 weeks, $32,000 to its members. That is just a local union, now, in a city, and not an international union. That money was given to the men according to their needs, a single man getting from $5 up, a married man according to the size of his family and the length of time he had been out of employment. They received substantial sums, as much as $40, $50, and $60, sums that could really do some good. Most of the international unions have done likewise.

Senator BARKLEY. That money is contributed by those who happen to be fortunate enough to be at work?

Mr. O'Neill. Absolutely. That is the only way the money can be collected. The men who are working voluntarily put an assessment on themselves, and this $32,000 deal to which I refer involved an assessment on each and every man of $2 a week. That is, every man that was working. They created a fund of $32,000, and that money was given to the men. All the man had to do was to sign a receipt that he received it. He never had to pay that money back.

Other funds of that same organization that was created through a number of years were loaned to those men, but most organizations have done likewise. Some of the international organizations have given millions of dollars. I know that Senator Wagner, Madam Perkins, and Mr. Hopkins have been before you telling you the need, and I am just here asking this committee to expedite it, because we need relief in the building-trades industry.

I thank you.


Senator BARKLEY. You said a while ago that there were a million and a half men employed in the building-trades industry. You mean in normal times?

Mr. O'NEILL. In normal times there are a million and a half men employed at the site of construction.

Senator BARKLEY. How many are there employed now?

Mr. O'NEILL. Over 85 percent of them are out of employment, and those that are employed are employed catch-as-catch-can. Our figures show that more than 85 percent of our men are out of employment. The others that are employed are working catch-as-catch-can. A man will go to work today, and he will make a couple of hours, or perhaps he will go to the job, or to the office every day, and probably in the week will not get more than one day's work, but still he is not on the out-of-work list, because he still has a possible job.

Senator BARKLEY. Does that mean that these 85 percent are not employed at all, or not at building trades?

Mr. O'NEILL. Eighty-five percent in the building trades are not employed at all, and many of them are on the Federal Emergency


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Relief, and there is a big majority of them who are not, because under the rules and regulations at the present time of the Federal Emergency Relief a man that has any civic pride does not like to go to the employment office and register there and pauperize himself. He will borrow money. They have received money and have used that up, but we have a number at the present time who are not applying to the Federal Emergency Relief and going on their rolls. In many localities the men who are working now are being assessed to keep those men off that roll.

The CHAIRMAN. You state that 85 percent are unemployed. About what number would that be, if you have any idea?

Senator GOLDSBOROUGH. Eighty-five percent of a million and a half.

Mr. O'NEILL. Eighty-five percent of a million and a half. The others, who are working, are working catch-as-catch can, as the saying is in the building industry. If you have a job for me today you will give me, perhaps, 1 hour, or 2 hours. It may be 3 or 4 days.

The CHAIRMAN. That million and a half does not include those that are engaged in producing the material.

Mr. O'NEILL. No; at the site of construction.

Senator BARKLEY. He said that for each one of them there were four others.

Mr. O'NEILL. Those are figures given to us by President Roosevelt, coming from the Department of Labor, that for every buildingtrades worker put to work there would be four others put to work in the forests, on the railroads, trucking, in the quarries, and such as that.

Senator BARKLEY. In all, about 772 million men.
Mr. O'NEILL. Yes.

Senator BARKLEY. If building operations were resumed on anything approaching a normal basis.

Mr. O'NEILL. Yes; the figures also show that the average family of the building-trades worker is four—and when the building-trades worker gets to work, he is then able to rent a place.

I have been in Washington since September. Prior to September I was stationed in the Southwest. I had half a million square miles to cover, including Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In that district I have seen on the railroad trains and along the highways thousands of men and women with children, riding the freight trains. Anybody who would go into Texas, from Fort Worth to El Paso, which is 680 miles, any day, on any train, would see 500 men on the trains, with 50 to 60 women, and in many cases children, riding on the trains.

