Page images

handling nonunion products"; "nonpayment of union wage scale"; "against the introduction of dual unions"; "refusal to increase wages"; and "sympathetic strikes." Of the total number of complaints for engaging in strikes (214) and threatening to engage in strikes (18) the disposition is as follows: One hundred and sixty-five cases were decided favorably and 34 unfavorably to the employers, 5 were referred to trade boards, and 28 were withdrawn.


Applications for restoration of the plan involved the next largest number of disputes. These applications usually concerned a dispute as to whether strictly union conditions obtained on the job when an application for a removal of the protection of the plan had been granted the unions. The executive committee usually ruled that "it is not necessary for this committee to affirm the fact that the plan is back on a building. The very fact that the condition for which the plan was removed has been removed automatically puts the plan back." It appears that when the executive committee was satisfied that everything had been done to establish and maintain strictly union conditions on the buildings affected, but without the desired result, it was useless and unnecessary to continue the sympathetic strike. The number of cases filed was 42. Of this number 26 cases, or 61.9 per cent, were granted; 13 cases, or 31 per cent, were refused; and 3 cases, or 7.1 per cent, were withdrawn.


There were 22 complaints against the union for not complying witn the decisions of the arbitrators. These complaints were not confined to any one kind of dispute, but involved nearly as many kinds as there were disputes. But the principal reason given for noncompliance with the terms of the decision was that the decision "overreached" and therefore ought to be modified. However, 18 of the 22 cases recorded were enforced, 3 others it was found inexpedient to enforce, and 1 was withdrawn.

There appears not to have been any method of discipline provided for offenders among the unions, as in the case of the employers, for this character of complaints, and therefore no record of the method

of enforcement.


The employers were not as fortunate in getting favorable decisions in this class of complaints as in others, for the reason that the violations were of an extremely technical nature.

The cases that were decided favorably were cases where workmen had violated the terms of their agreement by working for individuals

not regularly engaged in the business of contracting for pipe covering and asbestos work. This was held to be in violation of the agreement, inasmuch as it happened to be within a radius of 25 miles of New York City. The agreement provides that union men are "to work only for firms that are regularly engaged in the business of pipe covering and asbestos work." The other case was for refusing to comply with the terms of an agreement "fixing the ratio of helpers to journeymen by electrical workers."

The 7 remaining cases, though apparently of seeming import to the complainants, were decided as follows: Three adversely, 1 referred to a trade board, and 3 withdrawn.


In most agreements between employers and unions "it is mutually agreed that in placing men" the unions "shall at all times give preference" to employers who are parties to the arbitration plan. This clause was held by the unions not to interfere with its members who were employed by independent concerns, or, in other words, the unions did not consider this clause as compelling them to withdraw any of its members from the employ of independent concerns in order to supply mechanics to members of the employers' association. However, a decision of an umpire was to the effect that the unions must supply mechanics to members of the employers' associations, "even though the union must take such men from shops of employers not members of the association of employers." This decision served to stand as a precedent for complaints of this nature and is believed to have avoided many difficulties. Of the 3 complaints filed, 2 were decided favorably and 1 adversely.


[Adopted July 3, 1903: revised July 9, 1903, and April 22, 1905.]

SECTION 1. This arbitration plan shall govern the relations between the members of the Building Trades Employers' Association and the unions, parties to this plan, employed by them on buildings or structures under construction or alteration, and in such shops as were unionized and recognized as union shops by the Building Trades Employers' Association on or after July 3, 1903, and in the shops where trade agreements provide that this plan shall govern; and it shall apply within all the territory known as Greater New York, unless otherwise specified in trade agreements. This plan applies to the mechanics of the trades and those helpers' organizations from which the mechanics of the trades are largely derived.

SEC. 2. The unions as a whole or as a single union shall not order any strike against a member of the Building Trades Employers' Association, nor shall any number of union men leave the works of a member of the Building Trades Employers' Association, nor shall any member of the Building Trades Employers' Association lock out his employees.

