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pending before your committee. However, there are a few phases of this legislation which I especially wish to call to your attention with reference to the coal industry. If we are to furnish the necessary coal to carry on the Nation's war effort, we must utilize our manpower to the fullest extent. In order to do so, I and others who manage properties must be allowed full control over the activities of our assistants. In the coal-mining industry we have a union or closed-shop agreement. The unionization of supervisory forces and confidential employees under the U. M. W. A. means that they go into the closed-shop union. They are deprived of working unless they do. Someone said here that if a closed shop had been agreed upon by employers and a union representing the workers, that a minority then would be forced in the union. We don't like it. We fought the closed shop. We were forced to accept it by the union which was supported by the Government of the United States as represented by the administration. As a manager of property I do not think I can get the best results out of manpower if the supervisory forces owe allegiance to some union. I know production will suffer, costs will go up. Numerous production representatives have made this same statement here. When costs go up inflation is stimulated, and we are all trying to hold the line on inflation.
The coal industry has a very definite manpower problem in that we have lost some 75,000 men to the armed forces and to defense industries. The Selective Service System has recognized this problem, as evidenced by the fact that Occupational Bulletin No. 4, which authorized the deferment of drafted men, covered the various occupations in the coal-mining industry. If there is a relaxing of the discipline of employees in the mines such as would be brought about by the organization of supervisory men, we will inevitably lose production and will require at least 25 percent more men to meet the country's fuel requirements as set up by the Solid Fuel Coordinator. Mine workers to make up this loss of production are just not available.
There has been some discussion as to whom would be included in the unionization of supervisory officials and for your information I wish to read a list of employees set out in a pamphlet which was circularized in our district, inviting the employees to attend an organization meeting:
All mine foremen, assistant foremen and foremen of all classes, dirt inspectors, company weighbosses, dispatchers, mine clerks, timber workers, scrip writers, store clerks, recreation employees, hospital attendants, doctors, janitors, hotel employees, pay-roll clerks, shipping clerks, warehouse employees, filling-station attendants, and secretaries to all mine officials, and all other employees heretofore exempted from the union.
If production is to be maintained, these men simply cannot be allowed to be in a position where they are not completely free to represent management. We hold regular meetings of our foremen and other supervisory forces. We have conferences with them. They are thoroughly familiar with the policies of our operations. They enforce the contracts with other labor. They enforce the safety laws. They act directly for management. No other person is anywhere near them in the mines to confer with. They make decisions themselves. These become the decisions of the company once made by these men. They spend the company's money by arranging for payments to men for work that may not, for some unforseen reason, be provided for in the
contract. It has been said that the top sergeant runs the Army. It is equally true that the mine foreman and his assistants run the coal industry, and to place these men in the same union with the mine workers would be comparable to giving the sergeant his stripes and, at the same time, denying him the authority that goes with it. Any loss of discipline or control over the employees by the supervisory personnel would adversely affect the war effort in still another way. A large percentage of the coal today is mined by expensive and complicated machinery which requires the strictest of rules for use and maintenance. Any disregarding or abuse of these rules will result in a break-down of the equipment, the repair of which requires the use of critical materials such as copper, rubber, alloy steel, and so forth. Today it is very difficult to obtain these repair parts, and any increased demand for the same would materially affect the supply of this material for war equipment.
Likewise, any relaxation of supervision will result in the loading of more impurities with the coal, and if the amount of these impurities reaches 10 percent, it would mean that for every 10 railroad cars transporting the coal, 1 would be required to carry these impurities, thus adding to the strain already placed on our transportation system, to say nothing of the trouble that might be caused in the steam generating or manufacturing plant where the coal is used.
