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The region in which there is the greatest amount of textile activity is our region which heads up at Atlanta, and our regional office is located there.
Through our agents, in these various regions, we have had certain experiences and collected certain information with reference to those matters which come within the scope of our act, namely, the matters of union organization, collective bargaining, and representation; and I shall try to tell you what information we have gained in that way.
There is no textile plant in this southeastern region which has a collective bargaining agreement with its workers. I cannot say whether there is any textile plant anywhere in the country-my surmise would be that there are some—but in the southeastern region my information is that there is no plant which has a collective bargaining agreement.
We have found a great deal of interference with the rights given by our statute to workers to organize. We have had a great many cases in which it was charged—and in a great many of those cases upon our hearings it was proved—that there was discrimination against workers, because they engaged in union or collective activities; that people were discharged from their jobs if they made themselves conspicuous in that direction.
After the textile strike of 1934 and the grief and trouble which followed from that strike, there was quite à movement, especially throughout the southeast, for the formation of so-called good-will clubs among the workers in different textile plants.
In many cases there is no evidence that that movement was fostered by the employers. There is much evidence that it was in many cases a gesture of despair on the part of workers, a peace-at-any-price arrangement, that workers had become so discouraged with reference to the possibility of successful union organization, that they organized themselves into these clubs, not with any real purpose of collective bargaining with the employer, but merely for the purpose of having a peace, a sort of Roman peace, I think it was not unfair to call it.
We have had many petitions from workers in the textile plants, for us to go in and determine which group-usually the outside union is the United Textile Workers and the other union is the good-will club or some such club-to determine which of those two organizations has a majority. Of course, the quick and easy way to determine that is by having an election by a secret ballot.
We have had in some four cases the consent of the textile employer and the workers to such an election. In quite a number of other cases we have met very determined resistance to even this small move on our part of finding out the facts by this simple process of holding an election, and in quite a number of cases we have been enjoined in the courts from making that move.
I may say that the argument which is made there is that to go into these plants and find out what the facts are with reference to the desire of the workers is regarded by some of these employers as a trouble-making move. If it is a trouble-making move to learn the facts, it is not our responsibility, because the Congress in our statute directed us to do that very thing; and even if we did not have that mandate from the Congress, still we think that it cannot do any harm to go in and find out what these workers want.
I have here a tabulation of the cases which have come to our attention involving textile workers. I may say that on this paper the column which is headed “C” relates to what we call complaint cases; that is, complaints of discriminatory discharge or the fostering of or domination by the employer of a company union, and the several other things which are described as unfair labor practices by our statute.
The columns headed "R" are what we call representation cases, in which we have a petition for an election or certification as to which group are in the majority and are entitled to designate the representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining.
Of the complaint cases, 4 have arisen in the Boston region; 10 in New York; 1 in Buffalo; when I name these cities, the city is simply the location of our regional office. The territory of the region, of course, includes a considerable territory, in some cases several States. To continue: 8 in Philadelphia; 1 in Pittsburgh; 1 in Cleveland; 33 in Atlanta; 1 in Milwaukee; 2 in New Orleans; and 1 in Seattle.
The representation or election cases run in about the same proportion; again, Atlanta, with eight cases, having the largest number.
So far as we can ascertain the workers involved in the various controversies which have come before our board are 13,449 in the complaint cases; and 9,584 in the representation cases.
I think that is all I will say by way of a general statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KELLER. Are there any questions by members of the committee?
Mr. SCHNEIDER. These complaint cases, they are the cases in which there are charges of unfair discharge, and so forth?
Mr. MADDEN. Yes.
Mr. MADDEN. They are cases of charges of some one of the several labor practices which are defined in our statute.
Most of them I would say are discriminatory discharge cases.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. How many did you say there were of thoseseveral thousand? You had the number of workers that were involved on that tabulation.
Mr. MADDEN. The number of workers involved was 13,449. That does not mean that there were 13,449 workers discriminatorily discharged. It means merely that there were that many workers involved in the operations in which these incidents took place and who were, therefore, affected by our enforcement or nonenforcement of the law.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Just what did your board do with those cases? How many of them did you succeed in having straightened out or adjudicated satisfactorily?
Mr. MADDEN. Not very many of them, sir, have come to any final conclusion. Our procedure moves through these stages. We issue the complaint if our investigation finds that it is justified. We hold a hearing at which we take evidence as to what has happened.
We issue an order based upon that hearing. To get enforcement of our order, we have no marshal or sheriff or power to punish for contempt. We are obliged by the law to go into the circuit court of appeals and apply there for an enforcement of the order which we have made. So the actual enforcement is court enforcement rather than board enforcement.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. About how many cases did you have? In other words, did you take all these cases to court?
Mr. MADDEN. We have not yet taken any textile case to court. We have several of these decisions now awaiting compliance. We make our order and ordinarily give a period for compliance with the law. We have not taken any of these textile cases into court.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Do you recall how many compliance orders you made?
Mr. MADDEN. Not very many.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. After the investigation, you make an order, is that right?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Have any of those been complied with by the employers?
Mr. MADDEN. Not in any of these textile cases in the Southeast.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Then, so far as your board was concerned, in trying to bring about an adjustment of this character of grievances, you have complied with the law up to the point of issuing a compliance order and the employers have not complied with that order made by your board in any case?
