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The potters herald. [volume] (East Liverpool, Ohio) 1899-1982, February 22, 1951, Image 5

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Thursday, February 22, 1951
Bad Connections In Labor
Relations of Bell System
Washington (LPA) The Bell
System is mighty efficient when it
Mromes to getting your phone call
"h rough, but produces bad snags
and long delays when it comes to
talk with the union.
That is the gist of a report just
issued by the Senate Labor Com
mittee on labor relations in the
telephone industry. “Bad labor
management relations exist in the
Bell Telephone System,” the report
said. “These relations appear to be
getting worse. Strikes and threats
of strikes are becoming more fre
The Senators support the posi
tion of the Communications Work
ers, that the problem cannot be
solved until American Telephone &
Telegraph Co., the giant monopoly
controlling the system, agrees to
bargain on a nationwide basis.
Trouble at present, they said,
revolves around “the inability of
the unjpns to bargain at a level of
management which possesses the
responsibility and authority to
make final decisions.” They are not
impressed, they said, with the
claims of management that bar
gaining can be more effective on
the departmental level.
Sen. Robert Taft (R, Ohio) is
preparing a minority report on the
testimony at hearings held by the
Senate Subcommittee on Labor
Management Relations.
1. The Committee believes that
JVAT&T should do the bargaining
jwith the unions on national issues
as wages and pensions which ex
tend beyond any departmental or
associated company bargaining
It suggested changes in the Taft
Hartley act, based on evidence sub
mitted at the hearings. One of
these changes, drawn up by CWA,
would redefine the term “employ
er” to include any person who con
trols the labor
pany through
AT&T controls
of the stock of
panies, and yet
on a nationwide basis. The report
showed how, instead, it uses this
control to stall local bargaining de
“One of the greatest contribut
ing factors to the existence of bad
labor-management relations in the
Bell System was shown in the
hearings to be the frustration that
has resulted from the long, drawn
out bargaining negotiations that
now take place on the local de
partmental and company levels,”
the report said. Negotiations last
six or seven months, err even two
policies of a com
stock ownership.
90 to 100 percent
its affiliated com
refuses to bargain
Before the Taft-Hartley Act was
passed, the National Labor Rela
tions Board could investigate these
Lsituations and determine whether
the parties were bargaining in good
faith, it pointed out. But, under
section 8 (d) of the act, neither
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party has to make any concessions
during bargaining sessions.
“The result,” said the Senators,
“is that employers such as the Bell
System management, are taking
advantage of the provisions of Sec
tion 8 (d) to come to the confer
ence without any intention of ac
tually participating in the bargain
ing process, but rather merely to
satisfy the formalities of the Act
by being present.”
The subcommittee encountered
similar tactics, it said, in other in
dustries. It strongly recommended
that the language of Section 8 (d)
be reconsidered “with a view to
eliminating the present loophole
through which the collective bar
gaining requirements are being
“Another cause for the bad labor
management relations in the Bell
System has been the ‘captive audi
ences’. Employes in certain of the
Bell System companies were re
quired by the companies to attend
on working time,” the report
states. “The record here bears out
the viciousness of the ‘captive audi
ence’ device which is used in many
other segments of American indus
try to frustrate collective bargain
On the basis of the record in the
phone hearings, the Committee re
newed a recommendation made in
an earlier report on the American
Thread Company, Tallapoosa,
Georgia, that Section 8 (c) of the
Taft-Hartley Act, making such
captive audiences legal, be repeal
Introduces Bill
To Redistrict
Congress Seats
Washington (LPA) Rep. Em
anuel Celler (D, NY) introduced a
bill Feb. 14 to redistrict all Con
gressional seats. It was about as
welcome in Congressional halls as
a baby on a doorstep but, like the
baby, it can’t be ignored.
The bill is simple: it wants “com
pact and contigious” Congressional
districts which don’t vary more
than 15 percent in population from
others in the same state. The pur
pose is to give equal representa
tion in Congress to all voters.
Under the present law, passed in
1941, districts vary in population
from 166,000 to 908,000 and in' size
and shape from a tiny jigsaw frag
ment to the hub and spokes of a
gigantic wheel. These have de
veloped under 'the watchful eyes of
politicians to take advantage of
concentrations of voters they be
lieve friendly.
