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Statement showing number of labor disputes handled by the Department of Labor through
its commissioners of conciliation from July 1, 1918, to June 30, 1919–Continued.
town Sheet & Tube Co., Youngstown, Ohio.
CO., Fort Wayne. Ind.
do.. Threatened strike: Electrical workers. Cleve- A. L. Faulkner... land Telephone Co., Ohio State Telephone
Co., Cleveland, Ohio
Manufacturers Association, 18 firms in
Association. Fort Wayne, Ind.
ville Packing Co., Evansville, Ind. Threatened strike:
Coal handlers and laborers, Semet-Solvay W.C. Liller...
Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
Commissioner not having judicial power to enforce compliance with his conclusions, could only report result of his conferences to representatives of employees. ? All demands granted except that of closed shop.
Cases pending at end of fiscal year, 1918.
2 Disputes and threatened strikes.
5 Total....... Disposition:
Cases reported from each State for each month.
July. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. June. Total.
WAR LABOR ADMINISTRATION.
NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD.
Origin and functions.—The National War Labor Board was created as a part of the War Labor Administration, and was the first of the organizations set up under the program outlined by the Advisory Council to the Secretary during the previous fiscal year. Among the things considered as vitally necessary at the beginning of the year 1918 was a treaty of peace between capital and labor. In order to arrive at some understanding for the term of the war, I called together representatives of each group. For this purpose I had requested the National Industrial Conference Board and the American Federation of Labor as the principal representatives of employers and wage earners, respectively, to send five persons each to a war
labor conference. Since it was recognized that it might be a matter of some difficulty to choose a chairman acceptable to both groups, each group was invited to choose a chairman who should preside on alternate days. Under this arrangement Hon. William Howard Taft, ex-President of the United States, and Hon. Frank P. Walsh, former chairman of the Industrial Relations Commission, were chosen.
The result of the conference was the establishment of a series of guiding principles which are now well known to the public and are set forth at length in my last annual report. For the purpose of making a concrete application of those principles in specific cases, it was recommended by the War Labor Conference Board that there be created a National War Labor Board to adjust labor disputes in industries manufacturing materials necessary to the conduct of the war. The same persons who had constituted the War Labor Conference Board were invited by me to become members of the National War Labor Board. This action was formally approved and confirmed by presidential proclamation on April 8, 1918. The original membership of the board was as follows:' William Howard Taft, joint chairman and public representative of employers; Frank P. Walsh, joint chairman and public representative of employees. For employers: L. F. Loree, W. H. Van Dervoort, C. Edwin Michael, Loyall A. Osborne, B. L. Worden. For employees: Frank J. Hayes, William L. Hutcheson, William H. Johnston, Victor A. Olander, Thomas A. Rickert.
It was the intention of the President as expressed in the proclamation confirming the action of the Secretary of Labor to set up a board which should have broad and elastic powers and which might function as a sort of supreme court of industry. The exact intent of the President's proclamation is set forth in the following excerpt:
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 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 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.
