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Bridge Co. and the State Highway Commission for the erection of a portion of the Pulaski Skyway in 1931. The original amount of the contract was $2,522,070.50. For miscellaneous changes required during construction, extra payment in the amount of $2,204.32 was made. The contract was reduced by $53,843.12 to account for the difference between the original estimated weight of steel and the actual scale weight erected. The final adjusted contract price therefor was $2,470,431.70. Final payment was made on June 2, 1932.
There was no stenographic record made of the meeting between Mr. Jelin, The American Bridge Co. and the Labor Union representatives, but Mr. Jelin, at that time State Highway Commissioner, submitted a report of this meeting, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. We are also enclosing a copy of a statement signed by the American Bridge Co., McClintic-Marshall Corporation and Phoenix Bridge Company, giving their side of the dispute between the contractors and the labor unions.
We hope that this information will serve your purpose and shall be glad to cooperate further with you should you desire any additional data which we may have available. Very truly yours,
STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, (Signed) M. GOODKIND,
New Brunswick, New Jersey, July 31st, 1931. NEW JERSEY STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION,
State House Annex, Trenton, N. J. GENTLEMEN: I beg to report that following a request in writing to me that I attempt to settle certain disputes alleged to exist between those representative of Union labor in this State and The American Bridge Company, McClinticMarshall Corporation and Phoenix Bridge Company, Contractors engaged in construction of certain portions of Route 25 through the State of New Jersey, that I investigated the alleged causes of complaint and ascertained that it was the claim of the Labor Representatives that the above named Companies were not employing New Jersey Labor exclusively on said job, that Union Labor was being discriminated against and that a scale of wages lower than that prescribed by Union rules was being paid to men employed by the above named Companies.
I invited representatives of the above named Companies to meet with representatives of the Labor Organizations in conference. The above named Companies replied by denying that they had any dispute or disagreement with Union Labor and that there was no strike or walk out or other matter existing between the above named Companies and Union Labor requiring any conference with the Labor Representatives. Representatives of the Companies did, however, confer with representatives of the State Highway Commission, including myself. At that conference we pointed out to the representatives of the above named Companies the essential justice of observing the terms of the New Jersey Statute requiring the employment of New Jersey citizens on State work and that members of Labor Unions should not be discriminated against in the giving of such employment. After lengthy discussion representatives of the three Companies presented us with a statement in writing of their policy, which statement reads in part, as "It has always been our policy to give preference insofar as practicable to local men. Consistently with that policy we have given and intend to give preference to workers residing in New Jersey. Wherever properly skilled employees who are Jerseyites and who are willing to work under open shop conditions and for the specified wage apply for work and jobs are open, such applicants will, of course, have preference over nonresidents for the vacancies."
“For the past twenty-five years we have employed and will continue to employ ironworkers and other workmen without regard to their membership or nonmembership in any labor organization.
Representatives of said Companies refused, however, to agree to set up a wage scale in harmony with the requirements of the various Unions controlling those branches of unionized labor appertaining to the construction in question.
The Companies having agreed to give preference to New Jersey citizens and not to discriminate against Union Labor, I feel confident any further disputes may be adjusted, and I further respectfully recommend to the Commission that it use all the means at its disposal to enforce observance of these agreements. Respectfully submitted this Thirty-first day of July, 1931.
(Signed) ABRAHAM JELIN,
The undersigned Companies, engaged in the construction of various sections of State Highway Route 25 between Newark and Jersey City and the bridges over the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers constituting a part of said route, are encountering, as the public knows, so much interference by outside interests with the orderly and peaceful conduct of this work and so much newspaper publicity has been given to this interference that it seems wise to state our position with regard thereto.
We have operated, are operating and will continue to operate on a strictly open shop basis. For the past twenty-five years we have employed and will continue to employ ironworkers and other workmen without regard to their membership or non-membership in any labor organization. We are paying our ironworkers $14 for an eight hour day, which is the highest rate that has been paid in the past in the erection of similar structures in this locality, such as the outerbridge, the Kill von Kull Bridge, the Goethals Bridge and the Pennsylvania Railroad bridges over the Hackensack River.
We have had and now have no dispute whatever with our employees; nor hare they made any complaint touching wages, hours or working conditions. There is obviously, therefore, nothing for arbitration. There has been neither strike nor difficulty in obtaining sufficient competent and trained men. It has always been our policy to give preference insofar as practicable to local men. Consistently with that policy we have given and intend to give preference to workers residing in New Jersey. Wherever properly skilled employees who are Jerseyites and are willing to work under open shop conditions and for the specified wage apply for work and jobs are open, such applicants will, of course, have preference over non-residents for the vacancies.
Our only difficulties have been those created by the outside interference to which we have already referred. Many competent ironworkers of this State have been prevented from getting work on these jobs solely because of the intimidation and fear of violence from the so-called union “pickets”.
The purpose underlying the interference which we have experienced, namely, to force upon us a closed union shop, is illegal in itself and the so-called “picketing”, whether peaceful or violent, is likewise illegal because unrelated to any dispute with our employees. A contractor engaged upon a public work has no possible justification for refusing a citizen of New Jersey employment because he is not a union man. We shall complete our several contracts with the State Highway Commission and in so doing must continue to call upon the proper public authorities for protection to the extent that it may become necessary in the light of any further interference and violence that may be encountered.
AMERICAN BRIDGE COMPANY,
Frick Building, Pittsburgh, Pa.
AUG. 13, 1931. Pay to the order of New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Kearny, N. J., $350.00; Three Hundred Fifty Dollars No Cents.
F. E. WILEY,
Treasurer. Countersigned: FRANK B. THOMPSON,
Assistant Auditor. TO THE UNION TRUST COMPANY 8-72 OF PITTSBURGH, PA. (Various endorsements on back of this check are illegible.)
