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Developments in Industrial Relations
impartial umpire declaring the IUE had violated the AFL-CIO no-raiding pact by petitioning for a representation election at the Belock Instrument Corp. in College Point, Long Island. James B. Carey, president of the IUE, defended his union's action on the grounds that collusion was involved in the original agreement between the company and the Sheet Metal Workers, a contention rejected by the council as being unsupported by the facts. Mr. Carey was ordered by the council to withdraw his union from the election to be held in June.
The case of Carpenter President Maurice A. Hutcheson was again postponed : pending disposition of an Indiana indictment against him over alleged involvement in land sales. Mr. Hutcheson-attending his first executive council meeting in more than a year—invited council members to investigate the union's affairs and assured them that he had done no wrong; his earlier refusal to answer certain questions put to him by a Senate investigating committee, he said, was necessary because he feared his answers might be used against him in his Indiana trial.
The council reportedly mapped a plan to fight for repeal of “right to work” laws in three States (Kansas, Utah, and Indiana) and to survey conditions in five others to determine whether a similar effort should be made there.
AFL-CIO Executive Council. The spring meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council was held in Washington, D.C., May 18–21. Of immediate concern was the Kennedy-Ervin labor reform bill passed by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives. In its original form, the bill had the blessings of the AFL-CIO, but because of a series of amendments attached to it, the council charged the bill “would unwarrantedly jeopardize the liberties of all honest trade unionists." It directed President George Meany to present to the House Committee on Education and Labor a “point by point analysis of the weakness and dangers in the bill. .. The Senate bill was also opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers on the grounds that its proposed reforms were not strong enough.
The council failed to resolve differences between two factions in the dispute placed before it by the Steelworkers and the Industrial Union Department which accused the Metal Trades Department of organizing in competition with industrial unions. A compromise report, worked out by President Meany, reportedly eliminated some of the differences contained in separate reports previously submitted by a two-man committee appointed to study the problem. It was turned down by ex-CIO officials now on the executive council on the grounds that the report, accepted, would have licensed the craft unions to continue their alleged raiding of plants organized by the industrial unions. The issue was referred to the eight-man executive committee "to study and try to find some solution.”
In a related jurisdictional dispute-involving the International Union of Electrical Workers and the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association—the council upheld the decision of an
Conventions and Mergers. Many of the union conventions in May stressed political action and collective bargaining policies. At the 30th convention of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, delegates approved a number of resolutions recommended by its General Executive Board as a result of antitrust suits pending against the ILGW. To finance the union's increased activities growing out of the resolutions, delegates approved a rise in the per capita tax paid by local and joint board affiliates to $1.50 a month (from $1.17). Most of the increase will be allocated toward establishing, for the first time in the international union's history, a $5 million
*Prepared in the Division of Wages and Industrial Relacions, Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the basis of currently available published material.
1 See Monthly Labor Review, March 1959, p. 302.
strike fund to provide members with benefits beginning with the second week of a walkout or lockout. Benefits will amount to $20 a weekhalf to be financed from the fund and the remainder to be paid by the striking local or joint board.
A resolution was approved calling for "a nationwide party of consistent liberalism” to promote liberal legislation. To accomplish this goal, the resolution urged greater trade unionist voter registration along with more financial contributions, and legislation reapportioning Congressional representation following the 1960 Census.
Another major action taken at the convention was the relinquishment by President David Dubinsky of his post as secretary-treasurer, a position he has held along with that of president since 1932. The 1,000 attending delegates unanimously reelected Mr. Dubinsky as president and Louis Stulberg, for the past 3 years executive vice president, an appointive position, as secretary-treasurer. In addition, three new vice presidents were elected to fill vacancies caused by death and resignations.
Delegates to the United Shoe Workers' convention also agreed to set up a national strike fund to be financed through appropriate per capita payments. Delegates of the 60,000-member union also approved proposals for an increase in the statutory minimum wage to $1.25, a 35-hour workweek, and a drive to organize nonunion workers in the shoe industry.
