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In this connection, please be advised the Norfolk & Western Railway Co. has authorized the Eastern Carriers' Conference Committee, in conjunction with the National Railway Labor Conference to represent it in the further handling of this entire matter; therefore, any further communications in connection therewith should be addressed to Mr. J. E. Wolfe, Chairman, National Railway Labor Conference.
Yours very truly,
Mr. E. B. HUNTER,
Director of Personnel, Norfolk & Western Railway Co.,
E. B. HUNTER, Director of Personnel.
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOard,
DEAR MR. HUNTER: This will acknowledge your letter of March 4, 1966, pertaining to individual applications received from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen for the services of the Board concerning their three section 6 notices served on your company on or about November 15, 1965.
It is noted that you served notices on the organization on February 2, 1966, to revise and supplement existing agreements as set forth in your attachment A. It is also noted it is the carrier's intention to handle the proposal concurrently with the B.L.F. & E. notices referred to above.
As a matter of information, there is attached hereto for Mr. Gilbert copy of the above mentioned letter together with attachments.
It is noted that the National Railway Labor Conference has been authorized to handle this matter. Before proceeding further with this matter, we would appreciate advice from Mr. Wolfe as to whether or not your letter of March 4, 1966, is to be construed as an application for mediation in behalf of the carrier. Very truly yours,
Mr. THOMAS A. TRACY,
ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD Co.,
Mr. C. E. MERVINE, Jr.,
Director of Personnel,
THOMAS A. TRACY,
DEAR MR. TRACY: Referring to your inquiry of February 24, 1966, as to whether or not my letter to you under date of February 15 should be construed as an application for mediation with respect to the notice served upon the B.L.F. & E. by this carrier on January 31, 1966, to revise and supplement the existing agreements to the extent set forth in our attachment A.
Please be advised that the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad has authorized the Southeastern Carrier's Conference Committee, working in conjunction with the National Railway Labor Conference, to represent it in the further handling of the entire matter to a conclusion and any communications in regard thereto should be addressed to Mr. J. E. Wolfe, Chairman, National Railway Labor Conference.
Yours very truly,
C. E. MERVINE, Jr.,
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD,
DEAR MR. MERVINE: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter dated March 8, 1966, regarding applications for mediation services pertaining to disputes between
the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen on the following subjects:
"Section 6 notice of November 15, 1965, for an agreement providing for a uniform, progressive training program for firemen (helpers) in the operation, maintenance and inspection en route or in service of all types of motive power, and in safety of operations, jointly administered.
"Section 6 notice of November 15, 1965, for an agreement or changes in existing agreements providing for the employment of firemen (helpers) on locomotives in yard and road service.
"Section 6 notice of November 15, 1965, for an agreement providing for the recall and restoration of seniority rights of those firemen (helpers) whose employment and seniority were terminated by the application or misapplication of the Award of Arbitration Board No. 282; and providing for reimbursement for such monetary losses sustained as result of improper termination, inconvenience, or deprivation of seniority rights."
As a matter of information by copy of this letter we are sending a copy of your letter to Mr. Gilbert.
We are forwarding copies of our letters of January 20, 1966; to Mr. J. E. Wolfe, chairman, National Railway Labor Conference, who has been authorized to handle these matters, and we ask that he furnish his comments promptly.
Very truly yours,
THOMAS A. TRACY,
Mr. GILBERT. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present this statement to this committee.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Gilbert. You have made a most impressive statement. If this legislation which you suggest were to be introduced, should it, in your opinion, go only to this case or should it be broader in scope?
Mr. GILBERT. Well the remedy which we seek in this particular case, Senator, I think would of necessity need to be confined to this. Senator BARTLETT. Do you know of any general precedent for such legislation?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, I will have to be frank in saying I don't know of any general situation that has even been created that brought us to this posture, where any legislation of this nature may have been needed.
Senator BARTLETT. In this field or others?
Mr. GILBERT. Yes, sir.
Senator BARTLETT. This too is the first time the staff reminds me that compulsory arbitration has been voted by Congress. That is correct, is it not?
Mr. GILBERT. In peacetime?
Senator BARTLETT. Yes.
Mr. GILBERT. In a situation such as this?
Senator BARTLETT. Perhaps in any situation.
Mr. GILBERT. Do you have any knowledge, Mr. Heiss? I can't think of any situation comparable to that which we have had confronting us. I think it has been determined, maybe, in the settlement of grievances over the application of an agreement already reached. The National Railroad Adjustment Board is a type of compulsion, but it does not meet the test that would have to be applied in the circumstances before us.
Senator BARTLETT. You tell us there has been no collective bargaining whatsoever?
Mr. GILBERT. That is correct, there has been none.
Senator BARTLETT. And it is your conviction that if collective bargaining were engaged in, that this issue could be settled within a reasons le period of time?
Mr GILBERT. Senator, I repeat as I have often said, collective banganang is the only process by which this dispute can be settled in deferer ce not only to our Nation but in deference to the industry and to tienen we represent.
Set stor BAKTI ETT. I can well imagine that the carriers would resist stre dously the suggestion you made on page 4 of your testimony, and I will quote that entire sentence:
- the brotherhood believes firmly that a fi emar, is essential to the safe son, of every low mictive, nevertheless in the interests of bringing this 25 Povest to a colerasion, the notices we served upon the carriers are si to permat the carriers to operate without a fireman in those situations aloe du tenert, sich netion can be taken with the least impairment of “y mind efficiency of opetaladi.
