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of which the foreman himself was a member. No faithful and unbiased execution of the policies of management would be possible in such circumstances.
Whether the foreman is a member of the same union as the men whom he directs, or of a different union, the result will be industrial chaos. There will be a break-down of discipline in the plant, a division of allegiance and respon. sibility, and the higher management of a company will be unable to carry out its policies or discharge its obligations because its most effective instrument has been taken from its hands.
We piace these facts before you in order that your committee may take prompt action to forestall the impairment to the country's industrial program that the unionization of foremen will inevitably bring.
A. E. WALKER,
Pittsburgh, Pa. In support of the statements made in that telegram, I would like to place before the committee the facts concerning two instances in our company when foremen have belonged to the union.
In the first case, at the National Supply Co. plant at Carnegie, Pa., on the night shift of August 7, 1940, Mr. Baily, a working foreman, had two men under him-Mr. Obney and Mr. Gabig. At 5 o'clock in the morning, Obney and Gabig refused to perform any further work although their shift was not over until 7 o'clock, and after fruitlessly remonstrating with the two men, Mr. Bailey reported the incident to the plant superintendent later that day and the offending workmen were thereupon suspended for 5 days. Mr. Baily had come up from the ranks and belonged to the vertical union existing in the plant. At a meeting held in the union hall, exception was taken to Mr. Baily's actions in reporting the act of the disciplined men. A hearing was held and he was fined $5. He refused to pay the fine and was subsequently suspended by the local union, being told he would have to pay a new initiation fee and current month's dues to be reinstated. This also Baily refused to do. The union thereupon dropped Baily from the membership rolls and called upon management to discharge Baily or transfer him from the Carnegie plant. Careful study of the facts showed plainly that Baily had honestly met the responsibility entrusted to him on the night in question and obviously could not be disciplined for so doing. The company therefore refused to discharge him and a strike was called by the union. The company appealed to the international office of the union with negative results. This strike continued for a period of about 5 weeks, and finally, after the intervention of the United States Conciliation Service, an agreement was reached, the men returned to work, and Baily was transferred to the plant office.
In the second case, at the National Supply Co. plant at Etna, Pa.. on Saturday, April 18, 1942, Mr. Henry Atkinson, a foreman, was suspended by his superintendent for having conducted himself in an improper manner on the job, having made an inflammatory speech criticizing certain officials of the company by name, and having urged office workers and foremon at the plant to join the United Steel Workers of America Union. The company took disciplinary action because of Mr. Atkinson's critical attitude toward his superiors, and because, as a foreman and a representative of management, his attempt to coerce employees to join the office and clerical workers union was a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. I refer you to various National Labor Relations Board decisions on this point. On Mon
day, April 20, Atkinson, disregarding the suspension, returned to the plant and demanded of his superintendent that he be allowed to work, and in fact was already on the job when seen by his superintendent. For this act of insubordination, his superintendent thereupon discharged him. At the time of this occurrence, the company was under contractual relationship with the union for its production workers only, which contract specifically in its terms excluded all foremen, supervisors, and office and clerical workers from its provisions. Notwithstanding these provisions, which were well known to Mr. Atkinson, he had joined and was an active member of the United Steel Workers of America. On the following Tuesday morning, April 21, the entire plant and office went on strike after a mass meeting at which Atkinson made an inflammatory speech. The strike continued for a period of 3 days and after intervention by the United States Conciliation Service and the Pittsburgh ordnance district office, the company was prevailed upon to restore Atkinson to his former position, and the strike was called off.
The CHAIRMAN. What did you say is the name of your company?
Mr. Barton. Normally the products of the National Supply Co.go into the oil industry-pipe for the drilling and transporting of oil, and machinery for the drilling and production of oil. Today we are engaged more than 90 percent in the production of materials for war. The CHAIRMAN. Under direct war contracts with the Government? Mr. BARTON. Under direct war contracts and subcontracts. The CHAIRMAN. Is there a mass-production line operated in your plants, or is the work of such a character that a production line is not required? Mr. BARTON. It is mass production.
The CHAIRMAN. One of those strikes continued, I believe you said, for 5 weeks?
Mr. BARTON. Five weeks; ves, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What happened to your contracts that had been suspended during those 5 weeks? Were any of them canceled or given to other producers?
Mr. Barton. In that particular case it was in 1940, and at that particular plant at that time there was no war work going on.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you now engaged in war work for the Government?
Mr. BAKTON. Very much so. The CHAIRMAN. It is your judgment, I believe, or your view, that management, being responsible for the performance of those contracts, ought to have control of the direction of the supervisory personnel; is that right?
Mr. BARTON. It must have control if we are to maintain production.
Mr. BARTON. The National Supply Co. as a whole employs 11,500 men.
Mr. DURHAM. How many would be affected under this proposal ?
Mr. BARTON. As a rule we have about 15 men to every foreman or supervisor. On that basis there would be somewhere around 800 foremen and supervisors in all our plants. In the particular plant
where we had a request to appear before the National Labor Relations Board there are probably 100 foremen. We believe, however, that if unionization of foremen is permitted, it will spread to all plants of all companies.
Mr. Durham. Have they aiready started to unionize those foremen?
Mr. BARTON. They have in this one plant.
Mr. Harness. Mr. Barton, do you think that the problem of your company and others are facing in this matter could be handled if you had the right to appeal from the decisions of these war agencies such as the War Labor Board and the National Labor Relations Board to the courts?
Mr. Barton. I am unable to say, but it seems to me that it would he too slow a procedure to accomplish the results required today. I think we need very prompt action today. Court procedures are too slow to meet the emergency.
Mr. HARNESS. But as the law now stands, under the court decisions, you have no right to appeal from the decisions of these agencies?
