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case against those people, but have you any law or anybody to enforce it, don't they know of the transit code? What influence through Grover Whalen or whom, or is it plain graft again? Why are not Fifth Avenue Coach Co. and all of the other transit companies made to live up to the transit code? Why can they defy it by working employees long hours as always-ticket agents on the Interborough Rapid Transit are still working 10 hours a day and dispatchers and supervisors on the Bus Co. 70 hours a week while others are starving. And Johnson and Roosevelt are, by the way, crying for shorter hours and higher pay.
Do those men, Wagner included with Mr. Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, think the people can be fooled forever? Labor has its part done and will do no more until those 25 men of the Bus Co. are reinstated, å speedy trial is needed to retain confidence. You have the evidence for a conviction under the law and if you don't act and act quickly then I would suggest to have Mr. Wood, president of the Fifth Avenue Coach Co., go down to Washington and replace Roosevelt in the White House and you, Wagner, and Johnson get Jimmy Walker's bronx cheer.
Not a pretty letter to receive, but, unfortunately, indicative of the distrust the public is beginning to feel in the sincerety of the Government.
One of the major difficulties now is that due to our lack of power cases drag on and on, and the employer all too successfully engages in a war of attrition. This is no help to the recovery program, when as a result factories stay closed for weeks and even months, and workers, when strike benefits are exhausted must knuckle under or ask for charity relief.
While the labor board must be given enforcement power, I think it only fair to point out that those of us who are dealing with these labor disputes day after day realize to the full our responsibility to educate and train both employers and employees in a realization of their several responsibilities. It has been a source of gratification to the New York Regional Labor Board to maintain a continuing communication with a number of firms and groups of workers that have come before us for an adjudication of their labor disputes. I frequently find myself back again in the role of a production manager, as in the case of the Whelan Studios, a coast to coast network of photographic studios.
Since reaching a strike settlement through the agency of the New York board this firm has consulted us on numerous occasions on both personnel and production problems. Similarly a newly formed union has taken us into their confidence frequently and sought advice in advance of taking any drastic action, thereby enabling us to stave off many unecessary and costly struggles. Yesterday the president of a chain of hotels submitted to me for cirticism a series of bulletins he proposed issuing to his executive officers in explanation of certain problems that had arisen under section 7 (a).
I point these things out only to show that if public confidence in the labor board can be strengthened and maintained we shall be in an increasingly better position to render a service to the country which never appears in the records of the National Labor Board as "strikes settled.»
The present equivocal status of the labor board, however, seriously impairs, if, indeed, it has not already destroyed our power for effective action because of the loss of public confidence. The Labor Board has a contribution to make to industrial stability, if it is given the requisite power to enforce its decisions where it is impossible to mediate disputes.
The necessity of building a firm structure for securing permanent industrial justice and peace must be apparent. I come straight from the "firing line" to try to show you some of the forces that render urgent and imperative the passage of the Wagner Labor Disputes Act. We are engaged today, not alone in a fight and struggle to win our way back to prosperity, however we may severally define "prosperity”, but I see in the Wagner bill a long-range program to secure an enduring and above all practical basis for industrial peace.
Unless we can work out rules of the game that apply equitably to both employers and labor, we are faced with increasing violance and increasing industrial strife, caused by the failure of the Government to back up section 7 (a). If we do not put the labor board on such a basis as the Wagner bill establishes, I believe that we face a total collapse of the present economic system. Implement section 7 (a) of the Recovery Act by passing the labor disputes bill. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Will Mr. Mullenbach come forward? STATEMENT OF JAMES MULLENBACH, CHICAGO ARBITRATOR,
CHICAGO, ILL. The CHAIRMAN. Will you give us your full name for the record Mr. Mullenbach?
Mr. MULLENBACH. James Mullenbach, 855 Drexel Square, Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Your occupation and business.
Mr. MULLENBACH. I am arbitrator for the clothing trades, particularly for Hart, Schaeffner & Marx, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, of Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been engaged as arbitrator?
