Feb. 12, 1943 Law Office, Unit 1
SPECIAL CAMOUFLAGE MEETING
Friday--nite contract signed
A meeting of the camouflage workers together with the contractor was held at seven thirty o'clock, Feb. 12, 1943, in the Law Office in Unit One. Those present were:
Mr. Kennedy opened the meeting by reading the attached letter written by the U.S. Engineers (Lt. Col. W.J. Leen) directed to the Project Director and the Community Council.
The chart calls for 869 workers, 800 weavers, 69 non weavers to include one general superintendent, 6 office personnel, 5 garnish shed superintendents, 16 reefers, one cutting shed superintendent, 20 cutters, one warehouse foreman, 18 warehousemen, and one seamstress.
What is the percentage of non weavers to weavers?
This is the chart made by the U.S.Engineers -- original provision was 960 weavers of which 20% would be non-weavers. New provision calls for 869 workers of which 10% would be non-weavers.
Not enough to handle the work of the weavers.
AFTER SHORT RECESS: (Frank Kuwahara chairman; Franklyn Sugiyama, spokesman for the group).
Mr. Stahl, we would like to clarify the points that were disagreed upon at the last meeting. Mr. Sugiyama would like to have some clarifications made, and also Mr. Ono from Unit II.
I would like to answer them as far as I can.
Before we start, I would like to have some indications as to how long you are going to stay. Last time you led us to believe you would be here, but you were in Los Angeles or on your way here.
When I left the meeting, we were at a point where you wanted clarification of the contract. Only way was to go to the engineers who drew up the contract. For that reason, we wrote a letter asking you to postpone the meeting until such time we could get clarification from the War Dept. I went back to Los Angeles and got in touch with them Monday morning.
Are you going to stay here until ypu finish?
I will stay until I think it is necessary.
You may and again you may not.
I will spend whatever time necessary to close this up.
Have you the original agreement in your hands? The one we presented to you a week ago?
No, I have it in the car.
Then I will read the contract. Point 1, "The employer agrees that he will comply at all times with all Federal and State laws, regulations and orders applicable to the operation of the factory."
Mutually agreed upon. In addition I will include Social Security and workmen's compensation which is part of the law.
There is now question regarding point 2 concerning the hours. "A week shall be a seven day period from 5:00 p.m. Saturday to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. The working day may be changed by agreement between the employer and the worker to permit a shorter working day while still maintaing a forty hour week, such as five seven-hour days and one five-hour day. In no case shall the regular work day exceed eight hours or the regular work week exceed six days."
The third point is in regard to the factory committee. "The employer agrees to recognize a committee elected by the factory worker as the sole bargaining representative for all of the workers. This committee shall be known as the Factory Committee." What is your reaction on this?
We are perfectly agreeable to set up a committee and recognize it for all questions and disputes which should come up. We will have to comply with the contract. The War Dept. contract states yhe contract makes no provision of recognition of any committee. We are perfectly willing to recognixe that committee.
Disagreed on arbitration. We asked for unqualified recognition and I believe we understood that wqs the way we parted.
I would recognize the shop committee.
Agreed on wording?
Perfectly agreeable to recohnize the committee as long as it no way affects the contract.
The next point is in regard to grievance. "All grievances shall be referred to the factory committee through its chairman or a department steward."
That is agreeable.
the fifth point is in regard to arbitration. "any grievance that cannot be settled between the factory committee and the employer shall be referred to arbitration. The arbitration board shall consist of one person named by the employer and one person named by the committee. In the event that the first two members cannot agree on a third member, heshall be selected by the project director. The Board's decision shall be final and binding on both parties. Arbitration shall be limited to considerations other than wages, or items involving excessive extra cost to the employer." What does "excessive" mean?
We are perfectly willing to give and take. We don't expect anything unreasonable. We feel the contract that the War Dept. entered into provided in the contract is adequate adn the worker well paid. Workers will make $9.60 a day. I don't know that there is any question about wage rate. We are perfectly willing to abide by it and make any adjustment so long as it does not increase the wage rate. Successful operation of the plant depends upon the satisfaction of the workers. You can't expect a man to do anything unreasonable. Plant has to be harmonious. Purpose is to weave and we are perfectly willing to do anything within reason and to get thing set up and get it started.
