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FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 1943

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:15 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Andrew J. May, chairman presiding:

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. Will Mr. R. J. Goldie come forward, please?

STATEMENT OF R. J. GOLDIE, VICE PRESIDENT, TIMKEN-DETROIT

AXLE CO., DETROIT, MICH. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Goldie, please state your full name, place of residence, and whom you represent, and then tell us about your interest in this legislation and what your views are.

Mr. GOLDIE, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am R. J. Goldie, vice president of the Timken-Detroit Axle Co. My home is at 201 East Kirby Street, Detroit. I am appearing at the request of members of the A. P. E. M.—the Automotive Parts Equipment Manufacturerstogether with Mr. Carlton. I shall be very brief, for I have to get away in order to catch a plane. I heard most of the testimony yesterday, but there are one or two things that I think have not been touched on, on which I would like to express my views.

There seems to be some question about the evolution of a foreman. In most plants I think it comes from a man's being picked out first as a set-up man or a job-setter who has more than usual ability. His first step up to such a job is as assistant foreman. He assumes a certain amount of supervisory responsibility, and as he is able to absorb that and carry out the policies of the management, he is generally stepped along until he becomes a foreman, and eventually a general foreman; and then, of course, the sky is the limit, and as far as he goes depends upon his ability.

In most of the contracts with the unions there is a procedure for handling the grievances of the workers. That procedure in most cases has been to make complaint to the assistant foreman through the steward of the department, and as many of those complaints as possible that can be adjusted, without going any further to a written grievance and carried up to the board the industrial relations board-are handled in that way. A great many of the complaints are generally eliminated right at that point. It takes a load off the grievance committee chat handles most of those grievances and helps to expedite the work. If this foremen's union were to be put into opera

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tion, it would be quite natural that you could not allow foremen to handle these grievances, because they could very well nullify the agreement you have with the workers' union, since any settlement that they made might be or might not be in line with the intent and purpose of the agreement. That would mean, therefore, if it went into effect, that a new stratum of men would have to be put in above the foreman, for the purpose of handling those grievances, which would, of course, complicate the method of handling them and cut down the time, take up valuable time, and waste manpower, in my judgment.

On top of that, nearly every contract that is now in existence, that I have had any knowledge of, sets up its grievance procedure and has to follow in just that fashion: first, by coming in as a complaint and being handled by the assistant foreman or the foreman; and if it is there handled and never goes any further, it never becomes a written grievance. If this foremen's organization goes into effect, and you cannot very well allow foremen to handle grievances in conjunction with the workmen at the expense of the management, then nearly all of our contracts with our unions will have to be altered by some means or other, because the procedure is set up in all those contracts, and that alteration would have to be made, because you could not go along with the present method of contracting.

We have always considered the foreman as a part of management, and all the labor laws under which we are now operating seem to have been set up on the basis of labor and management. If the foreman is not labor and is not management, then a third party is introduced to bargain with labor at the expense of management, without management having anything to say about it.

The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt you for a question?
Mr. GOLDIE. Certainly.

The CHAIRMAN. The principle of collective bargining contemplates the making of a bargain!

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. How would you have collective bargaining if there were not two parties to discuss the problem and agree upon it? For instance, management on the one side and workers on the other?

Mr. GOLDIE. I do not know. That is the thing I do not know. The CHAIRMAN. Is not that the situation that is presented in the industry of the country generally at this time?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. To what extent has that proposition been brought up throughout the country in industry, so far as you know?

Mr. GOLDIE. Well, it has become pretty nearly universal throughout the automotive industry, to my knowledge.

The CHAIRMAN. Do all of the motor companies, so far as you know, have contracts for production of war materials?

Mr. GOLDIE. Yes; I believe almost universally.

The CHAIRMAN. You have dealings with all of them through your organization from time to time?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You may go ahead.
Mr. GOLDIE. I have finished my statement, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Merritt?

Mr. MERRITT. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Elston?

Mr. ELSTON. Mr. Goldie, has there been any agitation on the part of the foremen to form a union?

Mr. GOLDIE. There has; yes.
Mr. ELSTON. In your plant?
Mr. GOLDIE. Yes.

Mr. ELSTON. Do you know whether that situation prevails generally in your area?

Mr. GOLDIE. Well, I do not know from personal knowledge, but it has been stated by the Foremen's Association of America that they have organizations in 10 or 12 plants in Detroit.

Mr. Elston. You have not had any wage differences with them, have you?

Mr. GOLDIE. No, sir. We have been asked to consent to an election in our plant, but we refused, as we did not believe it was an appropriate bargaining unit.

Mr. Elston. What happened when you refused?

Mr. GOLDIE. The matter, I believe, has been referred to the War Labor Board.

Mr. ELSTON. And is pending there now?
Mr. GOLDIE. And, I believe, is pending now.
Mr. ELSTON. That is all.

The CHAIRMAN. At this point I desire to read into the record a blank form of notice which I received from my district this morning, signed by E. L. Baker and William Thomas, organizing committee. It is headed, with large black type, "Notice," and it reads as follows:

Under a recent ruling of the Wagner Labor Relations Board employees heretofore exempted from membership in the United Mine Workers of America, by the Southern Wage Agreement, and in accordance with the International Constitution of the United Mine Workers of America, amended at its last International Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 1942, all employees in and around the coal mines, coal washers, company stores, offices, recreation buildings, hotels, hospitals, etc., are eligible for membership in the United Mine Workers of America.