A dismal outlook for hosiery workers was portrayed before delegates attending the 45th biennial convention of the American Federation of Hosiery Workers. The union said shifts in consumer tastes had brought about increased production of ladies' seamless hosiery, involving greater utilization of automatic knitting machines. There had been a corresponding decline in the demand for full-fashioned hosiery—the field in which the union's major strength lies. To strengthen its position, delegates approved a resolution urging affiliation with “another strong union, such as Steel Workers or Auto Workers,” to help them organize hosiery workers in mills that have located in “States that are against organized labor and [are] in favor of cut throat prices and low
The union advocated legislation along the lines recommended by the AFL-CIO at an April meeting on unemployment, and called for legislation to improve enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Election of new officers, adoption of a constitution, a pledge of adherence to the AFL-CIO Codes of Ethical Practices, and a request that the union be placed under AFL-CIO monitorship, were steps taken by delegates to the International Jewelry Workers' Union 15th triennial convention. The union had been under fire on charges of financial irregularities, corruption, and exploitation of Puerto Rican workers by "sweetheart” contracts. In December 1958, both the union's president and the secretary-treasurer had resigned and since that date, the union had been under AFL-CIO trusteeship. Harry Spodick was elected to fill the combined offices of president and secretary-treasurer and 10 vice presidents were chosen. To insure completion of its cleanup campaign, a resolution was approved calling for a monitor to "aid, assist and oversee" union activities for as long as necessary "to protect the best interests of the IJU.
At the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks' convention, attention was given to automation and to forthcoming collective bargaining with the Nation's railroads. The union's constitution was revamped and dues were increased to a minimum of $4 a month (an average increase of about $1); the monthly per capita tax paid to the international was raised to $1.50 from $1. George M. Harrison, president of the union since 1928, was reelected by acclamation, and George M. Gibbons, who had been serving as secretarytreasurer following the death of Phil E. Ziegler, was elected to that post. In other actions, a 70year age limit for officers was adopted and the board of trustees was enlarged from five to seven members to give representation to the union's airline membership.
Mergers or steps toward mergers of unions in the same or allied industries were taken at several conventions. In Chicago, the Insurance Agents International Union and the Insurance Workers of America (both AFL-CIO affiliates) voted in separate conventions to merge into a single union.? George L. Russ, former president of the IAIU, was named to the top post of the new organization
5 See Monthly Labor Review, June 1959, p. 678. . See Monthly Labor Review, February 1959, p. 186. * See Monthly Labor Review, December 1958, p. 1409.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Ind.) announced that amalgamation talks had been going on with the independent Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Unionwhich, like the Teamsters, had been ousted from the AFL-CIO on charges of corrupt leadership in December 1957.12 Teamster President James R. Hoffa said the Bakers represented about 83,000 members. The BCW reportedly has been in financial difficulties because of loss of membership to the American Bakery and Confectionery Workers, a rival union chartered by the AFLCIO to replace the BCW. The AFL-CIO affiliate has about 77,000 members; prior to its ouster from the federation, the BCW had about 160,000 reported members.
and William A. Gillen, former president of the other union, became secretary-treasurer. The new insurance union-composed of about 13,000 former Insurance Agents members and 10,000 former Insurance Workers—is to be known as the Insurance Workers International Union. A joint convention followed in which the organization of the many unorganized insurance workers was stressed.
The new peace between two traditional rivals &_ the National Maritime Union and the Seafarers' International Union-was emphasized at the latter union's ninth biennial convention, held in Montreal, when Joseph Curran, president of the NMU, spoke before the convention. Mr. Curran asserted his belief that there “has to be one union" of unlicensed seamen and that in time the two maritime labor groups must merge. Organizational and legislative matters connected with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and problems associated with “flags of convenience" ships occupied much of the convention's agenda.
In another unity action, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and the Brotherhood of Marine Engineers announced in late May that a referendum ballot by their members had been completed which formally approved merger of their unions. The Brotherhood of Marine Engineers—under merger terms previously agreed upon by the executive boards of both unions is to be incorporated into MEBA Local 101, which has jurisdiction in the Great Lakes area where most of the BME membership is located.
By contrast, the decision of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union and the International Chemical Workers 10 not to merge, at least for 1959, was announced at a 2-day meeting of the unions' merger committee. Differences centered over failure to reach complete agreement on a new constitution, in particular, the type of executive board to be established.11 However, the merger committee felt that differences were not unresolvable and reiterated their conviction of “the need for and the desirability of continuing close cooperation and ultimate merger.” In the meantime, both unions pledged to continue joint educational programs, improve the interchange of collective bargaining data, and promote efforts to eliminate organizational competition.