The country wants more coal. We fell our responsibility to get out the coal, but now is no time for innovations. There is plenty of work to do. High wages prevail. There is opportunity here for any man who will grasp it. Our aim is to produce and produce and get our boys back home. Then will be time enough to fuss about new unions. There will be time to do it. Now is not the time. I have no desire to void any contract now in existence that is a lawfully agreed and mutually agreed-upon contract between the affected parties. I say, leave them alone, and if the language of this bill would have that effect, then change the bill, but call a halt on this movement to go further now. I can not escape the conclusion that those promoting this movement to take over and interfere with management's proper functions are taking advantage of the perilous times we live in. Let us stop it here. After the war all these measures can be considered. I have no quarrel with labor for wishing to improve its conditions, but the men I refer to here are out of that group and on the ladder to higher jobs. We make our officials. We don't hire them. They come from the mines. There is no other place to get them, and they are not unsympathetic to the workers and their problems.
From previous testimony presented to this committee it must be obvious that the subject matter of this legislation is definitely tied in with manpower, with the production of euipment for our armed forces, and with the selective-service system itself. It is my conviction that you gentlemen are the appropriate parties to whom this matter should be addressed because it was your committee that held hearings on the greatest manpower law ever proposed, the Selective Service Act, which subsequently was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States.
Mr. Chairman, if I may, let me urge that those parts of this bill that deal with making management responsible for its supervisory forces and confidential employees, professional and executive forces, be put
into law for the duration, making it clear that no mutually agreed upon contract now in existence is to be disturbed, making it clear that no labor contract mutually agreed upon should be voided by this or any other act, but also making it abundantly clear that no employer is required by this or any other law to make any labor contract or agreement with his executive, administrative, professional, supervisory or other employees who are direct representatives of management, and this includes confidential employees. All these other matters can be threshed out later, after we have threshed the Axis.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a very fine statement, Mr. La Viers. Although you are my constituent and chairman of the draft board in my district, I do not believe I will defer you from being asked questions. If there is any gentleman who wants to ask you any question at this time, he may proceed.
Mr. COSTELLO. As a general rule, the union offers this blanket invitation to join!
Mr. LAVIERS. Yes; they do. I do not think they overlooked anybody, either.
Mr. COSTELLO. Do you not think that is a general principle developing throughout the country, to definitely announce that they are seeking to get everybody in?
Mr. LAVIERS. It is very much in evidence in the coal industry. Mr. COSTELLO. There is an attempt to include office help, regardless of what their position might be, whether they happen to be secretary to the president of the company or in any other position.
Mr. LAVIERS. That is definitely true.
Mr. COSTELLO. In other words, you have to belong to a union if you want to engage in any line of labor, whether it is supervisory or not!
Mr. LAVIERS. If you stay in our industry you have to be in good standing.
Mr. COSTELLO. A person not in the union would not be allowed to engage in any form of work with the company!
Mr. LAVIERS. It would seem that way to me.
Mr. FENTON. Do the foremen and assistant foremen have to take the State examination before they can get into those jobs ?
Mr. LAVIERS. They do.
Mr. LAVIERS. I have heard many opinions expressed on that. I think lawyers call them quasi-public officials, and I so regard them.
Mr. FENTON. In the matter of collective bargaining, they do enter into negotiations on the part of labor or industry.
Mr. LAVIERS. Not in that capacity. They may institute rules or customs in the mines which enter into the negotiations at some point or other.
Mr. FENTON. You do not regard them as really State officials?
Mr. LAVIERS. As I say, I think they are quasi-State officials, if that means anything.
The CHAIRMAN. The coal mines are a completely closed shop now, under the bargaining agreements that exist ?
Mr. LAVIERS. No, sir; they have exempted certain employees, exempted in our contract.
The CHAIRMAN. The provision in the contract, I believe, was read into the record by Senator Burke.
Mr. LAVIERS. I have it here.
Mr. COSTELLO. The question was raised that even foremen sometimes do not have the right to hire or fire and do not have an opportunity of engaging in labor disputes. Do you think that necessarily eliminates them as a part of the management?
Mr. LAVIERS. Not at all. I consider them as a part of my official family. They have to take this examination for the sake of safety, and I think that is proper.
Mr. COSTELLO. You brought out in your statement a point about a sergeant in the Army having to give orders and execute commands. As a result, although he is a noncommissioned officer, yet he is considered an offcer, is he not?
