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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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The fact that steel was getting a code second was what irritated the miners who thought they should have preceded all others if there was to be a code. I don't think they ever really validly wanted a code. They preferred pure collective bargaining, as they do now, to settle everything, but they wanted whatever was in the market and they wanted it first. They wanted prestige.

That attitude isn't true of John L. Lewis alone. That is characteristic of the miners generally. They do feel superior to almost any other set of working men and they feel they are superior citizens - always have. That is accounted for historically, taking into account their history in England, Scotland, Wales, northern France and Belgium. It's always the same thing. It's a tradition of the trade. I suppose it was the same thing in the days of the Phoenicians and the Roman Empire. Those who go down into the bowels of the earth to dig out wealth have to be brave men, courageous men, men of integrity, men who shoulder responsibility, men who are superior in their general measurement against other persons. The craven and the timid don't go down underground to dig out the wealth of the world. Also, what they produce has since the Bronze Age been vital to man's civilization, and they know it. They knew that civilization depended on what they could bring up from the bowels of the earth. Each man of himself

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