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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The Labor Month in Review

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THE STEEL STRIKE entered its fourth week still far from settlement, but a chiding by Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell had stimulated the parties into holding regular negotiating sessions. His August 1 statement, following disheartening mediation reports and expressions of intransigent positions by company and union spokesmen, said in part: "Management has said to the Government: 'Do not interfere.' The union 'has said to the Government: 'Get involved. But at the same time both parties have done very little to measure up to their own responsibilities ..."

Earlier, the Secretary had announced he was conducting two types of factfinding related to the strike. One was an immediate, day-to-day collection of information on the effect of the strike on the economy, to keep the President “advised periodically as to the facts." The other was a longrange "exhaustive study in depth of collective bargaining in the steel industry ... to determine the underlying causes” of the frequent recurrence of steel strikes.

Certain other bargaining situations, traditionally resolved in the wake of steel settlements, were at a standstill. Notable among these were the United Steelworkers and other unions and the major aluminum producers, who agreed to extend existing contracts 30 days beyond a steel agreement (or until November 1), with any contract improvements made retroactive to August 1.

Temporary delay of a strike call until August 20 was ordered for most western copper mines and refineries by the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (Ind.), but Kennecott Copper was struck by that union on August 10. Work continued at eight Atlantic coast shipyards of the Bethlehem Steel Co., where nearly 17,000 are employed, although the agreement with the marine and shipbuilding workers expired at the end of July.

West coast dockworkers, represented by the nonaffiliated Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, on July 28 secured agreement by the

Pacific Maritime Association to provide a $1.5 million fund during the first year of a new 3-year contract as the employees' share of savings to be realized from new automatic equipment. Distribution of the fund will be determined later. Other features included wage increases and improved vacations.

On the east coast, the International Longshoremen's Association (Ind.) announced the demands it would present to shipping firms on August 10: reduction of the workday from 8 hours to 6 and a flat hourly rate increase of 50 cents. Neither union nor employer expressed interest in the special fund provision of the west coast contract, which presumes cuts in manpower requirements. Atlantic and gulf coast agreements expire September 30.

Union rivalry on the Great Lakes led to a confusing situation. The Steelworkers Union, which has organized some of the ore carrier crews on July 31 charged the Seafarers International Union, another AFL-CIO union, with a “blatant attack on the morale and unity of the strikers" by its request for a National Labor Relations Board election on its claim of 3,000 shifts in affiliation. Steelworker crews have participated in the steel strike. The Seafarers early in July had concluded negotiations with several carriers. Later in the month, the National Maritime Union signed with 8 freight-shipping companies employing 7,000 lakes seamen for improved paid holiday provisions and longer vacations. On August 6, after AFL-CIO intervention, the SIU agreed to withdraw its election petition. All three unions were to discuss Great Lakes jurisdictional matters later in the month.

Two railroad developments during July were significant for their bearing on negotiations in the industry. Contracts expire November 1. A West Indies insurance company has developed a strike insurance plan which would pay benefits equal to a struck line's daily fixed charges, provided that not more than half the lines are affected. Another proviso is that the strike not result from a carrier's demand in conflict with a Railway Labor Act emergency board recommendation. Railroad unions denounced the proposal as part of a campaign by the industry to force changes in work rules. The second item was a mid-July report by a Canadian conciliation board Communism.” The ILA is anxious to gain admission to the AFL-CIO.

that rear-end brakemen on all-diesel, highly automated ore trains are not necessary. Displaced brakemen, as in a previous Canadian recommendation regarding firemen on certain freight-hauling diesels, would be given other jobs, but no replacements would be hired.

Joint collective bargaining in 1960 for aircraft, missile, and related electronic workers was announced by the United Auto Workers and the Machinists on August 9. It stresses severance and relocation pay, job inequities, and union security.

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THREE LABOR UNION CONTROL BILLS, representing varying degrees of restrictions and reporting requirements, were before the House of Representatives as of mid-August. The Senate had earlier passed a bill which formed the basis for the measure reported out by the House Labor Committee. A second House bill contained stricter regulatory provisions, including those respecting secondary boycotts and organizational picketing. It received the endorsement of President Eisenhower in a nationwide radio and television address on August 6. A third bill, the least stringent, had AFL-CIO sponsorship.

Efforts of the Textile Workers Union of America in connection with the Harriet-Henderson Cotton Mills strike at Henderson, N.C., received a triple blow in late July. The Senate Select Committee reported that it would not conduct an investigation of the case; the NLRB dismissed charges that the company had refused to bargain in good faith; and eight union members (including a regional director and an international vice president) received sentences ranging up to 10 years for conspiring to dynamite facilities of the struck plant.

STERN WARNING by the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field that if Teamster President James R. Hoffa "remains unchecked he will successfully destroy the decent labor movement in the United States” capped a long list of recent unflattering commentaries on Teamster activities.

On August 4, Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter of the Supreme Court denied a Teamster petition to stay a ruling by a Federal court of appeals upholding authority of court-appointed monitors over the union. The monitors themselves have indicated their intention to seek court removal of Hoffa from office.

