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be effective beginning with the first pay period which begins
SEC. 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in January of each calendar year after 1968, the Secretary of
Labor shall determine the per centum that the annual average
of the Consumer Price Index (all items—United States city 7 average) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the 8 preceding calendar year has increased over that for 1967,
9 or, if later, for the calendar year preceding that in which the 10 most recent adjustment in monthly disability or death com11 pensation pay has been made under this section. If the
12 Secretary determines the per centum of that increase to be
13 3 or more, the monthly disability and death compensation 14 payable to any person under the War Hazards Compensa15 tion Act (42 U.S.C. 1701) on account of a disability or 16 death resulting from injuries sustained prior to July 1, 1946, 17 shall, if such person became entitled to such pay before Jan18 uary 2 of the year in which the Secretary makes that deter
19 mination, be increased by that per centum as of April 1 of
20 that year. The amount of any such increase shall be ad
21 justed to the nearest one-tenth of 1 per centum.
88-651 O - 68 - 3
Senator YARBOROUGH. The first witness today is Congressman Phillip Burton, of the Fifth District of California.
Our second witness will be Assistant Secretary of Labor Esther Peterson, who will present the views of the administration on this bill.
Congressman Burton is the author of H.R. 13689, now pending before the House Committee on Education and Labor. His bill is the same in substance as the measure we are considering here today.
Congressman Burton, I want to congratulate you. We are getting our bill to hearing first, but it was your persistent work over a year and a half with the Department and interested persons trying to work out many conflicts benefiting not merely the House, but both branches of the Congress, which has resulted in the present bill.
You have worked with the Department of Labor to get concurrence on provisions and working out conflicts so that we can bring this bill to a hearing
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator YARBOROUGH. There has been great progress. This is the first day of hearing, the first hearing since 1961 on a similar bill, and I think we begin these hearings with a good prospect for a bill. A great deal of that credit is due to your persistent work, diligent work, over this past year and a half.
You came to the Congress in 1964 with an established reputation for leadership and accomplishment in the field of social legislation, earned in the California State Legislature, where you championed many improvements in unemployment compensation, disability insurance, workmen's compensation, and other legislation.
I welcome you before this committee. A person with that background and experience in the State legislature in these fields of legislation is a good witness. You are a member of the Labor Committee in the House of Representatives.
You have distinguished yourself as an articulate and skilled legislator. You played a major role in drafting the extensive liberalizing amendments to the Federal minimum wage law.
Congressman Burton, since I have lived in the State Capital of my State for 35 years and watched the State legislature in action, I know how valuable it is for a State to have progressive legislators like you serving in the State legislature. I know how important the State legislatures are.
That is often overlooked in this country, the very great importance of the State legislatures in our whole legislative system.
We welcome you here.
Senator Morse, Representative Burton of California will be the first witness. As you know, he pioneered on this bill back in 1966 when you introduced a bill. Congressman Burton has been working on this for a year and a half with the Department to get many things worked out.
The bill we will have hearings on today is a bill which has had approval worked out by the administration. I think much credit is due to Congressman Burton for his fine services.
Senator Morse. I am very anxious to hear the Congressman. As all of us on the committee are aware, Congressman Burton has been thorough and forceful in his efforts to bring this legislation to fruition,
and I want to say that he is to be highly commended for his long and hard work in the field of labor legislation. Congressman Burton has an enviable record on behalf of the betterment of the American people, and I join with the chairman in welcoming the Congressman here to give us his important commentary on the bill.
STATEMENT OF HON. PHILLIP BURTON, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. BURTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
It is generous of you to say what you have said. It is a pleasure for me to be here with you and your distinguished colleague, a man whom I hold in such high regard. It would take the balance of the morning to begin to state the many magnificent contributions that both you and the disthinguished Senator from Oregon have made to the well-being of our society. Your record speaks so much more clearly than any words I might utter in that regard.
As the chairman indicated, Senator Morse introduced in the Senate and I in the House last year legislation to raise the weekly benefit amounts under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Act. The legislation provided, as I recall, a $126 weekly benefit amount.
Senator MORSE. $121.
Mr. BURTON. $121. The proposal before us carries with it a lessor increase in the maximum benefit amounts, but it contains one additional provision that I think is of great importance and value. It provides that in the event there are dependents of an injured worker, the same measurement shall be used for disabled workers under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Act as are used under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, to wit: An increment of 81/3 percent for those injured workers in their weekly benefit amounts if they have dependents.
The bill also provides an increase in the minimum weekly benefit amount, the current level being $18, as the members of the committee know; the proposed level being $35 a week.
The death benefits are proposed to be increased correspondingly.
There is another provision in the bill that provides that where there are no survivors in fatality cases, the employer's liability to the special fund established for equitable uses would be increased from $1,000 to $5,000.
