Page images

Permanent Employees (a) Under this heading should be classed all employees of the fixed establishment, who must have been in the service of the railway company a minimum length of time (six months to a year) to entitle them to such consideration.

(b). Permanent employees should be selected according to physical and mental qualifications, merit and ability.

(c) No employee should be accepted for permanent employment until he has passed a physical examination. Temporary employees, who are to be retained permanently, should be given such an examination before being permanently assigned.

(d) Permanent employees, in so far as possible, should provide their own living accommodations.

(e) Permanent employees should be selected with due consideration to their fitness for promotion. Appointments to higher positions should preferably be made by promotions.

Temporary Employees (a) Under this heading should be classed all employees who are engaged for seasonal or special work and whose service will be terminated as soon as the work is completed.

(b) Wherever possible, laborers should be procured locally by the Foreman, preference being given to former experienced and desirable employees.

There are localities where it will always be desirable to import men, due to industrial competition, class of local labor available, etc. If satisfactory labor is available locally, the Foreman should be held responsible for procuring and retaining such men as he is authorized to work, and also for the character of the men he employs.

(c) Recruiting and care of such maintenance of way laborers as cannot be procured locally by the Foreman should be in charge of a company employee or officer. Such officer or employee may devote all of his time, if necessary, to labor matters. The scope of his duties and extent of his organization, if any, should be determined by the Management of the individual road. In so far as labor matters are concerned, he should work under the supervision of the officer who is directly responsible for the execution of maintenance of way or construction work. This may be the Chief Engineer, Engineer Maintenance of Way, General Roadmaster, General Superintendent, General Manager, Vice President, or such System Officer as directs or handles the work.

On roads where a Personnel Department or System Labor Department is maintained, the work of the Maintenance of Way Labor Officer should coördinate with such system plan.

The Labor Officer should be fully informed at all times and as far in advance as possible of all scheduled work. He should advise his superior officer as to forces available and terms under which they can be procured. His advice and his recommendations will be valuable in planning work, both as to the time when it should be undertaken and the extent or amount of work that can be successfully prosecuted under existing conditions.

The Labor Officer should keep in constant and intimate touch with labor centers and other employers of labor, especially other railroads and industries. He should work with a view to coöperating in the transfer of labor released by one company and required by another. He should keep the names and addresses of all pros


pective employees and the class of work they desire. He should also inform them as to the probable date of employment and the location of the work. When men are employed, the labor officer should attend to all details of shipment, provide transportation, arrange for equipment, see that men reach their destinations and are placed satisfactorily at work. He should at all times have an intimate knowledge of conditions affecting maintenance of way labor, employed or to be employed.

(d) In procuring labor, the Labor Officer should take advantage of every legitimate source for procuring men, paying particular attention to voluntary applications of individuals or groups of men. He may sometimes find it desirable to maintain an employment office or offices to accomplish results.

(e) For the successful recruiting of maintenance of way laborers, it is often necessary to transport men free of charge over the lines of the company employing them. This practice is recommended.

It will usually be possible to recruit sufficient labor for each company's requirements from cities on their own lines and it is not recommended that any exchange transportation be issued for shipment over foreign lines.

It is recommended that return transportation over the employing company's lines be given laborers who remain on the work until the close of the season.

Transportation or passes should be issued only under well defined rules. Passes should not be furnished until men are ready to take the train. The practice of giving an agency, foreman or interpreter a pass with which to solicit labor on the street is bad.

Regular officers authorized to issue transportation should write passes for labor shipments. Such passes, however, should only be issued on request or advice from the Labor Officer. Passes for shipments which are to be made from points other than where the Labor Officer has representation should be written by the nearest Superintendent. This will usually prevent moving men away from a job from which they should not be taken.

(f) When laborers are to be housed and fed the Labor Officer should supervise the equipment and operation of camps and see that proper sanitary precautions are observed. He should also see that men are comfortably housed, that good, wholesome food and water are provided, and that their interests are properly protected.

CONCLUSIONS 1. The question of obtaining railway labor is broad and one deserving of careful consideration and organization.

