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Mr. STAFFORD. If this law was passed against that?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, which would this do, or would it just stay as it is?
Mr. STAFFORD. I do not get your question.
Mr. JOHNSON. Let me see if I can get it a little more simple. If this bill was passed it would prohibit the organization of foremen like your association. You understand that?
Mr. STAFFORD. Yes.
Mr. Johnson. Now, if the law is passed and it stops that, would it have any effect on the production in your plant?
Mr. STAFFORD. Why, if the law is the law of the country we have to go out and do our work just the same.
Mr. JOHNSON. In other words, it would not affect it one way or the other?
Mr. STAFFORD. Well, we have to go out and do our work absolutely, no matter what it is, we have to live up to the laws of the country.
Mr. FENTON. The gentleman stated in answer to my question there would not be any difference in production.
Mr. Johnson. Well, if you were allowed to unionize, would it have any effect on production?
Mr. STAFFORD. It seems to me to be something that us fellows always have our heart and soul in production and we have it right now and always will have as long as this is on. I have a boy in the armed services, and I know that I work as hard as I can every day, and I will do more than I can every day.
Mr. COSTELLO. And that is true of every true American worker? Mr. STAFFORD. Absolutely, and I know that is me.
Mr. HARNESS. This may have been covered before I got here, but are you desirous of joining the union that now has the bargaining right in your plant?
Mr. STAFFORD. I am for joining the Foremen's Association of America. That is the one I belong to. . They can get us bargaining rights.
Mr. HARNESS. If you were permitted to form such an organization, would you then want to affiliate with the C. I. O. or the A. F. of L.?
Mr. STAFFORD. No; I am satisfied with the Foremen's Association. They give us all we want. They can give us the man to bargain
Mr. HARNESS. Then you do not have any desire to affiliate with one of the big union organizations but want an organization of your own?
Mr. STAFFORD. That is right.
Mrs. Luce. It would lower your morale considerably to have your association disbanded, shall we say?
Mr. STAFFORD. Well, it would lower it in this way. It is taking the right, I think, of American citizens away from men like we are, because if management was giving us a fair deal right now we would not ask for anything like this. I would not be here if they were giving us a fair deal or even a deal as good as our men are getting, I would not be down here pleading for this.
Mr. ARENDS. Have you enlarged on that as to why management was not giving you a fair deal?
Mr. STAFFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. If there are no other questions, we thank you very much, Mr. Stafford.
Mr. NELSON. The next witness is Mr. William Sanders of the Hudson Motor Car Co. May I now introduce Mr. Sanders? Theirs was the only committee that ever came to me as general counsel that was irritated and mad enough at the treatment they had received at the hands of management since I was counsel for the foremen's association, and I may parenthetically say here that I attended the first meeting of 17 men and the only committee that was irritated and mad at the treatment they had received at the hands of management was the Hudson group. I say that so that you will understand Mr. Sanders' remarks. The situation at the Hudson Motor Car Co. with respect to foremen is peculiarly aggravated and an unsatisfactory one, and I am sure Mr. Sanders
Mr. HARNESS. I would like to ask this question.
Mr. NELSON. Mr. William Sanders is from the Hudson Motor Car Co. My name is Walter M. Nelson.
Mr. HARNESS. You are the counsel?
Mr. NELSON. I am the attorney for the Foremen's Association of America.
Mr. HARNESS. Did you participate in the organization of it and help organize it?
Mr. NELSON. I attended the first three meetings and talked to the men.
Mr. HARNESS. Where do you live?
Mr. HARNESS. From the evidence we had from the heads of industry here last week, the only fear that I understood them to express was this organization if it was permitted to be formed would be taken over either by the American Federation of Labor or the C. I. O.
Mr. NELSON. I understood that was one of their objections.
Mr. HARNESS. Is there any move on the part of your organization to go into either of those unions?
Mr. NELSON. None whatever.
Mr. HARNESS. Is there any movement on the part of the C. I. O. or the A. F. of L. to take you over?
