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I thank you, gentlemen.
Senator BRICKER. I think you have made an excellent presentation.
Let me ask you one question before you leave. There was a note in this morning's paper that an order was issued yesterday exempting eight out of 10 farm workers from wage controls. The Wage Stabilization Board issued an order removing all farm workers making less than 95 cents an hour from the wage freeze. Their wages may be raised freely until they reach 95 cents. Above that rate pay raises may yet be given, provided the increases do not exceed 10 percent of the top wage level paid during 1950.
Will that have any impact upon farming in the country, generally?
Mr. Newsom. I am not sure that I am qualified to answer that. I would say to you that the basic facts, as I understand them, involved in this thing are these: That if we attempt to, by the best method I know, break up net agricultural income in the past year, we may assign zero percent of that income for management, just absolutely nothing, and assign 5 percent to return on investment, which is certainly low enough, and even then we have an average wage return for the farmers of this country that amounts to only 69 cents an hour; dividing up the total agricultural income, as I have indicated, 69 cents an hour.
Now, I ask you to keep that figure in mind in respect to this order. The point is, if we are going to pay more than 69 cents an hour for employed help, assuming that efficiency and ability to contribute to the agricultural productive effort is somewhere near average, then the operator himself is going to take just that much less than 69 cents.
Senator BRICKER. The farm owner ought to be entitled to at least as much as his help gets.
Mr. NEWSOM. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will stand in recess until 2:30 this afternoon.
Mr. NEWSOM. Thank you, sir.
(Whereupon, at 1:15 p. m., a recess was taken until 2:30 p. m. of the same day.)
Senator SPARKMAN. Let the committee come to order, please.
STATEMENT OF IRA MOSHER, CHAIRMAN, INDUSTRIAL MOBILI
ZATION COMMITTEE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS, ACCOMPANIED BY LAMBERT MILLER, GENERAL COUNSEL; RALPH W. ROBEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST; AND LEO TEPLOW
Mr. MOSHER. Mr. Rullin is not certain he will be here. Dr. Roby is here, Mr. Teplow, and Mr. Miller.
Senator SPARKMAN. Before we start, do you have a prepared statement ?
Mr. MosHER. Yes, Senator Sparkman.
Mr. Mosher. My name is Ira Mosher. I am president of Ira Mosher Associates, New York City. I am appearing, as chairman of the mobilization committee, on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, an organization composed of more than 16,000 members.
I am limiting my testimony to title V of the Defense Production Act, which deals with labor disputes, since other aspects of the legislation before you have been discussed by another NAM representative.
I think I should stop to explain that while I am thoroughly in agreement with all that Mr. Ruffin had to say about price controls and other controls this morning, I am dealing with a subject that is with us. We have got a Wage Stabilization Board that is now presumably starting to function, and my remarks, therefore, are confined to that part, or that area of the situation as it exists today. It is not my intent, except as you may wish, to go into any comments on the Wage Stabilization Board itself, as it functions, except as under title V.
I have this prepared paper which you have in front of you, which is rather long, and goes into considerable detail. If I may, I would just like to highlight a few points to try to save your time.
Senator SPARKMAN. I would be very glad for you to do that, and the statement in full will be printed at the end of your testimony.
Mr. MOSHER. It has been less than 6 years since the industrial relations of this Nation were released from the tight grasp of the National War Labor Board of World War II. If there is any one single thing conclusively proved by the War Labor Board it is that there can be no genuine collective bargaining so long as Government intervention fixes the terms and conditions of employment.
Nevertheless, the President, over the unanimous objections of industry, on April 21 again created an agency to intervene between employers and employees in framing their individual or collective bargains. The President took this action despite our wartime experience and despite the congressionally defined national policy of reliance upon negotiation and collective bargaining. Experience shows that neither collective bargaining nor the national labor policy based on collective bargaining, can survive any protracted period of Government intervention in the affairs of employers and employees.