Mr. MADDEN. That is true. I should say this, that in quite a number of cases which workers have called to our attention, our agents have gone out and straightened the matter out without a hearing; that is, without our going through our formal procedure of complaint and hearing. We have gotten some compliance in that way. But if the employer has resisted to the extent of putting us to the formal hearing, he has, after that hearing, in no case, so far, complied with our order.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. The first procedure that you speak of, before conducting hearings, is in the nature more or less of a conciliatory procedure, in which you try to persuade the employer, by calling his attention to the case, that there should be an adjustment between the parties, by their getting together?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. And in some of those cases you are able to bring about a peaceful and satisfactory condition?
Mr. MADDEN. That is true. Mr. SCHNEIDER. But of those cases in which there was no yielding, where you were required to have a hearing, in none of those cases have the employers complied with the compliance order issued by the board?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. And of those compliance orders, you say you have taken none of them into court?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right; none into the circuit court of appeals.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Does the board intend to take any of these cases to court, to get a final test on them?
Mr. MADDEN. We intend to take all of them in which we make orders and do not get compliance. It is not particularly relevant to this discussion, but it is only fair to say here that there is, among many employers in the country—there certainly is among many textile employers-a spirit of resistance to our law. Different industrial associations have advised their members that our law is unconstitutional and have put them in an attitude where they doubt our power to enforce our law.
We have not any doubt whatever that if that advice had not been given, or if that advice is proved to have been erroneous by court decisions, when we get them, we will get compliance in most cases upon making our order, and, indeed, we will get compliance long before that. We will get it at the earlier stages, when we give notice that we are going to hold a hearing.
So that we do not regard our operation as anything like the normal operation of a recognized, valid law.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Did the employers go into court in any of these cases to restrain you from enforcing the compliance order?
Mr. Madden. Yes, we have quite a number of those cases.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Were injunctions issued restraining you from going further?
Mr. MADDEN. In some cases. We had this experience with one employer in the Atlanta region. He went into the State court of Georgia seeking an injunction. The State court refused He did not go into the Federal court there, as is the normal procedure, but he came to the District of Columbia here and brought his injunction suit in the Supreme Court of the District Judge Adkins had that case and again refused to issue the injunction. Then he appealed from Judge Adkins' decision to the Court of Appeals of the District and got a stay against us, pending that appeal. So, on his third court trial, he does have us, for the time being, tied up.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. In these other class of cases, involving the right of representation of the workers—how many of those cases did you have?
Mr. MADDEN. Fourteen in textiles.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. In which the employer disputed the right of the worker to the representation that they had decided on?
Mr. MADDEN. Yes, disputed our right to go in and ascertain the facts as to what the workers desired.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. With reference to representation and organization?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right. Mr. SCHNEIDER. And in some of those cases you conducted an election, did you?
Mr. MADDEN. We have conducted four elections with the consent of employers.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Was that in the southeastern part of the country?
Mr. MADDEN. Three of them were in the Southeast; one was in the Middle West.
In addition to those consent elections, I think that last week we succeeded in holding one ordered election. I mean to say that we moved rather promptly in that case. We made the order. Our agent went out and held the election quickly and so the intent, which we rather thought was there, to get us enjoined, was not carried out.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. Were you enjoined in some cases?
Mr. MADDEN. Yes. The case that I spoke of, which came to the District here before Judge Adkins, in which we are now tied up by a stay pending an appeal, involved, as I recall it, both things; that is, it was both a complaint and a representation case.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. But that order of the court prevents the board from conducting an election to determine whom the workers desire as their representative?
Mr. MADDEN. That is right. This argument is made to us very regularly: None of these workers want a union; they are all sick of unions. If there was to be an election they would vote almost unanimously against the union. But we will not let you have an election.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. They would have you believe and have the public believe that all the workers are in favor of these good-will clubs?
Mr. MADDEN. That is the argument which is made.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. The good-will clubs are largely, if not wholly, a company-union instrument, are they not?
Mr. MADDEN. We really cannot say in many of these cases that they have been propagated by the employer. In most cases they are very welcome to the employer and the attitude of the employer toward them is that the workman is not endangering his job by membership or activity in the good-will association. But I cannot say to you that in all cases these clubs have been propagated by the employer.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. It would be hard, of course, for anyone on the outside to determine that because of the fact that the agents and foremen and other officials of the company could easily influence the organization of such a club by various methods through their supervision and control over the employees.
Mr. MADDEN. You are right. It is difficult to ascertain those things.
Mr. Wood. What period of time does your testimony cover-that is, the experience of the new board? Mr. MADDEN. The period from the beginning of our activities. Mr. Wood. When were those activities begun?
Mr. MADDEN. We held our first hearing in October of 1935, and these figures which I gave come down to January 18 of this year.
Mr. Wood. In the discussion on the appropriation items for the National Labor Relations Board the other day, it was stated that you handled 151 cases and that there are yet pending 178 cases before your board.
Mr. MADDEN. Well, we have handled
Mr. Wood. That is the total number, all those that have been dealt with in any way?
Mr. Wood. Well, that was not accurate. We have almost 500 cases in our different offices.
Mr. Wood. In your opinion, is it necessary for the board to have any additional power or authority to enforce its decisions? In other words, do you think the law is sufficient?
Mr. MADDEN. Yes; if our constituents recognized that we have the powers which the language of the statute seems to give us, we would get along very well.