The next point is in regard to wages. The weavers shall receive 48¢ per 100 sq. feet garnished. Non weavers to receive the average of the top 25%. Is that agreeable?
No, we cannot operate under that plan at all. You have to c onsider that your supervisors are nonp productive workers.
What is your proposal?
Our proposal is as outlined to you last Sunday. That was, we pay the non weavers the average of the weavers who wove over 1000 sq. ft. perday, in that event, no person could get less than the average pay of 1000 sq. ft. Propose all the foremen receive average pay of 1000 sq. ft. garnished plus $10.00 per month. The $10 to be paid by thd contractor. In addition to the rating, reads as follows: "The contract does not provide for any additional payment for foremen or supervisory official other than those stated horein. Rates of pay for all other workers shall be 60 per hour or a piece work rate commensurate with that for the garnish workers. These labor rates are mandatory insofar as the contractor is conerned." The non-weavers would not be affected by the learners on the v rst week of operation when they produce a small amount.
You are presenting a leeway in the contract. (Something in regard to piece work at 18 or 18%).
Still in the commensurate rate -- reefers do not get more than 18¢.
I without authority agreed to make a temporary increase to take care of the back work. changing that back to the original rate. (Gila River)
16 reefers for 5 sheds. It's too far fetched. It calls for 6 reefers in each plant -- or 18 reefers.
Even that is impossible. One net per hour -- 1584 sq. ft. to 2000 sq. ft. There are 10 stations, and a net every hour, bundle and then reef with 6 in a crew. You have to reef a net in three minutes.
The chart which I am talking about is based on 1000 sq. ft. If weaver produces 2000 you use twice the amount of workers.
Do you think 3 reefers could handle that?
No, 6 reefers in a crew. 5 shed would mean 30 reefers. They should be able to handle 30 nets an hour or 2 nets a minute. We have timed reefers at Gila and it took about 1½ to 2 minutes.
You can't keep it up all day. There is a handicap in picking up a lot of rocks. Gila may do it, but the conditions are different.
What does the reefer do?
Reefer's job is reef, and bundle them up and load them to truck and take it to warehouse. Doing that plus reefing two nets a minute.
Impossible. A net every five minutes is 12 an hour.
In Gila on Feb. 5, they had 477 garnishers who produced 77,000 sq. ft. with 10 reefers. Feb. 8, they had 473 and 10 reefers. Feb. 3, 475 garnishers, 10 reefers, produced 69916 sq. ft.
Figuring 10 reffers and 77,000 sq.fit. how much do the reefers make?
$13.50 a piece. We realize the physical set up here in Poston is different. We expect them t o load them out. The U.S. Engineers will furnish the trucks.
We have two proposals -- pay the reefer on the average of 1000 sq. ft. of nets gsrnished or 18¢ on the 1000 sq. ft. average piece work basis.
Presuming that the weaver produces over 1000sq. ft. he will receive $154.60 for the 20 working days, the for eman will receive $10 over that tna dthe supervisor $20.00. Will you be able to get enough reefers to work?
Overtime was anogher point which were in disagreement.
The interpretation of the contract from the war dept. is: The contract makes no provision for special overtime rates.
However, there is a clause if you follow the national labor laws stipulating one and one half overtime, and I don't be; oeve tje agree, ent does not in the least violate the contract in any way.
We will agree to comply with all federal and state laws applicable to the worker. We do not intend to work over 48 hours. The federal laws provide for time and a half and if we give instructions to work overtime we will pay overtime, which will be $4.80 plus $2.40 for 1000 sq. ft. We will be paying more than the government is paying us.
If you did that, would it be conflicting with the clause? Have we agreed to that?
We have agreed to abide by all Federal and Stage laws. If you get written instructions to the bulletin from Los angles, we will pay overtime.
To simplify it, you have no intentions of hiring workers overtime. So with the clause to eliminate confusion, workers will be paid time and a half overtime if they are so ordered.
We are duplicating it when we comply with State and Federal laws and then stating the overtime clause. I am perfectly agreeable.
The next is working conditions:- The employer agrees to hire sufficient non-weavers so as to permit the weavers to spend the maximum posssible time in weaving.