2. In the interest of efficiency and economy maintenance employees should have the necessary mental and physical qualifications.

3. Best results may be obtained by providing some officer or some organization to supervise the selection and care of employees.

4. The living conditions of employees should be sanitary and comfortable. Food should be wholesome and of sufficient quantity, and work so regulated as not to be injurious to health.

5. Every encouragement, consistent with economy and efficiency, should be given to permanent employment throughout the year.

6. To avoid abuses, free transportation for railway labor should all times be within the control of regularly delegated officers or employees.

Recommendations That the conclusions reached by your Committee with reference to Item (1) be adopted and published in the Manual.



A. F. BLAESS, Chairman;



The study your Committee feels should be considered in the following light: (A) Training and educating engineers or employees in the Engi

neering Department in maintenance work; and,
(B) Training and educating employees (other than engineers)

in the Maintenance of Way Department, looking to greater

economy and efficiency as well as promotion. Your Committee has found it impracticable to outline a definite program of procedure that might be applied to all roads, due to the inherent personal equation of employees involved, together with the variation in practices and policies ever present in railroad service. It seems, therefore, we can only in a general way deal with the question at hand. The earnest coöperation and sustained interest of all concerned is the first essential to success.


(A) Training and Educating Engineers or Employees in the

Engineering Department in Maintenance Work. It is desirable that engineers in the maintenance department be graduates of some good technical school, but these positions, however, should not be limited to graduate engineers. To limit these positions to graduate engineers would in many instances drop the bars against young men who display ambition to follow engineering. When on account of finances young men are unable to take a full course at an engineering university

, and study engineering with some good correspondence school or university extension course, they deserve consideration. Such men understand that their success depends upon their obtaining the necessary knowledge of their profession. The engineer who is obtaining his theory by private study should have as good knowledge of the theory of his profession as his more fortunate co-workers who have had the advantage of a college course. There have been numerous cases where university graduates were unable to make practical application of their knowledge, and we do not think we should exclude from consideration the man who obtains his theory by other means.

Every railroad organization has its own ideas and methods on the education and training of young engineers for positions of greater responsibility. It should, however, be possible to agree on a selection of these for general use.

Good results may be obtained by carrying on an educational campaign through periodical meetings for the purpose of exchanging views through the medium of papers, reports and discussions. This can probably be best brought about by organizing an association modeled somewhat along the lines of the A.R.E.A. Membership should be offered all officers above the ranks of supervisor of bridges and buildings, supervisor of track, supervisor of water service and supervisor of signals, including assistant engineers in the maintenance of way department. This association should appoint committees following, as far as possible, the same line of research work as done in the A.R.E.A., modified as local conditions might suggest.

The young engineer should be required to study and thoroughly familiarize himself with standard plans and practices, with maintenance of way reports, and with the rules, general instructions, etc., governing the maintenance department. He should also be encouraged to familiarize himself with proceedings of the A.R.E.A. and recommended practices of their Manual. It should be thc endeavor to arouse and sustain the interest of young employees by explanations of work assigned, in order that they may be able to appreciate the relation of their particular work to the general maintenance scheme.

An incentive should be offered employees to work by encouraging them to take additional responsibilities. Every man should be trained for the next higher position. Probably the best method is to rotate the field and office work, if possible, showing a man his mistakes immediately upon completion of each assigned job. The young employee should be encouraged to study maintenance methods from the standpoint of economics, with the idea of developing an analytical viewpoint-a valuable asset in maintenance of way work.

There should be practiced a systematic rotation of service for the members of the engineering corps, to include surveying and field work, masonry inspection, building inspection, supervision of construction and work in drafting and designing. After the young engineer has had sufficient experience in office and field work, he should be transferred to a position which will give him experience and training in the handling of men and practical maintenance work.

A fixed minimum engineering corps should be maintained throughout the year with definite lines of promotion, to the end that the employee will have an incentive to continue in the service of the railroad company.

The young engineer should be required to attend division staff meetings and take part in discussions, thereby becoming familiar with the various operating matters discussed.

The Division Engineers, or corresponding officers, should take a personal interest in the education and development of young engineers, taking

« PreviousContinue »