Mr. MULLENBACH. It will be 22 years in May since we had our first hearing. I am also connected as a representative of the National Labor Board since August, until the first of the year; since that time I have been a member of the Petroleum Labor Policy Board in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like very much to have your views on this bill.
Mr. MULLENBACH. I should like at the outset to distinguish between the official relationship, as a member of this Board, and my personal opinion. I think we all understand that, as the representative of the regional labor board in Chicago at times, or as a member of the Federal Labor Board, I am restricted and limited strictly by the terms of that act, that when the people select their representatives, those representatives are either A. F. of L. men, whether they are independent union, whether they choose to organize under an employees' representative plan, so far as it is on their own initiative and of their own will, I am required as a representative of the Board to recognize the union, no matter what I might think about a company union as such.
Now, I would like to say a word or two, in order to be brief, on certain points of this bill, points that I believe would help in the clarification and the enforcement of section 7 (a) which I think would be more to the point. I could go into a very elaborate discussion here
as to why I think this bill is an attack upon the final citadel of democracy and our social order and our country, which it is, but I do not want to go into that, into a long discourse, why it is that they resort to devious devices by company unions in order to retain their power.
The CHAIRMAN. You might send us a statement for the record of your views. They will be put into the record.
Mr. MULLENBACH. I would like to do that, if that would be satisfactory to you.
First, with regard to the composition of the Board, my suggestion there is that the representatives of the public--the three representatives of the public-be given sole voting power in the Board. I think it is well to have these 3 representatives, and the 2 representatives of capital and labor on the Board, but these representatives of capital and labor I would have in purely an advisory relationship. It is my observation during these years as an arbitrator and mediator that it is very difficult sometimes for an arbitrator to make a decision that is entirely satisfactory to both sides. I can conceive of situations arising where it would be quite impossible for the three members of the Board to secure the consent of both sides to a decision that they believe to be valid and proper.
To speak of my experience in the regional labor board in Chicago, we had a case which was before your National Labor Board, the case of A. Roth, which is a small concern. In that case the employer had to be summoned three times before the regional labor board before he was finally persuaded to appear by one of the representatives of his own kind, a representative of the Manufacturers Association that sits upon our Board. Not until that persuasion was used did he appear before our Board, and when he appeared there, in response to a question by the chairman, President Hutchins of the Univeristy of Chicago, who asked him if he were prepared to observe the regulation of 7 (a
The CHAIRMAN. Just a minute. Could you come back this afternoon?
Mr. MULLENBACH. Yes; I could come back this afternoon.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure your presentation will be most helpful and very interesting. I do not like to press you, but we will have to finish very soon. Now may I suggest that you and the other witnesses, those who desire to be heard, that they return to the committee room at 2:30 this afternoon.
(Whereupon a recess was taken, at the hour of 1:00 p.m., until 2:30 p.m., of the same afternoon, Thursday, March 16, 1934.)
(The hearing was resumed at 2:30 p.m.)
The CHAIRMAN. I must apologize for being late. I should not have agreed to come back at all this afternoon because I knew I had an engagement that would keep me quite a long time, but I thought I would try to find an opportunity to hear some of this evidence, especially those who could not be here next Tuesday. I understand Mr. Chipman is anxious to get a hearing and that Mr. Mullenbach is willing to have Mr. Chipman take his place. Mr. MULLENBACH. Dr. Lapp.
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN A. LAPP
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Lapp, what is your full name?
Dr. LAPP. Chairman of the bituminous coal labor board of division 2; member of the National Bituminous Coal Labor Board; for several weeks last fall at the beginning directing the Chicago Regional Labor Board, and associated rather closely with that organization since that time; at the present time engaged entirely in the work of the bituminous coal labor board, division 2, which includes the State of Indiana, the State of Iowa, and the very peaceful State of Illinois.
I do not intend to go into the question of collective bargaining because that has been presented to this Board fully by a number of witnesses. I will pass that up.
