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done far more than we ever expected. Fortunately, I happened to have been appointed to investigate the possibility of the application of female labor to our production as a whole, and I made the recommendation that it was definitely not possible; that we had to do so remembering the fatigue angle of handling 3 or 4 tons, and breaking it down into small operations so that they might handle it from that angle. Another thing was that we get the highest type of instructors that have just a little love of their over-all picture, so that they might apply themselves willingly, that they have the ability to like individuals, and to like them especially to the point that they could give of themselves and of their experience to those replacements with all of the skill they had, and to make it as easy as possible.
Then we go into the orientation; that is, the humanics angle of these women employees, and the number of new ones we have brought into the field. That has been quite a problem. I would say to Mrs. Luce that it has become a very important part of our almost daily life to try to meet some of these important problems which you refer to, and has been most interesting, and we are going further and further in that, and this orientation means making them feel at home, seeing to it that they are put into a particular type of work that they are most interesed in and best coordinated in their adaptability to do, so that they can do it with their inner will instead of being forced to do it and, of course, using suggestions. We use in many cases motivating ways and means within the bounds of the American way of doing those things. We do that harmoniously and cooperatively with the rest of the organization, to see that we meet these schedules as they are supposed to be met, with the quality naturally required and the quantity there, on timewhich has been referred to here today.
Again, we go into maintaining conditions and relationships of those various employees, which is a vital part of our job as department foremen. That means following through from day to day in our personal contacts, in our various conversations, and seeing the things he needs and wants, the things he can become a part of, and to help him to do it, because those problems are very important to that man and will mean so much to him.
Again, we go into keeping a very close record, and by that means encouraging them in every sense of the word to utilize their little adaptabilities to the point of increasing them and being examples for others, so to speak, by increasing their quality, increasing their quantity, and making suggestions as to how they may do this with the least amount of effort required and with all safety. And that safety angle is one of the predominant parts of our job. That safety angle enters into it to a point that is almost inconceivable to those who are not directly in the operation, whether it be the danger from a piece of revolving machinery to a lady's hair, we will say, very close to a static belt that could possibly draw in her hair, or using the type of clothes necessary, or uniforms adatable to the highest degree of satisfactory performance; watching very closely the possible fatigue that might arise; seeing to it that they are properly recommended to the hospital through a capable doctor, and that he prescribe whether they need diversion from that type of work, and seeing that they are fitted best to that line.
I would say the over-all picture in there has been far greater than it was in my previous experience during the last war. At that time,
it was "Do the job; get in there and get the job done, regardless of how you do it.” Today, it is far more than that; it is getting people to work on the one hand; also to do the job willingly. In the first place, that requires an analysis of one's self, myself especially, and this happens from time to time—do I merit the respect which I have in the department or division of the six or eight hundred people that I supervise, and have I done everything I possibly could for the good of all concerned, and my final decision being—and really the decisions are the easiest part of the job—will it help in our work. And the only part I have is my permission of hiring for replacements which will increase production, and in my discharge—which is one of the most unpleasant things a supervisor has to do, when I know we are all partially lazy to a certain extent, and we do not want to train and retrain all the time. And all we have to do on the hard job is to get the facts, get all of the facts first, get them fairly, and then the decision is very easy to make.
That is about all, I believe, I have to say relative to that. I will answer any questions.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be glad to have you answer questions, but in view of the fact our time has expired and we have no permission to sit during the session of the House, I am afraid we will not have time to cross-examine you.
Thank you very much, sir.
(The committee thereupon went into executive session, at the conclusion of which an adjournment was taken until tomorrow, Friday, April 23, 1943, at 10 a. m.)
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 a. m., Hon. Andrew J. May (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. We will continue the hearings on H. R. 2239, and so forth.
The chairman desires to recognize Mr. George P. McNear, Jr., listed as the first witness here representing the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad, Peoria, Ill., or at least connected with it in some way.
