« PreviousContinue »
Index-A. F. A. Cost Accounting
Charge slips, expense ledger
Expense ledger charge slips.
General expense orders
Machine hour rates
Rates, Predetermined, Definition of...
Selling expense orders..
Industrial Democracy and the
By JOHN CALDER, New York.
During the past twelve months it has been the privilege of the writer to confer with several thousand executives and foremen affiliated with industries located in 10 different states. These industries included foundries, machine shops, iron and steel mills and workers in wood, rubber, leather, textiles, jewelry and wearing apparel. These conferences were part of an educational program for executives and foremen undertaken in private groups usually embracing the complete staff of one plant at a time, though several meetings were in the nature of joint conferences with hundreds present.
The object of this paper is to present some account of how our executives and foremen are being taught to think about industrial relations and what reactions they have with the workman in regard to his status and claims for consideration. The writer believes that all machinery for improving the relations between capital and labor should be based upon knowledge and a correct analysis of the facts and that these should be obtained from the original sources and not assumed as is too often the case.
What Thien are the Facts?
What, then, are the facts revealed by these numerous contacts and the very frank expression of opinion and experience which obtains in such private gatherings for economic education ?
In such meetings the spirit of the age is clearly manifest. History shows that great economic and social forces flow like a tide over communities only half conscious of that which is befalling them. Wise statesmen and business
those who foresee what time is thus bringing, and try to shape institutions and mold men's thought and purpose in accordance with the change that is silently surrounding them.
The unwise are those who bring nothing constructive to the process and who greatly imperil the future of mankind by leaving great questions to be fought out between ignorant change on one hand and ignorant opposition to change on the other. Happily the spirit of change, in industry at least, is constantly becoming better informed, and we demand that all programs of reconstruction be submitted to the test of economic soundness. Nevertheless we must be prepared for change. Political democracy is now recognized to be fundamentally dependent upon industrial democracy. The latter is inevitable in our social evolution but it has no terrors for the open-minded student of affairs. It is not revolutionary but the harbinger of peace and co-operation.
We can no longer live industrially in compartments. The safety man, the foundry foreman, the employment manager and all others who touch industry on its social side must, in the opinion of the writer, fuse their efforts effectively with other foremen, superintendents, employers and employes on a plan that permits of self-expression and self-determination on the part of the workman in everything that touches his industrial interests.
The Program of the Age The spirit of the age discloses an increased moral sensitiveness and a development of public conscience in every walk of life. The program of the age is the conservation of all material and vital resources and the program of industry is the more efficient use of that which has been conserved and a demand that service to society shall be the sole basis of its distribution.
The progress of science which did so much for the nineteenth century and for civilization gave us something much greater, namely, the scientific spirit, with its scrupulous verification, its intellectual morality, its serenity and its habitual response to any disclosure of the truth. This is the spirit which has now invaded industry and it cannot be restricted to the mechanical ways and means of efficient production. It reaches out to the morals and manners of industry and demands the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about all the people, things and policies involved.
To some this is a disturbing prospect but to those whose motto is "To make goods plentiful and men dear” it is an earnest that they will succeed. Too many are concerned today about only one or the other of these objects but there is no satisfying future unless we aim at and attain both and the proved economies of specialized large-scale production are indispensable to our modern civilization.
Industry Must Be Democratic When we do so realize that, modern production methods at their best, though calculated to increase individual and national well-being, will not of themselves produce industrial contentment. Economic friction, even in the best-ordered industrial families, is the inevitable price we must pay for a democratic basis of existence and the great majority of us are convinced that it is well worth the price. In fact we have really no choice in the matter. It is quite useless in our day to ience off any large portion of human activities and interests and declare that self-expression and self-determination may not operate there. Yet the plain facts of our industrial relations are so over-laid by various theories of reconstructing them that the public and inany executives are bewildered and are asking for a precise answer to the question, "What does the workman want?"
It is of the essence of good management and foremanship to be able to answer this question and to arrive at sound ideas as to the reasonableness of these wants, and as to the possibility of meeting them in a way which will insure general prosperity instead of weakly yielding to force or political pressure
opportunist issues. Most of us are intimately connected with industry and have been so all our lives, and we know that, while details may be lacking her: