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United States. National War Labor Board (1918-1919.

Report of the Secretary of the National War Labor Board to the Secretary of Labor for the twelve months ending May 31, 1919 online

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U. J. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD

WASHINGTON



-



V



REPORT

OF THE

SECRETARY OF THE






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rf









NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD



TO THE



SECRETARY OF LABOR



FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS ENDING
MAY 31, 1919





WASHINGTON

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1920




DOCUMENTS
DEPT.



U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
5 NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD
WASHINGTON



REPORT

OF THE

SECRETARY OF THE

NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD

TO THE

SECRETARY OF LABOR



FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS ENDING
MAY 31, 1919




WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1920



STtTc 3



NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD,



WILLIAM II. TAFT BASIL M. MANLY

JOINT CHAIRMEN

FREDERICK N. JUDSON WM. HARMAN BLACK

VICE CHAIBMEN

W. JETT LAUCK,.SEC'iiET.\[jY

Representing Employers Representing Labor

LOYALL A. OSBORNE. FRANK J. HAYES.

P. F. SULLIVAN, ALTERNATE. ADAM WILKINSON,

C. E. MICHAEL. W. L. HUTCHESON.

J. W. MARSH, ALTERNATE. T. M. GUERIN. AI/THRNATB.

W. H. VAN DERVOORT. WM. H. JOHNSTON.

II. H. RICE. ALTER XATK. FRED HEWITT. ALTERNATE..

HAROLD O. SMITH. VICTOR A. OLANDER.

MATTHEW WOLL, AI.TKRNATH
JOHN F. PERKINS. T. A. RICKERT.

GR AN VILLE E. FOSS, ALTEUNATB. JOHN J. MANNING, ALTEUXATK.



The powers, functions, and duties of the National War Labor
Board shall be to settle by mediation and conciliation controversies
arising between employers and workers in fields of production neces-
sary for the effective conduct of the war, or in other fields of national
activity, delays and obstructions in which might, in the opinion of the
National Board, affect detrimentally such production; to provide,
by direct appointment, or otherwise, for committees or boards to sit
in various parts of the country where controversies arise and secure
settlement by local mediation and conciliation; and to summon the
parties to controversies for hearing and action by the National Board
in event of failure to secure settlement by mediation and conciliation.

The principles to be observed and the methods to be followed by
the National Board in exercising such powers and functions and
performing such duties shall be those specified in the said report of
the War Labor Conference Board dated March 29, 1918. From the
proclamation by the President of the United /States creating the
National War Labor Board.



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.



WASHINGTON, D. C., June 3, 1910.

SIRS: I am transmitting herewith my report as secretary of the
National War Labor Board for the year ended May 31, 1919.
Very truly, yours,

W. JETT LATTCK,

Secretory.
Hon. WM. H.TAPT,
Hon. BASIL M. MANLY,

Joint Chairmen.
NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD,

Washington, D. C.

3



REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL WAR LABOR
BOARD FOR THE 12 MONTHS ENDED MAY 31, 1919.



The National War Labor Board was created as part of the war
machinery of the country and it is passing out of existence as the
n.eed for war machinery is passing. Its existence has covered a term
of barely 13 months, only one-half of which was a period of active
hostilities. The War Labor Board served as a means of adjusting
labor disputes without stopping production of things essential to
the conduct of the war, as a condition under which the board
accepted cases w r as that work should continue without interruption
while the case was being considered by the board.

DISPOSITION OF CASES.

From April 30, 1918, to May 31, 1919, the date of this
report, the board has received 1,270 cases, 25 of which were
consolidated with other cases, leaving 1,245 separate controver-
sies which had to be passed upon by the board. Of these
1,245 cases, 706 (57 per cent) have been referred to other
agencies having primary jurisdiction or have been dismissed
because of voluntary settlement, lack of jurisdiction, or for
other reasons; 77 (6 per cent) are pending or remain on the docket
as undisposed of because of divided vote or suspension ; while in the
remaining 462 cases (37 per cent) awards or findings have been
handed down. In addition the board made 58 supplementary de-
cisions in cases where action had already been taken, making a total
of 520 formal awards or findings. This record within a period of
less than 13 months is one which unquestionably has never been ap-
proached by any similar agency in the history 'of industry.

An analysis of the disposition of the 1,245 cases referred to is
given in the following table :

Statement showing disposition of cases before the National War Labor Board

to May 31, 1919.

Complaints received :

Joint submissions 193

Ex parte ... 1,052



Total__ _ 1,245




6 r^PciiT S,:;<T.!:TA!'.Y NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD.

*

Disposition cf c-t*o:

Awrird:! ami finding.-; nindo 1 * 462

Dismissed ^ :S!M

Referred !>_ :Ufi

Pending 23

Remaining on docket because hoard unable to agree 2 53

Suspended 1



Total 1.245

- As to the 315 cases which were received by the board and referred
to other boards and agencies having original jurisdiction, the follow-
ing table shows the number referred to each specified agency :

X umber of cases referred to each xpeeified ugcncij.

Department of Labor, Division of Conciliation __ 1G4

Department of Labor, Employment Service 1

Railroad Administration, Division of Labor 13

Navy Department G

Treasury Department 1

Post Office Department

Emergency Fleet Corporation, Industrial Relations Division

Emergency Fleet Corporation, Labor Adjustment Board 6

War Industries Board '*

War Labor Policies Board 1

Fuel Administration G

Federal Oil Inspection Board

War Department, various

War Department, Quartermaster General

Army Ordnance, Industrial Relations Section 20

Signal Corps and Aircraft Production Boavd 20

Board members 10

Officers of international unions K)

Total 313

It will be seen from the foregoing analysis that more than one-half
of the complaints referred were sent to the Division of Conciliation
of the Department of Labor with the object in view of having the
differences adjusted, if possible, without recourse to formal proceed-
ings before the board.

Of the cases removed from the docket of the board without action
by formal award or finding, the greater number were dismissed
without prejudice because of lack of prosecution or because the
board was advised that the parties involved had entered into a formal
agreement and no further action by the board was necessary. The
following table shows in detail the number of cases removed for each
reason specified:

Cases removed from docket for reasons specified.

Lack of jurisdiction 03

Lack of agreement 11

Lack of prosecution 159

Voluntary settlement between parties 116

Withdrawal 12

Total - 391

1 Not including 58 supplementary awards, etc., in cases in which action had already
been taken.

2 These 53 cases represent actually only 3 case-groups, as one of the case-groups involves
51 docket numbers.



REPORT SECRETARY 'NATIONAL' WAR LABOR BOARD.



It should be noted that cases removed from the docket required in
many instances as careful consideration by the board or its staff as
those cases in which formal awards or findings were made.

ANALYSIS OF THE WORK OF THE BOARD BY MONTHS,
MAY, 1918, TO MAY, 1919.

An interesting insight into the volume of work which might have
been developed by the board had not the armistice been signed is set
forth in the following table, which furnishes a review of the work of
the board by months during the 13 months ending with May 31, 1919 :



Mouth.


Cases placed on docket.


Awards and findings made.


Joint
submis-
sions.


Ex

parte.


Total.


Indus-
trial.


Public

utilities.


Total.


Supple-
mentary
actions.


Total
actions.


May to July
August. .


38
29
39
18
24
13
9
3
15
1
4


203
96
180
133
251
55
78
70
1
4
1


246
125
219
151
275
68
87
73
16
5
5


13
4
8
14
17
17
43
35
114
79
15


21


34
4
8
26
38
25
55
47
121
88
16




34
4
10
29
41
34
65
53
132
99
19




September . . .




i

3
3
9
10
6
11
11
3


October


12
21
8
12
12
7
9
1


November


December. .


January. .


February . . .


March....


April. .


May..,.


Total


193


a 1,077


a 1,270


359


103


402


58


520





a Including 25 docket numbers consolidated.

The rapid expansion of the work of the board during the period
of actual hostilities is at once apparent from an examination of the
foregoing table. At the time of the signing of the armistice the
board had acted on 455 cases but had made only about 72 formal
awards and findings, due to the fact that special attention had been
given to important cases involving the production of large quantities
of munitions, ordnance, and essential war materials. After the
signing of the armistice a resolution of the board provided that no
new cases except joint submissions would be received by the board
after December 5, 1918. Altogether there have been received during
the six months since the armistice only 423 new cases, as compared
with 847 cases entered on the docket during the six months prior
to the armistice. During the six months period since the armistice
the board has acted on the 375 cases which were pending when the
armistice was signed as well as approximately 400 new cases which
have been docketed.

CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF THE BOARD.

The membership of the National War Labor Board as constituted
at the time of its appointment was as follows :

William Howard Taft, joint chairman and public representative of
the employers.

Frank P. Walsh, of Kansas City, Mo., joint chairman and public
representative of employees.



8 REPORT SECRETARY NATIONAL AVAR LABOR BOARD.

For employers :

L. F. Loree, of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Co.

W. H. Van Dervoort, of the Root & Van Dervoort Engineering
Co., of East Mqline, 111.

C. Edwin Michael, of the Virginia Bridge & Iron Co., Roanoke,
Va.

Loyall A. Osborne, of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufac-
turing Co.

B. L. Worden, of the Submarine Boat Corporation, Newark, N. J.
For employees :

Frank J. Hayes, of the United Mine Workers of America.

Wm. L. Hutcheson, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners.

Wm. H. Johnston, of the International Association of Machinists,

Victor Olander, of the International Seamen's Union of America,

Thomas A. Rickert, of the United Garment Workers.

These appointments of the Secretary of Labor were approved and
affirmed by the President of the United States by a proclamation
issued April 8, 1918.

The following appointments and changes in personnel have taken
place :

W. Jett Lauck, economist, of Chevy Chase, Md., to be permanent
secretary, May 9, 1918.

Thomas J. Savage, of the International Association of Machinists,
to be alternate for Mr. Johnston.

T. M. Guerin, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners, to be alternate for Mr. Hutcheson, May 13, 1918.

F. C. Hood, of the Hood Rubber Co., Watertown, Mass., to be
alternate for Mr. Loree, May 17, 1918.

C. A. Crocker, of the Crocker-McElwain Co., Holyoke, Mass., to
be alternate for Mr. Worden, June 1, 1918.

F. C. Hood, alternate for Mr. Loree, to become principal on the
resignation of Mr. Loree, June 1, 1918.

John F. Perkins, of the Calumet-Hecla Copper Co., to be alter-
nate for Mr. Osborne, June 1, 1918.

Frederick N. Judson, lawyer, of St. Louis, Mo., to be vice chairman
and alternate for Mr. Taft, June 18, 1918.

John F. Perkins, alternate for Mr. Osborne, to be alternate for Mr.
Hood, June 27, 1918.

H. H. Rice, of the General Motors Corp., Detroit, Mich., to be al-
ternate for Mr. Van Dervoort, July 1, 1918.

Wm. Harman Black, lawyer, of New York City, to be vice chair-
man and alternate for Mr. Walsh, July 20, 1918.

Matthew Woll, of the International Photo-Engravers' Union, to be
alternate for Mr. Olander, July 24, 1918.

John J. Manning, of the United Garment Workers, to be alternate
for Mr. Rickert, July 24, 1918.

J. W. Marsh, of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.,
to be alternate for Mr. Michael, September 1, 1918.

On October 9, 1918, the board was notified of the death of Thomas
J. Savage, and Fred Hewitt, of the International Association of
Machinists, was designated alternate for Mr. Johnston, October 22,
1918.



REPORT SECRETARY NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD. 9

F. C. Hood resigned as member of the board on November 19, 1918.

P. F. Sullivan, of the Bay State Street Railway Co., of Massachu-
setts, to be alternate for Mr. Osborne, December 3, 1918.

Frank P. Walsh, joint chairman, resigned as a member of the
board on December 3, 1918.

Win. Harmnn Black, vice chairman and alternate for Mr. Walsh,
resigned as a member of the board on December 3, 1918.

Basil M. Manly, journalist, of Washington, D. C., to be joint
chairman, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Walsh,
December 4, 1918.

Wm. Harman Black, to be vice chairman and alternate for Mr.
Manly, December 4, 1918.

John F. Perkins, alternate for Mr. Hood, to be a principal, to fill
the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Hood, December 4,
1918.

B. L. Worden resigned as a member of the board on December 9,
1918.

C. A. Crocker, alternate for Mr. Worden, to be a principal, to fill
the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Worden, December 11,
1918.

Harold O. Smith, of the J. and D. Tire Co., Charlotte, N. C., to be
alternate for Mr. Crocker, January 17, 1919.

Granville E. Foss, of the Brightwood Manufacturing Co., North
Andover, Mass., to be alternate for Mr. Perkins, February 11, 1919.

