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Mr. Wood. They are reverting to that policy in the North also, are they?
Mr. LEADER. Yes, sir; they are.
Mr. Wood. And possibly while doing so, they are not doing so, so extensively?
Mr. LEADER. That is right.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. What is your opinion about paragraph 8, section 4, the National Textile Commission? I will quote it to you:
There is hereby created a commission to be known as the National Textile Commission which shall be composed of seven members appointed by the President by and with the consent of the Senate.
I find no requirements of representation of employees or the employer on that commission. In case the President happened to appoint a number of people with the psychology of the employer on that commission, what would be the result, in your estimation, in the administration of that act?
Mr. LEADER. I believe it is the intent of the sponsors of the bill that the rights of the workers will be taken care of. I mean by that in the same way as under the Wagner Labor Relations Act, and where any question comes up which is mutual or under the law is handled by the commission, it would be mutually agreed on by both sides. But at no time would they take away the economic right of the worker in the event of a strike in the industry.
Mr. Wood. But if the majority of the commission had the psy. chology of the unfair employer they would administer the act in favor of the employers, would they not?
Mr. LEADER. That may be so. But labor recognizes that it has to gamble with the fairness of some of those people in this whole situation. Perhaps they are ready to gamble at this time that the President will be fair in the selection of that commission, if he is the one that has the power, or that Congress will be.
Mr. Wood. In other words, in this case labor is willing to leave its destiny in the hands of those whom the President will appoint and whom the Senate will confirm, believing that they will be men of integrity, ability, and understanding and will administer the law in the interest of all concerned and for the best welfare of the country as a whole?
Mr. LEADER. There is no doubt in the world about that.
Mr. HARTLEY. Did you say that someone else representing the industry was going to present figures with respect to child labor?
Mr. LEADER. I believe they will be presented.
There is one other point that I would like to bring out which was not in my previous statement, and that is that in the Philadelphia area from 1929 there have been 38 hosiery mills which have moved out of that district; and in most cases they moved toward the South. During the life of N. R. A. we did not have the removal of one mill, but since N. R. A. has gone out there have been five mills which have moved, and there are about two more threatening to move. And all of them are going South. Each employer in the Philadelphia section can show you a list of propaganda piled high on his table from all other districts as to why he should move South or to some other district near the South where wages are much lower.
Mr. KELLER. Why don't you bring some of that here to this committee?
Mr. LEADER. I believe all of this will be brought out in the later testimony.
Mr. KELLER. I want to know about that.
Mr. LEADER. We even have a sort of "blackbird" situation where we have a southern manufacturer who during the N. R. A. moved his plant North, but today he is shutting down and is moving down into West Virginia.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. You call him a "blackbird?”
Mr. LEADER. Yes, sir. He goes with the season and with Government regulations.
Mr. HARTLEY. What has been your experience with reference to the right to organize under the Wagner-Connery Act? Have you had any difficulty in connection with any of the mills in and around Philadelphia?
Mr. LEADER. In the North we have always been able to exercise our rights under the law if the law was not declared unconstitutional.
Mr. SCHNEIDER. You found in some instances you were permitted to go in and organize?
Mr. LEADER. Due to our strength.
Mr. HARTLEY. Is that also true in my territory around New Jersey?
Mr. LEADER. In the Paterson district I believe that is so.
We are now going to adjourn, and since we have carried over nearly a quarter of an hour we will return here at 2 o'clock.
An hour or so ago, Mr. Hartley, of New Jersey, made the statement that there were several hundred lawyers working in N. R. A. that were doing nothing except receiving their salaries. When I questioned that Mr. Hartley said he never heard it denied, and I took the privilege of denying it.
I immediately telephoned this down to the department; I simply had this read to the department, that
Mr. Hartley, a Member of Congress from New Jersey, made the statement that there are several hundred lawyers in N. R. A. who are doing nothing but drawing their salaries.
