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A n a ly s is o f
L a y o ff, R e c a ll, a n d W o r k -S h a r in g P ro c e d u re s
in U n io n C o n tra c ts




B u lle tin N o . 1209
U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R
Jam es P . M itc h e ll, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

A n a ly s is o f
L a y o ff, R e c a ll, a n d W o r k -S h a r in g P ro c e d u re s
in U n io n C o n tra c ts




F rom the M o n th ly L a b o r R e v ie w
D ece m b er 1956 and January, Febru ary, and M a rc h 1957
issues, w ith a d dition al tables.

B u lle tin N o . 1209
March 1957
U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R
Jam es P . M itc h e ll, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 30 cents




P r e fa c e
A s p a rt o f its continuing p rogram o f co llective b argain in g agreem ent studies,
the Bureau o f L a b o r Statistics, in 1954, began a com prehensive analysis o f
provisions dealin g w ith la y o ff, recall, and w ork-sharing procedures in all
agreem ents co verin g 1,000 o r m ore workers. A selection o f illu stra tive clauses
and a b rie f glossary o f term s was published ea rly in 1956 under the title
C o lle c tiv e B a rga in in g Clauses: L a y o ff, R ecall, and W ork -S h a rin g Procedures
(B L S Bull. 1189). In this bu lletin, the prevalen ce and in terrelation o f variou s
aspects o f la yo ff, recall, and w ork-sharing practices are analyzed.
T h is stu d y was conducted in the B u reau ’s D iv is io n o f W ag es and In d u stria l
R ela tio n s under the general direction o f Joseph W . B loch.
T h e reports,
w hich appeared first in fo u r consecutive issues o f the M o n th ly L a b o r R e v ie w
(D ecem b er 1956 to M a rc h 1957 issues, in clu sive), w ere prepared b y Joseph
W . B loch , R o b e r t P la tt, and R ose Th eod ore.




(H I)

C o n te n ts

Page
Prevalence

of layoff

and w ork-sharing provisions; forestalling and m inim izing

layoffs_________________________________________________________________________________________
In trod u ction _______________________________________________________________________________

1
1

Scope of s tu d y ____________________________________________________________________________
Prevalence— L ayoff and w ork-sh aring_________________________________________________

2
3

Forestalling and minim izing la y o ffs____________________________________________________

5

Union participation in layoff procedures; advance notice of lay offs__________________

11

U nion participation in layoff procedures______________________________________________

11

Advan ce notice of layoff_________________________________________________________________

14

Seniority and bum ping practices_____________________________________________________________

19

T y p e s of seniority provisions___________________________________________________________

20

E xceptions to seniority__________________________________________________________________

23

Seniority u n it______________________________________________________________________________

25

Bu m pin g practices________________________________________________________________________

26

S hort-term or tem porary lay offs________________________________________________________

28

R ecall procedures; w ork-sh aring_____________________________________________________________
R ecall procedures_________________________________________________________________________
W ork-sharing______________________________________________________________________________

29
29
34




(IV )

Layoff, Recall, and Work-Sharing Procedures
P r e v a le n c e o f L a y o ff a n d W o r k -S h a r in g P r o v is io n s ;
F o r e s ta llin g a n d M in im iz in g L a y o ffs

In trodu ction

shop stewards be protected from la y o ff based on
seniority? In w h a t order should em ployees be
recalled to w ork? Th ese and countless oth er
questions to be answered in v o lv e the jo b secu rity
o f em ployees, the p rod u ctive efficien cy o f the
establishm ent, the fu n ction in g o f the union, and
basic principles o f equ ity. In v irtu a lly all such
decisions, some w orkers m a y be ad versely affected
in order to p rotect others, and optim u m efficien cy
m a y be sacrificed fo r the tim e bein g fo r the pro­
tection o f m orale or fo r oth er considerations.
T h e rules regardin g la y o ff or w ork-sharing em ­
bodied in co llective bargainin g agreem ents m a y be
re la tiv e ly sim ple in expression and operation, e. g.,
the last person hired shall be the first to be laid off,
or all em ployees w ill share available w ork. In
such situations, oth er decisions necessitated b y
the reduced volu m e o f w o rk are m ade b y the em ­
p lo yer alone, possibly in accordance w ith custom,
or b y the em ployer in in form al consultation w ith
the union. M o r e freq u en tly, h ow ever, particu ­
la rly as the size o f the establishm ent increases and
jobs becom e m ore diversified, the agreem ent p ro ­
visions tend to becom e m ore com plex and are
o ften a source o f adm in istrative difficulties w hich
find th eir w a y in to grievan ce and a rb itration cases.
T h e provisions o f a particu lar agreem ent, as im ­
p o rta n t as th e y m a y be to insure the observance
o f m inim um standards, serve in m a n y instances
n ot as a precise blu eprin t to shape e v e ry step o f a
la y o ff sequence, b u t rath er as a fram ew ork w ith in

