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Boston, Mass., February 16, 1959. Hon. CARL VINSON, Chairman, Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C.:
Approximately 1,000 members Boston Naval Shipyard Machinists, Lodge No. 634, urge your support in opposition to H.R. 3367 which would take away the power of Secretary of the Navy during wage surveys. Our present system very satisfactory to membership of 634,
CARL G. SANDBERG, Recording Secretary.
STATEMENT BY THOMAS G. WALTERS, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' COUNCIL, AFL-CIO
FEBRUARY 17, 1959. Hon. L. MENDEL RIVERS, Chairman, Subcommittee No. 3, House Armed Service Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF SUBCOMMITTEE No. 3 ON H.R. 3367 : On behalf of the officers, delegates, and members of the Government Employees' Council I am delighted to appear and testify in opposition to H.R. 3367, which has for its purpose the repeal of the law of 1862 and grants to the Secretary of the Navy the authority to establish rates of wages for certain employees of naval activities.
By way of introduction I am Thomas G. Walters, operations directors of the Government Employees' Council AFL-CIO. The council is made up of 24 national and international unions and associations whose membership, in whole or in part, are Federal and postal employees and represents a membership in excess of one-half million.
First of all, Mr. Chairman, I would like to call to your attention, in our opinion if H.R. 3367 is enacted into law this committee would lose jurisdiction of this type of legislation, as it would be transferred to the Post Office and Civil Service Committees instead of the Armed Service Committees of the Congress.
We are of the definite opinion if H.R. 3367 is enacted into law it would be a major step in the direction of a central wage board and we are 100 percent opposed to the theory of a central wage board plan. We are of the opinion that this would be the first step in the direction of a central wage board, or commission being established to set not only the salaries of blue-collar workers but also the salaries of Federal and postal employees.
A comprehensive statement prepared by the affiliated groups of the Metal Trades Department and the Government Employees' Council, AFL-CIO, has been presented to this committee and, therefore, I am making my statement very short. I simply desire to be placed on red that in the Government Employees' Council we are united in our opinion that H.R. 3367 is bad legislation and should be defeated.
Appreciate the opportunity of appearing before this committee and trust that the recommendations of this subcommittee will be one of disapproval of H.R. 3367.
TESTIMONY OF GORDON M. FREEMAN, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL
BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO, WASHINGTON, D.C. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, this testimony is being presented in opposition to the intent and purposes as outlined in H.R. 3376.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, is an international labor union representing over 750,000 electrical workers, of whom We represent a majority of electrical workers employed by the Federal Government, including the Department of Defense. The IBEW is affiliated with the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and as such we assisted in the preparation of a "statement" for all of the affiliated international unions. We fully support this statement in opposition to H.R. 3367 as it would repeal section 7474 of chapter 643 of title 10, United States Code, which would, in effect, repeal the act of July 16, 1862, commonly referred to as the Navy's wage-fixing law.
The repeal of this law would do away with the most equitable means of adjusting wage rates for per diem civilian employees in the Department of Defense, and at the same time it would deny these employees labor representa tion in the adjustment of their wage rates. At the present time these em. ployees are given the opportunity to assist in the gathering of wage data at the local level and representation on the Navy's central wage board here in Washington, D.C.
It would appear that the bill in question was introduced by the Department of Defense, in an effort to unify the method of establishing wage rates for its civilian per diem (blue-collar) workers, to the detriment of its Navy employees. The Navy requires a more skilled type of craftsmen in the various trades and occupations while the job evaluation method of classifying Army and Air Force per diem workers is the most unfair and out-moded method and certainly is not realistic in its approach in establishing wage rates for Navy employees. The present policy of the Navy Department is to endeavor to maintain an equitable relationship between jobs in the same labor market area where the job requirements call for reasonably comparable skills, knowledges, and re sponsibilities, and where such an internal alinement does not cause too great a departure from the prevailing locality rate. This departure may be up or down.
I trust your committee will give full consideration to the harmful effects which would result from favorable action by your committee and passage by the Congress. The repeal of section 7474 of the law of July 16, 1862, would result in confusion and loss of many of the Navy's most valued employees in the crafts to outside industry where they would be treated equitably.
I want to thank you for being able to make this presentation to your subcommittee in opposition to H.R. 3367. Thanks.
Mr. Van ZANDT. You heard the colloquy that took place here between the admiral and myself.
