Interview with F. Kuwahara
Subject: C. Manggement
March 21, 1943
Frank Kuwahara is the assistant manager of the C. fatory. Previous to evacutation he wasactive in J.A.C.L., and was a successful
employer and proprietor of a nursery. He is also a member of the T.C. C., and was oneof the important figure in the promotigg
of the C. factory.
How did you happen to get the job as assistant production manager?
Well, Tom, I played a pretty big part in trying to get this thing started. I had my fingers in almost everything concerning
the factory, trying to get the best deal for the evacuee. Mr. Reynold was the man in charge, and he put me temporarily, officially
in charge of getting the best man for the various position. After Billike came, he asked me to take charge.
What seems to you the main problem at the present time concerning the management?
The foremen, and supervisors should be strictly management. they should be paid a straight salary from the company, and not
from the weavers average salary plus 10%. Now, with the present set-up, the foremen, and supervisor, cannot tell the weavers,
and other non-weavers to work hard, to get their asses off of the benches, the weavers to pick up the burlap from the floor.
This is asking the supervisor and the foreman to out their own throats. If they were strictly management, then they would
tell some of these lazy guys off, and fire them; but what evacuee wants to fire another evacuee, when the management does
not want to play square.
Another problem is this: In the contract, the first statement says that 18% should be non-weaver help. The second part says:
Constractor agrees to furnish sufficient non-weavers help to keep production at a maximum, without exceeding the 18%. The
question arises, who is responsible to keep the non-weavers below 18%. By that I mean, who is going to force the non-weavers
to work. The management says that the workers are responsible, but under the set-up, the foremen can't tell them, and they
are called stooges of the management. The management is not doing anything in the line of organizing workers. All they do
is to see that the supplies are furnished. Most of the work is being done by the evacuees, and I don't see why the evacuess
can't run the factory. They could run it more efficiently because they would understand the situation.
Q How do the workers get along with the management?
The management as a whole is not right. Now I am part of the management, and in order to do this job right, I have to have
the confidence of the workers. I have that right now, at least most of the workers. But unless I see that certain things are
done by the management, such things as sweeping the sheds, and cleaning out the latrine, I'll lose the conffidence. If they
would clean these places out, then they could demand that the weavers pick up the dropped burlap so as to facilitate sweeping,
but as it is, burlaps strips are being wasted, and Finney kicks bout it.
I told Billike that they latrine should be cleaned out; he went out Satuday afternoon, with a broom, and I think it will beclean
for Monday. I didn't help him out either, I'm kind of fed up. For the pat week, I haven't done a damn thing. If I see a guy
sitting down, I don't tell him to work. When the weavers neglect to pick up the strips, I don't tell him to pick it up.
We could get along pretty well without Billike. Rosenbloom doesn't have anything to do with the production. Billike never
commits himself, and altho he talks, he never says anything. The only way to get these things done is for the Worker's committee
to write letters to Los Angeles, Major Phillips, Stahl, and the other big shots there. Then the workers should stop work until
these things are done. Now I am in no position to do these things, because I am supposed to be part of the management. Mr.
Kennedy suggested these things. (refer to Com. meeting vs. Employer, 3-19-43)
Finney is very definitely anti-jap. Garret has been removed, but Spindler, one of the inspector, said to me that he heard
Finney says that'he would like to have the soldiers come up from Rice, and annaalate these Japs. The remark he made the other
nite, "All the evacuees are thinking about is the money, they are not out to help the war effort". I didn't like it, and I
want the fellows who were there to keep that remark in mind. It was a slip on his part. Now is both Billike and Finney were
replaced, I think we could work a hell of a lot better.
These damned Jews, if they can use you to their advantage, it is all right with them. If you give in one, they think that
you should give in again and help them out. That briggs the question of the patterns, that we talked about the other nite.
The contract states hat the nets are to be woven on a vertical rack. What they said the other nite is against the contract,
and we could technically hold them against it. We'll hve to see Stahl bout it.
What part does Mr. Kennedy play?
I think he hates Jews. He is the kind of a guy that plays for the underdog. In other words, he hates like hell to see the
Jews take advantages of the the Japs. Now this is partly the evacuee's fault, because they are aken in. Mr. Kennedy offers
good suggestion, and I think he is a socialist. Or it might be that he is trying to practice democracy.
I am thinking of quitting, andI told Rosenbloom that I would at the end of next pay period. He told me to stick around because
somehing will come up.
I'd like to see the evacuee's get a square deal. If the management would live up to their promises and see that the codistions
of the contract would be fulfilled, then I'm against these evacuees who take advantage of the situation, and would stand up
for the management. But if they aren't, then I'm siding with the workers. I don't want to sell themndown the river; and after
all, I've had my finers in most of the things that went on. Even tho Fr. Sugiyama signed the contract for the T.C.C., I did
most of the work on it. As soon as these things are straightened out, then I'll turn in. I wished the army would close this
place out then we won't have to be blamed for it, but these jews take advantage of the situation, and no doubt will say that
we are sabotaging the war effort.....I'd hate to see that happen, and something should be done to combat such a thing. There
is where your department can help.