In Cincinnati, on July 30, elected officials of a Teamster local were forced to obtain a court order to restrain a dissident Hoffa faction from seizing the union headquarters. In Jersey City, a day earlier, Anthony Provenzano, president of the Teamster Joint Council of New Jersey, was indicated on two counts of accepting bribes from truck

In Asheville, N.C., in mid-July, a Federal judge fined a Teamster local $50,000 and sentenced its secretary-treasurer to 18 months' imprisonment for violation of an injunction. An NLRB ruling ordered a St. Louis local to cease charging a $250 initiation fee. Teamster monitors were given court authority to hire outside legal help in their cleanup efforts. A unanimous resolution of the International Longshoremen's convention rejected a plea by Hoffa for collaboration with him and Harry Bridges, president of the west coast longshore organization. The resolution, while expressing hope for continued cooperation with the Teamsters, condemned association with unions (meaning the Bridges organization) "controlled or under the influence of totalitarian

owners.

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AN EXCHANGE OF LETTERS between President Eisenhower and AFL-CIO President George Meany affirmed American labor's support of the United States position on Berlin. The President expressed gratitude for the reassurance, which "should convince every one ... the efforts ... to divide America are bound to fail when the basic beliefs and the vital interests of this Nation are at stake.” A Russian claim that American workers did not support the Government's position had evoked the Meany letter.

In Great Britain, a strike of printers which had halted operations of 1,000 provincial newspapers and most of the country's magazines ended on July 31 after 7 weeks. The settlement called for a reduction in the workweek to 42 hours (from 44) and a 412 percent wage increase. The unions had asked for 10 percent. A strike against ink manufacturers, which had compounded the difficulties caused by the strike, ended the following day.

A Study of Compulsory and Automatic Retirement Provisions in 300 Selected Pension Plans Under Collective Bargaining, Effective in Late 1958

HARRY L. LEVIN*

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IMPORTANT MILEPOSTS to workers covered by private pension plans, depending upon plan provisions, include the ages at which they may qualify for vesting, for early retirement, and for normal retirement; the age at which they may be retired, at the discretion of the employer; and the age which the plan established as the maxi. mum limit to employment in the company. This article, which is part of a study of 300 selected pension plans under collective bargaining, conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, analyzes provisions affecting the status of workers at the normal retirement age? who do not seek retirement their

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1 prospects for involuntary retirement and accumulation of additional pension credits.

Involuntary retirement, as the term is used in this article, is retirement, with an annuity, imposed upon the worker against his volition, under the provisions of a pension plan. Its connotationi of compulsion applies to the workers affected, not necessarily to the general purpose of the employer, nor necessarily that of the union party to the plan. The involuntary aspect bears most heavily upon the worker who is fully capable and willing to work, who is not psychologically ready for retirement, or who needs his wage income. On the other hand, such provisions may be conceived by the employer as an equitable device for dealing with the problem of superannuated workers and for orderly replacement of older workers by younger workers. Involuntary retirement, as defined in this study, applies only to workers eligible for pension benefits, and is not intended to cover discharge for reason of age. Several of the plans studied expressly waived involuntary retirement

provisions for workers who were not qualified to receive pension benefits. It is possible that other companies whose pension plans did not specifically exempt such workers from involuntary retirement nevertheless followed such practice.

Two types of involuntary retirement provisions, compulsory and automatic, were analyzed in this study. A compulsory retirement provision is one which requires retirement, subject, however, to the consent or approval of the employer or a designated body? for the continued employment of workers unwilling to retire. The compulsory retirement age is that age at which the worker loses the privilege of deciding whether he should retire, which he has the right to do, or continue to work. At the discretion of the employer, the worker may continue in his job, subject to his meeting job requirements, health requirements, or such other standards as may be imposed. For example, one plan provided that: ... an employee shall be retired on the last day of the month in which he attains age 70, provided that the ad. ministrative body may defer any such required retirement for such period or periods as it determines to be reasonable and appropriate, upon finding that such employee is able to perform properly his regular work assignment

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*Of the Bureau's Division of Wages and Industrial Relations.

1 The normal retirement age, a feature of virtually all private pension plans, may be defined as the earliest age (usually 66 years) at which a worker having qualified for benefits, may retire at his own volition and receive the full amount of benefits to which his length of service or amount of earnings, or both, entitles him under the normal retirement formula of the plan. That this age is the “right” age at which to retire, the "average" age, or similar generalities, should not be inferred from the term "normal."

In some cases, a joint management-union board makes the decision.

Under an automatic retirement provision, the door is closed to expectations of continuing employment. Retirement is mandatory at the maximum age fixed by the plan, as in the following example:

An employee who attains or has attained age 67 will not be permitted to remain in the service of the company beyond the first day of the calendar month coinciding with or next following his birthday. ... This date shall be his "automatic retirement date."