Other Activities. In a speech addressed to a Gulf district convention of the International Longshoremen's Association (Ind.), Teamster President Hoffa received widespread press coverage during May when, in response to proposals to place unions under antitrust laws, he allegedly asserted that “all our contracts [should) end on a given date." He was reported to have continued, “They talk about a secondary boycott. We can call a primary strike all across the Nation that will straighten out the employers once and for all." Mr. Hoffa, however, denied he had threatened a general strike and said that seasonal activities made it strategically unwise to seek a uniform expiration date for contracts in all industries. He suggested, for example, that the Teamsters certainly "wouldn't strike a cement plant in the winter.” Public reaction to Hoffa's alleged statements was strongly critical-Labor Secretary James P. Mitchell called it “the most arrogant, brazen thing I ever heard of”; George Meany said that when legislation is passed which labor doesn't like, "we seek to change it through the system, not
8 See Monthly Labor Review, March 1959, p. 303.
See Monthly Labor Review, May 1959, p. 586. 10 See Monthly Labor Review, March 1959, p. 303.
11 Under the ICW system, the executive board consists of the president, secretary-treasurer, and nine vice presidents who are elected at the international convention. The executive board members of the OCAW, in contrast, are elected by the individual regions with the international's administrative officers (president, secretary-treasurer, and two vice presidents) having a voice but not a vote on the board.
19 See Monthly Labor Review, February 1958, p. 191.
by revolution”; and Senator John L. McClellan called Mr. Hoffa a "would-be dictator."
An organizing campaign of the Teamsters in the oil refining industry 13 received a setback in Louisiana when members of an independent local union employed at the Baton Rouge refinery of Esso Standard Oil Co. voted for a 1-year contract. The local union—representing about 4,000 workers—had been without a contract since July 1958, and during that time, the Teamsters, the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, and other competing labor groups had attempted to persuade these workers to affiliate. Bargaining talks had been reportedly stymied over seniority, craft classification, and bargaining rights. Wages were not an issue in the negotiations; a 5-percent general increase was granted in January, following the oil industry pattern.
Although bargaining issues between the local union and Esso were settled by the new contract, it was not signed because of a representation petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board by the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Council. Hearings on the petition were held up, pending the outcome of unfair labor practice charges made by the Teamsters against Esso.
for as many as 13 additional weeks of benefits for periods of unemployment between June 18, 1958, and July 1, 1959.
The higher retirement benefits will be financed by raising the tax on both employers and employees from 6.25 percent on the first $350 of monthly income to 6.75 percent on the first $400, effective June 1, 1959, and by further increases until it reaches 9 percent for each in 1969. The employers' maximum unemployment compensation tax was raised to 3.75 percent on the first $400 of monthly income compared with the previous 3 percent on the first $350. The increases in the tax structure were designed not only to cover the costs of improved benefits but also to place the funds in a sound actuarial position.
Legislation and Bargaining
Railroads. Increased retirement and unemployment benefits for workers covered by the Railroad Retirement and Unemployment Insurance Acts were provided in a bill signed by President Eisenhower on May 19. It called for an approximate 10-percent increase in retirement benefits, effective June 1. The higher benefits were estimated to affect over 700,000 persons now receiving retirement and survivorship benefits in addition to future retirees. Maximum unemployment benefits were raised to $51 a week (from $42.50) and the present 26 weeks' maximum duration of benefits was doubled for employees with at least 15 years' seniority. For those with 10 but less than 15 years' service, maximum duration of benefits was increased by 13 weeks—to 39 weeks. Those with less than 10 years' service who had exhausted regular unemployment benefits between June 30, 1957, and April 1, 1959, may be eligible
Construction. Wage settlements for substantial groups of workers in the construction industry were concluded during May, with the usual spring upturn in bargaining activity. Included were a number of settlements for carpenters and laborers.
In southern California about 50,000 carpenters are scheduled to receive a 45-cent increase in wages over 2 years: One-half effective June 15 of this year and the remainder on May 1, 1960. Other contractual changes included a $1-a-day raise (to $6) in subsistence allowances, and effective February 1, 1960, reimbursement of parking costs in the Los Angeles area if parking is not avai within three blocks of the job site.
In 42 northern California counties, a contract estimated to cost a total of 65 cents in 3 years, was signed by the Carpenters and the Associated General Contractors for approximately 35,000 workers. Included were raises of 20.5 cents in 1959, 20 cents in 1960 (with an option to allocate a portion of these increases for a vacation plan), and 20 cents more in 1961. There was a 1-cent manhour increase (to 11 cents) in health and welfare contributions, an increase in subsistence pay, and increased differentials for specialty crafts.