Giving impetus to Celler’s bill,
but entirely divorced from it, is the
fact that 16 states must reappor
tion their Congressional districts
now because of the 1950 census
returns. Nine lose 14 seats and
seven gain them, but the glaring
cases of misrepresentation occur
mostly in the states which neither
gain nor lose.
State legislatures outline the dis
tricts, but Congress has the power
under the Constitution to “make
or alter” such legislation. It is that
power which Celler wants Congress
to assert.
“There has always been a timid
ity on the part of Congress to
establish a yardstick, the New York
Congressman said. “This is the op
portunity to meet the challenge of
changing populations so that we
can achieve the maximum degrees
of equality for all citizens.”
Hearings on the bill will begin
about March 1. The governors of
all states, political science, civic
and labor leaders have been invited
to attend.
Demand the Union label.
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East Liverpool, Ohio
Convenient Terms
New York. The AFL Free
Trade Union Committee offers
$1,000 reward for evidence dis
proving that Soviet Russia main
tains the slave labor camps shown
on this map.
The 175 penal colonies shown
here are operated by GULAG, the
Soviet Slave Labor Trust, or De
partment of Penal Labor Camps.
There are over 14 million forced
laborers who are employed In con-
2 More Senators
Tee Off On Big
Wind McCarthy
Washington (LPA)—Two more
Senators have spoken out against
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy the GOP
big wind from Wisconsin. Exactly
a year after'McCarthy made his
original charges, Sens. Harley M.
Kilgore (D, W. Va.) and Hubert
M. Humphrey (D, Minn.) challeng
ed McCarthy to prove there are
Communists in the State Depart
Humphrey pointed out that Mc
Carthy’s smear campaign has
spread fear and suspicion and “the
greatest tragedy to befall this na
tion would be to undermine the
faith of the people in the repre
sentative form of government.”
McCarthy, speaking at Wheeling,
W. Va., Feb. 12, 1950, said there
were 205 Communists in the State
Department. Later McCarthy de
nied he gave that figure, only to
be refuted by a recording of his
broadcast. He changed the figure
later to 57, then to less, but in the
process set off a wave of hysteria
and witch-hunting.
Said Kilgore: “It doesn’t really
matter whether he meant 205 or
57. But for the past year, these
whirlpools of charges have spread
a flood of confusion across the na
tion. What are the names of these
individuals who were Communists
a year ago?”
In reply to a question from Sen.
Herbert Lehman (D, NY), Kilgore
said a Senate committee which
looked* into McCarthy’s charges
was unable to find a single Com
munist on the payroll of the State
The same day President Truman
inducted his Commission On Inter
nal Security and Individual Rights,
with Adm. Chester W. Nimitz as
chairman. Truman said, “We want
the job done in a manner that will
avoid witch hunting and get us the
facts.” He was referring to the
check the Commission will make
on the loyalty program covering
federal employes.
At the same time Truman sub
mitted to the Senate the nomina
tions of the Subversive Activities
Control Board, set up under the
McCarren Act. The Senate Judici
ary Committee is expected to hold
public hearings, and Seth W. Rich
ardson, a Republican nominated to
head the Board, is expected to
have a rough time. Sen. Pit Mc
Carran (D, Nev.) himself said he
hag heard “very serious objections”
to some of the nominees. The board
must decide which groups must
register as subversives. McCarran
is Judiciary chairman.
The Nimitz commission, which
will have access to FBI files, is to
“make a thorough examination of
the laws, practices and procedures
concerning the protection of our
nation against treason, espionage,
sabotage and other subversive ac
tivities, and of the operation of and
any need for changes in such laws,
practices and procedures.” The
commission also has been agked to
make sure that the rights of indi
viduals are fully protected.
In New York a new front, called
struction and maintenance of roads,
railways and canals in coal, iron,
gold and other mines in building
airfields and underground installa
tions timber and pulp industries
brickworks, quarries, fisheries, can
neries, tanneries manufacture of
wood products construction of
fortifications, harbor works and
other military projects.
The insert shows children uponl
Court Blocks
Move To Bust
Four Unions
St. Paul (LPA)—There is noth
ing in the state constitution o»
common law which prohibits public
employes from striking. So the
Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled
in the first such decision by a coUrt
of higher jurisdiction. The decision
knocked in the head the apparent
attempt of the Minneapolis school
board to break four AFL unions in
the public schools.
On Jan. 23 the 425 janitors and
about half the teachers walked out
because the school board wouldn’t
even talk to the unions, let alone
engage in collective bargaining.
