Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to Railroad Management on the Railway Wage Dispute.

March 20, 1934


I have been advised of what has transpired at the conferences between the Conference Committee of Managers, representing the railroads, and the Railway Labor Executives Association, representing the employees, which have been held in response to my communication of February 14, 1934. . . .

It is a profound disappointment to learn that no progress toward an agreement has been made at the conference. I fear that sight is being lost of the most important factor of all, the good of the country. If no agreement is reached, and in default of arbitration, it may be necessary for me, with due regard to the protection of the general public interest, to appoint a commission to examine thoroughly into the labor controversy, covering all classes of railroad employment, in order that the country may be advised of the merits . . . "Since I addressed my previous communication to you, how.ever, the fact has been developed that some of the railroad em-ployees are now receiving compensation for their work at rateswhich are below minimums which have been established in theN.R.A. codes, if not actually below a subsistence basis. . . . To the extent that it exists, it should be corrected, and in this expression of opinion I feel confident that the railroads and the holders of their securities will concur. . . .

I shall be glad to extend to you the services of the Federal Coordinator of Transportation to help in composing your present differences, if that be desired. For the good of the country I strongly urge that further efforts be made to reach an agreement.

Very sincerely yours,

Mr. W. F. Thiehoff,

Chairman, Conference Committee of Managers and Mr. A. F. Whitney

Chairman, Railway Labor Executives Ass'n

Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to Railroad Management on the Railway Wage Dispute. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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