SEPT. 17th, 1931. Subject: G-4000-7, Jersey City Viaduct. Foster's INDUSTRIAL & DETECTIVE BUREAU,
33 West 42nd Street, New York City. GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt of your favor of September 14th, with receipted bills paid to Mrs. Hagan, for soda and beer supplies the Jersey City Police, from August 7th to September 9th; a total sum of $562.50.
When I gave Captain Foster permission to supply some cool drinks for the policemen, during the hot weather; it was not with the idea of going into the wholesale soda, and beer business. I think that the supplying of these drinks was greatly overdone, but now, since the weather has become cooler, I shall expect a drastic curtailment of the drinks supplied to policemen.
I am also in receipt of your bill dated September 14th, for the services of inside men, in the sum of $454.75. You have included in this bill three men at $15.00 per day, plus their expenses. Could you not get along with two of these $15.00 per day men. Yours truly,
J. B. GEMBERLING.
Copy to Mr. C. S. Garner.
SEPTEMBER 18Th, 1931. Subject
: New Jersey State Highway, G-4000-7—Incidentals in Connection with Police. Mr. J. B. GEMBERLING, Division Erecting Manager,
Philadelphia, Pa. Dear Sir: We have your letter of the 17th enclosing bills of the Foster Industrial & Detective Bureau totalling $8,395.48. There is an item in these bills of $562.60 for soft drinks for the police on our work, which means that $17.58 per day of this Company's money was spent for drinks.
This is a good deal of money and I am raising the question as to whether you or your representatives at the side know from day to day about how much money is being spent for drinks.
I have noticed the extravagance in drinks at the local police station but had no idea they ran into so much money and I see no reason why
we should continue to furnish these drinks.
According to our telephone conversation, you have already taken this matter up with Mr. Foster and I would go a little farther by saying if we supply good, healthy cold water in a suitable container, that is all that could be expected of us and I wish you would write me whether this can be done. Yours truly,
C. S. G.
General Manager of Erection. CSG:W
AMERICAN BRIDGE Co.,
1712 Widener Building, Phila., Sept. 19th, 1931. Subject: G-4000-7 Mr. C. S. GARNER, General Mgr. of Erection,
Pittsburgh, Pa. DEAR SIR: Replying to your favor of September 18th, with further reference to soft drinks furnished the New Jersey Police Force, on duty at the foot of Broadway, Jersey City; no one in our organization knew exactly the cost of these drinks as Captain Foster withheld all of the receipted bills for the drinks, which he rendered in a bunch a few days ago.
Since my letter to Captain Foster, there has been a drastic reduction in the amount of drinks furnished, but in going over the matter carefully yesterday, with Captain Foster, I do not think it would be wise to cut off the supply of these drinks entirely, as the weather is still very warm, and in talking with some of the policemen, I am certain that they appreciate and enjoy this refreshment. It is
, however, definitely understood that the supply of these drinks will be cut off entirely by October 1st. Yours truly,
J. B. GEMBERLING
SEPTEMBER 21, 1931. SUBJECT: G-4000–7, New Jersey State Highway, Lunches for Policemen. Mr. J. B. GEMBERLING, Division Erecting Manager,
Philadelphia, Pa. DEAR Sır: We are going to have to explain the cost in connection with lunches for policemen on the Jersey City work and I wish you would let me know the average cost per day for lunches; whether in your opinion there will soon be a reduction in this cost. If the policemen were assigned other work by their superiors
, they no doubt would furnish their own lunches and I would like to know whether you think the time will soon come when we can eliminate the cost, or at least s large part of the cost of these lunches. Yours truly,
C. S. G.,
Gen. Mgr. of Erection. CSG:W.
SEPTEMBER 21, 1931. SUBJECT: G-4000-7, New Jersey State Highway-Advertising Mr. J. B. GEMBERLING, Division Erecting Manager,
Philadelphia, Pa. DEAR SIR: I return herewith Mr. D. S. Fine's letter of the 18th with the certificate No. 310 of the Kearny Patrolemen’s Benevolent Association in connection with their twenty-first annual reception and ball, which I have had Mr. Paddock, our President, approve.
A check can be sent to the proper party, either from your office or by your local representative and Mr. Fine's letter of the 18th should be turned in with the expense account as it bears approval for this expenditure. Yours truly,
Gen. Mgr. of Erection. CSG:W
OCTOBER 7TH, 1931 SUBJECT: G-4000-7, New Jersey State Highway, Police. Mr. J. B. GEMBERLING, Division Erecting Manager,
Philadelphia, Pa. Dear Sir: According to the internal transfer of $46341.11 for the month of September covering cost of Labor trouble at Jersey City, there is an item of $2536.00 for feeding the policemen, which is an equal to about $74.60 per day. This is quite an item. In other words, it is a rather heavy cash outlay for a day and I am raising the question as to whether something cannot be done to reduce it.
I understand that the police work in three shifts of twenty-five per shift. We are also fully aware of the fact that so far as we know, we will not be called upon to pay anything for this police protection, but could we not get along with fewer police in each shift? I think this is a matter that should be discussed immediately with the Inspector at the side.
I understand from you sometime ago that Captain Foster had left only a few boxes of soft drinks for the police and that when they were exhausted, no more would be purchased. Incidentally, Captain Foster spoke to me on this subject in Newark and I told him it should be stopped for the reason that there is a question whether there is any wisdom in this expenditure and too much money has been spent for these soft drinks, which places us in a rather difficult position to explain why hardy policeman prefer a soft or synthetic drink to good cold water. Personally it seems to me that it was an idea of someone's and really does not mean anything to us but the expenditure of a good deal of money. Yours truly.
General Manager of Erection. CSG:W