The strike shut the public schools.
The board tried to block the strike
with a demand for a law to pro
hibit all strikes of public employes
and make illegal any strike settle
ment which results in higher
On strike are Local 63, Building
Service Employes, and Locals 59
and 238 of the American Federa
tion of .Teachers. Also involved is
Local 56, State, County and Muni
cipal Workers, composed of school
clerical workers, which authorized
a strike, but did not actually walk
The board first went to District
Judge John A. Weeks for an in
junction. In refusing the petition,
and ruling that only the legisla
ture could legally prohibit strikes
by public employes, Judge Weeks
said the board wanted to reserve
to itself “the divine right of kings
and of Louis XIV.” The board ap
pealed to the Supreme Court, still
refusing to talk to the unions. Gov.
Luther W. Youngdahl, a Republi
can, and Mayor Eric Hoyer, %a
Democrat, demanded the board get
off its high horse and at least try
conciliation. Under public pressure
Superintendent Rufus A. Putnam
finally appeared at the conciliation
conferences, turned down union
proposals, and instead offered a
wage raise which Judge Weeks
called “pitiful.”
The board’s attempt to ram a no
strike bill through the legislature
has brought counter-proposals for
conciliation and fact-finding mach
inery to settle disputes involving
public employes. Middle-of-the-road
elements in the legislature seek a
compromise which would prohibit
such strikes, but would set up con
ciliation and arbitration machinery
to protect employes from economy
minded public bodies. (The Minne
apolis city council has limited raises
to 3 percent, and those only for the
higher brackets, for city workers.)
The school strike has the sup
port of the AFL Central Labor
“American Peace Crusade,’’ was
announced. Its sponsors include
Harry Bridges, Paul Robeson and
Elmer Benson, chairman of the
Progressive Party. Bridges has
been convicted of perjury in deny
ing he was a Communist when he
applied for citizenship. Robeson
has long been a darling of the US
Russia's Slave Labor Camps Hold 14 Million
*0- &T-
release from these Soviet concen
tration camps.
Every eight years the total pop
ulation of these camps perishes
and is constantly replenished with
prison manpower. This state mo
nopoly in expendable human flesh
Is a chief source of revenue for the
Soviet regime. All the territory
controlled by GULAG, if consoli
dated, would make a submerged
Hearings Delayed
Four Months On
Toll Call Cuts
On Jan. 19, FCC ordered the
companies to show cause by March
23 why an interim slice couldn’t
be made in long distance charges.
That date is now July 16. Hear
ings, scheduled to start April 16,
have been moved to Aug. 20.
The January order was issued
because Bell’s 1950 earnings “gave
indications” of going over 7 per
cent, after taxes, and also gave in
dications that “the level of earn
ings is on the upward trend.”
Since then there have been many
attacks against the FCC move. One
of them, by Sen. Ernest W. Mc
Farland (D, Ariz.), said long dis
tance calls—over 24 miles—were
made by big business which is able
to pay the higher costs. McFarland
also claimed that cuts in interstate
calls made local calls cost more.
In a Feb. 14 letter to McFarland, 1
FCC said that only half the revenue
came from business (both large and
small) while home and public tele
phones accounted for the other
half. It also said “one of the ob
jectives of the commission over the
years has been to take interstate
long distance out of the luxury
As to local rates remaining high
because companies made them bear
the brunt of long distance cuts,
FCC said any action it takes is
based on the amount of profit com
panies make on the book value of
equipment used for long distance
The Commission said the eight
cuts in rates it had ordered be
tween 1936 and 1946 saved users
more than $200,000,000 every year
—a total of almost $2 billion. An
other reason given for making the
cuts is the decline in operating and
maintenance costs. In 1943 the
cost was $109 a mile—in 1950 it
had declined to $60 compared to a
decline in local line cost during the
same period from $134 to $120.
FCC intimated that local and
long distance services were sep
arate and the users of each should
bear their fair share and not look
to the other to equalize costs. It
pointed out that there had been
“no significant increases” in local
charges as a result of the eight re
ductions in out-of-state calls.
During the four-month postpone
ment, FCC will get together with
the National Association of Rail-1
road and Utilities Commissioners
to see if they can work out a
method of ironing out disparities
between interstate and in-state
Buy Union-Made goods from
others as you would have them
pay Union wages unto youl
•tf?! si
empire the size of Western Europe.