A l a r g e m a j o r i t y o f the collective bargainin g
agreem ents co verin g 1,000 or m ore w orkers con­
tain provisions settin g fo rth the procedures w hich
are to g o vern adjustm ents to declining em p lo y­
m en t needs, w h eth er occasioned b y regu lar sea­
sonal slumps, sporadic changes in the volu m e o f
business, a general recession, or oth er factors.
T h e process o f adju sting to a reduced vo lu m e o f
w o rk m a y begin lo n g before the first w ork er is
laid o ff and som etim es does n ot end w ith the recall
o f the last w ork er to be rehired. In this process,
m a n y im p orta n t decisions m ust be m ade—
u n ila terally b y the em p loyer in the absence o f an
agreem ent p rovision bearing upon the problem ,
b y the em p loyer in ad hoc n egotiations or con­
su ltation w ith the union, or b y the em p loyer in
accordance w ith agreem ent provisions.
F o r exam ple, should overtim e, subcontracting,
and the hirin g o f new em ployees be restricted when
la yo ffs or w ork-sharing appear im m inent? Should
hours fo r all w orkers in the d ep artm en t or the
pla n t be reduced before la yo ffs are m ade? T o
w h a t le v e l should hours be reduced, and how lon g
can reduced hours p reva il before la yo ffs are w a r­
ranted? I f som e w orkers m ust be laid off, in w h a t
order are th e y to be le t out? Should w orkers w ho
are reached fo r la y o ff be p erm itted to displace
ju n ior em ployees in oth er typ es o f w ork? H o w
much n otice should be given ? Should union




(l)

2
w hich certain steps are fixed, others less rig id ly
determ in ed, and som e le ft en tirely to the em p lo y­
e r’s discretion.
Scope o f Study
T h is study, the first o f its kind b y the U . S.
D ep a rtm en t o f L a b o r ’s B ureau o f L a b o r Statistics,
a ttem pts to account fo r the various w ays in w hich
all m a jo r agreem ents handle la yo ff, recall, and
w ork-sharing procedures. I t is essentially a
prevalen ce study, despite the difficulties o f classi­
fy in g certain typ es o f clauses in to precise or
d efin itive categories, as w ill be poin ted ou t fro m
tim e to tim e. T h e entire sequence o f la yo ff,
recall, and w ork-sharing procedures is covered
under the fo llo w in g m a jo r topics: P reva len ce o f
la y o ff and w ork-sharing provision s; m ethods o f
forestallin g and m in im izin g la yo ffs and w o rk ­
sharing; union p a rticip ation in la y o ff procedures;
advan ce n otice o f la y o ff; the role o f sen iority;
“ bu m p in g”
practices; recall procedures; and
w ork-sharing procedures.1

T a b l e 1. — La y o ff

F o r this study, v irtu a lly all agreem ents effective
in la te 1954 and 1955 coverin g 1,000 or m ore
w orkers (exclu sive o f railroad and airline agree­
m ents) w ere an alyzed.2 O f the 1,743 agreem ents
studied, 1,182 applied to m an u facturing establish­
m ents and covered 4.9 m illion w orkers and 561
applied to n onm anufacturing establishm ents w ith
2 .8 m illion w orkers under agreem ent (ta b le 1).
T h e to ta l num ber o f w orkers covered (7.6 m illio n )
represents som ew hat less than h a lf o f all the
w orkers under agreem ent in the U n ite d States,
exclusive o f railroads and airlines.
L a y o ff, recall, and w ork-sharing practices fo r
all collective bargainin g agreem ents are n ot
necessarily p o rtra y ed b y this analysis, because it
is lim ited to agreem ents co verin g at least 1,000
workers. In oth er words, all the agreem ents