Agreeable. It is going to depned on piece work or accept $4.80 per 1000 sq. ft. Agree to f urnish suffcient help to comply with organization chart so far as is possible.
We are willing to accept the chart on the sliding basis.
Chart is based on 1000 sq. ft. produced. We are perfectly willing to break it down. Gila workers work on twice $4.80. If you like this broken to 1000 on piece work, it's up to you.
Another point is "Weavers will correct on their own time only mistakes caused by own carelessness.
Our contract with U.S. Engineers is based on nets acceptable. Those nets have to be garnished according to specifications. However, we are perfectly willing to assume responsibility for all patterns furnished by War Dept. If workers follow them and center them and are identical in so far as is possible, they will be paid for it. We don't want to have a question come up as to whose fault it is. If engineers reject it and net is diffe ent grom pattern.
We find that in those bundles, various shades of green, various shade of e arth brown and even sand altho there are a lot of sand. Particularly in greens and browns we find various shadew and we can't get enough of one shade and if we do, we have to sort them out. The engineers don't like it yet there are all shades. These engineers have to be very lenient and when they tell us they would like to have all one color, it can't be done. But suppose the engineers have changed and some other group should come and they reject them, whose responsibility will it be?
I have taken it up with L.A. office anf find out if it is labeled dark green, it should be dark green. If the dark green shades vary, but if the enginners accept them it's okay. We will use nets that they issue us, and anything marked dark green we will use it as such.
If the engineers come in and tell cutters that certain colors are not acceptable and Mr. Reynolds says they are approved, bu the engineers and War Dept. Does ahead and uses them and after we do use them and the engineers reject them whose responsibility is it?
Enginers have no right to tell the cutters anything. They should come to me or anyone responsible on the project and from there we can take it up. However, they have no right to take it up with the evacuee woriers at all.
Will the workers be paid if the right color is used, however the engineers refuse to accept it for the reason of color variation.
If it is not the maistake of the weaver due to careless ness.
If the mistake is made by the weaver he should correct it, but if it is the jistakeof the engineers it should be charged against them. That is bet. you and the engineers.
The engineers furnish the materials. These inspectors are very lenient. They van reject every single net the weavers make, but the army wants nets very badly. Army is vitally interested in getting them.
Will the contractor guarantee the pattern and the materials?
I can't guarantee the government materials. It's not ours. All of this material has been approved.
If you have two colors in one net, and if you follow the pattern to the tee and then you find the net is torn -- whose fault is that?
I will take it up withthe engineers.
I think it boils down to this -- the enginners either refuses the net because of the workmanship, or refuse it because of faulty material or tear in the net. If it is refused for the first reason, then weaver will cor ect the error on his own time, and if it is refused for the second reason, then it is up to the contractor to pay the weaver.
The engineers gave the contractor certain materisl, and if theweaver thru no fault of his weaves the net and it is refused, what then? The enginnerrs may may reject the net because of a tearin the net or because of two shades of blue. The worker should not be penalized for something which is beyond their contro; and if it is due to faulty material, it is to be settled bet. contractor and engineer, to protect worker and contractor.
I am fully in accord with the wirker. I will take it up with the engineers.
May I ask this? It may never come up, but suppose after working there as a cutter, I find that the color situation is very bad?
I have agreed that I am in full accord withthe worker.
If the weavers weave the nets, and when the net is inspected, if the inspector says this net is poorly done because it is bunched up, etc. it is the workmanship, and if it is faulty material or tear in the net, then it would not be workmanship. In that case, it lies bet. the contractor and the engineers. The weaver gets paie and it is up tothe contractor to make the adjustment with the engineers.
The next point is in regard to the workers reporting to work as directed shall be guaranteed one half day's work earnings computed on the previous days. An act of God or other unforeseen accidents shall not apply. We were in disagreement at the close of the last meeting. What is your reaction on that?
The engineers are going to supply the material. Unless the cutters fell down, we can't make guarantee that work will be available.
Do you think it is fair to ask workers to come down some morning and they wait around and you come in and say "No work" today.
It would be up to the departmental steward to take care of this. The general foreman should figure the day's work ahead, and let the workers know before they return home.
It is up to the managers to plan in advance how much work there is for the next day. And if it should occur frequently, then two c rews would have to work alternately
There is a terrific problem in transp0rtation. We should get a cutting room in Camps II and III.