Nearly 14,000 affidavits assem
bled by the high command of the
Polish Army during the last war
served as the basis for this map,
supplemented by recent data sup
plied by the New York Associa
tion of Former Political Prisoners
of Soviet Labor Camps and by the
American Federation of Labor
consultants to the Economic and
Unions Win 9-Cent
Boost From Packers
Chicago (LPA)—The two major
unions in the meat packing indus
try have won a 9-cent boost for
more than 175,000 workers employ­
ed by three of the Big Four pack
ers. Approval of the Wage Stabil
ization Board is necessary.
Washington (LPA)—There’s
possibility that you’ll be able
make cheaper long distance tele
phone calls before mid-summer.
The Federal Communications
Commission has given the Ameri
can Telephone & Telegraph Co.
and 22 associated companies of the
Bell System four more months to
explain why interstate telephone
rates shouldn’t be cut.
The two unions are the AFL
Amalgamated Meat Cutters and
the United Packinghouse Workers.
The three packers are Swift, Arm
our and Cudahy. Wilson & Co.
which has not begun negotiations,
signed a contract with the UPW
last October for the first time since
the strike of 1948.
The pay boost, retroactive to
Feb. 9, was given under a wage
reopening clause in contracts which
expire next August. The new scale
for common laborers will be $1.35.
Resentment against company
stalling in negotiation^ reached,
such a pitch that strike action was
considered. The packers were ac
cused of hiding behind the wage
freeze order in refusing to nego
Social Council of the United Na
The AFL Free Trade Union
Committee is offering copies of
this map, 16 by 21 inches, free to
local unions for posting in meeting
halls. Copies may be obtained by
writing The Free Trade Union
Committee, American Federation
of Labor, 1710 Broadway, New
York 19, N. Y.
Washington (LPA)—Vice-Pres
ident Alben W. Barkley has receiv
ed the 1950 Histadrut Humanitar
ian Award. Histadrut is the trade
union organization of Israel. Joseph
Schlessberg, chairman of the Na
tional Israel Labor Committee, pre
sented a bronze plaque to Barkley
in a ceremony at the Vice-Pres
ident’s office. The Veep described
th» founding of Israel as a “mir
acle of our time.” “Whatever I
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Free Unions Fka
Economic Program*
C. J. Geddes of the British
Trades Union Congress was elected
president of the European Confer
ence. Vice-presidents are Botherau
of the French Force Ouviere, Wyss
of the Swiss Federation, Boehm of
the Austrian Federation and Can
ini of the free Italian unions.
have done in behalf of freedom for
Israel and the people who found a
haven there is because I believe in
Democri y and in the right of peo
ple to f..ai happiness in its free in
stitutions,” he said.
Ask for Union Labeled merchan
Brass* Is, Belgium (LPA)—The
technical and material resources of
all Europe shoul be pooled to
solve the housing problem gripping
the continent, the European Reg
iunal Conference of the Interna
tional Confederation of Free Trade
Unions decided at its late January
meeting here.
Because the rearmament pro
gram would inevitably have a
grave impact on expenditures for' *5
social welfare by the several Eu
ropean nations, the housing em
ergency was considered especially
important. Accordingly, the confer
ence established a special subcom
mittee to study the housing pro- 7
blem and explore the possibility of
obtaining help through Marshall
Plan agencies. 4.
Another subcommittee was set .U
up to survey overall economic joint
planning. Representatives from*
Austria, Belgium, France, Ger
many, Greece, Italy, Norway, the
Saar and Switzerland comprise this
group, which will meet soon to con
sib proposals submitted by the
kalian unions and by others.
The conf^r^nce vnfad to give the
widest publicity .hie to the re
port of an ICFTU mission which
recently visited Austria. The pub
licity should stress the mission’s
claim that the So» let Union was re
sponsible for Austria’s economic
plight, the delegates agreed. 4
A report on trade union mem
bership in Europe showed the fol
lowing distribution, the delegates
found. Of a total of 35,000,000
trade unionists, 21,000,000 are af
filiated with the ICFTU, 4,500,000
are unaffiliated, 2,500,000 belong
to the Christian International and
8,000,000 are attached to the Com
munist-dominated World Federa
tion of Trade Unions. The ICFTU
spokesmen believed the WFTU
claims greatly exaggerated.
$ $r
ft s'"
i v*.

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