The reason I bring that out is this: I do not say that they are all building-trades workers, but there are a great many of them that are building-trades workers. The desire of every working man, whether he is a building-trades worker or not, is to have a home of his ownas they express it, when you mix with the workers, “I want to be in a position to put my feet under my own table.” Every woman wants to reign as queen over her own home. She does not want to live with her father-in-law, or sister-in-law, or her aunt, or somebody else.

Senator GOLDSBOROUGH. Or, as the witness who preceded you expressed it, “an island of safety."


Mr. O'NEILL. Yes. I did not mean to take up so much of your time, because the case has been ably covered by many of the previous speakers, and I agreed to cut my little talk down to 5 minutes.

That condition is true not only in the Southwest, but all over. They call it the "rabbit path”, and the people who have no work go to the warmer climates to get away from the cold climates. You have undoubtedly seen a good bit of it down South.

The CHAIRMAN. We call them "snowbirds" in Florida.

Mr. O'NEILL. I have traveled all through that district, and you have seen it as well.

We would like to see you gentlemen speed this thing up, because there is a grave need of it. If I may take another minute of your time, in the labor movement, which I have the honor to represent, our men are beginning to get a little difficult to handle. Generally speaking, our members want to do the right thing. Every man knows right from wrong, and the majority of our members want to do the right thing, but they think that we are not doing enough down here at Washington—that we should go down to the Senators and Congressmen and tell them what they ought to do, and if they do not do it, we are at fault, and so forth. Our men are beginning to get hard to handle, and they are listening to that silver-tongued orator that comes into our meetings and spellbinds them and tells them that "your Government is not right. You know what it is in the Northwest. You know what it is in the Southwest, with these spellbinders coming in and trying to tell our men that the mode of government is not right. Our mode of government is right, and no one could give you a good argument that it is not.

There is no other country in the world that has as good living conditions as we have here. I have done a little traveling, but not a great deal, in Europe. We have a good Government, and pretty nearly every good American citizen admits that, but yet these spellbinders and silver-tongued orators are going around to the meetings, where there is a lot of employment, and telling our men that they should belong to this society and that society, and so forth, and our men now are beginning to get a little hard to hold.

We feel that you are doing all you can to expedite it, but we do ask that you give this grave consideration. We are in favor of this bill, and we think it will go a long way toward relieving unemployment.

Senator GOLDSBOROUGH. Wouldn't you call that type of man something besides a silver-tongued orator?

a Mr. O'NEILL. They can put a good story across. There is no question about it. They spellbind the dear brothers.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. O'Neill, what is the present tendency in the building-trades industry? Is it on the upgrade? Mr. O'NEILL. Not so very much. The C.W.A. was a Godsend to

It came at a time when our men needed the work badly. The figures of Harry Hopkins show that 5 percent of the $400,000,000 was spent on work where the building-trades men were employed; yet it did a lot of good. Our members were sending in letters to us telling the good it did, so we wrote a letter to President Roosevelt telling him that while we received only 5 percent of this, we felt that we would not be selfish in writing this letter. If we had received 90 percent we would be selfish. We showed them the figures and told


them it did a lot of good. We would like to see that thing continued, but for some reason it cannot be. They are doing a lot of good yet with it, but the very fact that a man must admit that he is a pauper before he gets any relief from the C.W.A. means that many of our men are not getting anything out of it.

The CHAIRMAN. You really believe that there is a need and a demand for increasing the building trades industry?

Mr. O'NEILL. Yes, there is great need of it.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well. We are very much obliged to you, Mr. O'Neill.

Mr. Lewin.

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CO., CINCINNATI, OHIO The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lewin, please state your name, residence, and occupation.

Mr. LEWIN. Lewis P. Lewin, 2121 Dana Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio; president of the Lewin Lumber Co., Cincinnati; former president National Retail Lumber Dealers' Association; member of the executive committee of the National Retail Lumber Dealers' Association for 15 years; at present serving as treasurer; former president of the Ohio Association of Retail Lumber Dealers; director at large at present of the Ohio Association.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lewin, you have examined this bill, have you?
Mr. LEWIN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You understand it?
Mr. LEWIN. Yes, sir. I went over it some time ago,

Senator. The CHAIRMAN. If you have any views or suggestions about it, we will be glad to hear them.