1 The Bureau is also undertaking a study of dismissal and severance pay
provisions which will be published as a separate report.
3 The Bureau does not maintain a file of railroad and airline agreements;
hence their omission from this study. For an analysis of the characteristics
of the major agreements studied, see Characteristics of Major Union Con­
tracts, Monthly Labor Review, July 1956 (p. 805).

and work-sharing provisions in m ajor collective bargaining agreements by industry, 1954-55

Agreements with—
Number studied
Industry
Agree­
ments
All industries--------------------------------------------------Manufacturing________________________________
Food and kindred products________________
Tobacco manufactures--------------------------------Textile-mill products----------------------------------Apparel and other finished textile products___
Lumber and wood products (except furniture)
Furniture and fixtures__________________ —
Paper and allied products------ --------------------Printing, publishing, and allied industries----Chemicals and allied products______________
Products of petroleum and coal--------------------Rubber products__________________________
Leather and leather products----------------------Stone, clay, and glass products--------------------Primary metal industries----------------------------Fabricated metal products_________________
Machinery (except electrical)----------------------Electrical machinery-------------- -------------------Transportation equipment_________________
Instruments and related products___________
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries-------N onmanufacturing__________________________________
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural gas production _
Transportation 1________________________________
Communication_________________________________
Utilities: electric and gas-------------------------------------Wholesale trade--------------------------------------------------Retail trade------------------------------------------------------ Hotels and restaurants___________________________
Services________________________________________
Construction____________________________________
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing_________________

1,743
1,182
110
11
64
52
21
20
54
32
61
26
21
21
37
123
72
142
106
147
29
33
561
19
95
71
70
14
76
31
54
124
7

Layoff provisions

Workers
Agree(thousands) ments
7,641.9
4,857.3
352.5
33.5
158.3
441.4
47.4
39.8
120.7
63.2
132.6
71.7
128.8
72.2
114.3
677.4
192.5
369.8
436.2
1,271.5
64.8
68.6
2,784. 7
303.2
608.4
542.9
198.3
23.3
195.5
156.4
161.9
570.4
24.4

1,347
1,039
96
10
55
3
17
16
53
14
61
26
21
14
32
117
63
142
102
139
29
29
308
15
52
6
8
64
1
1
48
16
26

6
2

1 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N ote.—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily equal totals.




Work-sharing
provisions

No layoff or work­
sharing provisions

Workers
(thousands)

Agreements

Workers
(thousands)

Agreements

5,815.1
4,123.1
320.3
29.5
118.5
4.1
39.2
29.2
119.5
28.1
132.6
71.7
128.8
41.7
102.6
662.5
169.2
369.8
424.0
1,205. 4
64.8
61.5
1,692.0
295.0
336.9
538.5
173.2
18.6
139.6
12
0 .8
74.1
9.6
3.8

74
72
4
1
6
47
2
4

524.2
521.8
12.1
4.0
27.0
434.3
3.2
13T

322
71

14

1.2
2 .1
2

4

21.0

1

1
.2

3
5
6
9
3

9.5
11.7
14.9
23.3
11.0

3
2

6.1
2.4

2

2.4

251
4
43
3
6
3
28
15
26
118
5

1,090.2
8.2
271.5
4.4
25.1
4.7
55.9
53.6
85.4
560.8

1
0

3
2
4

2
1

8
1

Workers
(thousands)
1,302.6
212.4

2 .1
0
1 .8
2

7.5

6 .1
6
1.0

2
0.6

3
2. — La y off and work-sharing provisions in m ajor
collective bargaining agreements by type of employer u n it ,
1954-55