Mr. NELSON. None that I am aware of, and I think I would know it. I want to say this, on that, if I may, before the boys at the Ford Motor Co. organized, they recognized the need of it. They saw where they were, and they went to the organizers of local No. 600 of the U. A. W. and they said, "For Heaven's sake, take us in. We are just going to be run over." You will recognize, of course, that local 600 is the largest body of workingmen in the world. They said, “You are too smart. We do not want you men.” They said, “You will run our show." They refused to take them in. Then the boys had to organize themselves. They are in between two powerful bodies, one of concentrated ownership on the one hand and some 125,000 men on the other hand. That is where they were—and then they organized in the Ford industry their own chapter, Chapter No. 1 of the Foremen's Association, which now numbers nearly 9,000 men.
Mr. Harness. We are told that Mr. Lewis in negotiating with the mine operators up in New York is insisting upon taking the foremen and other supervisory employees into the United Mine Workers of America, and if that happened the foremen and other supervisory employees in industry would be forced into the C. I. O. or the American Federation of Labor.
The CHAIRMAN. And in industry in general. Mr. NELSON. Well, Mr. Harness, may I answer that partly historically and partly as a matter of fact in the present industrial scene, when I was a member of the United Mine Workers and working in the mines more than 35 years ago we took in and insisted that the mine foremen, the engineers, and all the rest, should come into our local. We collected our dues from them and refused to allow them to either vote or attend a meeting. We did that because we had to have complete control. Those were fighting days. We did not have the legislation which our friend referred here to so easily yesterday. We were then breaking out of chaos and we were trying to get not foremen but were trying to get an 8-hour day and trying to get the right to be paid in American money instead of 'in company scrip and we were met with exactly the same argument 35 and 40 years ago as I have heard in this room with respect to this measure.
Now, I do not know what has been the history in the mines since then, but I could conscientiously say that the rights of a mine foreman was subservient by belonging to local No. 1799 of the United Mine Workers when all he could do was pay his dues and he could not even attend a meeting or vote.
Mr. HARNESS. Why would they want to be in an organization if they did not have a voice in it?
Ár. NELSON. They did not have any choice. If they came to mine No. 15 we told him he would have to join and if he did not join local No. 1799 he did not come in, that is all.
Mr. HARNESS. That is precisely what the men in industry are objecting to now. They are afraid if the foremen's association is permitted they will be forced to join with the C. I. O. or the A. F. of L. then, whichever has the bargaining power and pretty soon they will reach up and take the vice president and they will have the whole industry in the same union.
Mr. NELSON. Mr. Harness, I hope that neither I nor these men strike you as being so complacent that we will be taken in. We will be taken in when we are lost and not over our own protest. I think you observe very clearly the very determined position of the foremen. Of course, there are others here and I think I bespeak it that there is not the slightest intimation of permitting anybody to interfere with our independence.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me make a suggestion to all of you. These foremen are here on expenses and they are not rich, but Mr. Nelson is here and we can keep him, if we want to, and they pay his expenses. But let us hear them, because I want to ask him a lot of questions before we get through.
Mr. NELSON. I desire to offer the witnesses, if I may. I do not want to avoid any questions.
Mr. HARNESS. I have got just one more question.
Mr. HARNESS. You recognize the necessity to draw a line of demarcation between the shop employees, and the management, don't you?
Mr. Nelson. I think generally that is a sound principle. I do not think we want to quarrel about that principle.
Mr. HARNESS. Your only desire, then, is to form your own separate organization representing only your own men and not to tie up with other unions representing the rank and file of the workers?
Mr. NELSON. That is right.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM SANDERS
Mr. SANDERS. My name is William Sanders of 2225–21 Benjamin Road, Detroit. At the present time I am employed by the Hudson Motor Car Co. in the position of foreman. I was picked on to come down here to appear before this committee in behalf of 615 members of my chapter. Before I give any of the facts as to why we need an association I want to give you an outline of the set-up in our company.