We should have three days work in advance, and it is up to the government to keep us furnished at least three days ahead.
Point 8 -- The employer agrees to maintain the rest room in the highest degree of sanitation, supply the workers with paper towels, soap, tissues, etc.
We will see that all that is provided definitely. Anything within reason. We will also see to it, that a janitor is hired to keep the place in order.
Article 5 __ in regard to arbitration. "Any grievance that cannot be settled between the factory committee and the employer shall be referred to arbitration. The arbitration board shall consist of one person named by the committee, and one person named by the employer. In the event that the first two memgers cannot agree on a third member, he shall be selected by the project director. The board's decision shall be final and binding on both parties. Arbitration shall be limited to considerations ither than wages or items involving excessive extra cost to the employer. "We cannot agree to that becuasue it is too vague. What is excessive cost"?
The contract price is based on piece work eiscussed in article 6. Labor requirement will indicate on the organization chart and anything contrary to this organization chart would be excessive. Wages are definitely set at $4.80 per 1000 sq. ft. and the weavers and the non weavers will not arbitrate on wages because we have agreed to them.
Before we can agree, we will have to settle on the wages and the same time not compel the contractor and the engineers to violate their contract.
Arbitration Board is made in case there is something that the contractor and the factory worker do not agree upon. This arbitration will consist of one person named by the employer and one person named by the factory committee ----". or example, the arbitration committee is working on a point. This arbitration committee checks with the engineers. If the engineers say this point of disagreement is in violation with our contract, then the point is out -- and the decision is suvmitted to the workers.
Mutually agreed, by both parties.
In regard to wages, the weavers will receive 48¢ per 100 sq. ft. granished. That is agreeable by both parties. The non weavers exclusive of supervisors shall receive the average of the top 25%. If 25% is not agreeable, we will consider 30%. he contract reads "Rates of pay shall be 60¢ per hour or a piece work rate commensurate with that for the garnish workers." If 1000 sq. ft. is the basis, the non weavers will get far less than the weavers, unless they get wages on piece work basis.
These labor rates are mandatory insofar as the contracor is concerned. In Gila, the workers get their WRA wage plus $10 bonus and anything over that, he keeps himself.
On basis of 1200 sq. ft. how much would the non weavers get?
I took the Gila figures and it amounts to $13.86 at piece rate. The average of the weavers there is 1650 square feet multiplied by .48 which is $7.98.
The production figures here are up to date, 1375 sq. ft. that's a week's operation. This would amount to about $6.60 average weaver as against $9.60 for top weaver. If we figure on top 30% taking 1275.7 average today, based on month, then the non weavers will receive $132.00, top weavers, 192.00 and shed foreman 142.00.
You can see that the weavers will get more than the foreman. If you take 1000 average, you aren't taking any low average but the average of the skilled man. The foreman is not being penalized by the new crews.
When you ask for 25%, you are asking for a flat rate. The cutter gets everything aboe 25% top average. I can't see how you can get weavers on piece work and the others on a flat rate. They should all be piece work rate doing 8 hours work per day. I can't see no reason their pay should be based on some one else's pay.
Make the whole project on 60¢ per hour.
Do you expect us to hit 1800 to 2000?
No, I do not.
If there is so much to do and so many men assigned, you will have to put more men to do the work.
The contract does not provide for additional foreman or supervisor personnel. Rates of pay for all other workers shall be 60¢ ½er hour or piece work rate commensurate with that for the garnish workers. The labor rates are mandatory insofar as the contractor is concerned.
How would you provide as payment to the foremen and supervisor?
It does not provide for any.
Since there aren't many non-productive workers, it should not be a major point of issue.
If you work on piece work, you can have as many workers as you want. The two alternatives which you have is to accept the 60¢ ½er hour interpretation or 18¢ ½er 1000 sq. ft. in ratio with $4.80.
It all depends on the word commensurate. Piece work rate would mean to pay earnings on the amount of piece produced by someone or other. Piece work woild be payment on what they produced. You measure the pay of the worker other than the garnished commensurate to the garnisher. Commensurate means "reducing to common measure; equal."
If the weavers are getting $9.60, we want to see that nonweavers are getting something close to that.
