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Last fall we had a fire boss go into a mine and during his investigation he thought he ran into a condition that was going to prove dangerous. He came out of the mine. Somehow he could
not find his foreman, and he went searching for his superintendent. The superintendent was not working that afternoon. He did not stop at thathe went home, changed his clothes, and went directly to our main office and talked with
our production manager. At the time I was not in the office. The production manager called me, and I went directly to that mine to see what the trouble was.
The men are doing their job and they have recourse. They do not have to sit back and let somebody dominate them. They can go to the State inspectors.
Mr. FENTON. I am glad to hear the gentleman makes that statement. I certainly would not want to have the integrity of these officials impugned.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further?
STATEMENT OF J. S. FINK, OF CARLISLE, W. VA. The CHAIRMAN. I understand that there is a Mr. Fink here who would like to make a statement.
Mr. Fink, will you tell the committee your name, your position, whom you represent, and give us your statement as briefly as you can.
Mr. Fink. My name is J. S. Fink. I live at Carlisle, W. Va. I have been employed by the New River Co. for the past 24 years, having been a mine foreman for the past 3 years. I was assistant mine foreman for 9 years. Prior to that time I was a miner.
My duty is to direct the work of the men under me. I have charge at this time of 19 assistants, who assist me in carrying out the policies of the company and the laws of the State of West Virginia. We have, as all coal companies do, a more or less set pattern to work on, but as a foreman and an assistant foreman we have discretion to change this pattern to meet changed conditions that may come about in a mine at any time. In addition to the rules and regulations promulgated by the company with respect to safety and other matters, it is our
duty to see that the law is complied with in respect to safety, ventilation, and so forth. We are held responsible by both the company and the State for the proper execution of these duties. I as a foreman and my assistants must use discretion as to how many things must be done. We are held responsible for the results and when I say results I mean as to the production of coal as well as seeing that the law is complied with.
Safety is an important matter in the coal mines. We give it a lot of attention. An injured man is a liability on the company, because we need his services.
We never know for sure just exactly what conditions we may meet up with at any time in a coal mine. We must know how to handle these conditions as they arise. We can't go a long distance to look up some higher official. We don't have to do that. We have the authority to handle them. We represent the company in that respect. There may be conditions not covered by the contract between management and the workers. If they arise, then we as foremen and assistant fore
men bargain right on the scene with the men and fix their pay to meet the changed conditions. We spend the company's money. We turn in their time at the rate agreed upon. The company honors it, and pays it. Sometimes it is necessary to dismiss men for their failure to comply with company regulations and safety laws. As a foreman I have that authority. An assistant foreman has the authority to recommend dismissal and his recommendation carries great weight. I do not believe that I can properly perform my duties if I am a member of a union. I must have a free choice to direct and discipline the men who work under me. There is no question here of class. I could not be a party to a union and at the same time give the position I hold the sincere efforts necessary. I have read the bill. I am not versed in the technicalities of legislation. I simply know that from experience that if supervisory forces are required to belong to a union that, in my opinion, production will suffer because we will lose that measure of control over the activities of the company that is necessary. If I am forced into a union, I would certainly owe some allegiance to that union. I can't quite see how I could properly perform my duties and at the same time owe any allegiance to anyone except the management.
I and my assistants are specifically charged with the duty of carrying out the provisions of the contract made by the manangement and the workers in the mines. We must see that those provisions are lived
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, sir. How many men does the New River Co. employ in its entire operations?
Mr. FINK. Somewhere between fifteen and twenty thousand—I cannot tell you for sure.
The CHAIRMAN. That is at New River, W. Va.?
Mr. FENTON. Do they have to take a State examination and get certificates ?
Mr. FINK. Yes, sir; the fire bosses, section foremen, and mine foremen.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, sir.
LETTER, ADDRESSED TO HON. CHARLES R. CLASON, FROM RICHARD T. FRANKEN
STEEN, INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTOMOBILE-AIRCRAFT AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA
Mr. CLASON. Mr. Chairman, I have here a letter from Mr. Richard T. Frankensteen, international vice president, United Automobile-Aircraft-Agricultural Implement Workers of America, which I would like to have included in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. The clerk will include the letter in the record.
April 22, 1943. Hon. CHARLES R. CLASON,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN CLASON: I am writing in answer to the following question you asked of men when I apepared before the House Committee on Military
Affairs on April 9. In the event that the Austin-Wadsworth bill is passed, on what basis do you think people ought to be compelled to go to different occupations?