I have contacted Mr. Vincent, Coordinator of X. R. A., in the Department of Commerce, and asked him for the facts in this case.
He referred it to Mr. Marshall, the real head of the Department, and Mr. Marshall telephoned back this fact, that there are, roughly, 14 or 15 lawyers in the N. R. A. but that there will be a reduction on the first of the month of that number--not several hundred, but 14 or 15 at the outside.
I call your attention to it not for the purpose of taking a crack at my good friend Hartley; but is is so very easy to hear these stories and then go and repeat them, and when I heard that, I knew the inside of the N. R. A. so thoroughly well that I was surprised that there are 15 left.
Mr. HARTLEY. Mr. Chairman, first of all, let me make this correction of your statement. I did not make that statement.
Mr. KELLER. You said that the statement was made.
Mr. HARTLEY. That it was alleged. And I emphasized it was alleged.
Mr. KELLER. And that you had never heard it denied.
Mr. HARTLEY. I also want the privilege of saying this. And this was also included in my previous statement. It was:
How many attorneys have been employed in N. R. A. who would have been available and who were doing nothing but drawing their salaries, from the time the Wagner-Connery board was organized?
Mr. KELLER. You may have that privilege, certainly.
Mr. HARTLEY. Because it may indicate that there were more than 14 or 15 at that time.
Mr. Wood. I would like to request the Chairman to again contact the National Recovery Administration officials and ascertain from them, if possible, how many lawyers were employed at any time during the life of N. R. A.
Mr. KELLER. I will be very glad to do that.
Mr. Wood. There were nearly 600 codes that covered millions of employees and hundred of thousands of employers; and I am just wondering how many attorneys it took to look after the legal matters of the N. R. A. during the peak of its operation. I think that is well to be made a part of the record. I don't think there would be several hundred altogether.
Mr. HARTLEY. There may not be. But the point I am getting at is this, that anyone interested in the enforcement of the Wagner-Connery labor board bill should be interested in knowing how many of these attorneys were available and should have been taken advantage of by the board.
Mr. Wood. I am interested in knowing how many available attorneys there were at any time.
Mr. KELLER. I shall make inquiry, as Mr. Wood has asked, as to how many there were.
Mr. Wood. I would be very glad to have you do so, because those statements have been repeated so often that some people think it is so. It would be well to ascertain the number.
Mr. KELLER. There is no reason why it should not be done. I am just calling attention to the fact that those statements are made so often without justification, as you readily see in this case, not that my colleague stated it himself but he said he never heard 'it denied. And I denied it.
Mr. HARTLEY. You have admitted there would be 14 or 15 who would be available to the Wagner-Connery board.
Mr. KELLER. We will adjourn now until 2 o'clock.
(Thereupon the hearing in the above-entitled matter was recessed at 12:12 p. m. until 2 p. m. of the same day.)
AFTER RECESS (The hearing was resumed at 2 p. m.) Mr. KELLER. The hearing will please come to order.
There are a number of gentlemen here who find it necessary to go home this afternoon, and for their convenience I am going to call
them in the following order: Mr. Valente, Mr. Christopher, T. F. Moore, Ed. Christenbury, and L. James Johnson. Henry Jennings will be called first.
STATEMENT OF HENRY JENNINGS, PRESIDENT, WOOLEN AND
WORSTED FEDERATION OF AMERICA
Mr. JENNINGS. My name is Henry Jennings. I am president of the Woolen and Worsted Federation. That is a department of the United Textile Workers of America.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I might say that the Woolen and Worsted Federation represents approximately 127,000 workers. I am not only talking as a representative of the workers but I am talking as a worker in the industry. I would like to say that I have worked in the industry under the conditions before N. R. A., under the conditions existing during N. R. A., and under the conditions following N. R. A. I will not stress much the conditions before N. R. A. I might say that they were too deplorable to talk about; but I would like to say something about the conditions during the life of N. R. A.