Therefore, You are invited to attend a meeting to be held in (blank), Ky., on March (blank), 1943, at (blank) M. 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.

The United Mine Workers of America are prepared to protect you under the Wagner Act and can secure many benefits for you which you do not now enjoy-job security, etc.

For any further information contact the local union officers at your mine or the Pikesville office of United Mine Workers.

E. L. BAKER,
WILLIAM THOMAS,

Organizing Committee. I know both those gentlemen; they are field representatives in my district.

Mr. Sparkman?
Mr. SPARKMAN. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Harness?
Mr. HARNESS. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Durham?

Mr. DURHAM. How many people do you employ, Mr. Goldie?
Mr. GOLDIE. We employ approximately 6,500 in the Detroit branch.

Mr. DURHAM. How many people would be affected as foremen under this organizing set-up?

Mr. GOLDIE. I would say about 350.
Mr. DURHAM. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Fenton?
Mr. FENTON. No questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Philbin!
Mr. PHILBIN. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Johnson?

Mr. JOHNSON. I want to ask you one or two questions, Mr. Goldie. Would not an amendment to the Wagner Act, redefining the word "employee,” cure this situation?

Mr. GOLDIE. If you ask my personal opinion, I think it would; but what type of legislation should be adopted to clarify this situation, I do not think I am qualified to state.

Mr. Johnson. One of the witnesses here explained that the decision, which was a 2-to-1 decision, turned on what the present statute meant by the word "employee"—that is, by the definition given—and it was felt that under the definition of the act they had to render this decision. So, if you change the word "employee” to exclude people who are the arm of management, that would then cure your situation; would it not?

Mr. GOLDIE. I believe it would.

Mr. JOHNSON. I want to ask you a few other questions, anticipating that we might have somebody present the other side for us. In the railroad business, I understand that the foreman on a train is the conductor; is that a fact?

Mr. GOLDIE. He is head of the unit.

Mr. JOHNSON. He is the one who takes and transmits orders to the members of the crew ?

Mr. GOLDIE. Yes.

Mr. JOHNSON. In that way he is foreman of that group; to that extent he is the arm of management? He represents management, hecause he controls the operations and the work of those who are under him; is not that true?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.

Mr. JOHNSON. If you know and can tell us, how does that differ from your situation?

Mr. GOLDIE. It differs in this respect and I am speaking somewhat from personal experience, because I spent 442 years on a locomotive that there are no grievances handled on a train on the road. The orders come from the dispatcher. The conductor gets orders and transmits a copy to the engineer. Their orders and rules are very clearly laid down as to the operation of the train. No grievances come up on the road, no insubordination would be tolerated on the road; any grievances to be handled are handled at the end of the run by the grievance committee of the brotherhood, or they were when I was a brotherhood man.

Mr. JOHNSON. In a way, that conductor, if anything arises during the course of the trip, is the boss, is he not, and to that extent he represents the employer?

Mr. GOLDIE. He is the boss within a very definite set of rules. He could not ask anyone to violate the rules under which each man has to take an examination on the railroad.

Mr. Johnson. But suppose a controversy arises on the trip. His word is the final say; is it not?

Mr. GOLDIE. No, sir. For instance, if they got into a sidetrack or came to a siding, and the engineer thought they did not have time to make the next siding before the train that was coming, but the conductor thought they had, each one of them is independent, and the engineer can refuse to go on, and the conductor could not do anything about it.

Mr. JOHNSON. In other words, you think that his functions are much more limited than the functions of foremen in a plant like yours?

Mr. GOLDIE. Very much more so.

Mr. JOHNSON. In a plant as large as yours, do you have your foremen classified in wage groups?

Mr. GOLDIE. They are classified, but not entirely in wage groups. In some cases the assistant foreman of a department might have only a very few men under him; in other departments he may have quite a number. The classifications are on the basis of the skill required and the number of men supervised.

Mr. Johnson. How many foremen do you have in your plant?
Mr. GOLDIE. Approximately 350.
Mr. JOHNSON. How many different wage brackets are there?
Mr. GOLDIE. There are, I would say, about four.

Mr. JOHNSON. So, that means that a good many of the foremen get the same pay?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.

Mr. JOHNSON. Do you bargain with each one of them individually, or do you bargain with the group when you fix the wage scale?

Mr. GOLDIE. Individually.
Mr. JOHNSON. You might raise Jones and not raise Smith?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is true. We try to keep that pretty closely in line with the qualifications for their jobs.

Mr. JOHNSON. You try to harmonize experience and salary so that comparable men get a comparable scale ?

Mr. GOLDIE. That is right.

Mr. Johnson. Is it really a bargaining agreement with each man, or is it a sort of set of rules, whereby if a man has certain experience ond does certain things he gets sent up?

Mr. GOLDIE. It is more or less a bargaining agreement with each man, but the recommendations of his superiors as to his ability and the record of the operation of his department are taken into consideration in establishing his rate.

Mr. JOHNSON. Of course, lately, or in the last few years, the scale has gone up, has it not?

Mr. GOLDIE. Yes.

Mr. JOHNSON. In that situation did you handle them in groups or handle them individually?

Mr. GOLDIE. We generally handle them individually, but we periodically go over the whole force to do a lot of, as we say, equalizing of rates throughout all the supervisory force.

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