Newspaper Page Text
Another Milestone . .
Safety Codes For Construction Industry Took Effect This Week Culminating: many years of effort by organized labor, an-* other major step has been achieved in laying the groundwork for fewer accidents in Montana industrial employment. This week, an enforceable safety code covering the hazardous build ing construction industry has been put into operation by the Industrial Accident Board. Officially known as the "Minimum Safety Standards For the Construc tion Industry In Montana", and com piled in a 144-page booklet, the new code represents more than a year of research and public hearings carried on by a safety advisory committee to the IAB. The completion of the code and its availability in printed form, like the exposed surface of an ice berg, however, presents only a por tion of the effort put forth to bring about the machinery for developing safer working conditions in the con struction field. Funds for drafting the code were not made available until the 1955 Legislature. Then another long delay of 14 months occurred before the Industrial Accident Board appointed the advisory committee on April 23, 1956. The first committee never met due to Chairman George Jacoby, Hel ena, having suffered a heart attack. Later, Fred Ross, Helena, was ap pointed as the public member of the committee and as its chairman. On June 20, 1956, the first advisory committee meeting was held. Other members of the committee were Rob ert Harris, Kalispell, secretary of Montana State Council of Carpenters, and Chester Bates, Helena, Hodcar riers business representative and member of the State AFL-CIO execu tive board, representing labor. Man agement representatives were Dan Mooney, Butte contractor, and James Bennetts Billings. Long before the June 20 meeting it was apparent that little material on safety regulations pertaining to construction was available for the committee to study and use in devel oping a code applicable to Montana, This lack of material led committee members Bates and Harris to seek assistance from labor groups in other areas and from international union sources. As a result, at the June 1956 meeting there were copies of con struction industry safety codes from 17 states on hand for committee consideration. CODES OF 17 STATES STUDIED . , , . , ,. At the second meeting the five man group decided upon the prepara tion of a rough draft of a proposed code, following exhaustive studies of the several states' codes made avail able by Harris and Bates. Then fol lowed a number of other meetings and two public hearings—one in April and the other in June of this year. Toward the end of June this year, following revisions of various por tions in line with suggestions made at the public hearings, the committee submitted the proposed code to the IAB with a recommendation that it be adopted and put into effect, In reviewing the effort put forth to draft a code which would be mu tually acceptable to both labor and the industry, Harris is the first to admit "that this code is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction, an Vt m u Ch need t d • * * T 5 ere W ? probably be some changes and amend ments that will be needed from year to year and there are some phases of construction that were left out ... „ . purposely because of the appropria . , . . ... . , , \ tion being insufficient . . . but these , , . . * , . items can be taken up in the future , , , . ., . and made a part of the code ... r If it is enforced properly, the Carpenters union official points out, "it will result in cutting down the number of accidents injured workmen, and help the workmen ■ and employers by reducing the pre miums on workmen's compensa tion" to employers who lower their accident frequencies. FIRST INDUSTRIAL CODE APPROVED IN 1949 Montana labor first tasted success in its long struggle to secure legal machinery to bring about greater safety in hazardous industries in 1949 when the Thirty-First Legislative As sembly enacted HB 225, the Coal Mine Safety Code, introduced by Rep. Earl Clark of Musselshell. Heartened by its success in 1949, in 1951 labor redoubled its efforts to secure enactment of legislation to provide for the drafting of enforce able safety codes for other hazardous industries. HB 87 was introduced and was on the verge of dying because of an adverse committee report when a tragic accident took the life of a young family man employed in an East Helena smelter. Following an investigation of the hazardous condi tions which led to the fatal accident, by two of the bill's sponsors, Emmons (Deer Lodge) and Valach (Fergus), the House committee reversed it's majority report. The bill then went through the lower house and the Sen ate with comparatively little trouble and was signed into law by Gov. John Bonner. National Banks Highly Favored . ,_ v _. (Continued from Paee One) riculum in the six units of the Greater University System. Merritt Warden, Kalispell, speaking for the board, in formed the commission that his board's problem has been "to hold the line' over the years against ef forts to units; that, quite naturally, each unit head is continually attempting to broaden his unit's curriculum as he attempts to constantly improve the code g e he heads up. Mahoney, who as a senator is a long-time member of the Senate Fi Claims in spread-out" by various .. ing the question of curriculum over laps, called attention to the education board the serious financial problems facing the state because of the loss of more than two million dollars in liquor taxes, the lowering of revenue from the state income tax, and re duced sales of liquor by the state monopoly. He urged the board to bend every effort to get the various units to live within their appropria tions, and wherever possible, to have some of their appropriations left over at the end of the biennium> Mahoney said "it would be much nicer for the Board of Education to come in with proposed economies than to let the Legislature do the chop ping" which appears certain in view of reduced revenues, Further discussion brought out it is anticipated that Montana college enrollments will at least double within the next 15 