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Mr. FENTON. The reason I asked that is that the quotation you made is certainly rather far reaching and it is a rather serious indictment of the integrity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and I certainly do not think that is a general practice.
Mr. MCALPINE. I do not say it is a general practice. I am saying it was done. It was told to me that I would do it.
Mr. FENTON. I want to be fair about this matter. I have an open mind on the situation. You did not consider yourself a State official!
Mr. MCALPINE. No, sir; for the reason, Mr. Congressman, as a fire boss you are certified by the State to act in that capacity but the rank and file miner must also be certified by the State before he can dig a pound of coal. So if he is not a State employee why am I a State employee? The State does not hire me. The State does not fire me. The State does not make any provisions for my labor whatsoever.
Mr. FENTON. Suppose an accident happens, who is held responsible for that accident?
Mr. MCALPINE. Now, it has been stated here that the responsibility lies on the coal company. If there is any man hurt in that mine through negligence on my part I am the one who is prosecuted by the State and not the coal company. The superintendent does his duty if I violate any of the provisions of the act and cause an injury; he turns me over to the mine inspector, and he prosecutes me in the court of common pleas in the county in which the accident happens.
Mr. Fenton. That is why I was very anxious to get your description of these fire bosses. I think it is a very, very important job itself, and I certainly think I never questioned the veracity of a fire boss, whether it be in the anthracite region or the bituminous region, as to a proper report. If a man is covering up something that is wrong in a mine that is a terrible thing. I think that is criminal. I hate to think we have and operators that would stoop to anything like that.
Mr. McALPINE. You have some.
Mr. FENTON. And you have stated you have twelve to fifteen thousand members?
Mr. MCALPINE. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You may revise your statement in any way that you want to.
(Whereupon there was discussion off the record.)
Mr. KRIMSLY. Mr. Chairman, I was just thinking, I have given this bill very, very careful consideration. I have given it a great deal of study not only as a lawyer but I have given it a study as a lawyer that is familiar with labor practices and labor unions, and I feel quite certain unless I have sufficient time to present this problem that I could not be of use and for that reason I would like to have you give me some definite time when I will be glad to come back here and present those views.
The CHAIRMAN. You said something awhile ago about being able to make a statement in a few minutes and we will give you about 25 minutes.
Mr. KRIMSLY. I could read off my statement but I am positive that in order to answer all of the questions that will arise it will probably take at least an hour. Now, I feel certain my remarks will be of great value to this committee in forming its opinion on this particular piece of legislation. I have not attacked it as a lawyer. I have attacked it from the practical standpoint and I can cite instances that are concrete and I would like to have an opportunity to be heard when I would not have an ax over my head with regard to time.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will now go into executive session.
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Andrew J. May, chairman, presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Let the committee come to order.
We will continue the hearings on H. R. 2239, H. R. 1742, H. R. 992, H. R. 1728, and other bills which have been consolidated for the purpose of these hearings. STATEMENT OF WALTER MCNALLY, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL
UNION OF THE AMERICAN FOREMEN'S UNIONS, AND PRESIDENT OF THE MURRAY ECORSE SUPERVISOR'S ASSOCIATION
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McNally, president of the Murray Ecorse Supervisor's Association, of Ecorse, Mich., is our next witness. Mr. McNally, will you give us your statement, sir?
Mr. MCNALLY. Mr. Chairman and members of the House Military Affairs Committee, my name is Walter McNally. I am president of the Murray Ecorse Supervisors' Association; I am also president of the American Foreman's Union, which has headquarters in Wyandotte, Mich. I was employed by the Murray Corporation of America from February 21, 1935, until April 9, 1943. I was a foreman in the employ of the Murray Corporation of America from May 1935 until April 9, 1943.
I wish to thank you for this opportunity to be heard in regard to our position on H. R. 2239, the Smith bill.
I am not an attorney and will not attempt to speak on the legal technicalities of this bill. I will speak simply as a practical industrial worker who has learned the problem of the supervisory force from actual experience as a member of that forsaken center group within industry.
The 17 supervisors, 15 shift supervisors, and 33 sectional supervisors who comprise the membership of the Murray Ecorse Supervisors Association have made great personal sacrifices for a cause which we know is just, neamely, the organization of foremen into bona fide unions for the purpose of bargaining collectively through agents of their own choosing:
This organization is indeed small by comparison to most labor groups, however, their contribution to the subject under discussion should be heard before decisions are made which would deprive them
of the benefits of the organization which they have struggled so hard to establish.
