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I ask you in the first place not to lose sight of section 3. I am not a parliamentarian, and I am not prepared to tell you what the right way to do it is; but certainly no man ought to have a deferred status under the Selective Service Act who knowingly and wilfully does less than a day's work in a day. I will give you just one brief illustration. Just before I left, I received this message. We have at the steel plant what is called a roll shop. There are perhaps 50 men who make the rolls that go into the machinery that rolls steel. Pursuant to the new order of the Manpower Commission, that department was to work 48 hours a week. A group of men at once called upon the superintendent and said that 48 hours or 40 hours, there will be no more rolls; they would make the same amount of rolls in 48 hours as were made in 40 hours. I do not know who instigated that; whether a labor leader thought of it or whether the men thought of it. But no man who, working 48 hours, turns out no more work than he did in 40 hours should, in my judgment, have a deferred status under the Selective Service Act.
On the other question, section 4, I see it in this way: In industry, as in government or anywhere else, there are two classes of people; there are those who decide and those who carry out. You cannot organize human society on any other basis than that there be those who decide and those who carry out. In private enterprise management is the decider. A foreman or a supervisor is management.
Now, management has three important functions in the war program-three commitments to Government: First, the commitment not to discriminate between union and nonunion men in their employment. My company is operating under a directive from the War Labor Board which says that we shall not discriminate between union men and nonunion men. I say that a foreman who is a member of that union or any other union cannot be objective and impartial in fulfilling that function of management. He hires and fires; or if he does not, he recommends the hiring and recommends the firing. He is the one who, in the first instance, considers the grievances of the workmen. Every effort in Washington, both by the War Labor Board and the National Labor Relations Board, is to encourage industry to have the foremen settle the grievances, in order that the machinery may be simplified. I say that foremen cannot be objective and impartial in carrying out managerial functions in considering grievances if they are themselves members of that union or of any other union.
The second obligation of management is safety-safety to the plant and safety to the personnel. A soldier wounded in battle or a man disabled through an accident in a plant are war casualties. We have too many new men in industry today. They like to take short cuts. They do not like to do things the safe way; they like to do them their own way. There must be firm discipline to conserve manpower through safety programs in the plants. The foreman is the fellow, and the only fellow, who can implement the carrying out of the safety program set-up of management. But he cannot do it effectively if he is accountable to a union for his actions. I think that point has not yet been made fully; at least, I have not heard it here today—the extent to which unions will attempt to substitute their standards of what is right for those of management.
I will give you a rather amusing illustration. I think it illustrates the point. I understand, according to the press, that there was a little difficulty among the members of the philharmonic orchestra in New York. It is a closed shop. The distinguished conductor, Mr. Rodzinski, is himself a member of the union; otherwise he could not conduct under the closed shop. He fired a trombone player or somebody else because he did not like his trombone playing. He is now cited to appear before his own union to justify his conduct in carrying out a function of management. If he is found guilty, he will just lose his union card, and he will no longer conduct the orchestra. That is a rather diverting illustration, but it brings home what it means to management if there is to be dual allegiance. If the foreman is to be responsible to his union for the decisions which he makes on behalf of management, there will be no management.
Of course, the last point in the obligations of management has to do with production, volume, and quality. That takes the form of discipline all along the line. As long as tħere is human nature, there will always be lazy workmen, there will be careless workmen, there will be ineffective workmen, and in the interests of the war program, those men must have firm discipline.
Again, I say management cannot carry out that obligation of production, both as to volume and as to quality, unless there be firm discipline, and that firm discipline must come through men who are management's men and not men who are union men. I cannot tell you how to do it; I am interested only in the subject matter. I agree with Mr. Harness that this is urgent, that it needs prompt and decisive action. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions, gentlemen?
Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Randall, you gave as an illustration people in your plant refusing to turn out in 48 hours more work than they produced in 40 hours.
Mr. RANDALL. They have not done it, but that is what they have said they were going to do. I do not think they will, because we shall be firm about it very firm. They are good fellows; I think they will see that they are wrong. But that threat was made in our plant yesterday, just before I left.
Mr. COSTELLO. The only recourse is that they should lose their occupational deferment if such a practice were inaugurated. In other words, anybody who does that definitely reduces the war effort to such an extent, and it would seem to me definitely to be sabotage.
Mr. RANDALL. I hope that at all times we will receive the same support from government in the solution of these problems.
Mr. Clason. What kind of coal do you produce?
The CHAIRMAN. Let me observe that it is not only high-volatile coal but that it is extremely low in sulphur and ash.
Mr. ELSTON. I want to say that I thoroughly agree with you that nobody should have a deferred status if he is not willing to do a full day's work, but I do not believe this section will accomplish that. My complaint about the section was that it applies only to the officers of the labor union, because they are the ones who do the prescribing.
Mr. RANDALL. I think you will find the word "group" in there, sir. I thought of that in connection with the war shipping program.