T able

Provisions for layoff or work-sharing

Employer unit

Total

Layoff

Work­
Agree­ ers Agree­
ments (thou­ ments
sands)

Reference
also made
to supple­
mental or
local agree­
ments on
Work-sharing seniority or
other aspects
of layoff and
work-sharing

Work­
ers Agree­
(thou­ ments
sands)

All types____ 1,421 6,339.3 1,347 5,815.1
Single plant...
806 1,960.7 803 1,954.0
M u ltip la n t
company___ 334 2,687.3 330 2,681.1
M ultiem­
ployer_____
281 1,691.3 214 1,180.1

Work­
Work­
ers Agree­ ers
(thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)

74 524.2
3 6.7
4 6.3
67 511.3

100 1,512.7
21 40.7
71 1,388.3
8 83.8

N ote —Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
studied m a y be characterized as large agreem ents
in the sense th a t th e y covered large establishm ents
or large aggregations o f w orkers under m u lti­
em ployer agreem ents. U n lik e certain oth er types
o f agreem ent provisions (e. g., union secu rity and
su pplem en tary ben efits), w orker coverage alone
m a y be a significant fa cto r in shaping la yo ff,
recall, and w ork-sharing procedures. F o r ex­
am ple, agreem ents fo r establishm ents w ith m an y
diversified operations— a characteristic o f the
larger establishm ents— can be expected to p rovid e
fo r la y o ff problem s created b y the m u ltip lic ity o f
jobs, departm ents, and products. M o re o v e r,
agreem ents co verin g large groups o f w orkers in
general tend to be m ore detailed and specific than
those fo r sm aller groups; certain m atters which, in
a sm all agreem ent, m igh t be le ft to ad hoc n ego­
tiation s or unilateral determ in ation becom e fixed
in the larger agreements.
T h e fa c t th a t this stu dy covers fo rm al w ritten
p o lic y rath er than actual practice creates another
lim ita tion . In fo rm a l arrangem ents m o d ify in g the
agreem ent, changes in plan t practice based on
grievan ce and arbitration decisions, and decisions
required b y the exigencies o f the m om ent are
neither discoverable nor measurable in an analysis
o f form al provisions. In actual operation, in ­
form al procedures and techniques m a y supplant
a p paren tly cum bersom e features o f the form al
provisions. F o r exam ple, m an agem ent m igh t
insist upon a clause p ro vid in g fo r consideration o f
o th er factors in addition to sen iority in the
determ in ation o f the order o f la yo ff, b u t w hen the




tim e comes to la y o ff workers, m an agem ent m igh t
proceed on the basis o f straigh t seniority, particu ­
la rly if the la y o ff is expected to be o f short dura­
tion. N o rm a lly , a union w ou ld n ot o b ject to this
m odification.
P reva len ce— L a y o ff and W ork -S h a rin g
A p p ro x im a te ly three-fourths o f the 1,743 agree­
m ents analyzed, co verin g about the same p ro ­
portion o f w orkers, contained provision s describ­
in g in w hole or in p a rt the procedure to be used fo r
la yoffs (ta b le 1). L a y o ff procedures w ere fa r
m ore p reva len t in m anu facturing than in non­
m anu facturing agreem ents. N e a r ly 9 ou t o f 10
m anu facturing in du stry agreem ents contained
la y o ff provisions, whereas o n ly 55 percen t o f the
nonm anufacturing agreem ents contained such
provisions.
O n ly 4 percen t o f the agreem ents, co verin g
about one-half m illion workers, p ro vid ed fo r some
fo rm o f w ork-sharing in lieu o f a la y o ff procedure.
U n d er such systems, the ava ila b le w ork is shared
b y redu cing each w o rk er’s d a ily or w eek ly hours or
b y ro ta tin g the w orkers on an altern atin g w o rk period basis. A lm o st all such arrangem ents w ere
found in m anu facturing agreem ents. A lth o u gh
w ork-sharing provisions w ere scattered through
10 in du stry groups, the greatest concentration was
found in the apparel industries, w here m ore than
90 percen t o f the m a jo r agreem ents contained
such clauses. T h is group constitu ted m ore than
80 percent o f all those covered b y w ork-sharing
provisions.
A lm o st a fifth o f the agreem ents m ade no pro­
vision fo r a la y o ff or a w ork-sharing procedure.
O f these agreem ents, alm ost 80 percent w ere in
nonm anufacturing groups, n o ta b ly constructiontran sportation (oth er than railroads and airlin es),
reta il trade, hotels and restaurants, and services.
M o r e than a third o f the agreem ents w hich con­
tained no provisions fo r la y o ff or w ork-sharing
procedures w ere fou nd in the construction in ­
dustry. L a y o ff provisions occasionally occurred
in agreem ents o f construction firm s w hich nor­
m a lly offer co m p a ra tive ly stea d y em p loym en t to a
regular crew o f men, such as com panies engaged in
the operation o f earth -m ovin g equipm ent. A
num ber o f construction agreem ents, h ow ever, con­
tained general lim ita tion s on o vertim e and sh ift
operations, as w ill be poin ted out subsequently.