years and that, while econ omies may be possible in some in stances, greatly increased appropria tions for buildings and operation will be necessary to keep up with the growing student enrollments. As with other phases of state government, ways and means must be found to bring in more revenue, HIGH PERCENTAGE GET "REMEDIAL" ATTENTION One of the more startling dis c , osureg at the Mond afternoon . . . , , State s Harriet Miller. , n repIy .. , ,, . to a question on now well Montana , . , , , nigh schools are preparing our , „ , . . , ., . youth for college, she stated that , c .7. j e n e u upwards ot one-third ot all tresh . . .. c t men entering units ot the Greater University System have to take "remedial" work in English, math and other subjects, Miss Miller's statement raised sev eral more questions relative to the dUallt y of hl *? h . S . ch ° o1 training in Montana. Commsision member C. R. Anderson, Helena schools superin tendent said that standards are being "tightened up'' in many schools; that, however, because of increasing en rollments, shortage of highly-quali fied teachers, shortage of classroom space, Montana secondary schools are facing some difficult problems. He said that these factors have necessi tated "watering down ' f various However, though the legal machin ery to draft safety codes for various industries was placed on the books by the 1951 session, no money was appropriated to the Industrial Acci dent Board to carry out the legislative mandate. It wasn't until the 33d assembly in 1953, that, through the efforts of the then Senator from Pondera (now Cong.) LeRoy Anderson, that an ini tial appropriation of $5,000 was pro vided to begin drafting codes for the several hazardous industries in Mon tana. The first code prepared and put into effect under the 1951 enabling act is the one covering the logging lumbering industry the last couple of years. Labor's battle to bring greater safety, to reduce fatalities and dis abling injuries, is well started, but much remains to be done. Codes are needed for the heavy road and dam construction industry, for the oil in dustry, for mining and smelting, to name some of the more important hazardous fields yet free of stringent safety regulations. courses in order that the slower students may keep up. In reply to a contention that school costs are too high, Anderson said that costs per student for basic subjects such as English, History, Mathematics, the Sciences, etc., are in line with present day higher operational costs brought about by inflation. Singled out by the Helena school man as major sources of what may be con sidered excessive increases in school expense, are athletics, vocational training and music. TOWARD A SOLUTION Anent the quality of instruction being provided in Montana elementary and secondary schools, Commission Chairman Manning announcing the signing of a contract with the Pea body Institute of Nashville, Tenn., to make a study of Montana educational problems. The Peabody group will probe into four general educational fields; 1. organization and adminis tration, 2. elementary education, 3. secondary education, 4. finance. After completing its on-the-spot studies the Tennessee college group will evaluate Montana's school problems, prepare a report of conclusions and recom mendations and submit it to the com mission for consideration and dis posal. Cost of the Peabody survey will be $13,000. It must be completed by early October 1958. COMING * _ . . The Tuesday morning session of the commission's monthly meeting centered on a list of 56 tax questions prepared for consideration by its ex ecutive secretary Carl Infanger. During the immediate period ahead, the commission decided to center its studies on property taxes, how di vided between various governmental functions, etc.; the relationship be tween increased income, property values and property taxes; changes in the tax burden on property which have occurred over the last 45 years on a dollars and percentage basis, and what per cent of general fund prop erty taxes are paid for: a. city, b. county, c. state purposes. ' The commission also plans studies of the 1919 property classification law, to keep abreast of progress under the 1957 property reclassification act, the income tax, sales tax, and other sources and possible revenue sources. , , _ Members present at the December commission meeting besides Manning, Mahoney and Anderson, were Les Hanson, Glasgow; George Diehl, Hel ena valley; Pete Fontana, Great Falls, and William Johnstone, Fort Benton. POOR MARKSWOMAN! In London, a judge rejected a charge of cruelty brought by a hus band who said his wife was in the habit of hurling pots and pans at him, on the ground that she was doing the man no harm because she invariably missed hitting him. AFl-CIO Hears About (Continued from page one) SIT ON "BOTH SIDES OF THE TABLE" Defining the difference between the NEA and the AFT, AFT Presi dent Carl Megel told the convention that "the NEA considers the super intendent as the spokesman for the teachers. The AFT, in accordance with the traditional labor position and philosophy, considers the super intendent as the representative of management. This is one of the rea sons why teachers haven't been able to get salaries, because the represent atives of the NEA, the superintend ents, sat on both sides of the table and it wasn't possible for the teachers to get proper recognition through those superintendents. The superin tendent is a representative of man agement. He is not, therefore, quali fied to speak for the classroom teach ers, who in this case are the workers. "Furthermore," Megel continued, "in typical company-union fashion, these superintendents or school ad ministrators elect the officers of their association and they formulate the policy of the NEA. They do this in spite of the fact that the classi'oom teacher—the vast majority of the NEA membership—is in the majority. The school administrators do this by designating, in most cases, classroom teachers who shall be the delegates to the policymaking NEA convention. By providing special favors for these teachers, the available vote on issues they formulate is for