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Mr. GOODMAN. I will object to that question, for the same reason I have objected · to similar questions. Trial Examiner ROTENBERG. The answer may stand.
By Mr. KLEIN: Q. Was that matter discussed by you or anyone in the association, with the Tepresentatives or plant chairman of U. A. W., Local 2, for the production workers?-A. Yes.
Q. Did you discuss it with him?-A. Yes.
Q. Did anyone else in your association discuss it with him?-A. I can't speak for all or each individual member, but I can say for some, yes.
The next speaker will be Mr. Argetsinger.
STATEMENT OF J. C. ARGETSINGER, YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE
CO., YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Argetsinger, please state your name and whom you represent and then tell us about your interest in this legislation.
Mr. ARGETSINGER. My name is J. C. Argetsinger. I am vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., an Ohio corporation, which has a rated annual steel capacity of 4,000,000 tons. I also am president of the Ohio Manufacturers Association and have been president of it for several years. The company has a written agreement with the United Steel Workers of America, which was entered into under stipulation between the union and the company, which stipulation was approved by the National Labor Relations Board. The stipulation provided that executives, foremen, and assistant foremen, supervisors who did not work with tools, watchmen, office employees, nurses, clerical, and salaried employees should be excluded from the written agreement to be negotiated and entered into with the union.
As soon as the agreement with the union was signed, we received a request from the same union to include in the agreement the property protection men, or watchmen, who were excluded under the stipulation and who also were excluded under the terms of the written agreement. We submitted the question, of course, to the National Labor Relations Board and protested against inclusion of the property protection men. The Board ruled against us, and, of course, the Board has been sustained, as you gentlemen know, by decisions of the various circuit courts. So, we had no recourse, and we are now proceeding in negotiations.
I would like to interpolate, with respect to foremen, that at one of our plants a few of our foremen belong to the union. At that plant we are in almost constant turmoil. At our main plant, so far as I know, none of the foremen belong.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you attribute that so-called turmoil you mentioned was occurring in this one plant to the part of the foremen who are organized?
Mr. ARGETSINGER. Not wholly; I would say it was contributory.
Returning to the property-protection men, I would like to say that their duties are particularly important now and are so regarded by the Army and the Navy, and that the Army requires those men to take the Army oath to the United States. We are not permitted to have them unless they do.
Our company is operating at 100 percent of its rated capacity, and, of course, a 48-hour week would not increase the output of the company; in fact, for months, at least until adjustments were made in the scheduled operations, it would retard production. We cannot operate in the steel industry on a 48-hour schedule. We probably would have to resort to a 52-hour schedule, and I agree with the gentleman's suggestion that that is too long a work period in the steel industry for the skilled men. As you know, that industry is highly mechanized. It is a speedy production and is largely electrified. It is dangerous to life and dangerous to property to require those men to work every day and to work long hours. We cannot shift our crews from department to department in arrangement or rearrangement of schedules. Because of the training and the skill required in present-day, high-speed operations in steel plants, we believe that the 48-hour week would not create manpower for our industry. We also believe that the membership of foremen or assistant foremen in unions would be contrary to the best interests of the whole country. These men are the direct representatives of the owners of the property in their relations with the employee workers. They are in the front line of management, and they are chosen for skill, initiative, and ability and are paid accordingly. They are the reservoir for supplying men for the higher ranks of management, such as superintendents.
In most of the steel industry we attempt to select our foremen from the working group, because of the training, experience, and skill which the men receive every day. The recommendations of foremen and their assistants are generally followed in the promotion and discharge of workers. The foremen issue the orders and directions to the workers and direct the kind and variety of work performed and product produced. They are responsible for production quality and costs of production. The company is responsible for their actions and their conduct, and any unfair labor practices by foremen or assistant foremen are chargeable to the employer, whether or not he is cognizant of their acts or statements or words. This has been held by the National Labor Relations Board repeatedly and has been sustained in the courts.
These men are an integral part of the management. Top management in these days is devoting hours and hours of time each week to discussions of individual grievances with union representatives. In all these discussions the foremen are the main representatives of management, because they are the most familiar with the problems involved in the grievance procedure.
Under our contract, which, while not standard, does not vary much from the usual contract in the whole steel industry, step number one in the grievance procedure is a foreman step; it is foreman procedure. The departmental representative goes with his aggrieved employee to the foreman for discussion and adjustment. It would be contrary to our sense of justice if a foreman first were to present this issue for the employer, with the reasons and facts, and then were to become special pleader for the employee. Obviously under those circumstances the foreman could not do justice to either employer or employee. It would be similar to a prosecution in which the prosecuting attorney would prosecute the case for the State and then pass to the other side of the table and represent the defendant in the same trial.
Foremen could not preserve their independence or their responsibility as a part of management if they were members of a union affiliated with the union of the employees, whose work they control and direct.