Yesterday this article by Senator Wagner was proposed and one of the witnesses said he would present it, the one that appeared last Sunday, on company unions. Lest he does not present it, I will leave it here with the committee because I think it is one of the most excellent statements of the principles of collective bargaining, and also one of the best expositions of the company union.
(The newspaper article referred to by the witness is attached as an exhibit.)
Dr. LAPP. In the first place, I am not speaking in behalf of the rightness of collective bargaining because in my judgment only extreme Bourbons oppose collective bargaining. It is quite inconceivable to be that anyone should hold that workers have not the right to act in unison. It is an elemental right of man to do that, and it seems to me like a travesty that we are here discussing before a Senate committee and that the Senate committee and the Senators take time necessarily in consideration of a question that is settled by plain, ordinary principles of right, that men have the same right to organize as workers that industrialists have to organize as industrialists. Now, the industry from which I come as a representative is fully organized in three States. There are only 2 or 3 company unions in all of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa in the coal industry, and there are only a few, and very small mines at that, that are organized.
Moreover, these mines have been organized for many years and I have yet to find any leader of industry who would go back to the anarchy of the old days. I doubt if you would find any leaders in the three States who would think of giving up collective bargaining as it has been developed in those three States in the coal industry.
The coal code under which we work goes farther even than section 7 (a) and even goes farther than the proposed bill. I would like to read the section of the coal code to show how far this matter extends:
Sec. 5. Labor relations.-(a) Any controversy concerning hours, wages, and conditions of employment, or compliance with the provisions of article V of this code that is the labor provisionsbetween employers and employees who are organized or associated for collective action shall, if possible, be adjusted by conference and negotiation between duly designated representatives of employers and such employees, meeting either in a mine conference or district conference or divisional conference, as the machinery for such conference may be established by agreement of the parties thereto; and it shall be the duty of employers and employees to exert every reasonable effort to establish such machinery of adjustment and to utilize it to negotiate to a conclusion such controversies wherever possible.
In other words, in our industry, the code calls for both employers and employees to get organized in order that they may settle disputes with the machinery thus set forth, and the Bituminous Coal Labor Board is given jurisdiction to see that that is done, and in some instances, the Board has definitely ordered the representatives of small mines to get organized in order that they might settle their own disputes, we realizing that if they settle their own disputes this Board as a governmental body will have comparatively little to do.
I am very much agreed on this bill. It is an excellent bill. There are a few details in it that one might question but they are not the important provisions of the bill.
It removes the obstructions to industrial peace. It removes the main causes of industrial war. It does this by stopping the causes at their very source; it does not stop strikes, nothing can do that completely, but it does lessen or will be bound to lessen their occurrence.
I emphasize again that it is a preventive measure.
Experience as we have had it in the regional labor boards and elsewhere shows that representatives of workers for collective bargaining must be absolutely free and no company union represented can be free to be an agent in collective bargaining, it just is not possible for a man who represents a company union, dependent upon a company, to be a representative in collective bargaining.
Representatives of company unions are not free, because, as you heard this morning, and as you heard yesterday, they are under the domination and the influence of the employers, and to have a collective bargaining arrangement or a contract between a company union and the company is absurd. No man can contract with himself. No one department of a business can contract with another department of business, and the company union is nothing short of a department of the business contracting with another part of the business.
I should like to emphasize what others have emphasized here throughout these hearings, that there is no collective bargaining arrangement in force anywhere, nor to my knowledge has one ever been made, where wages, hours, and the really vital conditions of work have been the object of negotiations between company union representatives and the employers.
As a rule also the men in a plant, the men who work in the plant, are not able to and willing to stand up in the face of their employer as the representative of their fellow employees. I think that is ex-V tremely important to emphasize although it is a matter well known to all who have had connection with labor unions. An employee who faces his employer is timid, even though he has a group back of him. I have been in groups where employers have met employees and the first thing that struck me was the timidity of the men when they faced their employer. The result is that it is necessary for employees to have outside representatives if they are really going to be free in the bargaining which they are to have with their employer. That is why it is so essential that the men have free choice to pick men either within their own group or outside of their own group, men who work in this