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the purpose of bargaining with management. Unless Congress takes action such as is contemplated in the proposed House bill 2239, industry will be faced by a concerted drive by labor unions to force all supervisory employees into their ranks. The impact of such a drive upon the production of sorely needed war materials will be disheartening to the entire country. The confusion and bitterness that will result will inevitably be felt in the loss of ships, planes, tanks and guns. Whatever may be said in support of forcing such an innovation upon industry, no justification exists for broaching the subject in this critical time when the nation is fighting for its very existence.
We urge you to take the necessary action to eliminate this problem from the many difficult problems now confronting industrial management in this country. We believe you can do this by enacting into law a provision which shall render executive, administrative, professional, and supervisory employees, ineligible for membership in labor organizations, and relieve management from dealing with any labor organization which includes any of such employees in its membership. We feel that this House bill 2239 does this and we respectfully request that you report it favorably to the House of Representatives for passage.
I would like to give you a brief outline of our organizational set-up in our company. We have a vice president in charge of operations. He has about 25 district managers with whom he meets periodically, when policy matters of the corporation are discussed. These district managers go back to their respective districts and hand these policy matters down to the superintendents of the departments. There are approximately 20 or 30 such superintendents in a plant, depending upon the size of the plant. These superintendents in turn hand down these policies to the foremen. We have always taken the position that the foreman is the lifeblood of management and is a very essential part of management. Our superintendents of the various departments meet with the foremen at regular intervals, in many instances weekly, to keep the foremen posted on what is going on in the department and in the company, so as to build them up to the point where they are acquainted with the policies of the management and can properly administer those policies among the workers.
We believe that if foremen are taken away from management and made a part of a labor organization, a very essential part of management will be taken away, and it is going to be very difficult to administer these policies and operate the plants. Many of these foremen are on a competitive basis with respect to production, with respect to safety records and accident prevention, and with respect to cost. It is this competition and the constant daily contacts of superintendents with foremen that keep our organization going and our plants operating at the highest possible efficiency today.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe you stated that your company in all its various plants, including the coal mines, employs about 70,000 people ? Mr. Voss. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. There are about 2,600 foremen and 2,600 assistant foremen in all that group?
Mr. Voss. Yes, sir; approximately.
Thé CHAIRMAN. That is, the company itself owns them, and those mines produce the coal which is needed in the manufacture of your steel?
Mr. Voss. Yes, sir; and the coal is all used in our own steel plants.
The CHAIRMAN. In what areas of the country are those coal mines located ?
Mr. Voss. In Pennsylvania and Alabama.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know the tonnage of coal which you consume each year?
Mr. Voss. No; I do not.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the productivity or the capacity of your coal mines?
Mr. Voss. No; I do not. I do not have that information, Mr. Chairman, but I will be glad to furnish it to the committee if you wish me to do so.
The CHAIRMAN. You have referred to the difficulty of having foremen who are organized into a union of workers keep in contact with the workers and move harmoniously with them and at the same time be in harmony with the owners and the company holding the contract. Would the enactment of the provisions of the Smill bill, which this committee is now considering, make that question perfectly clear and prevent the organization of this personnel, do you think?
Mr. Voss. I believe it would.
The CHAIRMAN. In what way do you figure that the manpower supply of the country would be affected by the enactment of this legislation? In what way would it have an effect, favorable or unfavorable, upon war production?
Mr. Voss. If foremen and supervisors are permitted to organize, we are going to be confronted with many situations from the standpoint of unionization, and these men are going to drift away from the management problems. They are going to drift away from management problems and discussion of management problems and are going to be thinking along different lines than they are today. I do not believe that a foreman can belong to a union and be loyal to a union and at the same time remain on management's side of the table, which is today and has always been very essential. I say that because of that situation, thrown into the picture today, we are going to have conflict in our supervisory forces, and naturally that is going to be reflected in production.