I have been waiting a long time to get a chance to say something about many of the statements made as to the manufacturers upholding the codes throughout the life of N. R. A. It was my idea that the codes were put into effect to stabilize the industry, which they did, and to take up a surplus amount of help that was out at the time.
Under the N. R. A. we did take up a surplus amount of help. But I want to say that it was not as much as we should have taken up if the manufacturers had cooperated as they claimed they did. We know that when the industry was brought down to the 40-hour weekly basis production in the industry was not decreased. The machinery was speeded up. With the 40-hour week the workers were turning out the same amount of production as they were in the 48-hour and 50-hour weeks, in some instances. I am not condemning all of the manufacturers, but I am condemning a lot of them who claimed that they were living up to the code.
The minimum wage was put into the code for one reason, so that no worker would receive under $14, which was the minimum wage in the woolen and worsted division. That was not put into effect so that 50 percent of the industry would be brought down to the minimum; it was put into effect so that nobody in the industry who was unskilled would be paid less than that amount.
In this industry we have thousands of workers running machinery who have to spend time to learn and have to have experience. And those workers are not unskilled. In many cases a majority of those workers were put on the minimum rate, and in order to get away from the minimum provision some of them were given 50 or 60 cents over the minimum in order to say that they were not on the minimum. If that is what they call upholding the codes, I will concede that they did.
l'nder section 7-A there was the provision as to the right to bargain collectively. I heard about complaints that came in and the violations of this part of the code. I might say that there were many complaints which should have gone in but which never did go in. To my knowledge there wasn't any manufacturer who called one of his employees into the office and said, "You are being fired tonight because you have been too active in the union.” No; they are too smart for that. But I do know employees in New England who went to the Regional Board in Boston on complaints that they were laid off. But they were not laid off for union activities; the boss would come around to them and say, "Well, boys, I am sorry, but there is a let-down in business and I will have to let you go. If business picks up eventually, I will send for you."
But they were not sent for. And they could not prove that they were discriminated against because of union activity. But we know that they were.
I have in mind one gentleman who was president of an international union. That union went out in the 1934 general textile strike with the organization. After the strike that man walked the streets for 15 weeks. He had a family and was in bad circumstances. He could not get back. After pressure was brought to bear on every board that we had—and I understand the case was taken into Washington by Mr. Gorman—the man was finally put back to work. But the conditions under which he worked were not conditions such as any American should work under. He was on a piece-work rate, and his work was inspected. And this man dropped his income down a dollar to 2 dollars a day in order to make sure that his work would be perfect.
Those were the conditions under which he worked for 3 weeks. In the fourth week the man was fired. He was not fired for his union activities; he was fired for eating a sandwich in the plant during working hours.
1 say without fear of contradiction that the codes were not upheld, as it was claimed they were. And with respect to the statements that have been made about 90 percent of the manufacturers being willing to uphold the codes, I say now that they did uphold the codes when the N. R. A. was in effect, and they are not doing it now since NR. A. is not in effect.
I would also like to say something as a worker in the industry as to the condition of the industry at the present time.
It is my idea that the condition in the industry today that is causing the most harm and that is causing the most dissatisfaction-that is, the most harm among the workers and amongst the manufacturers—is not only the wage and hours, but it is the production. By that I mean the work load that has been put on the employees. In the last 9 or 10 years the work load has increased in some instances 50 percent. In some instances it has been increased that much.
I have worked under conditions when I would really not have time to get a drink of water during the day. This is not an exaggeration. And I really did not have time to go to the men's room. If I did, then when I came back to my bench I was that much further behind the man who was working beside me, and with hardly a possibility of catching up. To put it in plain words, it just meant a "bawling out” from the boss that night.
This condition is not only detrimental to the workers in the industry, but it is detrimental to the manufacturers themselves. I attribute this to all of this competition. I have talked to committees of manufacturers, and there was never a manufacturer who defended the pro