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The members engaged in adversary debate instead of carefully studying at first hand the effects of the award on road freight and vard operations conducted with and without firemen.
Senator LAUSCHE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question at this point? To what do you ascribe the adverse vote that was cast by the BLE, in discord with what you anticipated? Why did this union vote differently than what you, as a union, wanted?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, that is a pretty good question, but I think it is improper to address it to me.
Senator LAUSCHE. All right.
Senator MCGEE. Are you suggesting that question should be put to Mr. Heath?
Mr. GILBERT. He would be better able to answer it than I could at all. The procedures adopted by majority of the Joint Board insured failure. Thus, had the Board attempted to do a serious study it was imperative that it have a secretary, a reporter and a staff. It had none of these essentials. But the truly overwhelming defect was the manner in which the carriers and the BLE approached the study. They undertook the work in a spirit of fierce partisanship.
Let me make this observation: had the Board convened promptly there would have been a golden opportunity for a thorough "prospective" study of operations during the 2-year life of the award. That is, what the Board should have done was to convene immediately after the award had been issued and at once begin collecting data during the 2-year period on actual operations with and without firemen. That is a way to conduct a modern serious study. Failing that the study could have been "retrospective" that is, confined to a review of past events. Instead the carriers and the BLE determined upon the worst course of all: each party made its own alleged "study" and presented so much of the information gathered to such of the other parties as it chose. The result was but a travesty.
The extent of that travesty is clearly shown by the carrier-BLE version of a Joint Board report, a 123-page document with a 60-page appendix. It is not an objective study of evidentiary material but a deliberate and mischievous effort to destroy the craft of firemen and their representative, the B.L.F. & E. The carriers and BLE were not content to stay within the boundaries laid down by the Arbitration Board itself, but saw fit to devote 24 pages (pp. 34-58) to the question of employee hardships caused by the award, a subject nowhere within the province of the Board as even a casual reading of the award will show. Another nine pages (pp. 113-121) were devoted to criticizing criteria used by B.L.F. & E. local chairman in vetoing jobs. I repeat that nothing in this so-called report is based upon a continuing and extensive study of experience with or without firemen.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING EFFORTS OF THE B.L.F. & E.
I turn now to a subject raised in my initial appearance before your committee. It is the need for collective bargaining, and why collective bargaining is the only way to a lasting settlement of the longstanding dispute over railroad manning rules. Allow me to repeat a brief part of my statement of August 2, 1965. At that time I said:
I would suggest to you as the most constructive action that this committee can take in the exercise of its power of legislative oversight is to request the parties to
immediately resume collective bargaining and exert every effort to reach an agreement prior to April 1, 1966. I further suggest that the members of this committee, with the assistance of the Secretary of Labor and the Chairman of the National Mediation Board closely follow the negotiations and request the parties to make periodic reports of progress.
Your committee heard witnesses for an additional 17 days and built a substantial record on the questions before you. Testimony came from spokesmen for the railroad industry as well as members of the Government agencies directly involved in this controversy. Senator MCGEE. Let me interrupt there, Mr. Gilbert. I recall in those hearings, at that point, on collective bargaining, I asked Mr. Wolfe what would happen if the Joint Board were to reach an agreement. He indicated he assumed in that case there would be separate reports submitted and presented to the parties. Then I asked him what would be his response to a call from this committee, sitting here, for a real old-fashioned college try at collective bargaining. I think the record will show at that point he said, "Well," and I am quoting now from pages 564 and 565 of the hearing:
Mr. Senator, I think there will be a real try at collective bargaining with or without a recommendation from this committee. If either of the parties are dissatisfied with the conditions that exist under the award, then that party has a perfect right to serve a section 6 notice stating clearly what they would like to have and then
and I underscore this "and then," to quote Mr. Wolfe
it is mandatory, and the mandatory is a matter of law, that the parties do bargain and the steps of the Railway Labor Act be complied with.
Now, would you, as you develop this, would you comment on this statement by Mr. Wolfe?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, I think what I will follow in the statement, Senator McGee, will in some measure create some question in the individuals' minds as to, first, the purpose of Mr. Wolfe's statement at that time, especially in view of all of the things that have happened since that time on his part being diametrically opposed to that which he proffered to do.