I am convinced that this is not going to cost any money. It may raise wages in some areas and slightly reduce them in others. But I am also convinced that it will have an effect upon the relationship between management and labor.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Very definitely so. This probably wasn't completely explained, before.
In the area surveys, though generally because of the makeup of the employees, most of whom are members of unions, they do use employee canvassers or surveyors. It is almost impossible for them to reach into the Navy yard indiscriminately and not pick a union man.
Consequently, that goes for good relations, and as I mentioned before, those are on the Navy wage committee. That is, the two who are here in Washington are two union men.
Now to arbitrarily eliminate them would certainly cause some disruption and dissatisfaction.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Now as to the value received. As I understand this, the uniformity that the Navy Department seeks here, the value as far as you people are concerned, that is representing labor, would be to create, probably, confusion?
Mr. BROWNLOW. That is right.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. And it is on that basis that you oppose the legislation ?
Mr. Brownlow. That is right. May I add one word, Mr. Van Zandt: We have considered ourselves the champions of the Navy over the many, many years, and certainly we want to continue being so.
Mr. RIVERS. Mr. Wampler, have you any questions?
Mr. WAMPLER. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. In different localities where you have all three working under the procedures we have now, how do you find the procurement of personnel in the Army and the Air Force and the Navy, how does that affect the procurement as far as the services are concerned !
Mr. BROWNLOW. Well, of course, Congressman, the Navy has been much more stable than the other two branches. I would say that the general standard over a period of years of mechanics in the Navy yard and Navy facility, is superior probably to those in the other two.
Mr. WAMPLER. Would you classify that as a morale factor?
Mr. BROWNLOW. I think so, yes. I think the average toolmaker, patternmaker, would much prefer working for the Navy than they would the Army or Air Force, other than probably in the ordnance plants, themselves.
Mr. RIVERS. We have here one of my constituents from the Charleston Navy Yard.
Tom, stand up. I am going to ask you to put your statement in the record, Mr. Evans.
Mr. Tom Evans. I can make it right here. We wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Brownlow's position. We oppose H.R. 3367. Mr. RIVERS. What about the author? Mr. Evans. We are for him. Mr. RIVERS. And I will ask the rest of you gentlemen who have statements to put them in the record.
Mr. GRITTA. We are opposed to this bill.
I have two proxies here from Mr. Fisher and Mr. Morris, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table, and that does kill it.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Thank you very much, gentlemen of the committee.
Mr. RIVERS. Admiral, you bring up a unification for the Air Force and the Army, and I think we will consider that.
(Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the chairman.)
FULL COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4413, H.R. 3412, H.R. 3413, H.R. 3323, H.R. 3290, H.R. 3291, H.R. 3292, H.R. 3293, H.R. 3368, AND H.R. 3365; APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE TO CONSIDER H.R. 3387; AND REPORT OF REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION SUBCOMMITTEE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, February 24, 1959. The committee met at 10:10 a.m., Hon. Carl Vinson, chairman, presiding The CHAIRMAN. Let the committee come to order. A quorum is present. The purpose of the meeting this morning is to consider reports from the subcommittees.
The first subcommittee I will recognize is the chairman of the subcommittee No. 1, Mr. Kilday. Mr. Kilday, has your subcommittee a report to submit ? Mr. Kilday. Yes, Mr. Chairman, we have several bills. I will first report on H.R. 4413, entitled, "A bill to provide improved opportunity for promotion for certain officers in the naval service, and for other purposes.' Mr. Chairman, this is a very technical and rather complicated bill. I will read a statement with reference to it, and then if there are questions, I will attempt to answer them. I would like to complete the statement first because I believe it will probably answer a number of questions that would occur to members as we go along,
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to provide equitable opportunity for promotion to officers of the Navy and the Marine Corps who are in or behind the so-called hump.
In order to fully understand this very complex problem, it first necessary for me to describe just what the hump is and how it was created.
The hump is the disproportionate number of Regular officers of the Navy and the Marine Corps who were originally commissioned during World War II. These officers are practically all contemporaries from the standpoint of age, years of service, and experience and they represent one-third of all of the Regular officers of the Navy and the Marine Corps. In other words, one-third of the Regular officers of the Navy and the Marine Corps are contained in 4-year time spread, while the remaining two-thirds are spread over the remaining 26 years of a 30year career pattern.
These officers are serving in the grades of major and lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, and lieutenant commander and commander in the Navy. The problem that these officers face can be summarized as follows: Eight thousand Regular "hump" officers in the Navy now serving in the grade of commander and lieutenant commander must be fitted