That statement “in o ir jødement" is one with which the railroads, 1: age. Wound vizorously dissent.
Vir GaFEKT. Well, they would have to depart from all of the ter experiences we have had with them, if they didn't dissent. I .....k. I can safely say that Because they have remained adamant DMT DUNIA, notwithstanding the series of serious accidents that ave taken place sctice 1:ey Lave started removing the tremen. It is the cames, position that they are not needed any piace.
Bum Bt is it your posita in that your organization The QUÔN, INve filim, determinaike ̧„dzment as to tirme benen are 7 ↑ Deeje”
We have been willing to see with the
vo KTC set up some & Joelles, Which, we th-12h1 had abit beet
More precisely what do you mean by those two words "under circumstances"?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, they would not present their material if in fact they had any, which would provide an exchange of study of material as between the four members of the board.Whatever the carrier had and whatever the BLE representative had, they were unwilling to let Mr. Shattuck, our representative on the board, review it. Even in their presence or in any other way.
Senator BARTLETT. As a matter of public policy in this situation, in retrospect, do you think it might have been advisable to appoint four public members instead of representatives of the carriers and the organizations?
Mr. GILBERT. Well at one time during the discussion of the establishment of the joint board we had a rather common understanding that it would even be possible for the parties to bring in outside individuals who might carry on an objective study of the situation in order that something less than a partisan nature would be developed.
We have endeavored and we have thought through the years that on more than one occasion we had such an objective study underway, such as you mention might be possible. But unfortunately through the years that has not developed.
Senator BARTLETT. When this started, when the board was formed, it was the general consensus that it would be a 50-50 split?
Mr. GILBERT. It was reasonable to assume that at that time.
Senator BARTLETT. And the assumption must have been carried with that, that eventually these four people would be able to hammer out an agreement, they would have to, because otherwise chaos would result.
Mr. GILBERT. Well, being a member of the Board and one that did my best to get them to adopt this joint study, which they did, it was believed that whatever took place in this operation with and without firemen, the partisan people would study ít jointly, in order that the situation may be resolved from the realm of controversy.
In other words, if a member of the carriers saw something happen and a member of the organization's team saw it happen, they couldn't then go to some tribunal and say, "I saw the glass of water on this side" and the other fellow would say he didn't see it on that side.
In other words, it was an effort toward removing the dispute from the controversial element, in order that somewhere down the line this dispute would be disposed of through the process of collective bargaining and on the basis of the facts.
Senator BARTLETT. When you met
Mr. HEISS. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question? I think I heard the chairman use the term "hammer out an agreement." I am wondering whether you intended to use the word "agreement," because I think that is quite apart in its meaning and quite different from the report.
The function of the Board, as shown on page 1000 of the printed record which has been distributed, was, "the National Joint Board shall prepare and issue to the parties a report" based on its study. Senator BARTLETT. I only got to page 999, so I accept that. Mr. HEISS. I wondered whether I heard it correctly.
Senator BARTLETT. You probably did. So I am glad to have you make this correction.
Mr. Gilbert, when you met with the Secretary of Labor and the others, what kind of a reception did you have?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, cordial, at least, but not productive.
Senator BARTLETT. Was there an understanding of the basic issues here, perhaps better than the chairman has, as was just indicated?
Mr. GILBERT. Well, immediately I asked Mr. Gamser who was representing the National Mediation Board, when were we going to get some mediators to move off on the negotiations. In fact the Secretary asked him the same question, because he said he was continually getting inquiries from the Hill about the progress of collective bargaining as contemplated by the resolution. And there is not much I can add to that. A discussion was conducted about how I believed that some of the positions of the National Mediation Board, particularly with respect to holding a hearing to determine whether they were going to docket a case was a little unprecedented in our experience.
We had filed a section 6 notice, we had followed the procedure in the law, we had met with the carriers, and we had ended the negotiations on the property and the next step then was to invoke the services of the Board. All of these things had happened. We were following precisely what was contemplated by the law. And yet we felt that the other agencies of Government upon whom some responsibility we thought was placed through the enactment of the resolution of the committee had failed completely to progress negotiations as we thought the resolution demanded.
Senator BARTLETT. How long did you meet with the Secretary and Assistant Secretary and the Mediation Board member?
Mr. GILBERT. Between an hour and a half and 2 hours.
Mr. GILBERT. It was.
Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Gilbert, I have no more questions.
Senator BARTLETT. We are very grateful to you for coming before the committee with your associates, and reciting this sad situation in such comprehensive detail and I am confident the committee will give consideration to that which you had to say.
Senator BARTLETT. Our next witness is Mr. Winfield M. Homer.
STATEMENT OF WINFIELD M. HOMER, LABOR BUREAU OF MIDDLE WEST, ACCOMPANIED BY HAROLD C. HEISS, GENERAL COUNSEL. BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN & ENGINEMEN, AND MR. JACK FRY, LABOR BUREAU OF MIDDLE WEST
Senator BARTLETT. Before you proceed, Mr. Homer, I want to clear up one other thing. My statement about hammering out an agreement, that was the statement, but what I had in mind was hammering out an agreement relating to the functions of the Board, not hammering out an agreement which would be binding.
Mr. HEISS. I was a little bit afraid that I was offensive in what I said, and I wanted to apologize.
Senator BARTLETT. It is awfully hard to offend me. you weren't offensive.
In any case,
Mr. HEISS. I just wanted to make the point. Thank you very