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REPORT TO tHE NATION
Archibald MacLeish's Statement on War, No. 6 VII. The Labor Front On the world’s labor front the contrast between the Fascist system and our own is sharply and dramatically drawn. The first conquest of the Nazis was the conquest of their own people. As a consequence, many Reich factories that are turning out guns meant for the enslavement of other people are themselves run by slaves. Anri workers of countries overrun by the Axis have been wrenched from their homes and shipped into the Reich as forced labor. In this country we have placed our reliance on what President Wilson called “the highest and best form of efficiency • • • the spontaneous co-operation of a free people.” We are fighting our battle of production confident that free labor will outproduce slave labor. Five million workers have al ready been drawn into America’s tremendous war production pro gram. But that is only a be ginning. Five million more will be required in the next six months. By the end of the year labor's army of men and women in war industries will be tripled— and it will be quadrupled in 1943. During the first year and a half of our defense program disputes between labor and management were allowed to Interfere with production. Frome June 1, 1940, to December 1, 1941, O. P. M.’s labor division tallied 160 defense strikes of "primary significance,” involving 280.100 workers, caus ing the loss of 2.667,900 man-days. On March 19. 1941, the National Defense Mediation Board was created by executive order to mediate labor controversies and avoid strikes, stoppages and lock outs. In roughly 10 months of its existence 114 cases, affecting nearly 2.000.000 workers, were certified to the board. In 61 of these cases strikes were in prog ress and defense production in terrupted when the board was called in. Ninety-two disputes, affecting more than 1,000,000 workers, were settled. Board Rarely Disregarded. One of the board's major ob jectives was to keep workers on the job while controversies were being mediated. Progress in at taining this objective is shown by the fact that in the 22 cases still pending before the board early in January the 98,000 work ers affected remained at work In the factories. Other conciliation agencies of the Government settled 583 dis putes in plants working on Army, Navy and Maritime Commission contracts before they could de velop into strikes. These dis putes involved more than 2,000, 000 workers. • • The recommendations of the mediation ‘ board had no legal force, but they rarely were disre garded. In three cases, when strikes Were in progress and the board’s recommendations were rejected, the President ordered aeizure of the plants. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor brought a swift and almost unanimous response from labor. Threatened strikes were called off. Unions circularized their members urging them to buy De fense bonds. Others asked to be allowed to give blood for Army and Navy blood banks. Unions whose membership was largely Italian-American and German American affirmed that "we are Americans above all.” The President’s appeal to all war industries to work 168 hours a week produced pledges of sup port. Hundreds of thousands of workers volunteered for over time until the additional Sunday and night work could be spread out through the recruiting of ad ditional shifts. This spontaneous rallying of labor reached a climax on De cember 17, when representatives of the C. I. O. and A. F. L. met with representatives of industry to draft voluntarily a formula to Insure industrial peace and pre vent interruptions in production. This conference reached a unani mous agreement on a three-point formula which was immediately adopted by the President: 1. There shall be no strikes or lockouts. 2. All disputes shall be settled by peaceful means. 3. The President shall set up a proper war labor board to handle these disputes. To Need Another 10,000,000. On January 12 the President created the War Labor Board, superseding the National De fense Mediation Board. The new board consists of 12 members, with representatives for the pub lic, for labor and for manage ment. In the maritime field, labor and management repre sentatives agreed unanimously on the creation of a similar Maritime Labor Board to settle all disputes. The United States Maritime Commission said this agreement assures uninterrupted shipping service for the length of the war. War industries are expected do need another 10,000,000 workers before the end of 1942. Shortages BBBpH I hair the reliable CuticurVwar firtt 1 apply antiseptic, emollient Cuticura I Ointment to help remove looae I •dandruff Then shampoo with pure, 1 fragrant.mildly medicated Cuticura I Soap You'll be thrilled with results. 1 Buy both at your druggist's today. ■ , CUTICURA^? J of some skills cannot be avoided. However, great as are our labor needs, they can be filled from the vast reservoir of man power that lies in our population of 133. 000,000. Where in 1918 only 286 men and 266 women in every thousand were of normal working age age, today in every thousand we have 296 men and 293 women of working age. We are prepared to tap this vast reservoir of man power. When industry began tooling up for defense the W. P. A. estimated the number of unemployed at 9,000,000. About 5,200,000 now have been absorbed. It is ex pected that one-half of those still unemployed will be at work before next December. Since the early summer of 1940 the greatest worker training pro gram we have ever known has been under way. Nearly 2,5000, 000 workers have received train ing In 1,200 vocational schools, 155 colleges and universities, and In 10,000 public school shops. More than 600 schools are operat ing on a 24-hour basis, in addi tion, several hundred thousand youths have been given work ex perience and defense training under N. Y. A. and C. C. C. Workers in 1,800 plants have been reached by training with in industry itself. To offset the serious short age of "lead men,” particular em phasis has been laid on the training of foremen and super visors. Since August about 12, 000 supervisors have been trained in 700 plants. The goal is to turn out 350,000 such supervisors, 200,000 of them in the next six months. Short Cuts hi Training. For some skills, three to four years are required to train work ers. The emergency demands short cuts. They have