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Mr. PRESSMAN. My answer to that question is what I have already given you three or four times.
Mr. MERRITT. I am not a lawyer. I am trying to get it my way.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I am trying to give a layman's answer, but apparently I have not succeeded.
The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions?
Mr. STEWART. Are you familiar with that portion of section 4 of the contract with the Republic Steel Corporation?
Mr. PRESSMAN. United Steel Workers of America?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I am familiar with the contract. I do not recall section 4.
Mr. STEWART. Take the portion that reads 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 any of such employees in its membership.
Mr. PRESSMAN. That is a section from the bill.
Mr. STEWART. It is what was introduced here by Mr. Voss. That is Mr. J. A. Voss, executive director of industrial relations for the Republic Steel Corporation, operating iron ore mines, coal mines, blast furnaces, steel plants, plants for fabricating steel into the finished article. Its operations are scattered in 45 cities and 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.
Mr. PRESSMAN. Mr. Congressman, you were reading the provisions of the bill. I was rather surprised to hear you say that was in our contract. I did not recall that that was in our contract.
The CHAIRMAN. Anything further?
Mr. STEWART. Do you feel that a man can serve two masters; both industry and organized labor at the same time?
Mr. PRESSMAN. That is quite a general statement, Mr. Congressman. I would say this: I see no greater problem in the relationship to the question of collective bargaining between, on the one hand, the rights of foremen to organize to engage in collective bargaining and the right of production and maintenance men to engage in collective bargaining
Mr. STEWART. You did have in your contract an inhibition against the foremen and supervisors coming into the union; did you not?
Mr. PRESSMAN. No; we had no such provision in our contract.
Mr. STEWART. None of the labor organizations that are affiliated with the C. I. O. have such provisions?
Mr. PRESSMAN. In the contract? Mr. Stewart, I cannot speak for all of the contracts. I was just speaking of the steel contract with which I happen to be familiar; that in these contracts we excluded from the contracts the classes of employees that we did exclude.
Mr. STEWART. Do you believe that production can produce as efficiently and keep up with their end of production by letting the union operate the entire operations of industry?
Mr. PRESSMAN. Well, Mr. Congressman, if I understand your question, I think that you would have absolutely no adverse effect on production, and to the contrary, it would have an advantageous effect to permit foremen to organize into a union of their own choosing for the purpose of engaging in collective bargaining with their employers. I have no question about that.
Mr. STEWART. Has there not always been more or less controversy between the producer and labor?
Mr. PRESSMAN. Oh, there have been differences of opinion as to what wages should be, the hours should be, and the working conditions should be which we attempt to work out through collective bargaining
Mr. STEWART. If the foremen were organized and sympathetic to the laborers, how could the management execute its orders?
Mr. PRESSMAN. Because, Mr. Congressman, the foremen in their organization would be bargaining with the top officials of the corporation as to their own wages, hours, and working conditions. The production and maintenance employees in a separate unit entirely would be doing their own bargaining.
Mr. STEWART. Under the holdings of the Labor Relations Board it would leave the board of directors of a corporation that would not be eligible for a union; is that not true?
Mr. PRESSMAN. Not quite.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I do not know what their rules are, but it is certainly more than the board of directors, because all they have done is just put in the lower forces of supervisory employees.
Mr. STEWART. Every man that was not a stockholder that had anything to do with the management would be eligible for a union under the holdings of the National Labor Relations Board, is that not so, the definition of an employee?
Mr. PRESSMAN. The only issue that has come before them has been the lower classes of supervisory employees.
Mr. STEWART. You understand as a lawyer the interpretation of that, that everybody that is not a part of the company would be eligible for union membership, would he not, for collective bargaining?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I do not know how far in their administrative determination they would go, and all they have to do is to pass on decisions in specific cases involving lower categories of supervisory employees. How high they will go in their administrative determination I do not know.
Mr. STEWART. If they should reach that height, that everybody was organized by the board of directors, what position would industry occupy in industrial work?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I think it is a little fantastic to anticipate that situation.