Effective June 15, rates of pay for 30,000 laborers in Southern California rose by 20 cents an hour while in the northern part of the State, the same number received an 18-cent deferred increase effective May 1, 1959.
In Oregon and southwest Washington, a 3-year agreement provided a total wage advance of 53 cents an hour in a settlement between the Car
12 See Monthly Labor Review, April 1959, p. 428.
penters union and nine employer groups. The settlement, covering 13,600 workers, provided pay raises of 18 cents effective April 1, 1959, and 18and 17-cent increases in the second and third contract years, respectively.
One year in advance of expiration of a previous agreement, representatives of the same union and the General Building Contractors Association of Philadelphia negotiated a new contract. A 15cent-an-hour deferred increase under terms of the previous agreement went into effect on May 1 as scheduled; under the new contract, pay scales will rise 10 cents, effective May 1, 1960, to $3.885. About 7,500 workers are affected. Other provisions, also effective May 1, 1960, include an employer contribution of 10 cents an hour for establishment of a welfare fund and 5 cents an hour for an industry-advancement fund, part of which is to be used for improved financing of apprenticeship training.
About 4,800 Carpenters in the Washington, D.C., area are scheduled to receive a 35-cent-anhour wage increase, spread over 2 years, under terms of a new contract reached between the Carpenters and the Construction Contractors Council on May 6. The settlement calls for a 10-centan-hour increase effective May 1, 1959, 7.5 cents on January 1, 1960, an additional 7.5 cents on May 1, 1960, and 10 cents more on January 1, 1961.
Pay increases amounting to 30 cents an hour by November 1, 1960, were agreed to on May 20 by the Construction Contractors Council and representatives of the Laborers' Union for about 4,800 workers in the same area. The agreement ended a strike in effect since May 11, and provided an immediate 12.5-cent-an-hour pay advance to be followed by 7.5 cents on May 1, 1960, and 10 cents more on November 1, 1960.
In Chicago, 14,500 workers represented by the Laborers' Union were to receive a 25-cent-an-hour pay
raise effective June 1, as a result of an agreement with the Builders Association of Chicago. This was the first wage increase for these workers since June 1, 1957, and represented a "parity adjustment” to put the laborers' pay in line with other trades which had negotiated increases in the past 2 years.
Other Nonmanufacturing. The Southern Bell Telephone Co. and representatives of the Communications Workers of America agreed on May 21 to weekly pay increases ranging from $1 to $5 for 55,000 workers, effective immediately. The 15-month contract called for $2 to $5 advances in pay for plant craftsmen and related clerical workers, and $1 to $3 for traffic and other clerical employees. Earlier in the month, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, representing about 12,000 plant department employees at the Illinois Bell Telephone Co., signed a 17-month contract calling for wage increases of from $1.50 to $6 a week to be made in two steps. The major portion went into effect May 3 and the remainder will become effective on February 7, 1960. Both settlements provided for classification adjustments and a fourth week's vacation for 30-year-service employees; improvements in pensions—similar to those first negotiated in January with other Bell system affiliates14_were provided earlier in the year.
An agreement to end a 3-week work stoppage of parcel delivery workers employed in the New York City area, by the United Parcel Service of New York, Inc., and represented by the Teamsters union, was reached on May 8. The settlement, affecting about 3,000 employees, called for an immediate 20-cent-an-hour increase. Additional wage increases of 10 and 7.5 cents, respectively, are scheduled for April 1 in 1960 and 1961. The contract, ratified by local membership on May 11, also included an increase of $3 a month in employer contributions for health and welfare benefits-to a total of $16.65—an eighth paid holiday (Election Day), and beginning in 1960, a fourth week's vacation after 20 years' service.
A top scale of $2,482.40 a month for jet pilots employed by United Air Lines was provided in an 18-month contract reached by the company and the Air Line Pilots Association in May. New monthly pay scales on piston-engine aircraft include a maximum of $1,939.25 for pilots (compared with the former maximum of $1,817.04) and $450 a month salary for beginning copilots instead of the former $400. The new contract also called
14 See Monthly Labor Review, March 1959, pp. 301-302, and April 1959, p. 429.