In our judgment, the efficiency of supervision would be affected very seriously if the men who are responsible as part of management to the owners for results were permitted to lose their incentive for exercising initiative, ability, and efficiency. The fact is that under such conditions control of operations and production would pass out of the hands of management and out of the hands of the owners of the property. This we believe would be another blow at the free enterprise system in this country,
I would like to bring in another group of people who are not mentioned in this bill but who, I think, are in the same category. I refer to rate clerks and time clerks and to the property-protection men, whom I mentioned in the beginning. Time and rate clerks compute the production of workers in the departments, and from the production and the hours labored they compute the amount of pay which the workers received. In other words, they represent the controller's office and the treasurer's office of the management. Their functions are purely managerial, and they are the direct representatives of the owners in those processes. We do not believe that Congress ever intended that those men should belong to and join unions; yet their membership is being actively solicited. Lawyers, of course, as we all know, may not represent both sides in a controversy. For that reason we do not see how time clerks, property-protection men, foremen, assistant foremen, and other supervisory people can represent both sides or be on both sides of the argument. Property-protection men, as I have said, are in the same category.
As I have said, the provisions of this bill are important for the protection of the free enterprise and the incentive system in this country. Unless protection of this kind is afforded private property, the continuous extension, improvement, and development of our industrial processes by an inflow of new capital will be impaired, and such continuous development is essential to keep industry viable. These matters are fundamental and the restraints provided in this bill should be written into the National Labor Relations Act as permanent restrictions. The National Labor Relations Board, in the opinion of many people, has greatly exceeded in its edicts and actions the intentions of the Congress. Any further steps toward unionization of foremen and managerial forces would be in the direction of abolition of the merit and incentive system and would subject American industry to further control by labor unions and would tend to deprive the owners of industrial property of more of their voice and control in its management.
It was the initiative, the ingenuity, and the resourcefulness of the personnel of industry—underwritten as such competent production always has been—by American capital, which made possible the unprecedented production schedules of American industry in the present emergency. Men of outstanding abilities, including many leaders of industry who have risen from the ranks, are the natural outgrowth of our system of capitalism and free enterprise, the system which offers the individual the greatest incentive for effort and for the fullest development of his abilities that the world has ever known. Let us
not destroy it, even partially, by permitting managerial forces to attempt to occupy two irreconcilable positions in our industry.
Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions? There seems to be no questions.
I thank you very much, Mr. Argetsinger.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT H. KEYS
Mr. Keys. Mr. Chairman, may I ask Mr. Lindquist to clarify his statement the fact that he used the name "foremen's association" on three different occasions? As president of the Foremen's Association of America, which is the foremost foremen's union in America, I would like to have it clarified that he was speaking of the Murray-Ecorse supervisors' association in his company.
Mr. LINDQUIST. That is agreeable.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. That will conclude the hearing for today. The committee will meet again tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(At 12:10 p. m. an adjournment was taken until Thursday, April 1, 1943, at 10 a. m.)
THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10:10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Andrew J. May, chairman, presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. We will proceed with the hearing, in order to make the record. The first witness will be Mr. C. R. Barton.
STATEMENT OF C. R. BARTON, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL SUPPLY
CO., PITTSBURGH, PA.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Barton, will you tell the committee where you live, what your connection is, and then give us your statement in regard to these several bills, stating whether you are for them or against them?
Mr. BARTON. Mr. Chairman, my name is C. R. Barton. I am vice president in charge of manufacturing of the National Supply Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. I am appearing before the committee in support of the bill on which the hearing is being held. I would like to read to the committee a telegram addressed to it from the president of our company:
The United Steel Workers of America, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, has requested the National Labor Relations Board to certify it as the collective bargaining agent for all foremen and supervisors on an hourly wage basis up to the position of but not including departmental superintendents and excluding all office supervisors, employed in the Etna, Pa., pipe mills of the National Supply Co. We believe that this request raises a serious problem concerning war production, since this company's mills at Etna are engaged in the manufacture of material required for war purposes as well as for essential civilian uses.
In this company foremen are the direct representatives of management at the point of contact with the workmen. They execute the policies of the company, and are solely responsible to the management. Foremen are recognized under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the regulations as "Executives" and numerous decisions of the National Labor Relations Board have held management responsible for the acts of foremen.
At the Etna plant of the company other employees are represented by the United Steel Workers of America and the same union now seeks to bring the foremen into its menibers and to exercise collective-bargaining powers on their behalf. It is impossible to conceive how these foremen can fulfill their duties and responsibilities to the management if they belong to the same union as the workmen over whom they exercise managerial authority. In such a situation no man can serve two masters. Since under our present collective-bargaining contract a worker's grievance is first presented to his foreman, a foreman would be placed in position of having to represent management in a controversy with the union