Mr. McNear, will you please tell us what your connection is, and will you qualify yourself as a witness? STATEMENT OF GEORGE P. McNEAR, JR., PRESIDENT OF TOLEDO,
PEORIA & WESTERN RAILROAD, PEORIA, ILL. Mr. McNear. My name is George P. McNear, Jr. I am president of Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad, with offices at Peoria, Ill. I am appearing this morning in response to a telegraphic invitation from Mr. May. I have some testimony in support of the Smith bill, H. R. 2239. which would prohibit wasteful labor practices in time of war. I also have one or two suggestions to make about the bill, which I hope will be helpful in furthering its fundamental objectives.
Our railroad properties are now in the hands of the Government. They were seized in March 1942, following a controversy over whether various "featherbed” rules, which cause wastes of manpower, equipment, and materials in railroad operation, should be adopted on our railroad in time of war. At the time of the seizure, I was opposed to such wastes, and I am still opposed to them.
"Featherbed” rules, as your committee knows, cause wasteful labor practices. They force the use of more employees than are actually necessary for any specific job. They also involve the wasteful use of the equipment and materials which are required when these unnecessary employees are on duty. For example, the use of five switching crews to switch cars at a terminal, together with the engines, fuel, etc., which they consume, when only three are really necessary to do the work, is a typical illustration of “featherbed” rules. That is the type of thing the Government has inaugurated on our railroad.
"Featherbed” rules are a growth of long standing on the railroads; and they have existed for some little time in other industries, such as in building construction. With the great expansion of the organized
labor business in recent years, “featherbed” practices are now rapidly spreading throughout all industry. At least 1,000,000 able-bodied, willing workers are today wastefully employed through the operation of “featherbedding" practices.
"Featherbed” rules constitute an unconscionable burden at any time; they are treason in time of war.
The workers themselves do not want “featherbedding” in these times. They realize that it is unpatriotic with the country facing serious crisis, but they are helpless because they are dominated by able and aggressive labor union racketeers whose primary interest is collecting union dues. The Government itself has encouraged this scandalous development, influenced as it is by the political domination of the national labor leaders, who have so much to say here in Washington. I have witnessed this in our own experiences, and shall refer to it further a little later.
Judging by these experiences, I feel certain that the executive departments of the Government, who might be said to have such matters within their jurisdiction, will do nothing to terminate this appalling racket. It is only to the Congress that the people can appeal for necessary correction of these evil practices; and it is only through a mandate of Congress, such as the passage of the Smith bill, that this tremendous reservoir of manpower can be made immediately available for vital work.
I do not say, of course, that unionism is all wrong or that the termination of "featherbedding” is the solution of all of our internal problems. I merely say that labor racketeering has gone too far, that the wastes of the "featherbed” rules are seriously interfering with the vigorous prosecution of the war, and that the elimination of these wastes would be a big boost to our national morale.
Now if the committee please, I will briefly tell you something of the actual workings of "featherbed” rules. I believe it may be of assistance in your consideration of the bill which is before you.
The aggregation of "featherbed” rules, particularly those which relate to the employees who operate the trains, are increasingly impeding, obstructing, and penalizing the efficient management and operation of railroads in the United States. In past discussions, the public has been led to believe that the measure of the “featherbed” rules is the item of “time paid for but not worked," or overpayment to certain employees for short hours worked, and that the only effect is increased cost of operation. That is not the full story. These rules not only create numerous soft jobs and something for nothing for the employees who work under them; they require the wasteful employment of many unnecessary men; they require the wasteful use of motive power and other valuable equipment; they waste fuel, lubricants, and other critical materials; and they cause delays to the service. They impede progress and prevent efficient operation generally.
Some of the “featherbed” rules are based upon operations as they existed years ago. These older rules were drawn for the most part by practical operating men, without the aid of lawyers. Since 1934, however, when the National Railroad Adjustment Board was created, the national brotherhoods have brought many cases before the Adjustment Board to obtain interpretations of these older rules. Regardless of the interpretations that had been given these rules by the estab