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Mr. WADSWORTH. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans did not treat the subject at all in their last national convention; so, as organizations, they are not to appear before you.
Mr. JOHNSON. Is there any organized group that has expressed approval of it?
Mr. WADSWORTH. Yes; the Citizens' Committee in Support of the War Service Act, headed by Mr. Arant, a very prominent lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., which was organized to support this bill.
I hope that the committee will hear a couple of their representatives. Mr. Bell at my right is their secretary, and, incidentally, he is a veteran of the last war in the famous One hundred and sixty-fifth Infantry, the old New York Irish, and he has made a special study of the manpower problem.
Mr. Johnson. Are there any factions that have opposed this action?
Mr. WADSWORTH. The C. I. O. and the American Federation of Labor.
Mr. JOHNSON. They were opposed to it in the beginning, away back in 1920. They opposed it at that time? Mr. WADSWORTH. My recollection is that they did.
The CHAIRMAN. Tomorrow is foremen's day. You will resume your testimony, that is, your bill, Thursday morning. You can put on whom you want in the order that you wish.
Mr. WADSWORTH. How about Friday?
The CHAIRMAN. I have already given Friday to some of the industrials and tomorrow is for the foremen.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Thursday is the American Legion.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Those are the ones we have programmed, and may I remind you, Judge Patterson is slated for Tuesday next, and Admiral Land, of the Maritime Commission, Wednesday.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be recessed until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 5:15 p. m., the committee recessed to reconvene the following day at 10 a. m.)
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C.
MAN. like to make a brief statement, that we are continuing the hearings on the several bills relating to the manpower question, and on the Smith bill, H. R. 2239. Today was set aside for the particular matter of hearing those representing the Foreman's Association, but I have just spoken to their general counsel and to Mr. Lee Pressman, who is general counsel for the C. I. O., and it has been agreed that Mr. Pressman will be the first witness.
Will you come around, Mr. Pressman, and give us your statement in regard to this legislation; tell us what your position is and what the position of your organization is?
STATEMENT OF LEE PRESSMAN, GENERAL COUNSEL, CONGRESS
OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS
Mr. PRESSMAN. Mr. Chairman, my name is Lee Pressman, and I appear here as general counsel of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and on behalf of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
I am appearing this morning in connection with H. R. 2239, and also will have just a very brief comment to make in connection with H. R. 992, both of which bills were transmitted to the president of the C. I. O. by the chairman of the committee, and I shall just spend a moment on that bill, if I may.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed in your own way, sir.
Mr. PRESSMAN. First, in regard to H. R. 2239, I shall first address myself to that portion of the bill which purports to achieve the maximum utilization of manpower by making practically all collectivebargaining agreements unlawful.
The bill in this respect reflects a very forthright and direct approach. Certain types of provisions of collective-bargaining agreements or working rules in the operation of a plant are to be henceforth unlawful. Any employee who attempts to enforce an unlawful provision of the contract or an unlawful practice in the plant is to be reported by his employer to the draft board so that he can be forthwith inducted into the service. In addition, of course, criminal provisions are imposed for any such attempt to enforce an unlawful provision of the contract or an unlawful practice in the plant. Let us examine a little more closely just what is being called inlawful.
First, it shall be unlawful if any individual attempts to insist on a minimum number of employees to be employed on the work, project, or employment. Therefore, if this bill is passed and thereafter an employer decides to reduce the number of people in the open hearth furnace of a steel mill, or the number of employees in some other dangerous occupation in the steel mill, and the employees take exception to such act, that will constitute a criminal offense. Further, the employer can say "If you dare say that again to me I shall immediately report you to the draft board so that you can be inducted into the military service."
Second, over many years rules have been established regarding the method and manner of training for apprenticeship, Certainly it would be conceded by all that this has not been completely a matter that has been abused, but has also furnished a basis for training men to a point whereby they can handle or perform dangerous and hazardous work without any unnecessary danger to their fellow employees. If this bill is passed, thereafter to insist on any such provision will constitute a criminal offense and subject the employee to all the penalties involved.
Third, there are countless numbers of situations where employees are paid on the basis of the amount of work which they are supposed to produce. It is customary under such circumstances, that where they produce that amount of work within a shorter period of time than is contemplated, that their compensation will not be reduced. This is sometimes referred to as contract work in the steel plants. Apparently under subdivision 3 of section 3 of the bill
, any such provision would be unlawful and insistence upon its enforcement would constitute a criminal act.
Also, apparently any provision of a collective bargaining contract which-and I now quote from the bill
The CHAIRMAN. What page, please? Mr. PRESSMAN. It is in subdivision 5, I believe, of section 3 of the bill [reading]:
in any other manner interferes with the full utilization of the Nation's manpower under present lawis unlawful and insistence upon its enforcement would subject the employees to the penalties of the bill. As to who or what standard will be used to determine whether a specific provision interferes with the full utilization of manpower, of course nothing is contained in the bill. Thus an employer who believes that the operation of grievance machinery under a contract pursuant to which grievances are adjusted from day to day is in violation of the aforesaid provision, would be in a position to disregard the terms of his contract, threaten the employee with criminal prosecution, and report the employee to his draft board for induction into the military service.