Senator McGEE. He says collective bargaining was in order as far as he was concerned, he would give it a try. As a matter of fact, he said it wasn't necessary for the committee to remind him of it, that this was a mandatory fact; it was a matter of law.
Mr. GILBERT. I understood what he said and I also understand what he has done, which I shall subsequently reveal here which is, again I say, diametrically opposed to that which he professed would take place.
Senator LAUSCHE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the staff man what section 6 provides? Is that what Senator McGee mentioned a moment ago, that under section 6 there was an absolute right to file necessary papers and thus bring to the collective bargaining table the issue?
Mr. SENDER. Section 6, is section 6 of the Railway Labor Act and provides procedures for inatinting collective bargaining. I believe Mr Heiss can further explain that.
Senator LA SCHE. Can you explain that?
Mr. Heiss Yes, section 6, Senator Lausche, a copy of which I have in my hand, it is a paragraph probably 2 inches long as you observe, but it provides for the initiating of collective bargaining
between the representatives of the employees and representatives of management, in this industry by the service of a 30-day notice specifying the changes or the additions desired in the collective bargaining agreement.
Senator LAUSCHE. Now, then, my question is, was that 30-day notice served upon the union, that there were certain new issues that required attention and that collective bargaining was asked?
Mr. GILBERT. That follows right now in my statement, Senator. Senator MCGEE. Maybe it would be to that point then if Mr. Gilbert could proceed.
Mr. LAUSCHE. Yes, if he is coming to that.
Mr. GILBERT. It is next up.
Mr. HEISS. One word confused me a little bit. I think you said "served upon the union." Did you not mean, was not that notice served by the union upon the carriers?
Senator LAUSCHE. Yes.
Mr. HEISS. Yes. I think you said "served upon the union." We did serve notice under date of November 15, 1965, that we, the labor organization, served upon the railway.
Senator LAUSCHE. When did you serve that notice?
Mr. HEISS. November 15, 1965, but Mr. Gilbert is getting right to that subject now.
Senator LAUSCHE. Good. Thank you.
Mr. GILBERT. Following completion of testimony at the last session, your committee met and took action to move the dispute toward the collective-bargaining area. Committee members had the right to expect that all involved would take heed of the very direct advice emanating from the committee, which we have regarded as a command.
I note three major points in the committee's resolution dated October 12, 1965.
1. The committee observed that witnesses for the Department of Labor and the National Mediation Board urged both the carriers and the brotherhoods to carry out their responsibilities to realistically and practically undertake collective bargaining in view of the paramount public interest.
2. The committee resolved that it was the sense of the committee that the public interest would be served if the unions and the carriers undertook collective bargaining.
3. The committee further resolved that the Secretary of Labor and the National Mediation Board make their Offices available to the extent needed to aid the parties in reaching agreement.
That in essence was the command given to the railroads and the brotherhood.
Inasmuch as the committee was acting in the public interest in urging both sides to undertake collective bargaining, it is appropriate that we now review in some detail what has transpired since October 12, 1965, on this point, as well as the involvement or lack of involvement on the part of Government agencies.
Senator LAUSCHE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question at this point?
Senator McGEE. Yes.
Senator LAUSCHE. Did you understand these three provisions to mean that the committee wanted you and the railroads to undertake
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collective bargaining on matters that were adjudicated by the Arbi- ¡ tration Board and final judgment rendered?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, I will question you about that statement. about whether finally adjudicated and final judgment rendered. We don't interpret that
Senator LAUSCHE. What I want to know, has there been any dispute between the parties concerning whether there shall be now collective bargaining on matters that the Arbitration Board decided?
Mr. GILBERT. There has been some argument advanced by the carriers, which, if you will permit, I will develop for your understanding, I hope.
Senator LAUSCHE. Go ahead.
Mr. GILBERT. The B.L.F. & E. considered the resolution an important document. We felt your direct advice to get the dispute into the collective-bargaining arena carried great weight. In truth, we regarded the resolution as a command, as I have said, and we believe the committee felt the resolution should be regarded as a command. Despite this, the railroads have ignored your resolution.
I state now, as I have so often repeated, this dispute will never reach a satisfactory disposition through any other process than : collective bargaining. Compulsion through which we have gone should emphasize the utter futility of that course; first, because of the rash treatment forced on the men by management, and second, because the settlement of disputes by compulsion is repugnant to our way of life.