4
provisions. O n ly abou t h a lf o f the m u ltiem p loy er
agreem ents contain ed such provision s.3 A lm o s t
all w ork-sh arin g provision s w ere fou nd in agree­
m ents n ego tia ted on a m u ltiem p loy er basis (ta b le
2). A s p o in ted ou t earlier, such provision s w ere
p rim a rily concentrated in the apparel industry,
w hich bargains p rin cip a lly throu gh em p loyer
associations.
O ne hundred agreem ents contained a reference
to supplem ental or local agreem ents on sen io rity
o r o th er aspects o f la y o ff or w ork-sharing. Th ese
provision s w ere found m a in ly in agreem ents

F o r ty -fiv e percen t o f the agreem ents in the
tran sportation field contained no la y o ff procedure
o r w ork-sharing provisions. K e y agreem ents in
this group, h ow ever, covered large num bers o f
em ployees o f m unicipal tran sportation systems
w hich had their ow n procedures fo r regu latin g
reductions in force, indepen den t o f the co llective
bargain in g agreem ent. A n o th e r large group o f
em ployees in the tran sportation in du stry not
covered b y fo rm a l procedures fo r la y o ff or w ork ­
sharing consisted o f longshorem en, w ho are char­
a cteristically h ired on a casual basis.
U n lik e non m an u factu ring industries, there was
no concentration o f agreem ents in m an u facturing
w ith o u t provision fo r la y o ff or w ork-sharing. T h e
in du stry w ith the largest p rop o rtio n o f agreem ents
w hich did n ot p ro vid e fo r la y o ff procedures or
w ork-sharing provision s was printin g, w here 14
o f the 32 m a jo r agreem ents had no fo rm a l p ro­
cedures outlined. Som e m ade reference, w ith o u t
details, to a system o f ro ta tio n , h ow ever.

p ro vid ed fo rm a lly fo r supplem ental arrangem ents

Types of Employer Bargaining Units. A lm o s t all
o f the agreem ents studied w hich w ere n egotiated
b y single em ployers, w h eth er fo r one p la n t or a
num ber o f plants, contained la y o ff or w ork-sharing

3 For total number of agreements negotiated by type of employer unit, see
Characteristics of Major Union Contracts, op. cit., table 3.
4 Supplementary local agreements were not included in this study. An
examination of local agreements for a few companies indicated that provisions
dealing with seniority units or other aspects of layoff varied within the same
company.

T able 3.

n ego tiated b y m u ltip la n t companies.

T h e m aster

agreem ent in such situations, w here it covered
sen iority a t all, gen era lly w as lim ited to a skeletal
statem en t o f p o lic y and reserved the determ in a­
tion o f the sen iority u n it and oth er specific la y o ff
procedures to local p la n t agreem ents.4 O n the
oth er hand, o n ly a fe w m u ltiem p loy er agreem ents

— Provisions regulating subcontracting , overtime , shift operations , and em ploym ent practices in m ajor collective bar gaining agreements, 1954-55
Regulating provisions in—
Type of regulating provision