SEC. 3. The employers parties to this arbitration plan agree to employ members of the trade-unions only, directly or indirectly, through subcontractors or otherwise, on the work and within the territory as described in section 1 of this plan.

SEC. 4. There shall be a General Arbitration Board, consisting of two representatives from each employers' association affiliated with the Building Trades Employers' Association and two representatives from each union recognized as a party to this plan.

SEC. 5. The General Arbitration Board shall exercise the powers delegated to it by the several provisions of this plan; shall determine the manner of adjustment of any dispute which is not specifically covered by this plan; shall adopt and amend a code of procedure; and shall determine the manner in which and by whom the expenses of special arbitration boards shall be paid.

SEC. 6. Each association of employers and each union of employees, parties to this plan of arbitration, shall elect semiannually two arbitrators and two alternates who shall serve for six months or until their successors are elected. In case of the inability of an arbitrator and his alternate to attend, an association of employers or a union of employees may appoint a temporary substitute. All representatives of employers' associations on the General Arbitration Board shall be engaged in, or officers of a corporation engaged in the trade they represent. All representatives of the unions on the General Arbitration Board shall be working at their trade.

SEC. 7. Regular meetings of the General Arbitration Board shall be held once each month. Special meetings may be called by the chairman or the executive committee, and shall be called upon the filing with the secretary of a written request from five organizations represented in said board.

SEC. 8. At all meetings of the General Arbitration Board and the executive committee a majority vote shall carry any question, including the election of officers, except a member call for a division, when, in order to carry a question or to elect an officer, it shall require a majority vote of the representatives of each side present and voting. In case of disagreement and inability of the body to agree upon a motion a conference committee shall be appointed, which shall report a motion or motions to the meeting.

SEC. 9. The chairman and the vice chairman of the General Arbitration Board shall be elected semiannually by and from the members of the General Arbitration Board and shall hold office until their successors are elected. One of these officers shall be an employer and the other an employee.

SEC. 10. The general secretary shall be elected by the General Arbitration Board for a term of one year and shall serve until his successor is elected.

SEC. 11. The cost of maintaining the headquarters of the General Arbitration Board, including the salaries of the secretary and his assistants, shall be divided equally between the Building Trades Employers' Association and the unions collectively. SEC. 12. The general arbitrators must be given power by the organizations they represent.

SEC. 13. The headquarters of the General Arbitration Board shall not be the meeting room nor the clubrooms of any association of employers or employees.

SEC. 14. There shall be an executive committee of the General Arbitration Board, which shall consist of twelve members of said board, six of whom shall be elected by the representatives of the unions in the General Arbitration Board, and six of whom shall be elected by the employers' representatives in the General Arbitration Board.

SEC. 15. The executive committee shall exercise the powers delegated to it by the several provisions of this plan; shall have control of all receipts and expenditures; shall act as a board of conciliation; shall exercise all the powers vested in the General Arbitration Board between the regular meetings of said board, except the power to amend the code of procedure and fix the expenses of special boards. It shall report all its proceedings to the General Arbitration Board. The committee shall meet once a week or upon the call of the secretary.

SEC. 16. The executive committee first elected shall divide itself by lot into six classes, so that one employer and one employee shall serve one, two, three, four, five, and six months, respectively. At the expiration of the term of each committeeman his successors shall be elected to serve for a period of six months.

SEC. 17. All decisions of the executive committee shall be final and binding upon all the parties to this arbitration plan unless disapproved by the General Arbitration Board, in the following manner: Upon the receipt of the report of the executive committee any decision of the executive committee may be subject to review by the General Arbitration Board at the request in writing of an association of employers or employees under seal of the organization and endorsed by a majority vote of the representatives of either side present and voting. In the case of such review the question before the board shall be, “Shall the decision of the executive committee be disapproved?" If the decision is disapproved the General Arbitration Board shall proceed to dispose of the question.

SEC. 18. All complaints shall be addressed to the secretary, in writing, who shall endeavor to adjust them and report them to the executive committee.