By recreating the Wage Stabilization Board and granting it certain authodity in the field of labor disputes, the President acted on the basis of his so-called "general" powers and in contravention of the clearly expressed intention of Congress in enacting title V of the law now being reviewed by this committee. This was admitted by the General Counsel of the Office of Defense Mobilization when on May 8 he told the House Committee on Banking and Currency that the present Wage Stabilization Board was “not created under title V of the act."
It may be argued, of course, that the present agency is not the equivalent of the War Labor Board since it only has authority to "recommend." You should not be misled by such arguments, however, for, as you all know, there are many ways for “recommendations” of the Government to be made commands. You will all recall that decisions of the old War Labor Board were considered to be "recommendations" only. Yet severe sanctions, both direct and indirect, were
brought to bear on any employer who chose not to follow the “recommendations” given by that agency. If you want to know the path the new Board will inevitably follow, consider these words uttered on April 30 by the United Labor Policy Committee—the group which was appeased by the Executive order of April 21:
The United Labor Policy Committee accepts the reconstitution of the Wage Stabilization Board, with 18 members and with new powers to handle all disputes which substantially affect defense production.
The National Association of Manufacturers opposed conferring disputes authority on the Wage Stabilization Board. It is also opposed to the continuance of such disputes authority in that Board and to the creation at this time of any special agency having jurisdiction over disputes between employers and their employees. This position was adopted by our board of directors in February of this year. It has been subsequently reaffirmed after further intensive consideration had been given the question by the industrial relations committee and the board of directors.
The basic reasons prompting NAM's board of directors to reach this position were fourfold.
First. It was our sincere belief that there was no present need for any extraordinary agency such as the old War Labor Board.
Second. Establishment of a special labor disputes agency would be destructive of the national policy of relying upon voluntary negotiation and collective bargaining for settlement of disputes.
Third. Creation of such an agency would encourage rather than discurage labor disputes and work stoppages.
Fourth. It is our belief that existing provisions of law are adequate to deal with any labor disputes which threaten the defense effort.
With your permission I should like to expand briefly upon these reasons for our opposition to any special agency for the handling of labor disputes.
1. No need exists for special disputes agency.
The Economic Stabilization Administrator has been reliably reported—I heard him say so—as stating that less than one-half of 1 percent of the cases awaiting action by the reconstituted Wage Stabilization Board were dispute cases. The remaining 9912 percent involve questions of interpretation, application, or amendment of national wage stabilization policy.
These are cases where labor and management have agreed to certain terms and conditions of employment subject to approval of the Wage Stabilization Board or where management alone has filed requests. These could have been processed on their merits if the labor members had not boycotted the Wage Board and thus rendered it helpless to act on petitions, issue interpretations, or revise policies. There have also been situations in which labor organizations sought to compel employers to violate stabilization regulations and thus to violate the law of the land.
There is not one single solitary dispute case. They are by agreement by the parties, or by application of the employer alone. There is not a solitary single dispute case, so we are told, out of a total of 1,600.
Cases such as these cannot be considered labor disputes in the ordinary sense. They must be classified as either (1) good-faith arrangements where the parties expect the merits of their agreements
or arrangements to be judged on the basis of national policy; (2) strikes against the United States, rather than the employer; or (3) designed to compel the establishment of a special agency in the hope of bypassing the Labor-Management Relations Act.
Cases falling in the first category, to repeat, could have been processed on the basis of policy except for the game of power politics being played by the leaders of organized labor.
In the second classification, no sympathy should be wasted on those who deliberately strike against the people of the United States. Certainly I cannot defend them, be they employers or labor leaders.
With respect to the third type of situation, for example labor's walkout on the mobilization program, I need only remind this committee of the well-known fact that leaders of organized labor have sought in every way possible to secure repeal of the Labor-Management Reltaions Act, labeled by them the “Slave Labor Act.”
Labor leaders see in a labor dispute agency a means of indirectly nullifying the provisions of the Labor-Management Relations Act specifically designed not only to promote good faith negotiationsin other words, genuine collective bargaining—but also to afford protection to the public. Organized labor's objective is succinctly put in this quotation from the United Labor Policy Committee's statement issued January 11, 1951:
If this [Labor-Management Relations) Act remains on the statute books it can only continue to create discord and disputes and further impede labormanagement efforts to achieve stability. It is fundamental, therefore, to industrial stability and hence to a sound stabilization policy that the Taft-Hartley Act be repealed.