Mr. BARTON. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is true, and if there is no appeal from the decision of the War Labor Board, what is the procedure by which you get at a direct proceeding to enjoin enforcement? What would
Mr. BARTON. We have to go along with it, and the production of material is going to suffer.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, as the law now exists the rights of contractors and the rights of property owners are subject to final determination by a bureau or agency of the Government other than the courts.
Mr. HARNESS. I think that is true.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Barton. The next speaker will be Mr. J. A. Voss.
STATEMENT OF J. A. VOSS, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS,
REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, CLEVELAND, OHIO
The CHAIRMAN. Please state your name, your residence, your business, and what your views are with regard to the question of manpower, particularly with respect to the proposals of the Smith bill to amend the Wagner Labor Relations Act.
Mr. Voss. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is J. A. Voss. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I am director of industrial relations for Republic Steel Corporation. This company is a fully integrated steel company operating iron ore mines, coal mines, blast furnaces, steel plants, and plants which fabricate steel into finished
articles. Its operations are scattered in 45 cities in 11 States throughout the United States. At the present time it employs approximately 70,000 workers, all of whom are engaged in the production of materials vital to the successful operation of the war program.
I desire to address myself specifically to the portion of section 4 of proposed House bill 2239, reading as follows:
He shall be responsible for acts of his executive, administrative, professional. or supervisory employees within the scope of their employment, and such employees shall not be eligible to membership in any labor organization engaging in collective bargaining with the contractor, nor shall such contractor be required to engage in collective bargaining with any labor organization including iny of such employees in its membership.
Substantially all of Republic's production and maintenance employees are represented by national labor unions, including the United Steel Workers of America, affiliated with the C. I. o., the United Mine Workers, and various unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.
The management of Republic carries on collective bargaining with the largest number of its employees, that is, those who are employed in the blast furnace and steel plants and most of the fabricating plants, under a labor agreement with the United Steel Workers of America, affiliated with the C. I. O.
This labor agreement specifically excludes from the employees covered thereby “executives, foremen, assistant foremen, and supervisors who do not work with tools." It provides in section 13 thereof that, the management of the plants and the direction of the working force, including the right to hire, suspend, or discharge for proper cause, or transfer, and the right to relieve employees from duty because of lack of work, or for other legitimate reasons, is vested exclusively in the company.
The company and the union have therefore both recognized the fact that the management of the plant must be directed by the company and that superintendents, foremen, assistant foremen, and other supervisory employees are properly part of management and should be excluded from the employees for whom the Union bargains.
The steel plants of the company are large in size, and in most of them several thousand workers are employed. The management of the plant requires a large supervisory personnel. Ordinarily, the management of the plant is vested at the top in a plant manager. Under him each of the departments, which in themselves cover large areas and have many employees, are under the direction of a departmental superintendent. Under each superintendent are a number of foremen and assistant foremen. The plants operate for the most part on a three-shift basis, and there are turn foremen and assistant foremen for each shift. There are approximately 2,600 foremen in Republic's plants and mines and an equal number of assistant foremen. The superintendents, foremen and assistant foremen have the responsibility of directing the work of the employees; have the right to hire and fire; and to discipline workers for infractions of company rules.
The company's contract with the United Steel Workers of America provides that grievances of the workmen shall first be presented to the foreman, who shall pass upon them and attempt to settle them, and thereafter in the event no settlement is effected, to the department superintendent who shall pass upon them and attempt to settle them. In the performance of all of these functions, all assistant foremen, the foremen, and the department superintendents are acting in behalf of and carrying out the policies of the management of the company. Their position is necessarily different than the position of the workers. It is apparent that if they belonged to the same union as the workers, they would be in an impossible position in carrying out their duties as representatives of management. They could not serve two masters, and serve both faithfully and well.
Republic's labor contract in the coal mines is a closed shop contract, and most of its contracts in its blast furnace plants, steel mills, and fabricating plants, contain a union maintenance of membership clause, which requires every employee who joins the union to remain a member in good standing as a condition of continued employment. In the Appalachian Coal Conference, now in session in New York City, the United Mine Workers are demanding that all our supervisory employees at the coal mines, except the superintendents, be included in the bargaining unit. If supervisory employees belonged to a union, such as the United Mine Workers of America, which operates under a closed-shop contract, their usefulness to the company would disappear. Their very job would depend upon their remaining members in good standing in the union, and you can rest assured they would make no decisions and take no action which might place them in disfavor with their brother union members no matter what might be best for the company in the matter. This is true also with respect to any supervisory employee who should join a union in a plant operating under a union maintenance of membership provision, such as are in effect in practically all Republic's plants.
Even if they belonged to another union, their position would be just as difficult. It is well known that there is today bitter rivalry between large national unions. If the supervisory forces were affiliated with one national union and the employees with another, there would be constant bitterness and hard feelings because the employees would feel that the supervisory employees belonging to another union were not dealing fairly with them. Likewise, in such cases since, under the Wagner Act as construed by the National Labor Relations Board and the courts, the employer is responsible for acts of his supervisory employees, the company would be forced to shoulder full responsibility for acts concerning which it had no knowledge, and which were the result of union rivalry and activities—a subject wholly beyond the control of the company.
If the company is to be responsible for the acts of its supervisory employees, it should be entitled to the full allegiance and loyalty of such employees. It should be entitled to know that in carrying out the many important functions of management, in disciplining and discharging employees, and in handling grievances, many of which involve the payment of substantial sums of the company's money, the supervisory employees are in fact looking out for the interests of the company wholly unaffected by any allegiance they might owe to brother union members.
We sincerely believe that it was not the purpose of Congress when it enacted the Wagner Act to include supervisory employees within the terms of that act. However, you are all aware of the fact that only recently the National Labor Relations Board has determined that supervisory employees may be included in a bargaining unit for