1 The following appointments and changes in personnel have taken place: Thomas J. Savage to be alternate for Mr. Johnston; T. M. Guerin to be alternate for Mr. Hutcheson, May 13, 1919; F. C. Hood to be alternate for Mr. Loree, May 17, 1918; C. A. Crocker to be alternate for Mr. Worden, June 1, 1918; F.C. Hcod to become principal on the resignation of Mr. Loree, June 1, 1918; John F. Perkins to be alternate for Mr. Osborne, June 1, 1918; Frederick N. Judson to be vice chairman and alternate for Mr. Taft, June 18, 1918; John F. Perkins to be alternate for Mr. Hood, June 27, 1918; H. H. Rice to be alternate for Mr. Van Dervoort, July 1, 1918; Wm. Harmon Black, to be vice chairman and alternate for Mr. Walsh, July 20, 1918; Matthew Woll to be alternate for Mr. Olander, July 24, 1918; John J. Manning to be alternate for Mr. Rickert, July 24, 1918; J. W. Marsh to be alternate for Mr. Michael, Sept, 1, 1918; on Oct. 9, 1918, the board was notified of the death of Thomas J. Savage; Fred Hewitt to be alternate for Mr. Johnston, Oct. 22, 1918; F. C. Hcod resigned as member of the board on Nov. 19, 1918; P. F. Sullivan to be alternate for Mr. Osborne, Dec. 3, 1918; Frank P. Walsh, joint chairman, resigned as a member of the board on Dec. 3, 1918; Wm. Harmon Black, vice chairman and alternate for Mr. Walsh, resigned as a member of the board on Dec. 3, 1918; Basil M. Manly to bojcint chairman, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Walsh, Dec. 4, 1918; Wm. Harman Black to be vice chairman and alternate for Mr. Manly, Dec. 4, 1918; John F. Perkins, alternate for Mr. Hood, to be a principal, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr, Hood, Dec. 4, 1918; B L. Worden resigned as a member of the board on Dec. 9, 1918; C. A. Crocker, to be a principal, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Worden, Dec. 11, 1918; Harold 0. Smith to be alternate for Mr. Crocker, Jan. 17, 1919; Granville E. Foss to be alternate for Mr. Perkins, Feb. 11, 1919; C. A. Crocker resigned as a member of the board on Feb. 24, 1919.
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.
It was understood, however, that the establishment of this board was never intended to abridge in any way the normal work of conciliation and mediation by the Department. There could necessarily be no conflict, because the theories upon which the two were founded differed widely. The functions of the conciliator are essentially diplomatic in nature. He never acts as a judge or arbitrator. The essence of his service lies in the fact that he acts as a friend to both sides. His efforts are devoted wholly to securing voluntary agreements. In any controversy it must be recognized that the best result will spring from a self-imposed settlement. However admirable judicial procedure may be, the imposition of an arbitrary award by even a disinterested person acting as judge or arbitrator is not ideal for the settlement of disputes, although it is necessary where the parties to the disputes are themselves unable to adjust their difficulties. Hence the Conciliation Division devotes itself wholly to the settlement of cases by diplomatic instead of judicial methods.
In sharp contrast to this method was that of the National War Labor Board. Reference of a dispute to it was a presumptive indication that conciliatory methods had failed. Unlike the Division of Conciliation, it was not presumed to be a friend to both sides, except in the sense of being impartial. It was essentially judicial in its judgment of the cases and had the public interest solely in view.
Disposition of cases.-From April 30, 1918, to May 31, 1919, the board received 1,270 cases, 25 of which were consolidated with other cases, leaving 1,245 separate controversies which had to be passed upon by the board. Of these 1,245 cases, 706 (57 per cent) were referred to other agencies having primary jurisdiction or 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 decisions 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 approached 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 shouing disposition of cases before the National War Labor Board to May 31,
1919. Complaints received: Joint submissions.
193 Ex parte.
1, 245 Disposition of cases:
Awards and findings made....
23 Remaining on docket because board was unable to agree. Suspended.....
1 Total..... As to the 315 cases which were received by the board and referred to other boards and agencies having original jurisdiction, the following table shows the number referred to each specified agency:
Number of cases referred to each specified agency. Department of Labor, Division of Conciliation.....
164 Department of Labor, Employment Service.....
1 Railroad Administration, Division of Labor.
13 Navy Department.
6 Treasury Department...
1 Post Office Department....
8 Emergency Fleet Corporation, Industrial Relations Division.
4 Emergency Fleet Corporation, Labor Adjustment Board.
6 War Industries Board....
3 War Labor Policies Board.
1 Fuel Administration....
6 Federal Oil Inspection Board.
1 War Department, various divisions...
24 War Department, Quartermaster General
8 Army Ordnance, Industrial Relations Section.
29 Signal Corps and Aircraft Production Board...
20 Board members......
10 Officers of international unions..
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 proceedings before the board.
Not including 58 supplementary awards, etc., in cases in which action had already been taken. * These 53 cases represent actually only 3 case-groups, as one of the case-groups involves 51 docket numbers.