The point of argument is that we find out whether 18¢ per 1000 is commensurate to $4.80 per 1000 sq. ft. We are not lookin for an average of top 30%.
The reason why we ask 25% is that the non weavers pay will be far below the weavers if taken on average of the weavers as a whole. There should be an incentive.
I am willing to pay60¢ perhour average of 1000 sq. t.
Tye 18¢ per 1000 is not equitable to $4.80.
If 18¢ is not acceptable, then it is up to the group to negotiate for more.
Get together and decide whether you want piece work rate. Would you like the engineers to have the basis on piece work changed on other workers? Plan is they either get 60¢ or $4.80 per 1000 sq. ft.
It seems we still disagree on the pay of the non-productive workers. Now I understand that as far as you are concerned, you have only two alternatives, and that is 60¢ per hour or piece work on average of 1000 sq. ft. per day. The workers here disagree on a pay on the average of 1000 sq. ft. Do you feel you can negotiate a rate better than that?
Average of 1000 sq. ft. is all we can go, or average base on 60¢ minimum. In no evernt, can it be lower than 60¢ If the worker averages 1000 sq. ft. all other workers will be paid on 1000 sq. ft.
Nothing that make 1000 sq. ft. mandatory.
If the weaver get $4.80, the reefers should get $4.80. If the weaver produces 1500 and gets $7.80 the reefer should get 7.20 likewise.
That is so. If a nimber of wotkers make 2000 and and another crew 1000 sq. ft, the non productive will be paid on 1500 -- or the average of the two crews.
If the experienced weavers worked out the 105 difference it will be okay.
These non productive workers would not be affected by the unskilled workers.
I suggest that you take the average of the weavers who had been weaving in excess of a month which would would give you your experienced weavers. The first month to get the average of the weavers. After the first month of operation, you consider the average of the weavers working in excess of a month. Then the new crew would not pull down the average. Then you would begin hitting the experienced average.
the non weavers will get $4.80 whereas the weavers are working for less if they do not reach 1000 sq. ft. per day.
To compute the non weavers pay by taking the average of 1000 sq. ft. then after the month's operation you begin to earn what the average experienced weavers will weave. After the first month s operation, you take the average of all persons working over a month. Of the first month the average weaver weaves 1500, the pay of the non weavers will be $7.20.
The new reefers do not get penalized for being new. If necessary, if you have lots of weavers and a small amount of reefers, we will get alternate crews.
We talked over the matter and we have come to a conclusion that on the first month only they will take the average of 1250 or over and then on the second month, we are willing totake the average of those workers who have worked for more than the calendar month.
It will not make much difference in the average of 1000 sq. ft. First month the weavers are just as inexperienced as the reefers.
Willing to agree that the rrfers are working hard.
All have certain learning period. Garnishers may work harder than a month but he does not get much pay until he becomes efficient. He is going to put in 8 full hours and still not earn while going thru the learning period, until he can produce the footage. The cutters and 5he reefers should start the same. The reefers will be getting a better rate than the weavers the first month. Garnishers are not going to get any guarantee and after a week he will receive $4.80.
Personally, it might do us good to work and lift those nets around a bit.
It's hard work. I agree with you. On the average of 1250 it would mean payaing every non weaver $5.76 guarantee and the g arnisher no guarantee. The first month is the learning period.
The weavers have the chance to make more whan he becomes accustomed to the work.
As a rule, the first months is the least amount of pay. Common labor is lowest pay and hardest work. $5.76 to the non weaver and $4.80 during learning period is not equitable. They (the non weavers) should get a learning period. It's not in line with other wage rates.
There are 30 non productive weavers.
You're going to recruit more workers. These reefers will be getting better than average.
Suppose we start at Camp II. Four new men will be paid $5.76 to start with. 100 new weavers hired the same day and their average is about 500. Why should the reefers be guaranteed $5.76 a day and the weaver less than $4.80?
Can't guarantee $5.76 for new reefers.
It's not exorbitant. It's worth $6.00. No cheaper in Los angeles.
Teamsters were being paid 45¢ per hour in L.A. and it has been raised from 47¢ to 50¢. Gurantee of $4.80 m minimum is as far as we can go.
The reefers will want to weave instead, then.
another point which was not agreed upon was the minimum wage. Forty cents was set at minimum wage, and you said it was unheard of and unreasonable.