C. A. Crocker resigned as a member of the board on February 24,
1919.

Principal members and alternates appointed subsequent to the cre-
ation of the board were nominated and appointed in the same manner
as were the original members, the date given above being the date of
appointment or of entering upon duty.

EXECUTIVE SESSIONS OF THE BOARD.

During the summer of 1918 and up to the time of the signing of
the armistice in November of the same year, an executive session
of the full board or its standing committee was held each week. The
usual practice was for the standing committee to meet one w r eek
and the full board the following week, although the pressure of work
at times was so great as to require the full board to remain in session
continuously for a longer period than a week. Altogether 104 days
were devoted to executive meetings by the board during the year.
This does not include the considerable periods which the board spent
in conducting public hearings. As almost all the members had other
important duties to perform, the policy was adopted of each member
appointing an alternate to represent him when his presence was re-
quired elsewhere, so that the adjustment of important matters be-
fore the board might not be delayed.

SCOPE OF BOARD'S AWARDS.

A careful tabulation of the data in the files shows that up to
May 22 the awards and findings of the board (excluding 11 for which
^ information is lacking) directly affected 1.084 establishments



10 REPORT SECRETARY NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD.

employing 669,496 persons, of whom 80,271 were employees of street
railways. These numbers, it is to be emphasized, include only those
persons who were specified directly in the terms of the decisions.
In very many cases the decision was applied in practice to other
employees of a plant than those in whose names the controversy was
filed.

Of still more importance is the fact that very frequently a
decision in regard to one company was accepted by other companies
similarly situated. The information on this point is very limited,
but it is known that in very many instances controversies were settled
voluntarily or by other adjustment agencies on the lines laid down by
existing decisions of the board. Thus it is known that the decision
of the board in the Bridgeport case was accepted and applied in
the plants of the Remington Arms Co. in other places; and that
the street railway decisions have been the basis of voluntary adjust-
ment in Philadelphia, Washington, and many other cities.

Indeed the "principles" of the National War Labor Board as
laid down by the Conference Board and as interpreted by the War
Labor Board had a vastly wider influence and acceptance than in-
dicated by any mere numerical statement of the persons directly
affected by the decisions of the board. Other governmental adjust-
ment agencies such as the Industrial Service Section of the Ord-
nance and other branches of the War Department, as well as the
labor adjustment divisions and boards of other procurement di-
visions of the Government have used these principles and precedents
as a manual in their own adjustment work. Moreover, the concilia-
tors of the Department of Labor, whose work during the war has
been of far-reaching importance, averted many difficulties by^ citing
the principles and precedents of the board to the parties in con-
troversy and working out an adjustment thereunder.

JOf special interest, also, is the large number of strikes and lock-
its averted or called off as a direct result of the board's interven-
on. The exact number is unknown, but the records show at least
$8 instances of this character.
\ Y. W*x.

MT*' \ ' AnktTV^^-

ORIGIN OF CASES.

The proclamation of the President creating the National War
Labor Board conferred upon it jurisdiction in all controversies ' : in
fields of production necessary for the effective conduct of the war,
or in other fields of national activity, delays and obstructions in
which might, in the opinion of the National Board, affect detri-
^mentally such production."

The jurisdiction, as regards subject matter, thus conferred upon
the board was extremely broad, inasmuch as in the reorganization of
industry on a war basis there existed very few business activities
which did not affect, directly or indirectly, the effective conduct
of the war. This is indicated by the fact that the board dismissed
fewer than 50 complaints on the ground that war production was
not involved.

In practice, however, the jurisdiction of the board was greatly
and desirably limited by the further provision of the proclamation
that the board should refuse to take cognizance of a controversy " in



REPORT SECRETARY NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD. 11

any field of industrial or other activity where there is by agreement
or Federal law a means of settlement which has not been invoked."