It was our thought that initiation of bargaining procedures would not only serve the public interest but would also restore this dispute to the bargaining table-take it away from restrictive legal and public | relations attitudes-and give it a posture where both sides could work out a realistic and equitable settlement.
Within the month after your resolution, general chairmen of the brotherhood from all over the country were assembled in Cleveland and took action to initiate a rules movement under the Railway Labor Act, in compliance with the committee resolution.
This action resulted in three separate section 6 notices being | served on most U.S. railroads by B.L.F. & E. general chairman under date of November 15, 1965. In this manner, we met our responsibility in starting the collective bargaining process.
B.L.F. & E. general chairmen served the three separate section 6 notices on or about November 15, 1965. The letter of transmission to the railroads dated November 15, 1965, which is identified as notice No. 1, contained the following paragraphs:
In accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act and the agreement or agreements now in effect on the Railroad, please accept this as formal notice of our desire to change the collectively bargained agreement governing the employment of firemen (helpers) on other than steam power to the extent provided in attachment A, attached to and made part hereof, such change to become effective at 12:01 a.m., March 31, 1966.
This proposal is made to you, notwithstanding the fact that upon the expiration of the award of Arbitration Board 282, the collectively bargained agreement with respect to employment of firemen (helpers) will be in full force and effect. We shall expect that on and after 12:01 a.m., March 31, 1966, you will comply fully with the collectively bargained agreement with respect to employment of firemen (helpers) on this property, unless another agreement has been reached i in the meantime.
I emphasize at this point that there was more than sufficient time to work out an acceptable agreement between the date of service of the notices, November 15, 1965, and the termination date of the arbitration award on March 31, 1966, if both sides had seized the opportunity and followed the advice of your committee.
I will not take the time to detail the section 6 notices filed by the general chairmen. They are in the exhibits I have distributed and I request that the exhibits be made a part of the record.
Senator McGEE. I think all of the members of the committee have the packet of exhibits and they will be made a part of the record. Mr. GILBERT. Thank you, sir.
In brief, the brotherhood in one notice proposed that firemen be employed on yard and road freight locomotives with the exception of certain daylight yard jobs and certain daylight branch line jobs. Our position was consistent with the area of near agreement that was evident prior to the imposition of compulsory arbitration.
Our second notice called for the reemployment of some firemen separated under terms of the award, reimbursement of men improperly separated or who suffered loss in earnings when their seniority rights were improperly denied or impaired. Reimbursement was also sought for the employees who suffered monetary loss in the sale of their homes, when arbitrarily moved to other terminals or who incurred expenses when required to man assignments at points other than their original residence.
Notice No. 3 was a request for a long needed training program for locomotive helpers (firemen), not only to make them more qualified technically in their duties and responsibilities as helpers (firemen), but also to train them for eventual promotion to locomotive engineers. We did not have to wait long for Mr. Wolfe's reaction to our efforts at collective bargaining. He immediately labeled our notices "illegal.' A press release, as well as a memorandum to "member roads," both dated November 15, 1965, from Mr. Wolfe are included in my exhibits and will provide you with a complete assessment of Mr. Wolfe's instant and hasty rejection of collective bargaining under the guise of questioning the legal status of our effort to initiate collective bargaining.
On November 22, 1965, Mr. Wolfe provided his principals with a detailed analysis of the three notices served by the brotherhood to be used when the member roads met with B.L.F. & E. general chairmen, as they are required to by the procedures of the Railway Labor Act. Mr. Wolfe's detailed memorandum is also reproduced in my exhibits. You will note that Mr. Wolfe indulges in some classic verbal gymnastics. He states on the one hand that the notices are illegal and premature, and maintains that the brotherhood cannot represent locomotive firemen in establishing a training program. He carefully instructs all the railroad personnel officers throughout the country on how to stymie collective bargaining at their level so that full control of this issue remains in his hands.
Mr. Wolfe ends his memorandum with the admonition-"Do not go beyond the simple statement that your position was clearly explained at such conference." What he is saying is that the personnel director is to say nothing more than what is in Mr. Wolfe's memorandum, and is not to engage in any way in a meritorious discussion of the notices. To do so would invite collective bargaining and a settlement. Mr.