Reefer will have harder job than the girl who stencils.
There are the cutters, warehousemen, etc.
We are discussing everyone -- statistician, foremen, superintendents.
Statistician is something new, but we're willing to give him the same rate as the foreman.
If you are willing to give them same rating, will you be willing to pay 10% in excess of the average of the non-productive workers?
The non-productive weavers get the average of the average of the weavers after 30 days calendar months. Foremen get average of non productive men plus $10.00 instead of 10% or 20% or 25%. We proposed to pay the foremen a flat $10.00. This check would come from the outside, it would come from the Los Angeles Glass Company. And $20.00 would be paid to the superintendent instead of 20%. It would be more than getting 10% or 20%.
Sharing the responsibility is something everybody can't do. You will find that just a few have the qualifications. I think that is it shelpful to Mr. Reynolds and to you if you can get a man who carry the responsibility out and for rhat, you have to pay a premium.
Certainly, with that thought in mind, we will pay him the extra $10.00 or $25.00. We suggested 15.00 to the ohter camp, but they refused because that made too great a difference.
Paying the foremen and superintendent on the percentage basis is an incentive. Workers are all going to put part of the income into the trust fund.
The contribution which we give to the foreman is for him and not for the trust fund. It's not sensible to give him a check and have it put in the fund -- we are paying him for the service he renders us.
A little more money from your pocket would not mean much if it is going to go for a good purpose.
I am willing to pay $15. Why not base it on a flat sum and not waste the time computing the thing.
We want 20 and 30.
Let(s be reasonable. Give them an incentive.
Added incentive to the foreman to be paid on the percentage basis rather than the flat rate.
The man producing the net should be entitled to more as the superintendent is getting what the weaver produces.
Basic objection is the person getting a certain sum from another source.
Some of the men are taking a responsibility for the proponents in those sheds and they are very definitely with the idea that $10 a month additional is not in any way reasonable.
$10 compared to $16 is reasonable.
But you must remember that we were not asked to determin if 16 or 19 was fair. We had no say in the matter.
Quite a few object to foremen and likely to refuse the position. For one thing it's too much of a job. It's the foreman's job to step up production and with good men in as foremen, the production will be greater and the men should be entitled to get more.
It's all right with me if the foreman wants to put his money into the trust fund.
We're willing to accept the proposal in reard to the non weavers and in consideration for that, we ask you to accept our proposal that the foremen and statistician receive 10% in excess of weavers' making over 1000 s2. ft, and 20% for the production manager respectively. It will read thus: "The weavers shall receive 48¢ per 100 sq. ft. of net garnished and the non-weavers, excluding supervisor, foreman and statistician shall recevie a wage equal to the average earnings of the weaver who produced over 1000 sq. ft. per day. Then the following month the non weavers shall receive the average of those weavers who have worked over one calendar month. The foreman and the statistician shall receive 10% in excess of this wage and the production manager, 20% in excess of the non-weaver."
OK, if that's the way you want it.
The only thing we are in variance now is the weavers correcting their mistake. If it's the faultiness of the material, the contractor should be willing to pay the weaver, but if it is the workmanship that is bad, the net should be corrected on the weaver's time.
I agree that you have a good point. The best thing to do is to submit a list that can be argued upon. particularly the color and I will get an answer from the engineers in writing. I have to get some discussion with them. My understanding is that they have agreed to accept all materials they furnished.
Are you willing to sign the contract as far as we have gone?
the contract should be typewritten first. On the equipment and facilities to be furnished by the engineers, they will have to be reworded so long as Mr. Stahl has agreed to have it furnished by the engineers.
Get it in black and white. Mr. Haas will draw it up.
No work stoppage in consideration of the above, the worker agrees to maintain and not to call strike or slow down or stop work so long as contract is adhered to by the employer. If certain people want to quit, we will have ample time to secure engough people
Camp II is ready.
I understood the U.S. Engineers have agreed to bring a lunch room on the premises.
I don't know anything about that. I have no authority here.
They intimidated that was agreed upon.
There is no possibility with the high priority, etc. It will be three or four months before you can expect it to be built.
Lunch room is very important.
Why can't you get a truck for transportation?
We can work it out with Snelson and Haverland.