All agreements
studied

Agreements with no
layoff or work-shar­
ing provisions

Agreements with
layoff provisions

Agreements with work­
sharing provisions

Agree­
ments

General provisions not specifically related to impending
layoffs 1

Subcontracting, total---------------------------------------Union notification or discussion prior to subcontracting..
Work subcontracted must go to union contractor or one
who observes union agreement----- --------------------------Union permission required to subcontract work________
Subcontracting permitted only if company does not have
necessary facilities or skilled manpower--------------------Subcontracting prohibited-----------------------------------------Other subcontracting limitations 2____________________
Overtime, total3----- ---------------------------------- -----Union permission required for overtime work__________
Daily or weekly overtime hours limited_____ _________
Overtime prohibited________________________________
Saturday work prohibited___________________________
Sunday work prohibited------------ ----------------------------Saturday and Sunday work prohibited-----------------------Other overtime limitations i --------------------------------------Shift operations, total_____ ____________________
Union permission required for operation of more than 1
shift_____________________________________________
More than 1 shift prohibited----- -------------------------------Other shift limitations *......._..................... ........................ .
See footnotes at end of table.




Workers
(thousands)

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

164
16
80
10
17
20
21
129
35
39
19
6
10
11
18
44

898.7
79.3
550.4
25.8
68.0
49.7
125.6
712.8
136.0
194.2
144.2
171.3
25.5
33.1
48.4
252.3

56

312.9

298.3

251.7
4.7
5.0
24.6
26.9
208.5
61.6
15.3
68.6
7.0
15.7
23.0
28.0
69.4

287.4
79.3
55.3
4.2
47.0
15.1
86.7
85.4
7.7
39.2
15.6
1.3
6.1
1.1
14.4
18.9

35

31
3
3
11
8
57
18
6
12
2
4
9
10
20

73
16
26
2
11
7
11
34
4
14
4
1
4
1
6
6

23
5
3
2
2
38
13
19
3
3
2
1
2
18

243.4
16.9
16.0
10.0
12.0
418.9
66 8
139.8
60.0
163.0
3.7
9.0
5.9
164.1

15
18
11

62.9
156.0
33.4

11
1
8

46.7
1.7
20.9

4
1
1

16.1
1.7
1.0

16
2

152.6
11.5

5
T a b l e 3.

— Provisions regulating subcontracting, overtime, shift operations, and em ploym ent practices in m ajor collective bar­
gaining agreements, 1954-55 — Continued
Regulating provisions in—
Type of regulating provision

Agreements with no
layoff or work-shar­
ing provisions

All agreements
studied
Agreements

Agreements

Workers
(thousands)

Workers
(thousands)

Agreements with
layoff provisions
Agree­
ments

Agreements with worksharing provisions

Workers
(thousands)

Agreements

Workers
(thousands)

Specific provisions effective only in event of slack work
Subcontracting, total__________________________
Subcontracting limited during periods of slack work; per­
mitted only if no layoff or work-sharing results or if
present work force is fully supplied with work.______
Subcontracting prohibited or eliminated______________
Overtime, total________________
Daily or weekly overtime hours limited.
Overtime prohibited_________________
Other overtime limitations......................
Shift operations, total.
Operation of more than 1 shift limited - ______________
More than 1 shift prohibited___ _____ ________________
Employment practices, total7_________________
Probationary and temporary employees laid off___ ____
Employees with less than specified service (other than
probationary) laid off_____________________________
New hires prohibited_______________________________
Other employment practice limitations 8....... .....................

10
0

571.4

6
8

286.1

92

543.8
27.7
187.5
142.7
36.7

61
7
30

263.5
22.7
187.5
142.7
36.7

8

30
1
1

15
4
9
5
4
422
342
113
6
29

1
1

8
.1

23.7
16.2
7.5
1,991.2
1, 706.5
594.3
7.7
97.7

15
4
9
5
4
422
342
113
6
29

285.3
31

5 .3
0

5.0

1
(fl)

8
.1

23.7
16.2
7.5
1,991.2
1,706.5
594.3
7.7
97.7

(«)

(6
)

