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THE STATE OF WYOMING,
Cheyenne, April 23, 1935. Hon. COMPTON I. WHITE, Chairman of the House Reclamation Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. WHITE: Your committee has under consideration H. R. 6875, a bill providing for the allocation of net revenues of the Shoshone power plant of the Shoshone reclamation project in Wyoming, and this is to advise you of my desire that every favorable consideration be given this measure by your committee and by the National Congress.
I believe that a consistent inquiry into the handling of similar matters will convince you that the purpose of this bill is justified by the existing situation on the Shoshone project. Thanking you in advance and with kind regards, I am Sincerely,
LESLIE A. MILLER (S), Governor.
FORTY-HOUR WEEK FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES
MAY 7, 1935.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. ROMJUE, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post
Roads, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 6990]
The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, having had under consideration the bill (H. R. 6990) to fix the hours of duty of postal employees, and for other purposes, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that the bill do pass.
From every point of approach, this bill, providing for a postal 5-day work week, is wise and timely legislation. It is a natural and necessary step in economic and industrial evolution, and the causes which prompt it are so insistent and compelling that they cannot be disregarded. It is plain that the heart and center of the present economic upset lie in the vast and steady expansion of productive efficiency to which society must adjust itself.
True enough, expanding productive efficiency reflects the natural trend of progress. As such it should be welcomed as a social blessing. It is imperative, however, that these modern productive agencies be wisely directed so as to maintain a measurable balance between production and consumption and to permit the workers to participate in some equitable degree in its benefits. Thus the realization has come that there must be a reduction in the average work week without a reduction in wages as a condition essential to social well-being and as a requirement for national prosperity.
The record of recent years shows that throughout industry the weekly average of labor hours has tended steadily downward until there is a wide and growing observance of the 40-hour work week. Indeed, the number of workers now enjoying a work week ranging from 40 to 30 hours per week reaches impressive totals.
The Postal Service, whose employees for the most part are now scheduled on a 44-hour work-week basis, should adjust itself to this shorter work-week trend. Because of its magnitude, its wide ramifications, and the number of its employees, the Postal Service holds a natural position of leadership, both on its own account and as an example in the industrial and economic field. The time has arrived when the Postal Service should establish a 40-hour work week as provided in the terms and purposes of this bill.
Approximately 75,000 Government workers in the skilled trades are now enjoying the 40-hour week. Postal workers are employees of high skill and training and deserve the same consideration. It can be cited, in support of this claim, that they have shown over a long period a remarkable increase in efficiency. A survey made by a governmental agency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, revealed that by comparison of 1929 with 1909 it would be necessary to employ 107,000 more workers than were on the rolls in 1929 to turn out the same volume of work. This increase in efficiency is confirmed by the figures of employment and revenues. In 1913 there were 301,000 employees of all classes on the postal rolls. This force produced $266,000,000 in revenues. In 1934 there were 279,000 employees of all classes on the rolls. This number produced $586,000,000 in revenues. Thus, 22,000 less employees produced $320,000,000 more. Even with the effects of the depression the average postal employee is shown to have produced three times the revenue of his predecessor of 21 years before.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor reports that under 534 codes operating by direction of the N. R. A., the maximum hours per week in about 500 of those codes is 40 hours. Certain codes stipulate the 5-day week. In January 1935 the average hours of work per week in all industries was 36.4. Postal employees would be classified as skilled workers. In the skilled trades, such as the following, the average hours per week are Machine tool makers.-
39. 9 Typewriters and parts.
38 9 Automobiles.
39.7 Locomotive building
34 2 Shipbuilding
30. 7 Railroad repair shops
39. 3 Furniture workers
37. 4 Lumber mill workers..
35. 3 Boot and shoe makers.
37. 4 Public utilities, such as telephone and telegraph.
38 3 Electric lights
39. 4 General merchandising, both wholesale and retail.
40 7 Leather workers..
37, 7 Book and job printing
37. 3 Newspaper and periodicals..
37. 1 Rubber goods workers...
36. 6 Federal workers in the executive departments of the Government work upon a 39-hour-week basis. Postal workers, more skilled than many other of the Federal workers, work upon a basis of 44 hours per week. Skilled trades, such as machinists and typographical workers in the Government service, are limited by law to a 40-hour week.
The Post Office Department's report on the bill reads as follows:
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. C., April 30, 1935.
House of Representatives.
This proposed legislation would affect 121,069 employees, and the increased cost
Because of the great increase in the cost of postal operations which would result from the passage of this measure, it is our opinion that the proposed legislation would not be in the interest of the service. Very truly yours,
JAMES A. FARLEY, Postmaster General.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of Rule XIII of the House, the changes proposed by the bill (H. R. 6990) in existing law (46 Stat. 1164; U. S. C. Sup. VII, title 39, sec. 831) are shown as follows (the matter proposed to be stricken out by the bill is shown in black brackets and the new matter proposed to be inserted by the bill is shown by italics; the existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
That when the needs of the service require supervisory employees, special clerks, clerks, and laborers in first- and second-class post offices, and employees of the motor-vehicle service, and carriers in the City Delivery Service and in the village delivery service, and employees of the Railway Mail Service, to perform service [in excess of four hours) on Saturday they shall be allowed compensatory time for such service on one day within five working days next succeeding the Saturday on which the excess service was performed: Provided, That employees who are granted compensatory time on Saturday for work performed the preceding Sunday or the preceding holiday shall be given the benefits of this Act on one day within five working days following the Saturday when [said] such compensatory time was granted: Provided further, That the Postmaster General may, if the exigencies of the service require it, authorize the payment of overtime for service (in excess of four hours) on the last three Saturdays in the calendar year in lieu of co.z. pensatory time: And provided further, That for the purpose of extending the benefits of this Act to railway postal clerks, the service of said railway postal clerks assigned to road duty shall be based on an average not exceeding (seven hours and twenty minutes] eight hours per day for [three hundred and six] two hundred and fifty-four days per annum, including a proper allowance for all service required on lay-off periods as provided in Post Office Department Circular Letter Numbered 1348, dated May 12, 1921, or not in excess of an average of one hundred and seventy-five miles per day for two hundred and fifty-four days per annum, and hours of service shall control until the daily average miles is exceeded; and railway postal clerks required to perform service in excess of [seven hours and twenty minutes daily] an average of eight hours per day or an average of one hundred and seventy-five miles per day, as herein provided, shall be paid in cash at the annual rate of pay or granted compensatory time, at their option, for such overtime. Excess mileage shall be converted into hours on the basis of the average hourly speed of the train and paid for, at the pro rata hourly rate of pay. Line organizations shall be fixed to keep within the aggregate annual service provided herein except where it is to the interest of the public service to exceed the same in regular organization of the line. In such cases, only, organizations in excess of these standards may be established and such excess service shall be credited and paid for as overtime. This Act shall take effect (at the beginning of the second quarter after its passage] July 1, 1935.
H. Repts., 74-1, vol. 2-42