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those people back again, because they represent a large percentage of our people who perhaps were denied opportunities for employment and found themselves on the relief rolls.
Mr. DURHAM. Do you not think that they are like everybody else; out for higher wages?
Mr. Hines. That may be one of the factors. I do not like to get into that subject too deep.
Mr. DURHAM. You folks have opposed the farm program that has been advocated throughout the country in an effort to raise the cost of products so that we can pay them a more decent wage.
Mr. HiNEs. Everybody feels that he ought to get more. I won't say everybody, but many people. Many people think they ought to get more. I think that those of us who are here at home ought to be very glad to have the opportunity to get along on less and still less, if it is necessary in the war effort.
Mr. Brooks (presiding). Dr. Fenton?
Mr. FENTON. Mr. Chairman, I think Mr. Hines has done a good job for the anthracite region. He has just reiterated a lot of questions I have asked at various times. I am very glad that Mr. Hines came here today. He certainly did a good job as Secretary of Labor in Pennsylvania in the past 4 years for those in the administration, and I am sure that he handled the labor relations question in good shape. I believe he proved that in his statement in connection with these bills today.
I believe that Mr. Hines has made a very good suggestion here, namely, that the United States Employment Service officials could give us much information on the labor situation in various parts of the country. I know that it could with reference to our area, the anthracite region. It could tell us a lot about the manpower situation there.
I take it, Mr. Hines, that you are absolutely against these bills!
Mr. Hines. Yes, sir. That is the position of the Federation and is also my position, of course.
Mr. FENTON. I think that is all.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Hines, a few days ago we had here a witness who stated that in the shipbuilding industry—and I am mentioning this because your organization handles it in our part of the country entirely, I think
Mr. HINES. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. This witness stated that there were certain rules about dividing duties among various workmen which made it impossible for some of them to give a full day's work. The one he mentioned in particular was this one: Alongside the riveters was a man who had a blowtorch, and he had to blow out holes through which the bolts went, and he also cut off the extra metal. That particular division of employees, this man said, worked only about 15 percent of the time. Is there anything to that?
Mr. Hines. I would not be qualified to explain that away, because I know nothing of the circumstances. I would say this: that any practice that retards production in the shipyards will be, as far as the American Federation of Labor is concerned, eliminated through labor-management committees and through cooperation between the management and those unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. We are not interested in anything today except getting the job done.
Mr. Johnson. In other words, your organization is willing to sit down with the employer and with any government agency, and if it is pointed out how you can do more work, you will rearrange your rules to do it?
Mr. Hines. There is no question about that.
Mr. JOHNSON. About 10 years ago I was down in Long Beach, Calif. There was an earthquake. "My wife and I were right downtown, where the main damage occurred. It looked very serious at the time, and right away the police took over the situation and commandeered certain people, such as doctors and the like, to help. Is not that the general scheme of the Wadsworth bill?
Mr. Hines. I do not think there is any analogy there between an emergency such as one created by an earthquake and a condition that we have foreseen, that we are familiar with. While it might be characterized as an emergency, it differs considerably from the one you spoke of. I think, under those circumstances, that if I had been pressent-or anyone else, for that matter-I would have been glad to rush in and render what service I could.
Mr. JOHNSON. You have heard mentioned here by the various members that in certain parts of the country the people are leaving, such as in the chairman's State, Kentucky, and going more than 2,000 miles to work in California. I do not think that a scheme like the Wadsworth bill would help equalize and correct that situation.
Mr. HINES. I think that Mr. McNutt has that well in hand right now. If they are not needed in California, he will tell them to stay home; that there are no jobs for them out there. I think he has sufficient power to control that situation.
Mr. Johnson. Sometimes we have to move them to get them into jobs that are open for them.
Mr. Hines. I believe that the War Manpower Commission has authority to do that.
Mr. Johnson. Do you concur in what they are doing?
Mr. Hines. Well, as I said before, I am not in a position to make an official statement on that. I sincerely trust it is going to work out satisfactorily, but I am a little afraid that it may add to the confusion already existing in many governmental agencies.
Mr. JOHNSON. Did you and do you believe in the selective-service law ?
Mr. HINES. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. What is the distinction between the principle of the Wadsworth bill, where you take one brother and say to him, “You will have to work on a farm," and the selective-service law, where you take the other brother and say to him, “You will have to go out and fight”? What is the distinction, assuming that the country is in a war which might be lost?
Mr. HINES. I would say that there is this distinction: That normally people work in industry; normally people do not enlist in the Army. When the war comes along, there is need to increase the armed forces. In the wisdom of Congress, supported by the people, the Selective Service Act was enacted as the most capable way of selecting people for the armed forces. It is presumed that industry can and should go along in its normal manner, with people volun
tarily going into jobs and doing the work for which they are fitted. That apparently seems to be working out all right. I am not any too sure that if you have compulsion—the most stringent kind of compulsion-you are going to solve the problem any better than you are now. Certainly the morale of the people is not going to be any better.
I have offered my services in several capacities, where I felt I could serve my country and serve it well, but in the wisdom of the people who had charge, my services were not accepted.
I think there are hundreds of thousands of people today who will be glad to go voluntarily into industry. Again I say, I would like to know what industry is doing to absorb those people: whether the rules and regulations or other interests and requirements are so high that they are debarring many people from industry. I think it is highly important that we know all that before we go into the compulsory phase of this thing.