This provision excluded from the consideration of the board, ex-
cept by way of appeal, large groups of cases where the parties con-
cerned had provided by voluntary agreement for other means of
arbitration or where Federal law had provided other arbitration
agencies. Thus the vast shipbuilding industry had set up by agree-
ment its own Labor Adjustment Board; the Ordnance Department
and other producing departments of the Government had provided
special industrial service sections to consider the complaints of their
employees; and the coal mining industry had its labor conditions
controlled by agreement of all parties with the Fuel Administration.
jfn this way, in a number of the most important industries, means
of adjustment of disputes had been arranged for, and controversies
therein could reach the board only on appeal. The procedure of the
board provided, moreover, that appeals would be heard only on the
ground that the principles of the President's proclamation had been
violated, or that either party to an award had violated it, or to de-
termine questions of jurisdiction as between Government boards. In
no case was an appeal permissible on question of fact.

The cases which came to the board on appeal from decisions of
other boards were very few. Perhaps the most important of these
was the New York Harbor case, which came up on appeal from the
New York Harbor Wage Adjustment Board.

A very large number of cases, however, came to the board by
w r ay of reference from conciliation agencies such as the Depart-
ment of Labor which had been unable to adjust the matters in con-
troversy. Thus of the 462 cases in which the board made awards
and findings almost exactly one-third came by way of reference
from other agencies and two-thirds by way of direct complaint to the
board. Most of the cases coming by reference were from the Depart-
ment of Labor, but some of the most important were referred by
the War and Navy Departments and had been previously handled by
the Industrial Service Sections of these departments. Such were
the St. Louis cases, the Bridgeport cases, the Worthington Pump case,
the Smith & Wesson case, and the Newark, N. J., machinists' cases.

It is also of interest to note that of the complaints brought di-/
rectly to the National War Labor Board about 12 per cent were made
by employers or employers' associations; the remainder were made
either by groups of employees or, in the case of union shops, by their
union representatives.

EXECUTION OF AWARDS.

The board was given no legal authority to enforce its decisions.
In cases of joint submission the parties had, of course, the right of
legal redress as in all cases of violation of contract. Otherwise the
execution of the board's decisions depended on the support of pub-
lic opinion, the support of other governmental agencies, and the
obligation laid upon employers and employees by their chosen rep-
resentatives in the formation of the board and the drafting of its
principles.

Particularly during the period of active hostilities the powers of
the procurement departments of the Government such as the War
and Navy Departments were very great, and these powers, as well



12 REPORT SECRETARY NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD.

as the influence of the President himself, were consistently used in
support of the awards of this board. The most striking cases of this
kind were the Bridgeport and Smith & Wesson cases. In the former
the President told the striking employees he would use the Federal
Employment Service and other branches of the Government to their
disadvantage if they did not accept the board's award. In the Smith
& Wesson case the War Department immediately took over the plant
of that company when it refused to abide by the board's decision.

The outstanding fact, howeA-er, is that, as long as active war was

on, the decisions of the board were accepted almost without exception

both in ex parte cases and in cases of joint submission. Since the

armistice, and more particularly since the first of the year, the

changed industrial conditions, the questioning in some quarters as to

f^" the board's authority in the intermediate period between the armistice

\- ' and the proclamation of peace, and the uncertainty in some minds as

to the continued existence of the board, have combined to create a

'. ^ condition when the board's decisions have been less spontaneously

accepted.

HEARINGS BY BOARD AND EXAMINERS.

When the number of submissions to the board became so great as
to render hearings by examiners necessary, such hearings almost
entirely supplanted hearings before board members. In addition to
the heavy requirement of considering the testimony secured by
examiners the board heard only cases of peculiar difficulty or listened
to oral argument in cases in which the testimony had previously been
submitted to examiners. In total there have been 488 hearings held
by the board members and by examiners, hearings by examiners being
321, or 06 per cent of the total.

The hearings were distributed as follows :

Hearings held before

Umpires 20

Full National War Labor Board 59

Recess or standing committee 6

Joint chairmen 46

Joint chairmen and section 2

Double section 1

Board and section 1

Sections 32

Examiners _ 321

Total 488

During the months of greatest activity examiners' hearings aver-
aged about 15 per week, and in view of the length of many hearings
and their wide separation geographically, this involved the need of
some 30 examiners. Usually the hearings were held at the place of
controversy. This was done primarily for reasons of economy, as it
was much less expensive to send an examiner with necessary assistants
to another point than it was to pay the expenses of representatives
and witnesses to Washington. The policy adopted was to assign
only one examiner to a hearing, except in cases of particular difficulty
or complexity; but this policy could not always be observed, owing
to the need of breaking in new examiners, a process which could be
best accomplished by sending a new man with a more experienced


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