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it be of a type which is on a particular list and which no union manufacturer in New York can produce.
Let me give you an illustration by citing the Ten Eyck low-cost housing project-and let me emphasize that it was low-cost housing. Westinghouse bid $56,000 for the switchboards. The local union concern, the Metropolitan Switchboard Co., bid $133,000. Westinghouse was told that it could not have the job at any price, and the contractors awarded it to the local Metropolitan Co. for $110,000. They chiseled off $20,000 from their bid. When the fixtures came from Reading, Pa., they ran up against that rule. They had been wired and assembled in the Reading factory; therefore, they had not been wired and assembled by members of Local No. 3. Local No. 3, jealous of its jurisdiction, insisted that those fixtures must be wired and assembled in New York City, so that they would have the working opportunities that go with such electrical work. Finally in that particular instance they made a deal on a 50-50 basis, letting 50 percent of them come in but requiring 50 percent of them to be rewired and reassembled.
That is one of many things which a bill like this would hit. Take the decisions in the Supreme Court of the United States, in which cases Thurman Arnold has started his prosecutions. I cannot give you the exact citations, but there was the case of the United States against Korotzo, or something of that kind, where certain concrete mixers, which were great labor-saving devices, were being used, and strikes were called against their being used.
We have what we call control equipment in New York, used everywhere throughout the country, which controls electric current and motors by means of that sort of thing. There is an agreement in writing between Local No. 3 and the steamfitters and the plumbers and the electrical contractors that none of that equipment which is made in factories like General Electric, Westinghouse, Allis-Chalmers, and so forth, may be used in New York City unless it is wired and assembled on the job under the supervision of the local union electrical contractor. This equipment has to be tested in the factory, because it is a very delicate equipment, and it has got to be completely assembled before it leaves the factory or before it can be tested. It is then disassembled and unwired, for the requirements are met, and goes to the job and there is reassembled and rewired by the local men who are the technicians in the making of that particular type of equipment.
New York is paying thousands upon thousands of dollars every year just for that type of waste labor. If there were any attempt to try to override those restrictions, every union tradesman of every craft in the building trades would ultimately be called out on strike. The result is that nothing is done about it.
Take the union manufacturer, for instance. He has two price lists, one which he uses when he goes outside the protected area to sell in competition with others; the other which he uses witin the protected area. The prices used in the protected area are in some instances more than 100 percent above the competitive prices.
Mr. MARTIN. Mr. Merritt, you heard my question a few minutes ago about the situation this bill places us in, taking section 2 and section 7 together. I should like to ask whether or not you would
favor our striking out section 7 and providing that the only penalty shall be removal of deferment.
Mr. MERRITT. Well, you are asking me for my advice about a matter in which I may be running counter to the other gentlemen here. I would think that there ought not be cumulative penalties in that bill. I should think if the man were in a position where he was reached by nondeferment, he ought not be put in a position of being under the shadow of that penalty, and partly for the reasons you have stated, Congressman Martin.
Mr. MARTIN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from California have any further questions! Mr. JOHNSON. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. There is a quorum call in the House, so we shall have to adjourn the hearing for today. These hearings will be continued for such time as it is necessary to get the committee enough information so that it may be enabled to draft some kind of bill to further the war effort and to employ and utilize manpower properly.
Mr. Merritt, in view of the limitation of your time here this morning and the fact that you have not been permitted to make an extensive explanation of your position about the bill, you being a lawyer, I know how important it is, having been a lawyer since 1898, that you be permitted to explain yourself more extensively and elaborate upon your remarks. So, I will direct the clerk to send you a copy of your testimony, so that you may make such explanations with such emphasis as you like, and you may add to it by statement if you wish.
Mr. MERRITT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will not be in session again until next Tuesday morning at 10:30.
(At 12:35 p.m. an adjournment was taken until Tuesday, March 30, 1943, at 10:30 a. m.)
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Andrew J. May, chairman, presiding:
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. We are ready now to proceed, gentlemen. We will start now with these hearings, because of the limitation of time, and we hope to be able to accommodate at least three or four of our witnesses this morning who have traveled long distances to be here.
We have under consideration, of course, the Smith bill, H. R. 2239; the Fulmer bill, H. R. 1728; the Wadsworth bill, H. R. 1742; and the Colmer bill, H. R. 992, all relating to the manpower question, and the first witness that we have this morning or that we shall call to the witness stand is Mr. C. E. Wilson, president of General Motors Corporation.
Let me say to the committee and to the witness that it is my desire, if you will permit, that Mr. Wilson be permitted to make his formal statement and then submit to as brief cross-examination as we can possibly make. STATEMENT OF C. E. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL MOTORS
Mr. WILSON. My name is C. E. Wilson. I am president of General Motors Corporation, and I am appearing here in behalf of the General Motors Corporation and the Automobile Manufacturers Association. Later in my statement I shall furnish detailed information with regard to the membership of that association.
I appreciate very much the opportunity of appearing before your committee to testify regarding matters of such vital importance to our country during the war.
I would like to have it clearly understood that in my testimony I am not opposing employees' unions as such, but only an unreasonable extension of unions not in line with the stated purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, and only those things which unions may be advocating which interfere with the volume of production and waste manpower, at a time when every last citizen is needed, either in the armed services, in the war production factories, or on the farms.
When 18-year-old boys are being drafted, when fathers of families are serving with the colors, when mothers are leaving their babies at
home and working in the factories, when meat and many other foods have to be rationed, certainly no laws of our country should be administered or interpreted in a manner that will contribute to a wastage of manpower. If the law is not clear, it should be clarified so that no such development will occur.
Knowing that I was to appear before your committee, the Automobile Manufacturers Association, whose members are all vitally interested in the proposed legislation being considered by your committee, have asked me to represent them. This was done to conserve the time of you gentlemen and the time of the executives of the member companies since they are all so busy with their war production. Busy as they are, I am sure that any of them would be willing to testify before your committee if you believe it would help to get this problem properly and promptly solved. I am submitting for your record letters from the association with a list of officers, directors, and member companies. I will read the letters:
MARCH 25, 1943. Mr. C. E. WILSON, President, General Motors Corporation,
Detroit, Mich. DEAR MR. WILSON: It is the understanding of the board of directors of the Automobile Manufacturers Association that public hearings are to be held by the House Military Affairs Committee on H. R. 2239, a bill introduced by Representative Smith of Virginia.
The board would appreciate your testifying on behalf of the association in your capacity as chairman of its manufacturer's committee. It is their desire to have you support in particular those provisions of this proposed legislation that amend existing laws by prohibiting membership of executive, administrative, professional, or supervisory employees "in any labor organization engaged in collective bargaining.” They appreciate your willingness to submit this testimony on behalf of the industry. Sincerely yours,
GEORGE ROMNEY, General Manager.
MARCH 27, 1943. Mr. C. E. WILSON, President, General Motors Corporation,
Detroit, Mich. DEAR MR. WILSON: The following information is submited for any use you might care to make of it in connection with your appearance before the House Military Affairs Committee.
The value of war production in February 1943 by members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association was $478,000,000, which is at the annual rate of $5,736,000,000
The officers and directors of the Automobile Manufacturers Association are President, Alvan Macauley, Packard Motor Car Co.; vice president, passenger car division, Paul G. Hoffman, Studebaker Corporation; vice president commercial car division, Robert F. Black, the White Motor Co.; secretary, Albert Bradley, General Motors Corporation; treasurer, George W. Mason, Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Directors:
A. Edward Barit, Hudson Motor Car Co.