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Mr. CARLTON. Definitely so.
Mrs. LUCE. Then you are not entirely in favor of legislation affecting absentees?
Mr. CARLTON. Definitely not; but I do think that an investigation into the causes would be very helpful.
Mrs. LUCE. That is all, thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Carlton, the committee thanks you for your splendid statement.
Mr. CARLTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We shall next hear from Mr. M. B. Lindquist. Will Mr. Lindquist come forward?
STATEMENT OF M. B. LINDQUIST, MURRAY CORPORATION OF
AMERICA, DETROIT, MICH.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lindquist, please state your name, whom you represent, and what your interest is in this legislation.
Mr. LINDQUIST. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is M. B. Lindquist. I am manager of industrial relations of the Murray Corporation of America, Detroit, Mich.
I have been reflecting a lot on the statement made by Mr. Carlton that the employees of my company are beautifully organized. I do not know just what he has in mind.
Our company in peacetime was normally engaged in the production of automotive parts for automobiles, which we delivered to the major motor companies. At the present time we are 100 percent in war production, manufacturing aircraft assemblies, military frames, and various ordnance items. We have at Ecorse, Mich., a small plant employing about 700 people, in which we manufacture frames for military vehicles of various descriptions.
At the present time there is pending before the National Labor Relations Board a proceeding to determine whether the supervisors of that plant desire to be represented for the purposes of collective bargaining by the Murray-Ecorse Supervisors Association. I understand that the name of this association since the initiating of the proceedings has been changed to the American Foremen's Union, an international union. All steps in the recognized procedure before the National Labor Relations Board have been followed in this particular case up to and including the elections. I say “elections” because we had three of them, supervised by the Board, in Detroit last Friday. The ballots cast in those elections have been impounded by the National Labor Relations Board, so we do not know the results of the elections.
We have received from the National Labor Relations Board a communication stating that we will be given an opportunity for oral argument in our case next Tuesday, here in Washington, before the main Board of the National Labor Relations Board.
Mr. ELSTON. May I interrupt you to ask if one of the questions before the Board is the legal right of foremen to organize for collective bargaining?
Mr. LINDQUIST. It is. I wish at this time to subscribe to the general comments made by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Carlton regarding the general picture or the general situation as to the organization of foremen. I do not want to take up the time of the committee in reiterating those points. I merely want to point out two factors in this proceeding involving our company which I believe are of vital importance.
In the first place, the president of the foremen's association, under cross-examination in the hearing before the trial examiner of the National Labor Relations Board in Detroit, admitted in substance that he had counseled with the representatives of the worker's union, which incidentally is Local No. 2, U. A. W., C. 1. O.; and that he had been assured of assistance from that union in the furthering of his program in getting recognition for his association. If I may be permitted to do so, I can read from the transcript of that record some of that testimony, if it is admissible here.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose you just place it in the record.
Mr. LINDQUIST. I cannot leave the entire transcript here because we will need it in connection with our hearing on Tuesday.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, you may have it transcribed and the transcription sent to the clerk of the committee.
Mr. LINDQUIST. Very good, sir.
Mr. McNally, president of the association, admitted that the supervisors in his association had alined themselves with the production workers under their supervision against the management to compel the management to grant them recognition. He admitted that he, in conversation with Mr. Eddy, of the United States Conciliation Service, thought the production workers recognized the problems of his members, and he further admitted that there was an understanding between his association and the production workers to the end that the production members under the supervision of members of his association would not work under or for any other supervisors. He stated that he had assurance of the assistance of the production workers. He admitted he had discussed the situation with the shop foremen of Local 2, U. A. W., C. I. O., and other representatives of that union.
The Board in its decision, and direction of elections, disposed of the question in this manner:
With respect to the company's second contentionnamely, that the union is under the influence of the U. A. W., C. I. O., and there is a likelihood of affiliation or cooperation with the U. A. W., C. I. O., Local No. 2, which represents production employees of the companywe stated in the matter of Ford Motor Co. that "even were it shown that the union is directly affiliated with, or contemplates immediate affiliation with the U. A. W., C. I. O., the company's argument would be rejected.”
In this particular case there is another point of interest. Three levels of supervision are involved in this matter. The Foremen's Association claims and has petitioned for and the elections have been held to determine whether that association will bargain for the department supervisors—we use the word "supervisor” instead of "foreman"-shift supervisors, and section supervisors. Those are three
distinct levels of supervision within our company. The department supervisor has responsibility for a given department for all the operations of that department, the production efficiency, and the handling of the employees within that department around the clock. On the second shift, or the third shift if there happens to be such, we have a shift supervisor who is responsible to the department supervisor. Under the shift supervisor on the second and third shifts we have a section supervisor. We also have a section supervisor on the day shift. There are three levels there.
The department supervisor is responsible for the hiring or the recommending of laying off of the section supervisors or the shift supervisors in his department. The shift supervisor has like responsibility with regard to the section supervisors on his shift. So, one level has the responsibility and determines the tenure of employment of the other level.
The Board apparently recognized the three levels of supervision and ordered three elections. We had three elections last Friday, one for each group. All three elections were held at the same time at the same polling place, and the fact remains that all of these supervisors are allegedly members of the same association, responsible to or working under one slate of officers.
Should this thing carry on through and we be placed in the position of recognizing three groups of supervisors, that means we will have three courses of collective bargaining to handle our three lower levels of supervision. Where will the thing stop? We can go above that to the general supervisor, the general superintendent, and so on, to the point where we may have half a dozen or more different, separate bargaining units, which, so help me, would take up the entire time of management in dealing with these particular units.
