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B.J. Widick

In the Labor Unions

(20 June 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 43, 20 June 1939, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Testimony of the Goodyear officials before the National Labor Relations Board in hearings going on at Akron produced a powerful boomerang this week that sent the company reeling from the blow.

The company officials claimed, in their testimony, that they had negotiated and bargained with Local 2, United Rubber Workers of America, and their smooth talk seemed to have an effect in the hearings.

However, Goodyear Local, over the week end, passed a resolution calling on the company to negotiate for a signed agreement immediately, in view of the policy that its officials outlined at the N.L.R.B. hearings.

Company lawyers professed to the belief in collective bargaining when this resolution was introduced in the hearing. So a suggestion was made by union officials that the hearings be postponed while negotiations were carried on. “The company has denied charges that it refused to negotiate,” Stanley Denlinger, union attorney declared. “The union resolution asks the company to show proof of its willingness to sit down and bargain.”

Refusal of the company to permit a recess in the hearings to enter negotiations with the U.R.W.A. exposed testimony of witnesses as lies and frauds, and proved the union charges against Goodyear.

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Guild Contracts

A reader asks for information on the kind of contracts the American Newspaper Guild obtains for editorial workers. A brief digest of a contract just signed between the Guild and the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin will answer this question.

Minimum wages under the Guild contract are: experienced rewrite men, $65 a week, copy readers, !$65, reporters, $55, district reporters, $50, photographers and artists, $50, copy boys $18 after one year experience. These rates are for journeymen. During the first three years of work, a graduated scale of wages applies. Night men get $5 a week more than day men on similar jobs.

An important section of any guild contract is dismissal pay. In this contract it is provided that dismissal pay for anyone employed more than 6 months and less than a year amounts to two weeks salary. The scale goes up until a man with ten years service is guaranteed six months dismissal pay. Sick leave pay is also provided for.

The agreement provides for the five-day-40-hour week with standard overtime provisions.

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Wages and Hours

Another query is for information on wages and hours in certain major industries. The following is presented from the Labor Information Bulletin of the United States Department of Labor, May issue.

In another classification of industry, namely the non-durable goods, we have the following wages and hours:

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Last updated: 16 January 2016