In a plan which combines compulsory and automatic retirement provisions, the worker must retire upon reaching the specified compulsory retirement age, unless the employer consents to his continuing on the job; however, a later automatic retirement age places a limit on employment extension. The following clause illustrates a combined compulsory and automatic retirement provision:

.. Only on a specific year-to-year approval of the company will an employee be continued in active service after age 65, and in no case beyond age 70.

For the study from which this article was adapted, 300 selected pension plans under collective bargaining, in effect in late 1958, each covering 1,000 or more workers, were analyzed. The plans covered approximately 4.9 million workers under collective bargaining, or more than half of the estimated coverage of all pension plans under collective bargaining.

An earlier Bureau study of 300 pension plans in effect in 1952 4 permitted a limited review of

8 Pension Plans Under Collective Bargaining. I. Vesting Provisions and Requirements for Early Retirement; II. Involuntary Retirement Provisions, Late 1958, BLS Bull. 1259 (1959). For the details of the scope and coverage of the 300 plans studied, see this bulletin and Vesting Provisions in Pension Plans (in Monthly Labor Review, July 1959, pp. 744-745).

• Pension Plans Under Collective Bargaining, BLS Bull. 1147 (1953).

TABLE 1.

PROVISIONS FOR INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT IN SELECTED PENSION Plans UNDER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING,

BY INDUSTRY GROUP, LATE 1958

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Manufacturing.-----Food and kindred products. Tobacco manufactures. Textile mill products.. Apparel and other finished textile prod

ucts.. Lumber and wood products (except sur

niture). Furniture and fixtures.. Paper and allied products. Printing, publishing, and allied indus

tries. Chemicals and allied products. Products of petroleum and coal.. Rubber products.. Leather and leather products. Stone, clay, and glass products.. Primary metal industries. Fabricated metal industries. Machinery (except electrical). Electrical machinery... Transportation equipment. Instruments and related products.. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries..

Nonmanufacturing...--Mining, crude petroleum and natural

gas production Construction.. Transportation ! Communication. Utilities: Electric and gas. Retail and wholesale trade. Hotels and restaurants. Services... Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing indus

tries.

10 33 13 28 16 24

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TABLE 2. PROVISIONS FOR INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT IN SELECTED PENSION PLANS UNDER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING,

BY METHOD OF FINANCING AND TYPE OF BARGAINING UNIT, LATE 1958

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ment. All but 5 of the 51 contributory plans, and slightly more than half of the 249 noncontributory plans, provided for involuntary retirement.

In the 1952 study, 175 plans had involuntary retirement provisions. Although the 1952 and 1958 samples of 300 plans were not identical, it would appear that no significant change in the prevalence of involuntary retirement provisions has occurred over the 6-year interval.

Compulsory and Automatic Retirement Ages

Involuntary retirement was provided for in 179 plans, or about 3 out of 5 plans studied (table 1). Among the selected plans, wide variations in industry practices were found. For example, none of the apparel and construction industry plans contained involuntary retirement provisions; but all of the plans in the chemical, petroleum products, rubber, and stone, clay, and glass products industries, and in electric and gas utilities, had such provisions. Only 5 relatively small plans among the 33 in the primary metal industries provided for involuntary retirement; on the other hand, in the transportation equipment industry, only 5 small plans of the 24 studied did not contain such provisions.

Of the 179 plans with involuntary retirement provisions, 109 provided for compulsory retirement, with no automatic feature; 52 for automatic retirement, with no earlier requirement for compulsory retirement; and 18 plans for a combination of both at different ages. Almost threefourths (169) of the 231 single employer plans studied contained involuntary retirement provisions, compared with only 10 out of 69 multiemployer plans (table 2). Only 1 of the 10 multiemployer plans with involuntary retirement provisions had no provision for automatic retire

In 82 plans, or almost two-thirds of the 127 plans stipulating a compulsory retirement age (including 18 plans which also provided for automatic retirement at a later age), the designated age was 65 (table 3). Thirty-five plans set age 68 as the compulsory retirement age; 8 of the remaining 10 plans specified age 70.

Significantly, in all but 6 of the 82 plans which designated 65 as the compulsory retirement age, 65 was also the normal retirement age. In the 6 exceptions, a normal retirement age of 60 was specified. All of the 35 plans with compulsory retirement at age 68 provided for normal retirement at age 65. In the remaining 10 plans, the compulsory retirement age was 4 or more years later than the normal retirement age.

Among the 70 plans containing automatic retirement provisions (including 18 plans which specified an earlier compulsory age), 24 stipulated age 65; 17, age 68; and 22, age 70. Six of the remaining 7 automatic retirement ages fell between 65 and 68. In the 24 plans which specified age 65 for automatic retirement, all but 1 also set 65 as the normal retirement age. All plans with automatic retirement at age 68, and 19 of the 22 with automatic age at 70, also designated 65 as the normal retirement age.

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5 Three of the 127 plans with compulsory retirement features required Joint employer and union approval for working beyond the compulsory retirement age, with a later age stipulated that required only employer consent for workers to remain employed. Another plan required the consent of a bipartite board for further employment. The remainder of the plans (123) required only the employer's consent.

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