Last Friday this group held an emergency meeting for the sole purpose of discussing the Smith bill, H. R. 2239; and, after studying the written words and fully realizing the effect of such legislation, if passed by the Congress, would have on industrial morale, said: “You go back to Washington and tell the Members of Congress the facts.” My reply was: "Gentlemen, our treasury is practically exhausted because of the expenses entailed in going to Washington for oral argument at the National Labor Relations Board last Tuesday. We cannot afford another heavy expenditure.” They replied: “How much will it cost?” I said, "Perhaps $120, if the Military Affairs Committee will hear me Thursday"; then I added : “Realizing the importance of the issue I have already asked to be heard, and the date was set for Thursday, April 15; I will go into my own pocket, if necessary, to see this thing through.” The membership of the Murray Ecorse Supervisors' Association said: “Nothing doing; you go ahead and plan to go back to Washington; we'll get the money. And they did-by voluntary contributions of $20, $10, 15, any amount, just whatever each man felt he could afford.
Members of the committee, those men are not rich; they are ordinary rank-and-file persons who plainly see an effort being made to take away the rights to which all Americans are entitled by the Constitution of the United States. Those men are thoroughly incensed by the thought that one group of Americans would attempt to reduce another group to slavery. Members of the committee, as spokesman for the Murray Ecorse Supervisors' Association, I bring this from those foremen at Ecorse, Mich., that if this bill were to become law the certain result would be slavery, not only for supervision but for every man who is employed in American industries except members of the management group.
Our brothers, sisters, and friends are fighting, giving their lives to retain our democracy while at home we have people who would destroy the very ideals for which our fighting men have dedicated their lives to save. This Smith bill can honestly be called class legislation.
The Smith bill is allegedly designed to solve the manpower problem which is getting more serious daily, but the method prescribed will only make what is already a bad situation much worse. Most bona fide organized-labor groups in this country are pledged not to strike during the war. The situation we visualize after passage of the Smith bill or any similar legislation would be such industrial turmoil that the leaders of these bona fide organized groups would be helpless against the clamor of their memberships.
It is needless to add further to those parts of the bill which deal mainly with manpower. We feel certain no individuals or group will challenge that our analysis is correct. However, this Smith bill would destroy the organization for which I speak as well as all other bona fide unions of foremen. With this matter we will deal principally.
Members of the committee, you have heard and read the reasons for which industries' foremen have organized; the reasons for unionization are apparent, we believe, to all those who have studied the
problem. It is unnecessary at this time to further contribute our knowledge of industrial malpractices as regard foremen but it is necessary to show further that the supervisory force within industry is definitely not a part of the ownership-management group.
In order that there can be any industry it is necessary to have ownership-management, the people who invest their money in the enterprise and then determine how the industry will operate; it is necessary to have a second group who will follow the orders of the ownership and management group and see that the work is done, namely supervision; it is also necessary to have those who do the actual manual work of producing the product for sale, namely, labor.
Each of these three groups are dependent on the other two groups; no two can operate without the third. In fact unless all groups work cooperatively together there can be no industry, and the effect of the whole group is only as strong as the weakest of the three units.
The management group is laying claim to the supervisory group by contending that supervision is a part of management. This management group has no justification for such demand. Management was perfectly willing to keep the supervisory employees away from and out of its affairs until supervision began banding together in bona fide unions for the purpose of collective bargaining through agents of their own choosing, to deal for them in all matters relating to rates of pay, working conditions, and hours of work.
Management has set down policies which affected the supervisory group adversely without consulting with supervisory employees before setting these bad policies. Management knows that this is true but still claim possession of the supervisory force which we do now, and will forever, say they have no right to.
In the early days of the Murray Ecorse Supervisors' Association the management of the Murray Corporation of America agreed that the supervisory employees of its Ecorse plant were entitled to the benefits of collective bargaining and a verbal agreement was made to this effect; this agreement was followed by regular monthly and emergency meetings at which the agents of management and supervision bargained across the table on all matters which concerned the members of the supervisory force or affected the management group. The problems of each group were settled by honest bargaining on the part of each division for a period of approximately 3 months. Proof of this can be determined by seeing the evidence introduced by this association at the National Labor Relations Board at its hearing held in Detroit, Mich., January 7, 1943.
However, in May 1942 the management group began a program of bad bargaining which this association tolerated for a period of 6 months before starting action through Government channels, namely, the National Labor Relations Board, with the intent of gaining governmental designation as the exclusive bargaining agent for the before-mentioned supervisors at the Ecorse, Mich., plant of the Murray Corporation of America.
The National Labor Relations Board on February 24, 1943, ordered an election by secret ballot at Ecorse, to determine whether or not these foremen would be represented by the Murray Ecorse Supervisors' Association in dealing with the management of the Murray Corporation of America.