Mr. Johnson. Do you not think that in the hustle and bustle of trying to make this national effort, there are bound to be many distortions, and that perhaps if we had an inventory of our help and knew where they were needed we could equalize that, because everybody is going to be paid for his time?
Mr. HINES. I think we can do it very well without the Wadsworth bill. I think we should go into the question of why the labor representative of the War Manpower Commission made the statement in the Philadelphia papers 4 weeks ago that one of the causes of absenteeism was the fact that employers did not give employees whom they laid off immediate releases, so that they could be placed in other industries immediately. Sometimes they wandered around for a week, 10 days, or 2 weeks without having the necessary release, because the employer felt that it was going to be only a matter of a week or so before he would call them back again. That is a type of labor hoarding that prevails in many instances. I would certainly hate to be compelled, or to compel anybody, to go into an industry if there was a shortage of materials or if there was hoarding in that industry, and after I got there found that there was nothing to do.
I read of a complaint filed by a group of doctors who were taken out of a certain locality and placed in a camp, but whose services were not utilized; and yet people back home were suffering as a result of that.
Mr. BROOKS (presiding). Mr. Johnson, there is a roll call in the House now. Do you think you will be able to finish in a few minutes ?
Mr. JOHNSON. I have finished, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Brooks (presiding). Thank you, Mr. Hines. The committee will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(At 1:10 p. m. an adjournment was taken until Tuesday, April 20, 1943, at 10 a. m.)
FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 1943
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. (The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Andrew J. May (chairman) presiding.)
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. The committee is continuing hearings this morning on H. R. 2239 and three or four other bills, the list of which is in the record.
We have four witnesses this morning. I am calling first Mr. Martin H. Miller, national legislative representative, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.
Mr. Miller, will you come around, please, and make your statement just as brief as you can? Let me say this. We want to hear all of these witnesses today, and I hope that you will go directly to the issue involved in the legislation and that the committee members will refrain from unnecessary questioning. A lot of these hearings in the past have gone into a rather wide range, due to the fact that we wanted to give everybody an opportunity to express themselves fully. In a court proceeding the judge would likely confine you to three witnesses on any one subject, and then confine their testimony to the direct issue involved, and I hope we will proceed in that way.
STATEMENT OF MARTIN H. MILLER, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE
REPRESENTATIVE, BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Martin H. Miller, national legislative representative of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, with offices at 10 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, D. C. The grand lodge headquarters of the brotherhood are located in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. A. F. Whitney is president. The brotherhood consists of approximately 193,000 members in the United States, Canada, and Newfoundland, employed by railroads and bus companies as conductors and brakemen in road, vard, passenger, and freight service, yardmasters, switch tenders, carretarder operators, and operators on intercity busses.
It is my understanding that your committee now has under consideration four bills, all of which are related to various phases of the manpower problem. With your permission, I desire to discuss H. R. 1742, the Wadsworth bill, providing for compulsory national war service.
The members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, like other workers and people generally, are discussing present-day problems, chief of which is the war. We join with all other loyal Americans in wanting to win the war. We want to win it quickly. The most important question is, how? Will we win it more quickly if we impose on every American man and woman compulsory servitude, or will we win it faster if we have the voluntary efforts of everyone in the good old-fashioned American way of free labor?
We join with our fellow workers and the majority of the people in the sincere belief that free labor can and will win the war. Free workers produce more and better products, whether in peacetime or war. This Nation faces grave danger if we, as a free democratic people, forget the fundamentals which have contributed to the building of this great Nation and heed the Tory call of a Fascist-minded minority by giving serious consideration to proposals for national conscription of civilians for war or any other service.
We have profound respect for the honorable gentleman who introduced the bill under consideration. We disagree with him on the need for such legislation. We think it is wholly unnecessary. We believe such legislation will actually have the reverse effect, that it will not aid in the full utilization of all manpower.
The members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen have done and are now doing everything they can to win the war and to win the peace. We have kept our no-strike pledge given immediately following the declaration of war. Our members in the yards and on the trains and intercity busses have already made many adjustments to meet the needs of war and now stand ready to voluntarily do our full share for victory. We, with our fellow workers, will continue to transport the total mobilization of war supplies and personnel, along with the civilians and their property, and deliver all speedily to destinations, and perform this service voluntarily as free workers, if given the opportunity to do so.
We know the American people as workers on the farms, in the mines, mills, factories, and offices will likewise do their full share and do a better job of it voluntarily as free workers. We are not convinced that the American public morale is so low that this great Nation must now resort to the undemocratic procedures of conscription of civilians. The workers fear compulsory civilian service legislation. They feel that such legislation will be used as an opening wedge to destroy their unions, their rights of collective bargaining, and their seniority rules. They believe that such legislation can and will be used to destroy the social gains of our time. We think they are justified in such fears, for have they not witnessed the destruction of the unions and social gains in Italy and Germany under the Fascists and Nazis, who in the beginning used the same seemingly plausible excuses as we now hear to justify sugar-coated conscription as a wartime emergency cure-all ?
The Wadsworth bill, in section 1 (c), makes an offer of protection to the workers by declaring there is no intention to modify, and so forth, existing laws relating to maximum hours, minimum wages,