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been printed and published. More than 2,000 copies have already been put into the hands of interested citizens throughout the United States. Copies have been placed in all the principal libraries, and from many persons in all parts of the country have come high words of commendation of the timeliness and value of the report. A valuable investigation of the experience of the Negro in industry was also begun through the Investigation and Inspection Service. Much material was gathered, but from lack of funds it has not been completed.
Samples of work accomplished.-(1) The United States Employment Service of the Department has necessarily received the largest amount of assistance, North and South, in connection with the recruiting and placement of Negro wage earners.
The Federal State directors of that service in 10 States depended for advice and assistance almost entirely upon the field staff of the Division of Negro Economics on practically all matters relating to Negro labor. In Virginia and Alabama special assistance was given in developing the Boys' Working Reserve among Negro boys.
(2) The Woman in Industry Service, the Investigation and Inspection Service, the Children's Bureau, the Conciliation Service, the Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation, and other branches of the Department were served in a cooperative way in their dealing with Negro wage earners.
(3) Educational and efficiency campaigns were carried on throughout the territory to inform Negroes of the relation of their work to the winning of the war and the necessity for 100 per cent production. These campaigns gave stimulation also to amicable relations between white and colored workers and white employers. This work was carried on through mass meetings and audiences in churches, lodges, and welfare societies, and by means of posters, publicity to all the Negro newspapers, etc. Shop talks on the Nation's needs, race pride, promptness, regularity, full-time work and increased opportunities for large earnings have been given. Employers gladly arranged hours for such talks and commended the efforts.
(4) Advice was given to employers on matters of sanitation in industrial towns and camps. Employers were appealed to on the ground that proper conditions produce greater regularity, stability, and contentment among Negro workers.
(5) Through consultation with State and city officials and with those leading in labor distribution, the superior effectiveness of publicity and persuasion over against compulsory measures as a means of securing efficient work was shown. For instance, in Norfolk, Va., a labor shortage committee proposed to have a drive to compel men to go to work or go to jail. Through the advice of the local Negro workers' advisory committee a plan for a 10-day educational cam
paign to appeal to the Negro laborers was substituted for the workor-jail plan. The result was more Negro applicants for the work than were needed at that time, and this became a basis for the further stimulation of Negro labor.
(6) Such methods of stimulation reduced the labor turnover and absenteeism in a number of plants as shown by statements of many employers.
(7) The promotion of stability and thrift among Negro wage earners may be illustrated by the effect of the "own-your-own home” effort in Ohio. The supervisor of Negro economics gathered information about the laws and operations of building and loan associations and sent out information to the Negroes throughout the State. The result, in four months, was a series of extension lectures in three cities to Negroes by one of the universities, the establishment of three well-organized Negro building and loan associations in three cities, and plans for five others in as many different cities of the State. The effect of this work on the communities, and especially on the Negro workers, has been far-reaching, according to the testimony of both white and colored citizens.
WAR LABOR POLICIES BOARD.
Origin and functions.—Among the war problems of the Department was that of regulating the relations of services and bureaus in the Departments of Labor with similar services and bureaus in other departments. In the fixing of wages and working conditions, for instance, adjustment boards and agencies existed in practically every production branch of the Government. The work of these agencies was frequently in conflict, and it was highly desirable that their policies be unified and that the boards themselves work in harmonious relations with one another. Nor were such conflicts of authority confined to the adjustment of labor disputes. There were incompatibilities with regard to the supervision of working conditions, housing, and many other functions of the Department of Labor. As a means of bringing these agencies into mutual relationships, there was created by the Secretary of Labor a War Labor Policies Board, composed of the chiefs of the various bureaus and services of the Department, together with representatives of the other production departments of the Government.
The board was established on May 13, 1918, with Mr. Felix Frankfurter, Assistant to the Secretary of Labor, as chairman. Its first meeting was held on May 29, 1918. The departments, boards, and administrations represented besides the Department of Labor were the War Department, the Navy Department, the Department of Agriculture, the United States Shipping Board, the Emergency
Fleet Corporation, the Fuel Administration, the Food Administration, the Railroad Administration, and the War Industries Board. In addition to members representing these branches of the administration, the Policies Board had advisers representing organized labor and other experts and technicians who qualified in business management and other technical fields.
The need for the War Labor Policies Board arose from the fact that the Federal Government had become the greatest employer in the country. And although the Government represented one people and might therefore be expected to have a single broad policy toward labor, the first year of the war had brought out many diverse policies from that single Government. The inevitable result was that the National Government, operating through different agencies, was saying and doing irreconcilable things. Each of the labor policies announced by each of the branches of the administration could not be right, because many of them were mutually contradictory.
The function of the board was to reconcile such differences so far as they referred to administration of labor matters and to recommend to the Secretary unified labor policies to harmonize the industrial activities of separate branches of the Government. well adapted to this end, since-although it was created by the Secretary of Labor and operated under his direction—it included responsible representatives of other branches of the Government.
