Page images
PDF
EPUB

I turned in a recommendation for an assistant foreman that worked under me that I felt should be recommended for a raise. I felt that they should be brought up to their top rate and that was denied. There was no reason for it. They were just tossed out.

The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt here? There is either a quorum call or a roll call at the House. Is it the will of the committee that we complete with this witness now, or shall we assemble at 2 o'clock and let him resume his testimony? I think, Mr. Harness, it would be better for us to go over and come back at 2 o'clock as promptly as we can.'

Mr. HARNESS. I believe that we can finish with the witness in 20 minutes.

Mr. GATHINGS. What is your salary now since you are not paid on an hourly basis?

Mr. Diller. The salary was based on the hourly rate for the foreman and assistant foreman. In other words, the assistant foreman whose hourly rate was $1.39

Mr. GATHINGS. How many hours a week?
Mr. DILLER. Forty-eight hours a week.

The CHAIRMAN. What does it amount to in a month, in dollars and cents?

Mr. DILLER. For the foreman at $1.49, it amounts to $365.

Mr. GATHINGS. You have no grievance with management as to your wage rates?

Mr. DILLER. Why, I never thought of it very much.

Mr. GATHINGS. Do you have any grievance with the management as to working conditions, a safe place to work?

Mr. Diller. Working conditions-mental working conditions, yes.
Mr. GATHINGS. Mental?
Mr. DILLER. Yes.
Mr. GATHINGS. Name them.

Mr. DILLER. I mean by that, prior to March 1, it happened every day that the superintendents would come out of the office and call you down about some little decision that you made, something that you were in earnest about. You would make the decisions because you thought they were right, and you would get bawled out in front of all the people that worked for you.

Mr. GATHINGS. How many worked for you other than the four assistant foremen under you? How many did you supervise?

Mr. DILLER. Approximately 100 people.

Mr. Garnings. You are carrying out the orders of management in getting up production?

Mr. DILLER. That is correct.
Mr. GATHINGS. Supervising 100 people?
Mr. DILLER. Yes.

Mr. HARNESS. A number of these witnesses that appeared before us, I do not understand any of them.

I am talking about the management that appeared here. I did not understand one of them to raise objections to foremen's organizations. The point I got from their testimony was that they were objecting to your being taken into the unions that they had contracted with, such as the C. I. O. and the A. F. of L. and United Mine Workers. I asked a number of these witnesses why the foremen themselves wanted to join these unions. What do you say about that?

Mr. DILLER. The foremen at the Diesel plant were interested to know if the Foremen's Association of America was connected with or affiliated with other unions. Of course, I cannot answer for the foremen of other plants, whether they would want to be connected with the same union that is in their plant because the set-up is now, with U. A. W. and C. I. O., the agreement they have with the company is that we cannot belong to that union.

Mr. HARNESS. That is just the point. These witnesses representing management were objecting to the foremen joining that union which has been by contract prohibited up until now.

Mr. DILLER. Our desire to belong to an association, or a foremen's union, is not to tie in with the employees. Our desire is to have some sort of a committee that we can send in to management and discuss our problems, and of course we are all 100 percent behind the war effort, and if one man, say, my superintendent, does not think that the ideas I have are any good, they are just thrown out.

Mr. HARNESS. You do not want to join the C. I. O. union; that is, the bargaining unit now in your plant.

Mr. ĐILLER. No, sir.
Mr. HARNESS. You want your separate foremen's organization?
Mr. DILLER. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARNESS. They have had those foremen's units for years, have they not, and everybody has been agreeable to management and everyone else?

Mr. DILLER. I cannot answer as to that. To be truthful with you, the Foremen's Association of America is the first organization like that that I knew of. I am not familiar with it.

Mr. HARNESS. I have known them for a good many years. They have had their orgnaizations, they have held meetings, and I have attended meetings where the foremen addressed these meetings as representatives of the foremen's organization. Now, here is another question: Mr. Voss, who testified here-I think he said that they had about 275,000 employees. This is one statement he made.

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.

What do you think of that?

Mr. DILLER. That is wrong. We are not a part of management. You might say that we carry out, or enforce, the policies of management, but we do not formulate those policies. We have nothing to do with it.

Mr. HARNESS. That may be true, but are you not the right arm of management in carrying out policies, the supervisory policy of management?

Mr. DILLER. No, sir. The „superintendents themselves are the small part of management. We are not any part of management.

Mr. HARNESS. I asked Mr. Voss this question: Would you want to express an opinion as to what the foremen would do if they had their option?

Mr. Voss replied: 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 them-fully 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 the problems of management if they have to belong to a labor organization.

I asked him another question:

In other words, you believe that the foremen would not join the union if they were not forced to join?

His answer was: 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 organizations.

Mr. Diller. I do not believe that is true. I think a good example of that is that the Foremen's Association of America, to my knowledge, has only one man that has anything to do with organizing. He is a membership director, and I do not think that one man could put much pressure on 15,000 foremen.

Mr. HARNESS. You would answer the question the same as he does, that the foremen do not want to join the same union that has th bargaining rights in the plant, under contract.

Mr. DILLER. Yes; the foremen at Diesel do not, I am sure.

Mr. HARNESS. Do you think if you had your association formed in this particular plant where you work, the C. I. O., which is the bargaining agency, would come in and demand that you affiliate with them?

Mr. DILLER. No; I do not believe so; no.

Mr. HARNESS. There would be no desire on the part of your membership to do that?

Mr. Diller. Absolutely not.

Mr. HARNESS. Mr. Larkin, who testified for the Bethlehem Steel Co., said this:

Remove the foreman's faithfulness of purpose and his simple responsibility to keep his men working harmoniously and productively, and you will have a condition of industrial anarchy.