Mr. LAVIERS. And a very important one.
Mr. COSTELLO. The question as to whether the foreman is a part of the management does not mean that he exercises the functions of management.
Mr. LAVIERS. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mrs. Broy. Will you give the reporter your full name, where you live and whom you represent and what your position is in reference to this legislation? STATEMENT OF MRS. CECIL NORTON BROY, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mrs, Broy. Mr. Chairman, my name is Mrs. Cecil Norton Broy. I am Texas born and live at 4700 Connecticut Avenue.
Although I am an officer in several organizations I appear before you this morning as an individual.
I am opposing the passage of the Austin-Wadsworth bill, which is commonly called a conscription of labor bill.
I have listened to some of the testimony given at the Senate committee hearings, and I did not know that these hearings were being held simultaneously, or I would have requested more time here.
I had the good fortune to be married for a time to the late Hon. Thomas Upton Sisson, who was a highly respected Member of the
Representatives. He served for some time as the ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations.
As his wife I had many wonderful lessons in sound American Goyernment principles which I have never forgotten, and for which I am particularly grateful to Mr. Sisson. He was an intimate friend of the present Speaker, Mr. Rayburn.
Mr. Chairman, I consider this Austin-Wadsworth bill as very antiAmerican in its content, and particularly in what they may do and what could be done under its provisions if it is passed.
We women of America, who are giving our sons to the battlefronts, are very jealous and anxious that you gentlemen will do nothing that will jeopardize the freedom and the liberty of the people of this great country.
In listening to the testimony at the Senate hearings, one witness stated that last November the Census Department put out a publication stating that there are over 1,000,000 people in this country unemployed, and that there are 6,000,000 other people like myself who
would gladly render service in war work if we knew where we were needed,
as a war emergency matter. That makes 7,000,000 people available according to Government reports.
I do not believe we have yet exhausted the patriotic zeal of our American people. Americans have always risen to every emergency, and I think the American people would deeply resent any action which would take away from them their chance to work in the part of the country which is near their homes, where their homes are, and not be conscripted to be sent somewhere else.
I believe that the way to meet this problem would be to have a survey made in a thorough way, and to have some administrative person who is really efficient see that that survey is made along industrial and agricultural lines. Let this survey be made by factory and farm management, and then let the people have the facts, let the people know where they are needed.
Let the latest figures be made known to the people and I believe you will then have a response that would be fully adequate to meet any need along that line.
We have the best form of government in the world, our republican form of government under our Constitution. We do not want anything to jeopardize any of the principles on which it is founded. It is founded on the sovereignty of the individual, just as the Christian religion.
Let us keep our Government and our country as an example for the world, and let the light shine as Jesus did. Let it be a Government that other people will want to emulate, and let us not be forced into the position where some one Government person, official, or assistant to the President, can direct the lives of all the American people.
I now want to give you four points or reasons why I think this bill should not pass.
1. Labor in America must always be free. It must never be conscripted. Conscription of labor is a foreign ideology, and must not take root in free America—not even during wartime. American labor is the bulwark of our American institutions.
2. Conscription of labor would bring conscription of capital. Conscription of free American labor automatically conscripts and smothers to death free American enterprises, or American business, as it is commonly called. This bill would kill initiative. Capital cannot function without labor.
3. Senate bill 666 would destroy the orderly procedures of democratic government provided for in our Constitution. This bill would prevent the maximum number of workers from voting. For example, suppose this bill became law. Then the 1944 elections came along. By this top-down system, workers have been conscripted and sent all over the United States away from their voting precincts and home States. It is difficult to get a maximum absentee vote even where the laws allow this, but in 13 different States of the Union there are laws forbidding absentee voting. This is nearly one-fourth of the number of States in the Union. This number includes one of our great States which has 35 electoral votes, namely the State of Pennsylvania. Now when the Nation is going through such a crisis as the present one, it is highly important that there be no interference with the balloting