Elimination of labor turnover.—The chief problem to be faced was the wastage which arose from labor turnover. This evil was magnified by competitive recruiting on the part of persons employed by or operating on behalf of the Government. Private labor agencies and private businesses were also insistently seeking the labor needed for vital war work. To eliminate this waste and to assure a sufficient number of workers for war purposes the board recommended the policy of central recruiting of unskilled labor through the United States Employment Service. With the approval of the Secretary of Labor and by presidential announcement this policy was put into effect on August 1. Plans were also made for the recruiting of skilled labor similarly, but they never became operative by reason of the armistice.
Adoption of uniform standards.--Diversity in the conditions and standards of employment in the different governmental agencies were a second cause of industrial disturbances and of labor turnover resulting in a decrease in output. To harmonize such diversitise the board devised and recommended clauses for insertion in the contracts executed by the war production departments. These clauses dealt with the questions of child labor, contract labor, the Federal eight-hour laws, the enforcement of State laws, and the submission of labor disputes to arbitration.
For the enforcement of such of these provisions as related to labor standards the cooperation of State labor bureaus was secured. These State agencies were authorized to enforce the contract provisions by the Federal departments responsible for the execution of contracts. In order to obtain a satisfactory understanding with State organizations a conference was held on September 30 and October 1, at which 34 States were represented.
Industrial exemptions.— The War Labor Policies Board also developed and recommended to the provost marshal general a system of furloughing skilled laborers in order to minimize the disorganizing effects of the draft upon essential industries. Another plan, providing district draft boards with industrial and agricultural advisers, was designed by the board and also adopted by the provost marshal general. In accordance with this plan exemptions for industrial needs were determined on the basis of national rather than local requirements.
The rapid growth of many communities due to the establishment of war industries produced living conditions which made it impossible for workers to maintain their efficiency. To correct these evils the War Labor Policies Board recommended that the Department of Labor establish a Commission on Living Conditions of War Workers, the duties of which were to cooperate with governmental departments and local agencies in securing proper living conditions for workers in war industries. The recommendation was approved by the Secretary of Labor, and a commission of five members was appointed October 16 as a part of the Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation.
Wage stabilization.--One of the chief obstacles to the proper distribution of labor had been the variations in wages paid by different contractors for the Government. These differences were frequently of considerable magnitude, even within the same city and for the same trades. This resulted in a tremendous turnover of labor which seriously interferred with productive efficiency. It was the individualistic strike. It represented the individual workman dissatisfied with. conditions who was either unwilling or unable to enlist his fellow workman in a collective protest. It was much larger in the aggregate than all of our strikes. Something had to be done to reduce it to a minimum if our war-industry effectiveness was to be maintained. It was apparent that only some system of standardization of wage rates would accomplish the desired results.
Every collective wage agreement entered into between employers and employees establishes standard wages for the period of its existence and to that extent has a stabilizing effect. It reduces unrest to to a minimum because employers and employees are alike parties to the agreement. Any policy of standardization determined upon by the Government to reach its effectiveness had to give to the
employer and employee a voice in determining the wage standards that were to be introduced. This policy was pursued in the creation of the various wage-adjustment boards. These did not cover all of the field except in the case of the National War Labor Board, and in that case jurisdiction did not begin until the spirit of unrest amongst the workers had reached the stage of creating a labor dispute. Standardization with a view to preventing the unrest was never undertaken in the general field of industry. In order to cover that neglected field, the board perfected plans for the formation of a Building Trades Board and a Metal Trades Board, composed of representatives of employers, employees, and the Government, to deal with problems that arose outside the jurisdiction of the Shipbuilding Adjustment Board and the Railroad Board of Wages and Working Conditions. Plans were being worked out for the creation of additional boards in other essential industries when the signing of the armistice eliminated the need for further action.
Profiteering.- Directly related to the question of wage stabilization is the problem of the steadily increasing cost of living. The Department realized that to regulate wages without at the same time meeting the question of the rising costs of the services and materials which the worker purchases with his wages would be dealing in half measures. Accordingly the question of price control was referred to the War Industries Board, the Food Administration, and the Department of Agriculture, with the request that they proceed as rapidly as possible with the formulation and enforcement of plans for the increase of production and the stabilization of the prices of the necessaries of life and the elimination of profiteering through the equitable limitations of profits.
Employment of women.—The reduction in the available labor supply due to the draft resulted in a steady increase in the employment of women. The Department has held the protection of women against the hazards resulting from their entry into industry of prime importance. A statement of the policy of the Government with regard to the employment of women was adopted which included principles to be observed in occupations employing women and the safeguards which should be provided for them. Since administration of this policy has been assigned to the Woman in Industry Service by the Secretary of Labor, a detailed description of the principles included within that policy are set forth in that part of this report which describes the operation of the latter service.
Plant surveys.-Realizing that the scientific utilization of industrial plants was the first requisite in securing maximum production, the board devised a plan for surveys to be made by the community labor boards of the Employment Service, under the direction of the War Industries Board, to ascertain the extent to which plants capable of being utilized for war production were being employed and