Mr. Elston. Perhaps it does later on, but in the various subsections that are listed under section 3 it applies only to those who do the preEcribing. It would not reach down to the man who fails to do a full day's work.
Mr. RANDALL. I am afraid I am not very helpful on the phraseology of the bill.
Mr. ELSTON. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. On behalf of the committee, I should like to let them have an opportunity to question you further; however, since we bave only a short time remaining, I can only say that we have been delighted to hear your answers.
Mr. SHORT. I should like to ask the gentleman if he is for the bill.
Mr. RANDALL. I am for the bill definitely and strictly across the board, as the saying is.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Randall.
The CHAIRMAN. The last witness we shall hear today is Mr. Edward E. Butler, vice president of the Vinco Corporation, of Detroit.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD E. BUTLER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
VINCO CORPORATION, DETROIT, MICH.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed, Mr. Butler.
Mr. BUTLER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: My name is Edward E. Butler. I am the executive vice president of Vinco Corporation of Detroit, Mich., manufacturers of gages, precision instruments, and machine tools. At the request of the Automotive Tool and Die Manufacturers Association, of which I am a director and my company is a member, I have asked to appear before your committee and express our Association's approval of House Resolution 2239, introduced by Mr. Smith of Virginia, particularly with regard to that portion of the bill denying executive, administrative, professional, and supervisory employees the right to unionize.
The members of our association employ approximately 15,000 tool and die makers, unquestionably the largest concentration of the highest type of skilled labor in the country. Our association, numbering over 200 members, is currently producing various products extremely vital to our country's war effort at the rate of approximately $200,000,000 per year. We were extremely happy to learn that this bill was referred to your Committee on Military Affairs because we know of nothing more important to the military affairs of this Nation than the immediate necessity to stop the trend toward the formation of foremen unions. I say that without equivocation whatsoever. The vast majority of the industrial enterprises of this country are currently engaged in producing materials necessary to the effective prosecution of the war.
I say further, and again without equivocation, that the widespread formation of foreman unions will hamper immediately and seriously the magnificent effort private industry is now making and will eventually lead to the type of complete industrial confusion and chaos that contributed so heavily to the downfall of once free France.
We, all of us, have many times heard and read remarks from high spokesmen of the administration and from the heads of many war agencies referring to the Nation's industrial workers as soldiers of production, and truly they are. Foremen are an extremely important part of this vast industrial army and might well be likened to the noncommissioned officers in the field.
Picture, if you can, the confusion of an army in the field if the noncommissioned officers were forced to listen to the commands of the men in the ranks as well as those of their superior officers. Very few battles would be won in circumstances of that nature, and I can assure you very few production battles are going to be won if foremen and other supervisory personnel are allowed to unionize, because in so doing they would be required to obey the commands of their union as well as the commands of management.
If all that I have said is true, and believe me it is, this bill should receive the same serious consideration you would give to the size of our Army, the number of planes, tanks, guns, and ships we should have.
The passage of this bill will help to insure the continued steady flow of the sorely needed weapons of war to our armed forces.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, sir.
Mr. DURHAM. Are any of your men being drafted, or have they all received occupational deferment?
Mr. BUTLER. As to those who are naturally within the military age, heretofore or up to this point we have had very little difficulty in getting deferments because of the nature of our work and the extreme shortage of the type of skill that we require.
Mr. SHORT. What is the average age of your employees?
Mr. HARNESS. Do you have any replacement program to replace some of those essential employees who are of draft age ?
Mr. BUTLER. We have constantly in operation à school, or two classes rather, in which there are at all times more employees being trained than we employed in our entire operation in the whole year of 1939.
Mr. HARNESS. Are those who are being trained, women, or men beyond the draft age!
Mr. BUTLER. Speaking for my own company, we are confining applicants to the class of people who we feel will be exempt from military service.
Mr. HARNESS. Either because of physical disability or
Mr. ELSTON. What percentage of your employees falls within the supervisory or foremen class?
Mr. BUTLER. Approximately 6 percent.
Mr. MARTIN. From your statement, you are taking and training as foremen men who you think will be deferred on other grounds,
so that if these other people are taken, you will not lose any appreciable part?
Mr. BUTLER. I did not follow that I did not hear the last part of your question.
Mr. MARTIN. You stated that your men in training as foremen were taken largely from the group that would probably have deferment on other grounds ?
Mr. BUTLER. No; you misunderstood me, Congressman. We are training that many people for the actual machine shops. The training of foremen is actually conducted within our plant, and the material has been with us for some time. The men are gradually elevated to foremanship. We are not training any new people from the streets, so to speak, for foremen's jobs; it is an impossibility.
Mr. SHORT. What percentage of your employees are women?
Mr. BUTLER. Approximately 10 percent at the present time; it is increasing monthly.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Butler.
(The committee then held an executive session. An adjournment was then taken until Wednesday, March 31, 1943, at 10 o'clock a. m.)