Í might say before continuing that this legislation has been coauthored on the House side by some 22 other of my colleagues.
Just this year we adopted the practice permitted in the past by the Senate, and we now permit coauthorship on the basic legislation. I think it is useful to note that not only the chairman of our full committee, but the ranking Republican and a majority of the members of the House Education and Labor Committee are coauthors of the legislation in the form that it is before us, and in the form approved by the Bureau of the Budget and the administration.
I have submitted to the committee some background data on the increase in wage levels for longshoremen in our area of San Francisco and on the Pacific coast which indicates that if the wage-loss ratio of some several years ago is to be restored, the $105 would certainly be a justified amount.
1 Not available. Note: Longshoremen are lowest paid of all people represented by International Longshoremen & Warehousemen's Union. Weekly earnings of other classifications range upward from above figures. For instance, average weekly earnings for Pacific coast clerks are $222, for San Francisco clerks, $223. Average weekly earnings for walking bosses and foremen on the Pacific coast are $287; for San Francisco, $334.
Mr. BURTON. With that, Mr. Chairman and Senator Morse, I would like to conclude my remarks by commending you for holding hearings so soon after the legislation was introduced. On the House side we have been held up ever since June 12 with hearings on the poverty bill, the markup of the poverty bill, and the handling of the poverty bill on the floor, which ended just yesterday.
We have quite a backlog of work on the House Education and Labor Committee and I am not certain whether or not we are going to able to start our hearings this year.
In any event, I look forward to reading the transcript of your hearings preparatory to hearings being held on our side.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Thank you, Congressman Burton. .
While the hearings are being held only a few weeks after the bill has been introduced, it is not a new thing that was suddenly sprung upon the people. This bill, similar in content, was introduced in the 89th Congress, August 19, 1966, by Senator Wayne Morse, of Oregon, who was the pioneer in the Senate on this, as he has been of so much beneficial labor legislation over the years, to help the working men and women of American.
Now that I am chairman of the Labor Subcommittee, I have coauthored this with him. It was his exclusive authorship last year. He was out in front, as he has been so many times in the history of this Senate and this Nation, in leading and fighting for measures to help the working men and women of America.
Since he did author this first bill, I will defer any questions.
Thank you for your statements, Congressman Burton. Thank you for your hard work over a year and a half, having brought this much agreement into the executive branch and many other interested parties. I will defer to the father of this bill last year, Senator Wayne Morse, of Oregon. Senator MORSE. Mr. Chairman, of course I appreciate your
kind remarks. You have just talked yourself into my campaign chairmanship, if you had been a citizen of Oregon.
Good-natured ribbing aside, I want to say it is a great pleasure for me to follow your leadership as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor. Your record speaks for itself, and it is a great record.
I haven't any questions, really, to ask of Mr. Burton. I think the record speaks for itself.
I am very much interested in the background material you have, Congressman. I have noticed the trend over the years toward the improvement of the economic status of the longshoremen on our west coast, and may I say also, the improved economic standing of the employers.
The employer group and the Longshoremen's Union have had the wisdom and good sense to recognize that they are in a partnership effort which, I think, has raised collective bargaining in its true meaning and sound objectives to a very high level in our part of the country.
Just scanning these wage rates that you have offered in the exhibit, I am reminded of the wage rates in the industry in the early 1930's, when I first started arbitrating maritime disputes within the industry, and I recognize the real meaning of this exhibit as far as reflecting the results of the partnership to which I have alluded.
You spoke about the schedule in the House. I don't ask for any commitment from you or even an expression of opinion based upon any certainty, but we have been advised, and I think the record ought to give you the opportunity to make comment on it, that the probabilities are that the House will probably not get to hearings on the bill until maybe February, which means that the Senate will have the opportunity, before we adjourn, to make a record that presents the case in chief of the administration, of the employers, and of the unions involved.
That gives us the opportunity, come January, to receive any supplemental material from the parties, including the administration, that they wish to submit.
Without our making any commitment at all, Mr. Chairman, it gives us on the committee an opportunity to decide whether or not early in January we want to give to the parties the opportunity, by way of official requests on the part of the committee, to file additional material or to hear a petition for supplementing their views by a brief hearing:
Senator YARBOROUGH. Before you arrived, Senator, we announced already that we would hold the record open until the 15th of January for any additional statements and summaries, and consider opening it for oral testimoney at that time.
We will have the case in chief here. Hopefully the Congress will adjourn before Christmas, and hopefully we can each go home and report to our constituents. While we are there, we will have the staff working on the material for use.
Senator MORSE. I was not aware of that, Mr. Chairman. I haven't had a chance to talk with you since I got back from Oregon. The record ought to show, because my cards are always on top of the table, I have been in conference with representatives of the industry and representatives of the workers.