Mr. STEWART. But if such was the case?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I do not think that has any particular pertinence to this bill. This bill goes far beyond that. Mr. STEWART. Let me suggest an answer.
Would not organized labor just take over industry in its entirety?
Mr. PRESSMAN. We have not gotten to that point yet, so far as the C. I. O. is concerned, of taking in foremen.
Mr. STEWART. About all that would be left would be the letterhead.
Mr. ARENDS. I want to call the gentleman's attention to the provision that you were looking for in the hearing. Mr. Stewart, you will find the provisions you thought you were reading on page 162 of the hearings.
There might be the possibility, however, of this condition arisingthat the foreman and the plant manager might be thoroughly organized, and a difference of opinion came up as to wages, or working hours, or hiring and firing, and that during the interim, while the conclusions were to be reached as to who was right, we would have this uncertainty facing us, that the management or the industry itself would be at the entire mercy of the plant managers during that time.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I take it that you are not talking about initially setting wages, bours, and working conditions.
Mr. ARENDS. No.
Mr. PRESSMAN. You are talking about the day-to-day administration?
Mr. ARENDS. If a disagreement arose as to what the plant managers and foremen should have, and there was to be a conclusion to be had on the matter, would we not have this situation facing us, that that particular industry would be at the mercy of the individuals until they got what they wanted?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I really do not see that problem, because when you have this group of foremen who have organized into a union, the mere fact of their organizing and meeting with the members of the management and presenting their demands, that does not change them as human beings just at that moment. The mere fact that they have entered into a union of their own choice does not make them people with horns. They are the same individuals.
Mr. ARENDS. They have made demands and they want these demands satisfied.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I assure you they still have the same sense of loyalty, the same sense of obligation to the company, and to the operation of the company, so that they know that they could not function as they have in the past, in connection with their day-today obligations, and at the same time continue meeting with the corporation officials to work out by way of a contract something pertaining to their wages, hours and working conditions.
Mr. ARENDS. They might not get the demands-
Mr. ARENDS. What happens when the production and maintenance employees do not get their demands?
Mr. PRESSMAN. I know where we have not gotten our demands. Mr. ARENDS. I have seen strikes.
Mr. PRESSMAN. There have been strikes, but there have always been situations where the men have gone along, under conditions of today, and we are increasing our production and we are not getting all of our demands.
Mr. STEWART. I have found the section. I want to give it back to him.
The CHAIRMAN. Just wait. It is on page 162 of this leaflet that you are looking at.
Mr. STEWART. It is the section in the contract between the Bethlehem Steel Co. and the United States Steel Workers of America:
The units at each of such plants and works shall include all production and maintenance employees of the company there, except all executives, office and salaried employees, foremen, assistant foremen, supervisors who do not work with tools, draftsmen, timekeepers, watchmen, and guards, and full-time first-aid and safety employees
Now, with regard to what you had to say awhile ago about not being familiar with that, and this being a portion of that contract, what is your explanation?
The CHAIRMAN. He read that into the record. What is it you want him to say about it?
Mr. STEWART. I want him to analyze what he said with respect to that part of the bill I thought at that time was part of the contract, and with relation to this provision of the contract.
The CHAIRMAN. I think the contract speaks for itself. The bill is here for us to discuss.
Mr. STEWART. The gentleman made a statement.
Mr. PRESSMAN. This provision, Mr. Congressman, expressly provides what employees are included and what employees are excluded under our contract. Now, I have indicated that under this section there are supervisory employees who work with tools, who are included in the contract. The company acceded to that. I have heard of no difficulty arising in our collective bargaining, or in our relationship in the plant because of that provision. This bill, which includes all supervisory employees, would make the United Steel Workers of America, for example, an unlawful institution for any collective bargaining with any company because it had taken supervisory employees as members.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. I want to ask you one question, and only one.
You have read into the record provisions in your contract with various steel companies showing the line of demarcation between supervisory personnel and regular working personnel.