Let me say this: In our own organization, was widely scattered as it is throughout the country, we are not confronted with problems like that today. Our supervisory forces are handled through departmental superintendents. We are getting along fine; but to throw something like this out today is certainly going to affect the production, the attitude of the foremen, and the attitude of management, and the whole picture, I think, will be distorted.
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of fact, what has led to the campaign of organization of the superivisory personnel of industry in the country is the decision of the National Labor Relations Board in the case of the Union Collieries Coal Co., of Oakmont, Pa.; is not that right?
Mr. Voss. It is.
The CHAIRMAN. That case was decided about a year ago, I think. How long does your contract with the steel workers, which contains the provision that all supervisory personnel of your company shall not be organized, have yet to run?
Mr. Voss. Our contract was signed on August 11, 1942, and continues automatically unless there is a notice given for reopening the contract for renegotiation.
The CHAIRMAN. From year to year?
Mr. Voss. No; it runs on automatically unless 20 days notice is given to reopen the contract.
Mr. Elston. Can the notice be given at any time?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I would like to have you read it into the record. We want to know how uniform these agreements are.
Mr. Voss. Section 14 of the agreement reads:
Termination date: The terms and conditions of this agreement shall continue in effect until changed or terminated, as follows:
(a) Either party may at any time and from time to time give 10 days' written notice to the other party of the time for the commencement of a conference of the parties for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of a change in this agreement which conference shall be at the office of the company in Cleveland, Ohio, unless otherwise mutually agreed, and.
(6) If, because of failure to agree this agreement is not changed by a written agreement entered into by the company and the union within 20 days from the giving of said notice, then this agreement and all the provisions thereof shall terminate upon the expiration of 20 days from the giving of said notice.
Notice hereunder shall be given by registered mail, be completed by and at the time of mailing, and if by the company, be addressed to United Steel Workers of America, 1500 Commonwealth Building Pittsburgh, Pa., and if by the union, be addressed to the company at Republic Building, Cleveland, Ohio. Either party may, by like written notice, change the address to which registered mail notice to it shall be given.
That is the clause.
The CHAIRMAN. How many different groups or organizations of organized labor are represented in your entire plant?
Mr. Voss. Oh, I would say about 10 various organizations. Offhand I can name the United Steel Workers of America, the United Mine Workers of America, the Structural Iron Workers, A. F. of L., and the Bricklayers Union. We have several independent unions that have been certified. We have the Operating Engineers' Union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. We have about 10 to 12 various unions.
The CHAIRMAN. The three large unions of the country are the C. I.O., the A. F. of L., and the U. M. W. of A.?
Mr. Voss. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Green is president of the American Federation of Labor, Mr. Murray is president of the C. I. O., and Mr. Lewis is president of the United Mine Workers of America ?
Mr. Voss. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. What percentage of your men is organized in each of the three large groups, would you say? How do the percentages run in those groups, if you know? Mr. Voss. Well, roughly, I would estimate that about 60 percent are the United Steel Workers. That is the Murray group.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the A. F. of L. group?
Mr. Voss. No; that is the C. I. O. The United Mine Workers, I would say, has about 10 percent; and there is a very small percentage in the A. F. of L. I would hazard a guess here of about 10 percent.
The CHAIRMAN. You have mentioned the possibility of discord and disagreement between a foreman's organization and the workers in any one plant. I think I noticed from a little bulletin that the American Federation of Labor issues weekly, placed on my desk yesterday, that Mr. Green and Mr. Murray were in conference somewhere in an attempt to settle their rivalry and disagreements between themselves, but that they had broken up that conference in disagreement. Do you know anyhing about that?
Mr. Voss. No; I do not. I know there has been disagreement for a number of years. I do not know what happened in the conference.
The CHAIRMAN. It was announced by someone on the radio last night that Mr. Daniel Tobin, president of the Teamsters and Truckers Union, had withdrawn from the conference and charged the others with selfishness and one thing or another. Would that kind of thing possibly get into the groups of men in your plants, do you think?