This statement is by the same United Labor Policy Committee which demanded creation of a disputes agency as part of its price to resume participation in the mobilization effort. It is obvious, therefore, that creation of a disputes board is regarded by leaders of organized labor as the practical equivalent of success in their drive to repeal the Labor-Management Relations Act. We submit that Congress should not sanction this obvious attempt to circumvent the law.
On the basis of cases now pending before the Wage Stabilization Board it is difficult for me to understand how anyone can seriously contend that some sort of a special agency is needed to deal with labor disputes.
2. Creation of special disputes agency would destroy collective bargaining
Both the Labor-Management Relations Act and its predecessor the Wagner Act state the basic Federal policy to be the encouragement of the practice and procedure of good faith collective bargaining as a means of mitigating and eliminating labor disputes.
In the Defense Production Act, Congress reaffirmed this policy by stating that the “national policy shall be to place primary reliance upon the parties to any labor dispute to make every effort through negotiation and collective bargaining” to effect settlement in the national interest.
I should like to emphasize that good faith negotiation and collective bargaining cannot survive when their exists a Government agency created for the purpose of deciding all types of disputes arising between employers and employees in the normal processes of collective
bargaining. In such circumstances, the record of the War Labor Board demonstrates that bargaining is replaced by a series of mechanical procedural steps to be taken in order to get a case to the agency for determination. The result, of course, is not only an end to collective bargaining but also the imposition of some form of compulsory arbitration.
The record is very complete in that respect, and I will quote two or three cases.
As early as August 1943, the War Labor Board felt called upon to comment on the tendency to bypass collective bargaining and refer all matters to the WLB for decision. It stated, in part:
There is an unfortunate tendency on the part of some unions and some employers to agree on nothing and to end up every negotiation by saying “Let the War Labor Board decide it, we won't agree on anything.”
Collective bargaining cannot be bypassed without untoward results. (Case No. 3950-D (960), 10 WLR 556.)
The inevitable results of the existence of a disputes agency is also illustrated by the War Labor Board's Shipbuilding Commission which stated in January of 1914:
It is fairly obvious that both parties have shaped their case all along in an effort to secure the most favorable action from the Commission. The union has used a shotgun loaded with fine bird shot hoping that at least a few of the pellets would ring the bell. The company appears to be under the impression that the Commission would grant the union something anyway and that it would weaken its "bargaining position” if it voluntarily acceded to any of the demands. (Case No. 111-10446 (25–1991-D), 21 WLR 121.)
It is not surprising that the War Labor Board felt it was necessary to make such comments since it is axiomatic that the mere creation and existence of a labor disputes board discourages, undermines and prevents operation of the normal processes of collective bargaining. The surprising thing is that a considerable number of people, including leaders of organized labor, seem to think the millennium in labor relations is hand-feeding by a Government agency. One cannot escape being disturbed at the readiness with which organized labor is willing to abandon collective bargaining—its major precept—in favor of terms and conditions of employment dictated by a Government agency created as a form of appeasement to the 14 members of the United Labor Policy Committee.
Let me read you an additional statement along these lines. Here is a quotation from William Green's article, page 200, of the March 1951 issue of the Academy of Political and Social Science, a speech on the Taft-Hartley Act, which reads as follows:
Government dictation of all forms of employment would convert trade unions and management groups into political instruments, and would transfer the scene of bargaining negotiation to the Congress and the administrative agencies of the Government. Since wages and working conditions would in all equity have to weet very high standards in order to compensate workers for the loss of their individual rights, employees themselves would gain nothing while losing their freedom as well.
Those are the words of William Green, written no longer ago than March 26, 1951.
It is almost universally agreed that we have entered upon an emergency period the end of which cannot be foreseen. Our national traditions are based upon voluntarism-not upon compulsion or dictation. Our national labor policy likewise is premised upon voluntarism and good-faith negotiation and collective bargaining.