acceptance. NEA HAS "CLOSED SHOP" "Not only do these administrators develop the program and formulate the policies of the NEA, but worse, to our thinking and of greater in terest to you, is that they force class room teachers to join the National Education Association . . . Contending that "whether the teacher wants it oi not," when they sign their annual contracte a major ity of them are also "compelled to sign a contract which mandates that the NEA dues are deducted from the teacher's first salary check" In addi tion, he said, "in school district after school district in every state in the Union prospective teachers applying Timber Access Roads Could- (Continued From Page One) He spoke of the great timber loss from fire, a "dispoiler of timber val ues". The regional forester said it is of "vital importance' 'to keep saw mills going through access roads and the necessity for controlling num bers of big game animals through annual harvest by hunters, To attain full development and use of the national forests, he said, there should be 1,900 miles of govern ment construction of important and difficult main line roads, 1,700 miles of general purpose roads for fire pro tection and 250 miles of new trails and 900 miles of betterment of exist j trails MONTANA'S SELF-INTEREST IN DOLLARS AND CENTS Perry F. Roys, director of the Montana State Planning Board, testi fi gd about Montana's "self-interest in development of the national forest through access roads, Roys said, "On the basis of in creasing the annual cut by 300,000, 000 board feet per year, it is esti mated that income to timber counties from the 25% fund would increase by over one-half million dollars; state and Iocal governments would gain additional tax revenues from the new industries and their employes; ap P ro y matel y 6 000 new jobs in timber P*-° duct i°" and manufacturing would be " eated ' the new wa * e would receive .n excess of $20,000. 000 of ' ear " ed income 1 ' and an mde . fl - nate ' but , lar ^ number of " ew ' n ' come and employment opportunities would come into being in serv ice and trade categories" , , ' ... . , Chamber of Commerce officials, including George Schotte immediate P ast President of the Montana Cham ber of Commerce, and Donald F. Wil son, manager of the Missoula Cham ber, testified in favor of access roads, built by the government, and early completion of the Lewis and Clark Highway, L. P. Tonner, state representative from Flathead county and owner of small sawmill, said when small saw mill owners are forced to build ac ' ' for a teaching job are carefully screened as to their labor philosophy. If they express a favorable labor sent iment, they are never employed . . . "Those employed/' he asserted, "In substance are told 'well now, we don't expect any of our teachers to belong to labor. That is beneath teachers. But of course you will be a member of the National Education Associa tion'. This is one of the reasons why we find it so difficult to organize teachers. "The screening process," Megel told the convention, "removes from the teaching ranks those teachers who would bring to the attention of the students labor's ideals and labor's philosophy . . ." Megel said there's no doubt "the NEA is bitterly anti-labor. Their school administrators constantly work in many areas of the country to pro mote anti-labor ideas and to prevent labor-conditioned teachers from be longing. In substantiation, he quoted from a letter sent out this fall by the NEA to every superintendent which said " 'we are asking you to select the finest young teachers and put them on committees to formulate our policy. We are doing this because the unions have made great inroads and we certainly must prevent unioniza tion of teachers'.'' Unemployment Up— (Continued from Page One) employment is down 400, traceable to decreased mining, while quarrying and food processing each show a dip of 100 in numbers employed. Reduced building activity over the state is re sponsible for employment of 500 fewer construction skills. Trade es tablishments used 400 fewer men than a year ago, and interstate rail road employment was down 400 in Montana jobs. Partly offsetting these declines, Smith points out, were gains of 100 in finance and insurance, of 700 in service and miscellaneous industries, and of 200 in government employ ment. Increases in educational em ployment, on state and local levels, were primarily responsible for the bulge in government numbers. cess roads they need cash to pay for construction, "cash to pay for the timber before he falls it" and a per formance bond to the government which also takes cash on hand to obtain. He said, "At present I find money |s not available to the small logging or mill operator", therefore they can not bid on national forest timber. Presently roads into timber areas are built by the lumber concern who gets the bid and the cost of road con struction is deducted from the price he pays the government for the tim ber. Witnesses pointed out this method lead to; lack of competition from smaller loggers who could not afford to tackle heavy road construction; a need for opening up larger areas of timber than wise, to make it eco nomically practical to those operators with finances to undertake the road building program; overmature back country stands that ought to be cut, the blowdown areas, the insect and fire-killed trees are not served when needed. LITTLE OPPOSITION VOICED AT HEARING Only one definite statement against S. J. 88 was presented and that was from the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, A Western Pine Association spokes man testified he was not opposing S. 1136, then proceeded to recom mend elimination of one section and another till one observer commented nothing was left but the title. Opposition to this type of legis lation would come from large lumber operators with finances equal to building roads to the timber. GRETCHEN BILLINGS. l GUESS WHO US BUSINESS' BEST FRIEND "SINCE HERBERT HOOVER" "We have tried to create a good climate for business. Business hasn't had as good a friend in Washington since Herbert Hoover was in the White House."—SECRETARY OP COMMERCE SINCLAIR WEEKS,