been found in such devices as "up grading,” by which workers are moved up through the higher skills within a plant and new workers are hired to fill their places. One aircraft factory was able to expand its labor force from 1,200 to 7,500 In a few months. Employes who had done nothing more complicated than handle a wheelbarrow were "up graded” to semi-technical opera tions on the assembly line. Labor unions in the skilled and semi-skilled trades have been searching out rormer members from the stores and filling sta tions to which they went during the depression. A more intensi fied recruiting of such workers will be launched immediately after the new draft registration. The 1,500 State employment offices scattered throughout the country are being centralized under the United States Employ ment Service. The employment service will operate on the basis ol regoinal labor markets and clear requests without regard to • State boundaries. Help Wanted on Farms. The employment service, too, is trying to place every available farm worker. With record crop* in prospect, an acute shortage of agricultural labor threatens. Farmer* on family-sized farms have been unable to pay wages high enough to compete with in dustry. Hundreds of thousands of young farmers are going Into the armed forces. To fight this shortage, farm families, women and children as well as men, will have to work longer and harder. City youths probably will be or ganized to go out to the farms for seasonal Jobs, A woman’s “land army” may be recruited. Determined to end raiding, O. P. M.’s labor division has been arranging industry-wide agree ments between workers and em ployers, stabilizing rates of pay in plants doing similar work. Agreements already have been worked out /in the shipbuilding, aviation and construction indus tries. Without such agreements, shipyards, aircraft plants, and construction projects would com pete in paying higher wages, the Government would have to pay more for munitions, and produc tion schedules would be disrupted by needless migrations of workers. A Committee on Pair Employ ment Practice in O. P. M. has been working to eliminate color, creed and nationality prejudices in the hiring of workers. Efforts are being made to level the bar riers against older workers, in the railroad Industry the age limit for hiring skilled labor has been raised from 45 to 51; for unskilled workers, from 45 to 60. Beginnings, too, have been made in the recruiting of women for war work. During the last war, nearly one-fourth of all the employes In aircraft plants were women. Before this war ends, one-third of our aircraft workers may be women. In some plants women already are doing light sheet-metal work, riveting, welding, spray painting, pasting and gluing. Women have been found particularly adapt able to small-arms ammunition work, and In the Prankford Arsenal In Philadelphia nearly 40 per cent of the workers are women. Other women are making gas masks and working as bench hands, solderers and inspectors in arms and munitions factories. It is estimated more than 500.000 wodien now are employed in war work. But today only 4 women In every 1,000 are working in war industries, while In 1918 there were 21 such workers in every 1,000. Watch EJBdeney and Morale. In shipyards, hours of work have been lengthened to 48 a week, while in some of the critical war industries, such as machine tools, overtime has ex tended the working day to 8 and 10 hours. The various labor agencies of the Government are keeping tabs to see that this lengthening of hours Is not pushed to the point where the efficiency or morale of labor suf fers, or where health and safety standards built up during the years are broken down. As a further source of labor, several million workers are ex pected to be freed for war Jobs as less essential industries are curtailed. Workers will turn from making automobiles to making tanks, from compacts to ammunition, from sewing ma chines to rifle parts, from foun tain pens to fuses, from rat traps to camp cots, from pipe fittings to hand grenades, from lawn mowers to sh-apnel, from wom en’s lingerie to mosquito nets. The same process, however, will produce some temporary unem ployment. To minimize hard ships, labor defense committees have been established in all in dustries likely to be affected. Labor and management have come to agreement on certain b%gc principles in handling prob lems arising out of curtailments. In the rubber industry, for ex ample, the program calls for pro tection of seniority rights, trans fer of employes from non-war to war Jobs within plants, prefer ential hiring of displaced workers, recall of workers for war tasks, and retention of seniority rights by workers in training for new war jobs. Surveys have been made of more than 100 communities where serious curtailment of civilian in dustries seemed likely and 15 cities, particularly hard hit by unemployment, have been certi fied for special consideration in the awarding of war contracts. About $20,000,000 worth of con tracts have already been placed In these cities. Statisticians estimate that our ultimate war effort may require 50,000,000 man-years of work. (To be continued.' . 20% off Movie Films VALENTINES COLUMBIAN INC. 1424 N. T. Are. NA. 0619 12 million tons, and going strong I Bethlehem STEEL in 1941 made its all-time annual ingot production • record of 12,155,476 tjet tons. This was nearly 1% million tons above the year before. Seeking ever greater productivity, Bethlehem has built continuously even throughout the de pression years, so that our steel capacity today is five times what it was in the last World War. Existing facilities have been revamped to produce more and more ingots. New steel making capacity of - 800,000 tons has been added during the past year, and production A A from this source will be realized increasingly during 1942. The continuous flood of Bethlehem Steel production is mounting rapidly higher. New finishing facilities, moreover, have been and are being built at top speed to increase the flow of steel forgings for airplane parts, armor plate for battleships, ordnance, wire for balloon barriers, steel plates for tanks, and a myriad of other steel products needed for America's fighting forces. As a supplier of materials for Victory, our constant purpose is "Always more production." BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY General Offices: Bethlehem, Pa.