The Johnstown Tribune



More Than 300 Men Claimed to Have Refused to Go to Work This Morning




District Board Member Addresses Crowd, Advising Against All Violence


More than 300 non-union miners employed by the Ebensburg Coal Company at Colver, near Ebensburg, went on strike this morning and were organized at a meeting held on the farm of James Rummell, situated about one mile and a half from Colver, according to a report received from William Welsh, of Nanty-Glo, Board Member of District No. 2, United Mine Workers of America. There was no disturbance of any kind when the miners refused to go to work.

Organizer Welsh stated that these newly-organized miners reported at the mine as usual this morning, but when the man-trip was ready to start into the workings they refused to work and marched in a body to the Rummell farm. Addresses at the mass meeting were delivered by Organizers Welsh and John Maholtz, of Patton. The strikers were advised in both the English and Polish language to refrain from any violence and to return to their homes. They were asked to return for another big meeting tomorrow morning at the Rummell farm. Tomorrow’s meeting will start at 9 o’clock.

It is claimed by Organizer Welsh that during the assemblage of the strikers, B. Dawson Coleman, jr., son of the owner of the Ebensburg Coal Company, a State Trooper and several coal company "coal and iron" policemen were on deck. While organizing the strikers, Mr. Welsh, it is said, announced that the Rummell property had been rented for the assemblage of the miners. He stated that he did not want any person who was not a miner or who did not want to join the union to remain during the meeting, but to leave the premises at once. It is claimed that the coal company agents and the State Trooper departed.

Organizer Welsh said that during the mass meeting the coal company agents endeavored to get the miners to leave and return to work. He claims that a large bon-fire was started with boxes and the fire alarm was sounded and the whistle blown. The Colver Fire Company responded, it is claimed, but the miners continued to remain at the meeting.

The Colver operations have been working throughout the strike and up until today was one of the strongest non-union enterprises in this part of the state. The walkout came as a big surprise to the coal company officials and other operators, it is said.

Organizer Welsh announced that non-union miners employed by the Vinton Colliery Company at Vintondale, and those working at the Penn Mary Coal Company at Heilwood, Indiana County, will strike within the next few days. The Heilwood operation is said to be one of Charles M. Schwab’s interests.

An official of the Ebensburg Coal Company emphatically denied that more than 300 men walked out this morning. He stated that only about 50 miners went on strike and this was due to some trouble among themselves. The company official stated that Ebensburg concern employs in the neighborhood of 350 miners.

It is said that the Ebensburg Coal Company operations at Colver have been averaging an output 45 to 47 large steel cars of coal per day. The company has been paying its miners the November 1917, wage scale.

A representative of the Tribune was on the field late this morning and learned that only about 14 miners were at work. He stated that about 385 men went on strike.


CITY EDITION Page one, Column 5