SEC. 19. Where a trade agreement exists between an employers' association and a union, all disputes in that trade shall be settled by a trade board of arbitration with an umpire, if necessary. The decision of said board or umpire shall be final. Should the trade board fail to agree upon an umpire, or should either side fail to abide by the decision of the trade board or the umpire, the question shall be referred to the General Arbitration Board, for action, within twenty-four hours after such failure or refusal.

SEC. 20. Should a dispute arise in a trade in which there is no trade agreement between the employers' association and the union of the trade, or between an employer and a union between whom there is no trade agreement, said dispute shall be referred to the General Arbitration Board.

SEC. 21. In the case of a dispute concerning a question of jurisdiction of trade or a dispute caused by conflicting provisions of two or more trade agreements, the complainant shall notify the general secretary, and the secretary shall immediately call a conference of the unions and employers' associations interested. The conference

shall settle the dispute by conciliation, if possible, or refer it to arbitration, if necessary. Pending the adjustment of the dispute, the work shall be performed by such mechanics members of unions parties to this plan as the trade contractor for the work may have elected to employ. In case of refusal or failure on the part of any union or employers' association concerned to adjust such a dispute in the manner above described within twenty-one days after the filing of the complaint, the dispute shall be submitted to the General Arbitration Board or the executive committee, which shall determine whether the question at issue is a subject for arbitration. Should the General Board or executive committee decide that the question is a subject for arbitration, it shall refer the case to a special board, provided the dispute can not be adjusted by conciliation.

SEC. 22. The work that has been heretofore recognized to be in the possession of a trade shall not be submitted to arbitration; provided, when possession is claimed by a party or parties to a jurisdiction of trade dispute, that question shall be decided by the executive committee, and in case of a disagreement the executive committee shall refer the question to an umpire. If the executive committee or the umpire decides that the work has not been to the possession of a trade, the question of who shall perform the work shall then be referred to a special board of arbitration.

SEC. 23. "Unskilled trades" are hereby defined to be those of laborers, helpers, or workers from whose ranks mechanics of a particular trade are not regularly recruited. Any difficulty arising in the unskilled trades may be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of this plan through the mechanics of the trade in which the unskilled are working and should the mechanics of a trade repeatedly refuse to file a complaint it may be presented upon the written request of five organizations parties to this plan.

SEC. 24. Special arbitration boards shall consist of not less than four members, and shall be chosen from the members of the General Arbitration Board. They shall meet within twenty-four hours when notified by the general secretary.

SEC. 25. It shall be the privilege of any union or employers' association, through its representatives on the General Arbitration Board, to select the members of a special board to act for them, but no general abitrator can act when the dispute is occurring in the trade which he represents. In case of the failure of any party to a complaint to select arbitrators within two weeks after an arbitration by a special board has been ordered, the executive committee shall select the necessary arbitrators.

SEC. 26. The arbitration papers are to be drawn by the general secretary, and shall contain a specific statement of the question in dispute and a provision that all parties agree to abide by the decision of the special board or the umpire. The umpire must be selected before the case is opened. In case of refusal of any party to sign the arbitration papers, the executive committee shall determine, from the papers in the case, the specific question to be arbitrated.

SEC. 27. The arbitration papers must be properly signed and sealed by the contending parties, each party receiving its copy. After a careful hearing of the case, stenographically reported, the verdict obtained by a majority vote, cast so as to include at least one representative of each of the contending parties, or a decision of the umpire shall be final and binding. No organization of employers or employees shall be permitted to alter or amend any decision or part thereof rendered by the General Board, executive committee, or a special board of arbitration.

SEC. 28. Members of special arbitration boards who may be in the employ of members of the Building Trades Employers' Association are guaranteed reemployment by their firm or corporation when the special board on which they shall have served has disposed of the case.

SEC. 29. No lawyer is to act as arbitrator, counsel, or advisor at any proceeding held under this plan.

SEC. 30. Business agents of the unions parties to this plan shall be permitted to enter all shops, buildings, or structures described in section 1.

« PreviousContinue »