Mr. LEWIN. I represent the Ohio Association of Retail Lumber Dealers, with Mr. Caffrey, who has spoken here this morning. I am treasurer and chairman of our finance committee, which has been working on a bill of this character. Prior to 1932, from the time of the collapse, we realized that there was no possibility of any real amount of home construction. We are in the lumber business. I am a retail lumber dealer, and also interested in manufacturing enterprises. We made no particular effort to encourage construction.

Along about the latter part of 1932 we began to hear from some of our customers that they were considering home construction, but they could get no money. We could not see where they could get any, and we made no special effort to get it. All the existing financial institutions were not lending money, and would not under any circumstances, as Senator Barkley stated a while ago. Commercial banks are not in a position to lend money for any length of time, except as Senator Goldsborough stated, indirectly through lending to other institutions and taking the mortgage as collateral.

Last year, at the beginning of the year, we found that there was an accumulation of demand for home construction. At that time I was appointed chairman of this committee, which was looking after the necessities, and we began to make a Nation-wide investigation of the necessity for home construction. We went from Maine to California, and from the Rocky Mountains in Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. There is a very widespread demand, as we found it, for home construction.

The retail lumber dealer, I think is in a better position than any other individual to state just what the needs are, because we reach into every village and hamlet of the United States. We are in close contact with contractors and prospective home buyers directly, and naturally we ought to be in aposition to have first-hand information.

In sending out this questionnaire we told them we did not want them to be biased; we wanted real information, and if there was no need for home construction we wanted to know it. There are a few isolated sections of the country where there is only a slight demand, but practically all over the country there is now a very decided need for new construction.

We are in the retail lumber business, and naturally we had, to an extent, a selfish motive, just as the gentleman who preceded me, representing the Federation of Labor. We are looking out for our business. We do not deny that, but that is only human nature. We are all trying to keep ourselves from the poorhouse, and if the building industry does not improve I think that is where we are going to land. We will all become C.W.A. or P.W.A. workers.

The statement was made several years ago that 25 percent of all the labor in this country was either directly or indirectly connected with the construction industry. I think that the amount is even larger than that. I think if you take all the ramifications of the various industries which furnish materials that go into houses, such as sawmills, and so forth, the proportion will be much greater. You heard Dr. Compton speak this morning of having 1,000,000 men employed in the manufacturing of lumber. There is probably nearly half that number engaged in the selling of it. Mr. Caffrey's organization has 243,000 members, and if you take the people who manufacture plumbing supplies, brick, lime, cement, and all the kindred and affiliated industries, you can see that it is an enormous number. I believe it will run to pretty nearly one third of all the people in this country who are directly or indirectly affiliated or connected with the building industry.

I do not want to take up a great deal of time here, but there have been some slaps made at the building industry. The statement has gone out that there is plenty mortgage money. I think Mr. Caffrey touched on that. One of the reasons given why there was no building was that the prices of materials were too high. I did not come here for the purpose of making any talk against any financial institutions, and I do not propose to do so, notwithstanding the fact that they have made slaps at us, but I am going to show you gentlemen some facts.

I have here a magazine published by one of our critics, the American Building Association News. I will just take it at random. There is a table here showing certain building cost index numbers. You have it from Atlanta, at the top here, to Seattle at the bottom, in various areas.

Senator BARKLEY. What is that publication?

Mr. LEWIN. It is the American Building Association News. I want to say, in this connection, that I think the statement was made yesterday-and it needs refuting--that in 1931 materials were lower than at any other time. I think that is incorrect in the building industry. I think in the beginning of 1933 they were very much lower. I know they were in the lumber business--I should say probably 20

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