We believe, and I think from what I have tried to put before you here, that immediate action is essential in this matter. Certainly time is of the essence in our case. We have had the election, the ballots are impounded, and we are now awaiting oral argument before the Board on this issue next week. What the outcome will be, I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. How many employees do you have in your entire organization ?
Mr. LINDQUIST. In the entire organization we employ about 13,000 people. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions?
Mr. KILDAY. What case of the National Labor Relations Board was it that held that supervisory employees come under the Wagner National Labor Relations Act?
Mr. LINDQUIST. The Union Collieries case. They cited the Ford case in our directive here.
Mr. Kilday. But is that the case in which the holding was made by a two-to-one decision of the Board ?
Mr. LINDQUIST. That was a two-to-one decision, I believe. Incidentally, our directive here, in our particular case, is a two-to-one decision. Mr. KILDAY. Was that of the Board as now constituted ?
Mr. LINDQUIST. That was the decision and direction of election in our case; the majority opinion by Harry A. Millis and William M. Leiserson; the dissenting opinion by Gerard D. Reilly.
Mr. KILDAY. Of course, Dr. Leiserson is no longer a member of the Board.
Mr. LINDQUIST. No.
Mr. Elston. Was that a decision by the War Labor Board or the National Labor Relations Board !
Mr. LINDQUIST. The National Labor Relations Board.
Mr. GATHINGS. You referred in your opening statement to the fact that if it were shown that the supervisory employees were members of the U. A. W., C. I. O., then they would be permitted to organize.
Mr. LINDQUIST. They were quoting the Ford case.
Mr. GATHINGS. I wish you would read that into the record. I would appreciate it very much if you would. Mr. LINDQUIST. I believe it is in there essentially.
Here is the very paragraph on that particular point:
With respect to the company's second contention, we stated in In the Matter of Ford Motor Company that "Even were it shown that the union is directly affiliated with, or contemplates immediate affiliation with the United Automobile Workers, Congress of Industrial Organizations, the company's argument would be rejected." The act confers upon employees the right to self-organization and to collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing.
Mr. KILDAY. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. KILDAY. That is the situation with respect to the coal mines, I understand.
Mr. LINDQUIST. I believe it is.
Mr. KILDAY. The miners are being directed to submit to each foreman or other supervisory personnel member an application for membership within the local of the United Mine Workers operating in that mine. If that is carried out as they now propose to do it, they will all belong to the same local.
Mr. LINDQUIST. Yes.
Mr. KILDAY. But in your case there will be a local of the workers and a local of the supervisors?
Mr. LINDQUIST. Yes.
Mr. DURHAM. When does your agreement with the union on this expire ?
Mr. LINDQUIST. Do you mean with our production workers ? Mr. DURHAM. Yes. Mr. LINDQUIST. We have no agreement with the foremen's association. We have an agreement with our production workers which carries on from year to year unless either party requests a change. Mr. DURHAM. But not with the organized supervisory personnel ? Mr. LINDQUIST. That is right. Mr. DURHAM. When does the other contract expire? Mr. LINDQUIST. It runs from year to year–January 1.
Mr. Kilday. There is a provision in your contract that none of the supervisory personnel shall belong to the union ?
Mr. LINDQUIST. That is right.
Mr. Kilday. That probably accounts for the separate organization of foremen in your plant?
Mr. LINDQUIST. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE NATIONAL
LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, CASE VI-R-1240, IN THE MATTER OF THE MURRAY CORPORATION OF AMERICA, (ECORSE PLANT) AND MURRAY-ECORSE SUPERVISORS' AssoCIATION (UNAFFILIATED)
[NOTE.--The following testimony is taken from the cross-examination of Mr. Walter McNally, president of the Murray-Ecorse Supervisors' Association. The interrogation is by Mr. Victor W. Klein, Esq., Butzel, Eaman, Long, Gust & Bills, Detroit, Mich., counsel for the Murray Corporation; the answers are those of Mr. McNally.] From page 62:
Q. Did you not tell Mr. Eddy that unless the company représentatives came to that meeting, in Mr. Eddy's office, or met within a few days with your association, that you and other members of your association had been assured by the production workers union, Local No. 2, U. A. W.-C. I. O., that the production workers at Ecorse would strike?-A. No.
Q. Did you never tell him anything like that?-A. The production workersthat is a misstatement.
Q. What is the statement you made to him?--A. The statement is simply this: "That the production workers know the problem we are up against."
Q. Who is "we"?-A. The association. From pages 62 and 63:
Q. Did you say, "If we fail”-"If the company fails to recognize the supervisors in your association as an association, that the production workers will cooperate with us in that connection"?-A. Yes.
Q. And they would cooperate with you if the company chose certain other supervisors ?-A. Yes. From page 63:
Q. Then your association of supervisors had discussed with U. A. W.-C. I. O., Local 2, for production workers at Ecorse, the supervisors' problem, and enlisted their aid or their assistance in adjusting those problems?-A. Yes. From pages 65 and 66:
Q. Was there mention of a strike by you to Mr. Eddy in your discussion with him in December 1942?-A. The strike referred to was a strike of supervisors, not of production workers.
Q. Well, there was an understanding with production workers at the Ecorse plant for supervisors, was there not?-A. Yes; there was an understanding.
Q. Was it understood the production workers, under the supervisors, would not work under any other supervisors?-A. Yes.
Q. That was told to Mr. Eddy?-A. Yes.
Q. Your association of supervisors had the assurance of assistance from production workers under their supervision who were members of Local 2, U. A. W.C. I. 0.?-A. Yes.