We have had a chapter of the company
Mr. SANDERS. Yes. We have four plants. At the top of our company we have the president and the vice president in charge of production. Under him we have a works manager, that is the next step down the ladder. Now, under the works manager we have a general plant superintendent for each of the four plants. Under each one of these general superintendents who may have anywhere from 2 to 10 assistant superintendents, that is, men who are in charge of projects. Then under the assistant superintendent we have the plant split up into divisions. These divisions are headed by a general foreman. Under the general foreman you have your department foreman and each department foreman on the day shift is also the foreman of that department during all shifts, that is, 24 hours a day, he is responsible for the production of the department but he has not any authority as to how they run on the other two shifts.
That is quite a different set-up than any I have ever worked in in any of the other plants. I have only been with the Hudson Motor Car Co. since last Labor Day but I have been a foreman about 13 years. In the department we have no assistant foreman and throughout the entire organization I only know of one foreman who is still on an hourly rate. They forced all foremen to take a salary excepting this one. He is a valuable man and they do not want to lose him. They know if they put him on a salary they will lose him. This foreman is in charge of tool repairs. Last year, in 1942, he paid income tax on better than $7,000 because he worked on an hourly rate. have salaried foremen from $125 a month to general foremen at $450 a month. We have some department foremen who get as high as $400 a month. We have department foremen as low as $285 a month. In other words, they pay a man what they have to pay him in order to get him. We have expanded greatly. When car production went out most of the older men of the old original set-up were transferred to the naval ordnance plant, a new Government-owned plant operated by the Hudson Motor Car Co. and they took their old men all out to the naval ordnance plant. When they began to bid in these
contracts on new work they had replaced them and they had a complete new organization all built and that is about the time I came into the employ of the Hudson Motor Car Co.
Well, in building up this organization a man would come for a position and they would make him an offer, and it was always low enough. Well, he would not take it and then they would raise the ante a little. And still he could not see it because he would rather work on a machine some place and he could make more money and they would come on up. They hired two new foremen in the same division that I am in last week and they are starting on a new job. It has not even been tooled yet and there is no production on it. They are giving those men $375 a month salary. The highest paid to foremen in that department and some of those men have been there for 18 years, is $350 a month. They had to pay these two men $375 to get them. We were in need of foremen on the 11 to 7 shift. There sometime ago there was a job setter who was in a dry-cleaning plant for 18 years. He came in the shop and he was a man who was quick to learn. And we needed a foreman in the 11 to 7 shift at night and I asked this man, I said, "Fred, I would like to have you take this shift of 11 to 7." He said, "How much can you get for me?” I said, "I do not know. I will talk to the superintendent.”'
I asked the superintendent. He said how much do you think the man would have to have to get him to take the job? "Well," I said, "I do not know. Right now he is averaging about $119 a week. He said, "Well, the most we can give him is $350 a month.”
I went back and asked the man and he said, "Well, Bill, I would like to be a foreman and all that, but I cannot afford to pay a hundred dollars a month for the honor."
We are not getting the best men today for foremen in the factories on account of the fact that the man knows that the very minute he steps out from under the protective wing of organized labor that he is out on his own and he is out in the cold. I have had one raise since I have been with the company. I do not kick about my wages. I do kick about the fact that on Sunday when I go in to work the company insults me by giving me 75 cents to buy my dinner. The CHAIRMAN.
you what? Mr. SANDERS. They give me 75 cents to buy my dinner. They give my job setter if he works 10 hours, which I have to work, they give him $27. My men's wages run from $1.02 per hour to $1.35 per hour. Before we had the association we did not receive any overtime whatever. Beginning the 1st of March the company put out a letter, in 1940 there was a general cut in all salaried help of 10 percent. This cut was in effect 6 months and we were given 10 percent of our then salary. However, this did not give us our original salary back.
Before I read this, I want to read the letter restoring what they called, restoring our overtime, and it is based on a 51-hour week. In other words, we have to work 51 hours a week before the company recognizes that we have worked any overtime. They told us that our solaries were all based on 48 hours a week. This letter restoring this overtime reads as follows:
Arrangements have been completed with the Treasury Department whereby we have obtained from the Salary Stabilization Unit an authorization permitting compensation for work performed in excess of our standard workweek by assistant foreman, foremán, general foreman, assistant superintendents, and superintend. ents, in the manufacturing departments, who receive less than $650 per month.