First, I would like to reiterate that this organization disapproves of the Austin-Wadsworth bill because we do not believe that such legislation will accomplish its ostensible purposes, namely: The effective mobilization of the manpower of the Nation. The problem of how to get people to take certain jobs depends on a number of measures which can be taken without resort to legislation such as the Austin-Wadsworth bill. In the case of the British experience with manpower they learned that "the powers of compulsion should in practice be extended gradually and should not be applied faster than an organization could be constructed to administer this efficiently." (From a pamphlet, Manpower: A Summary of the British Experience, by Eric Biddle, Public Administration Service, No. 84, Chicago, Ill.). Such an organization does not now exist in this country.
There are many necessary measures for solving the manpower problem which are not provided for in the bill, and which can be provided under existing legislation. I refer to the creation of special Government allowances to cover the cost travel and moving expenses of workers transferred to essential jobs; to pay the expenses incurred by a transferred worker having to leave his family behind; the establishment of communal restaurants, and so forth. All of these things have been provided for by the British since the war began, but we have not done so.
The provision of these and other measures would greatly simplify the problem of deciding where workers should go. Organized labor and patriotic citizens in all walks of life would be glad to cooperate with any program if they were assured that they would be assigned to jobs without unnecessary hardships, and if they were convinced that the war effort would benefit.
The issue is not whether to compel workers to accept war jobs. Congress must approach the problem of employment on the basis of over-all war mobilization such as the Pepper-Kilgore-Tolan bill would provide. This issue cannot be evaded by raising fake labor problems such as absenteeism, strikes, and so forth. I might also say that the approach used by the War Manpower Commissioner in the recent "freeze” also fails to meet the issue realistically and will fail for that reason.
In conclusion, I would say that your question cannot be answered within the framework of the proposed national service law but must be considered in terms of production, procurement, and other phases of the war effort which remain uncoordinated. Respectfully yours,
RICHARD T. FRANKENSTEEN,
Vice President. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Colmer, of Mississippi, desires to make a statement and, without objection, he will have permission to insert a statement in the record.
Unles there is some objection, the hearings will be closed, and the committee will stand adjourned, subject to call of the chairman.
(Thereupon the committee adjourned, subject to call of the chairman.)
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The following statements are submitted for the consideration of the committee in respect to H. R. 1742:
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR J. O'DEA, CHAIRMAN, WAR PLANT PLACEMENT COMMITTEE,
BERGEN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION I was appointed chairman of the war plant placement committee of the Bergen County Bar Association on December 8, 1942, for the purpose of enabling members of the Bergen County Bar Association to obtain war-production work in the local war plants on split night shifts, that such workers might have the opportunity to do war-production work during the night and attend their professional practices during the day. Fifty-two members of the Bergen County Bar Association have volunteered and are working in local war-production plants in Bergen County, N. J., under this system, at this time, operating two local plants through the night; one from 8 p. m. to 8 a. m. and the other from 7 p. m. to 7 a. m.
At the Charles E. Chapin Co. plant in East Rutherford, N. J., the lawyers are divided into two groups, one operating from 7 p. m. to 1 a. m. and the second group from 1 a. m. to 7 a. m., each man working 6 hours at night in the plant and 6 hours during the day at his professional work.
From the beginning we have been faced with the following difficulties : 1. Neither the Selective Service Act nor any of the regulations make any provisions for the minimum number of hours that workers must be engaged in warproduction work to be classified war workers for the privileges extended to such war workers, either in draft classification, deferments, or as workers under the Austin-Wadsworth bill.
2. Because of the uncertainty of our status our employers have no assurance of the length of time our workers will be available on their production lines, and, therefore, the work available for assignment to our class of workers is very limited.
3. Plants which are now operating night shifts with skeleton crews only are unwilling to engage our type of worker because of the uncertainty of our status.
4. The large plants in our area are unwilling to engage us a a group of parttime workers because there are not sufficient numbers of us available to justify them in reorganizing their bookkeeping and timekeeping and production schedules.
5. We have available three or four times our number of volunteer workers on this plan from all classes of business and professional men, principally lawyers, bankers, brokers, and teachers, who are available for night work and have volunteered to join our group as soon as we can find employment for them under this plan.
We submit that the volunteer provisions of the Austin-Wadsworth bill are meaningless unless and until some provision is made therein that business and professional men may volunteer for war-production work on split night shifts that will enable them to do their part in war production for the military front during the night, and continue their business and professional enterprises on the economic front during the day.