Mr. DILLER. That is not correct. There is no harmony now between foremen and management because the foremen never contact management. The foremen never get near the management. I have been there quite a while at the plant now and know very few ple in management.

Mr. HARNESS. You do not consider the superintendent management?

Mr. DILLER. I consider the superintendent that part of management that you people here seem to feel that the foremen are.

Mr. HARNESS. I do not know what we feel.

Mr. DILLER. I mean from a general discussion, the point that you are trying to find out.

Mr. HARNESS. I know what these men have told us.

Mr. DILLER. Not even the superintendents are management, no; but I think they are a part of management, a small part.

Mr. HARNESS. Are the head foremen a part of management?

Mr. DILLER. No. Mr. Wilson made the statement that if the foremen were to organize, that would mean that both sides of the bargaining tableThe CHAIRMAN. Turned over to one side. Mr. DILLER. Turned over to one side. Mr. HARNESS. Why?

Mr. Diller. There have been no foremen to sit at these bargaining tables, not even the general foremen, the foremen over these departments. They do not even get near them. I do not even know how they conduct their meetings. You see, what you have there, in some cases you have the committee and your union against the foreman, and your management not backing you up, and your superintendents won't back you up in any case.

Mr. HARNESS. That is all. Mrs. LUCE. Mr. Chairman, there is a booklet here entitled "Constitution of the Foreman's Association of America" and I have one very short, brief page that I believe ought to be read into the record. It defines what the foreman is and has become.

The CHAIRMAN. You may put it in the record.
Mrs. LUCE. May I insert that in the record?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

Mrs. LUCE. Because it says all that the witness has been trying to say, and very briefly. The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further? Mrs. LUCE. No. (The matter above referred to is as follows:)

PREAMBLE From the early days of mass production by power machinery to the present decade the foreman was considered either as the channel through which the desires of ownership and management were conveyed to and made effective among the body of workers, or as the representative of ownership and management in the shop. Just before the opening of the present decade the organization of the body of workers into plant and industry-wide unions demanding the exclusive right of representation for collective bargaining purposes, dealing with employers or groups of employers in organizations that have existed for years, has greatly changed the real status of the foreman.

In the particulars of the day's production the foreman is yet the channel for making effective policies and directions of management as applied to production, but he is a part of neither organized ownership and management on the one hand nor of organized labor on the other hand. The foreman fits between two enormous powers, ownership and management on top and labor unions with enormous numbers on the bottom. The foreman has reason to feel that in the ceaseless struggle between ownership and wage labor the foreman will become a victim unless all foremen are organized to protect individuals and interests common and essential to the position of foremen in modern mass power production.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, sir. We will resume the hearing at 2 o'clock. (The committee thereupon took a recess until 2 p. m.)

AFTERNOON SESSION The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order, and we will resume hearings on the pending legislation by the Foremen's Association. Mr. Nelson, will you come around, sir, and tell us who you want to testify next, and will you introduce the witnesses in the order in which you want them to testify?

Mr. NELSON. I understood that you were through with Mr. Diller.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; unless he has some other statement that he wishes to make, which he can do if he wishes.

Mr. NELSON. He thought that he covered the Diesel plant fairly well this morning. I will say now, Mr. Chairman, that we have asked these witnesses to confine themselves to narrating their experience in their particular plant unless the committee desires otherwise.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir.

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM STAFFORD, FOREMAN OF THE TIMKEN

DETROIT AXLE CO., DETROIT, MICH. The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed, Mr. Stafford.

Mr. STAFFORD. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am William Stafford, a foreman at the Timken Detroit Axle Co. My home is at 6002 Malcolm Avenue, Detroit. I have been an employee at the Timken Detroit Axle Co. for the past 22 years, and a foreman for the past 7 years.

I am appearing at the request of and on behalf of my fellow foremen of chapter No. 10 of the Foreman's Association of America of which I was elected president and am also the father of a son now in the armed forces of our country.

There seems to be some question as to the evolution of a foreman and assistant foreman, and it was stated that they are a part of management and therefore should not have collective bargaining.

Being a foreman for such a long period of time as I and the foremen of our chapters, of which the average service is approximately 15 years, we do not think there is anyone more qualified to answer this question than we foremen, so I will now outline the duties of a foreman and show you how far his authority goes with management and the reason we bave to be organized in order to get a fair deal which can only be gained through collective bargaining.

The foreman or assistant foreman cannot discharge an employee who is under his supervision. All he can do is to recommend that he be discharged, for after he signs the pay-off he must send it to his superior for approval and if his superior sees fit to send this employee back to work there is nothing the foreman can do about it but to put the employee back on his job.

The foreman or assistant foreman cannot transfer an employee from one department to another without the approval of his superior.

The foreman or assistant foreman cannot bire help for his department unless he has the approval of this superior, and in many cases he must go as high as the vice president.

There are numerous other forms a foreman must have approval on of which I would be only too glad to show you at your request and also the forms we can sign without the approval of our superiors.

Now here is a requisition on which we hire our help. On your requisition you have the foreman. He signs it. It goes to the general foreman and then it must go to the superintendent to be approved. And when you hire day work or day help it must go up to the vice president in our plant.

Here is another form for transferring a man. The foreman must sign it and it goes to his superintendent before that man is transferred.

Here is another form for a wage raise. The foreman must sign that and the superior must sign it and it has got to go up to the management to be signed before he gets it.

Now here is another slip that a foreman can sign when a man gets hurt. He can sign this and send him down to the first aid. That is one of the things a foreman can sign.

Here is another form, a small-tool requisition and when you want to give a man an order for a drill from the crib he signs that. You do not have any approval on that. That is what a foreman can do at a plant.

« PreviousContinue »