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Letter to the Attorney General Directing Him To Petition for an Injunction in the Coal Strike.

April 03, 1948

My dear Mr. Attorney General:

On March 23, 1948, by virtue of the authority vested in me by section 206 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, I issued Executive Order No. 9939, creating a Board of Inquiry to inquire into the issues involved in a labor dispute between coal operators and associations signatory to the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1947 and certain of their employees represented by the International Union, United Mine Workers of America, also signatory to the said agreement.

On March 31, 1948, I received the Board's written report in the matter, including a statement of the facts with respect to the dispute and each party's statement of its position. A copy of that report is attached here to.

As I stated in my Executive Order of March 23, 1948, in my opinion this unresolved labor dispute has resulted in a strike affecting a substantial part of an industry engaged in trade and commerce among the several States and with foreign nations, and in the production of goods for commerce, which strike, if permitted to continue, will imperil the national health and safety.

I therefore direct you, pursuant to the provisions of section 208 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, to petition in the name of the United States any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties to enjoin the continuance of such strike, and for such other relief as may in your judgment be necessary or appropriate.

Very sincerely yours,


[Honorable Tom C. Clark, The Attorney General, Washington, D.C.]

Note: On April 3 the Attorney General sought and obtained in the District Court for the District of Columbia an order instructing the coal miners to return to work. This injunction was ignored by the miners. On April 7 the Attorney General filed a request for contempt action against John L. Lewis and the United Mine Workers of America, and on April 19 Judge T. Alan Goldsborough entered a finding of guilty and assessed fines against Mr. Lewis and the union. By the end of April most of the miners had returned to work.

On August 5, 1948, the President transmitted a special message to the Congress reporting on the settlement of the dispute (see Item 171 ).

The report of the Board of Inquiry (13 pp.) was made available by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Attorney General Directing Him To Petition for an Injunction in the Coal Strike. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232560

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