Every day in the week there are countless thousands of grievance committeemen who function with the supervisory employees in connection with the settlement of grievances. That is time off from their work and the employer might well say that is interfering with the full utilization of manpower and, therefore, is a provision that is, under the contract, henceforth unlawful.
In these basic respects the bill very clearly expresses the viewpoint that collective bargaining is not a democratic institution and one to be encouraged, but rather is an institution that must be destroyed.
To this view the C. I. O. and every democratic-minded individual must take exception and oppose most vehemently. This bill is not directed toward achieving the maximum utilization of manpower, but is simply and solely a bill to destroy collective bargaining and trade unions. Under the vague and general provisions incorporated in the bill, an antiunion employer could disregard practically all of the basic provisions of any collective-bargaining agreement which he may have executed reluctantly in the past.
There are a number of problems pertaining to the maximum utilization of manpower. These problems demand an affirmative approach. But that approach is not in any way touched by H. R. 2239. Organized labor has offered many suggestions to both the executive branch and to Congress as to how to achieve a greater utilization of all our resources, both manpower and material. We have called for a total mobilization as incorporated in the TolanPepper-Kilgore bills. Only through legislation of that type will we really be going in the direction of utilizing all of our democratic machinery and our traditional principles of American life in a manner as to assure the wholehearted support of all our people toward complete national mobilization.
In addition, take such problems as poor transportation, child care, ill health due to lack of medical services, which contribute toward absenteeism: Would these problems in any way be eliminated by H. R. 2239? These problems can only be met through a direct approach by Congress and the executive branch in supplying our people with facilities which they need to assure health and high morale to effectuate a maximum productive efficiency. Also, through local labor-management committees, we can go a long way toward effectively increasing production. All of these matters have been sponsored and furthered by organized labor. An approach of that kind is one to which we call the attention of this committee if it desires to meet the declaration of policy set forth in the first section of the proposed bill, namely—I quote from the declaration of policy: To provide further for the comprehensive, orderly, and effective utilization of the manpower of the Nation in support of the war effort.
The bill has a second portion which prohibits any supervisory employees of any employer from belonging to a labor organization and from engaging in collective bargaining with the employer. At the outset I wish to make it clear that practically all of the important unions in the C. I. O. do not accept into membership into their local unions supervisory employees. However, we believe that it should be the right of any employee, be he a production or maintenance man, or supervisory employee, to join with his fellow employees into an organization of their own choosing. To lay down a flat rule by Congress that no supervisory employees may belong to organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of engaging in collective bargaining with their employer would simply constitute a fascist dictate which might well be the forerunner to similar legislation for other employees.
Furthermore, let me point out how no law can cover this problem in any adequate manner. What is a supervisory employee? In a steel plant, for instance, you have a pusher, a gang leader, an assistant foreman, a foreman, a department foreman. Which of these are to be denied their opportunity to join a labor union? All, or only some? Many of the men whom I have just described could not in any way be
designated as an ordinary maintenance or production employee. They haven't the right to hire or fire.
Let me point out, if I may, a standard provision that we have in our collective bargaining agreements in the steel industry. The formal provision to which I shall make reference is one that is contained in the collective bargaining agreements covering practically 95 percent of the entire steel industry-agreements that have been executed with the very corporations whose representatives appear before this committee in regard to this particular bill. We have in our contracts a provision indicating who or, rather, which employees are to be included under the agreement and which are to be excluded. The corporations have agreed with us, throughout the steel industry, that there shall be included in the agreement supervisors who work with tools. There are countless numbers of such supervisory employees who work with tools. We call them "gang leaders," "pushers," and in many cases "assistant foremen.''
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Pressman, will you repeat that? We missed that over here.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I say that in our collective bargaining agreements in the steel industry, which cover approximately 95 percent of the entire industry, we have a standard clause as to which employees are to be included in the agreement and which to be excluded. That standard clause includes within the collective bargaining agreement supervisors who work with tools. Now, that general definition of "supervisors who work with tools” would include such people as gang leaders, as we call them, or pushers, and in many cases assistant foremen.
Under section 5 of H. R. 2239, for instance, the United Steel Workers of America, which has this type of supervisory employees within its local unions covered by this national steel agreement, may not insist on collective bargaining with any employer for any employee, because we have in our membership some of what is called supervisory employees. So that this bill, by that provision, is in effect outlawing the United Steel Workers agreement and I assume that you have similar situations throughout the country where these unions and these large mass-production industries have this type of supervisory employee in the local unions covered by these collectivebargaining agreements that cover both production and maintenance men. And under section 5 of the bill, these unions would be outlawed not merely with regard to those supervisory employees, but with regard to production and maintenance employees, because we could not insist upon any collective bargaining under section 5 of this bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, will you read the full provision relating to that particular subject into the record, Mr. Pressman?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I shall read from section 1 of the agreement between the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation and the United Steel Workers of America, which provision, as I said, in form is substantially the same in all of our basic steel contracts:
The term "employee" as used in this agreement applies to all employees of the company employed in and about the company's steel manufacturing and byproduct coke plants, excluding salaried employees, foremen, assistant foremen, supervisors in charge of any classes of labor, watchmen, guards, and confidential clerical employees, regardless of the method of compensation, but not excluding