Mr. Voss. It is very likely to, Mr. Chairman. You cannot have a group of foremen in one organization and the workers in another and have them working together day by day without having conflict and misunderstanding.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, it would be like the usual or customary arguments among church members about their doctrines. If it starts down from the heads who are in disagreement, what might happen in the lower groups ?
Mr. Voss. That is absolutely true. Anything may happen. I would like to say also, Mr. Chairman, that sometimes we place very little importance on the duties of a foreman. I have repeatedly heard it said that the foreman is a fellow worker who has some special ability and then is made a foreman. I want to say that in our organization a foreman is a very important man in management. You can readily see that if foremen are removed from management, we will have no supervision in many of our plants in these big departments. There is a superintendent on the job in the daytime, and he has an assistant. He may have 20 or 30 foremen on the other two shifts. They run the business and conduct the business. If those foremen are taken out of management and made a part of a labor organization, so that we cannot deal with them the way we should, we are going to have a very difficult problem in management.
The point I am making is that foremen today, more so than ever before, are a very important part of management in the conduct of business and in getting out production. In order for them to produce in the way they should, there are many problems of management that must be conveyed to the foremen, so that they will understand how to run their jobs.
Mr. HARNESS. We have never been able to find out, at least to my satisfaction, whether the foremen themselves want to join a union or whether this is a move on the part of the heads of labor organizations to force them into unions.
Mr. Voss. It is difficult for me to answer that question. The only information I can give you is that outside of the coal mines, from one of which we have had å request for certification of foremen's organ
izations, we have had no requests from any of our other plants. Whether the foremen want this or whether it is brought down to them from the top, I do not know.
Mr. HARNESS. Who makes the request of you?
Mr. Voss. As a general rule, the labor organization representing them.
Mr. HARNESS. Up until the time of this Labor Board decision, the labor unions would not take foremen in as members, and the foremen did not want to go in as members; is that right?
Mr. Voss. That is right.
Mr. HARNESS. You never had any such question as this arise until the Labor Board decision, by a vote of two to one, saying that foremen were eligible for membership?
Mr. Voss. That is true, and that is the time when organization efforts were made in some of the plants to organize foremen.
Mr. HARNESS. Would you want to express an opinion as to what the foremen would do if they had their option?
Mr. Voss. Yes. If they had their option, I would say that they fully realize their duties and responsibilities to management, and I think almost all of them—not every one of them, but many of themfully realize their importance on their jobs in order properly to administer the problems of management. "I think further that many of them fully realize that they cannot properly administer these problems of management if they have to belong to a labor organization.
Mr. HARNESS. In other words, you believe that the foremen would not join the union if they were not forced to join!
Mr. Voss. That is true; that is correct. If there is pressure brought to bear and organization efforts brought about to force them into a union, that is one thing; but if they are left on their own, they fully realize their importance in the problems of management and know that they have no place in labor organization.
Mr. HARNESS. The spirit of collective bargaining is that men can sit down across the table and iron out little or big decisions and arrive at some conclusion as agreeable to both sides, is it not?
Mr. Voss. That is true.
Mr. HARNESS. If the foremen are permitted to join a union or not to join a union, as they please, that is breaking down the spirit of collective bargaining, is it not?
Mr. Voss. I do not think so. I will answer that question in this way: When you are talking about collective bargaining with foremen, you might desire to ask the question, “Where are you going to stop ?" You might take superintendents or assistant superintendents. You might take the managers or the vice presidents. But I say that the foreman, who is a part of management and is in daily contact with management and knows management's problems, can take care of his own collective bargaining the same as we would do in our respective positions.
Mr. HARNESS. But if he is forced by a contract that you may enter into with the union to join the union, he is not a free individual, is he?
Mr. Voss. That is true. He is no longer a free individual, because the collective bargaining will be done by that labor organization.
I think this is in answer to your question. In our organization, for instance, there is a very close relationship between our district managers, our superintendents, and our foremen. By that I mean