Management and Labor
under the Tobacco
While his company remained a subsidiary of the American Tobacco Company, R. J. Reynolds evidently knew that he must drive hard or some other subsidiary would lead the flat-plug industry. In this effort, Reynolds surrounded himself with able men, organized new departments, built factories, increased production, strengthened his sales department, increased his labor force, and vigorously launched several new smoking brands aimed directly at competition with Duke's Mixture and Bull Durham, both owned by American. Reynolds also learned many lessons from American; after the decree of 1911 dissolving the old American Tobacco Company (and thus the Tobacco Combination), his firm emerged as leader of the flat-plug industry and as a potential leader in the manufacture of smoking tobacco. Throughout this period he consistently maintained to the public that his was an independent business in which the American Tobacco Company was merely a stockholder. At the same time, labor and management seemed closer than in subsequent years.
While connected with the Tobacco Combination, R. J. Reynolds jealously guarded the independence of his organization and also managed to profit from his enforced association with the business of James B. Duke. During these years the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company obtained assistance in planning buildings, in the purchase of leaf, and in the sale of its products. Reynolds cooperated with Duke's organization at times when forced to and at other times when it was to his advantage. These efforts resulted in a greatly increased business and a necessarily enlarged office