Now, do you think that the Congress cannot, if it decided to do so, write a provision in a statute that would draw a line of demarcation between those two groups and permit you to negotiate under collective bargaining?
Mr. PRESSMAN. My answer is no, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PRESSMAN. For the following reasons: Under our contract we have arbitration of disputes. Under the law it would be a crime, a criminal offense, to make the slightest error.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, sir. We are glad to have your statement.
Mr. PRESSMAN. I was interrupted with only a page to go in my written statement. May I insert my statement in the record?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. (The remainder of the statement referred to is as follows:) It would seem to be quite clear to all who are not determined to start on the path of emasculating the National Labor Relations Act that this type of issue is one that must be left to the administrative determination of the National Labor Relations Board. The questions as to who should be entitled to organize for the purpose of engaging in collective bargaining and as to the separate unit
into which they might be incorporated, can only be made the subject of administrative determinations and not legislative fiat.
(2) H. R. 992.-The first two sections of this bill would eliminate the deferment of any employee who engages in a strike and also subject such employee to criminal penalties. I could speak at length about the two sections, but instead will make just this brief comment. The record of labor with respect to the commitment given to the President of the United States that there shall be no stoppages or interruptions of work for the duration speaks for itself. Why, when labor is so occupied trying to make its greatest contribution toward winning the war because it understands the issues involved probably more than any other group in our society, do we have all this harrying and attacks? Does anyone believe that through such procedure they are making a contribution toward the war? Is one more gun, or one more tank, or one more ship going to be produced by this constant vilification of labor, by this repeated calumny directed against the individuals who sweat and toil to produce the munitions of war?
There are also other provisions which eliminate pay for work performed in excess of 40 hours or for premium pay for night work. In this connection at the outset, two things should be recognized:
(a) Under Executive Order 9240 no longer may any premium be received for Saturdays or Sundays as such, or for any holidays other than the 6 days enumerated in the order. This Executive order was obtained on the basis of the voluntary commitment made by organized labor to accepts its provisions. In so doing hundreds of thousands of workers lost money in that their weekly earnings were less as a result of the Executive order.
(6) Under the operation of the National War Labor Board in Executive Order 9250, premium payments cannot be incorporated in collective bargaining contracts where they have not been heretofore unless the approval of the War Labor Board is obtained on the basis of a determination that such premiums are consistent with the wage policy of the Board.
The sole effect, therefore, of H. R. 992 would be to impose a wage cut upon millions of workers. In other words, in thousands of plants throughout the Nation premium payments which are contained in outstanding contracts are part of the wage-rate structure. These premiums payments have been computed and have been added in in determining whether employees are receiving appropriate wages under the national economic stablization program. This, at a time when prices are soaring, price control has not been made effective as yet, and with Congress still debating whether the cost of living should be increased. Further, all that H. R. 992 contemplates is to impose a wage cut upon millions of workers. Does anyone seriously believe that we can produce a single munition of war more quickly and more efficiently by any such policy?
The CHAIRMAN. The chairman will recognize Mr. Walter M. Nelson, general counsel of the Foremen's Association. If you desire to make a statement you may do so. If you prefer to call witnesses, you may do so.
STATEMENT OF WALTER M. NELSON, GENERAL COUNSEL, FORE
Mr. Nelson. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, at this time I desire to introduce the showing of the Foremen's Association of America by a brief statement, and had it not been for the factual questioning here this morning I should have hesitated to reply to the Hans Christian Andersons of American industry who have presented statements here that have left us in doubt whether the age of fairness has passed or is here, and I say to you, Mr. Chairman, that the most amazed set of men in North America today are sitting over here hearing from responsible representatives of industry and hearing from Congressmen of the United States that the ordinary foreman is a part of management. Most of these men have spent a quarter of a century in American industry and some of them have been foremen for upward of a decade in war-production industries of great importance, and they had to come to Washington and they had to read the newspapers to