1 General limitations appeared both in agreements with layoff or work­
sharing provisions, and in those without such provisions.
2 Includes agreements which prohibited or limited subcontracting only of
specific types of work or of work ordinarily done by the employees, or banned
subcontracting for the purpose of union discrimination. Also includes agree­
ments which prohibited subcontracting except in emergencies or failure to
meet production schedules for causes such as slowdowns or work stoppages.
3 Includes agreements which waived overtime limitations during emer­
gencies or during certain seasons. Some agreements that permitted overtime
only in certain departments or occupations were also included in this group.
Totals are unduplicated because some agreements contained limitations
applying both to daily or weekly overtime work and to work on Saturday
or Sunday.
4 Includes agreements which prohibited overtime “insofar as practical,”
or when more than 1 shift was working; 1 agreement which applied the
prohibition to women only; and 4 maritime agreements which limited over­
time to that necessary for the navigation and safety of the vessel.
6 Includes agreements which prohibited shift work in specific departments
only or where there was no nightwork under previous agreements, or on jobs

of less than 5 days’ duration. In some instances, the prohibition was waived
in event of emergencies.
6 The reduction of hours required by work-sharing in event of slack work
usually involves cutting any overtime currently scheduled and, perhaps,
curtailing shift operations. Seven agreements with work-sharing arrange­
ments contained specific provisions limiting or banning overtime or shift
operations in slack periods, and 1 of these agreements prohibited the em­
ployer from hiring new workers during such periods.
7 Unduplicated totals; some agreements provided for more than one type
of employment action.
8 Includes agreements which provided for layoff of “peak force” employees,
learners, married women with working husbands, nonunion employees, or
of a specified number or percent of employees. In some of these provisions,
temporary or probationary employees with special skills were exempted
from layoff.
N o t e .— Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

on la y o ff o r w ork-sharing procedures. Such
agreem ents gen era lly contained clauses w hich
specified th a t the determ in ation o f the sen iority
u n it and la y o ff procedures w ou ld be subject to
supplem ental negotiations betw een in d ivid u a l
em ployers and the union. I t is lik e ly th a t in­
fo rm a l arrangem ents are com m on in this area.
Som e single-plant agreem ents also referred to
supplem ental agreem ents on sen iority or p rovid ed
th a t such agreem ents be n ego tiated as the occasion
arose.

m a y be elim inated, hours o f w ork reduced b elo w
norm al schedules, tem p orary em ployees released,
and h irin g brou gh t to a standstill. Th ese are
steps th a t em ployers m ig h t choose u n ila terally to
take or m igh t agree to take in the co llective b ar­
ga in in g agreem ent.

Forestallin g and M in im izin g L a yo ffs
F e w business concerns are lik e ly to m o v e head­
lo n g in to a la y o ff situation a ffectin g regu lar em ­
ployees. R a th er, operations w ill be tapered o ff
in advan ce o f actual la yo ffs; fo r exam ple, o vertim e

421587—57-----2




W h en a la y o ff appears im m inent, certain posi­
tiv e actions are p ro vid ed fo r in some agreem ents
to d ela y the la y o ff, to m in im ize its extent, or
possibly to a v e rt it altogether. Such measures,
w hich h ave the broad purpose o f spreading a v a il­
able w o rk am ong regu lar em ployees, included
lim ita tion s on: (1 ) em p loym en t practices, (2 ) the
am ount o f o vertim e th a t m a y be w orked, (3 ) the
num ber o f shifts th a t m a y be scheduled, (4 ) the
nature and am ount o f w o rk th a t m a y be subcon­
tracted, and (5 ) scheduled w eek ly hours o f w ork.
W h en lin ked b y the agreem ent to a la y o ff situation,

6
such measures are designed to serve a tem p orary
purpose.
O n the oth er hand, som e agreem ents contained
rules regu la tin g subcontracting, the am ou nt of
o vertim e, w eekend w ork, and the like, w hich w ere
n ot related b y the agreem ent to slack w ork or
im p en d in g layoffs. T h ese provision s w ere in
effect throu ghou t the term o f the agreem ent, dur­
in g peak em p loym en t periods as w ell as slack,
unless, o f course, m odified b y in form al agreem ent
betw een the parties. T h e o b jectives o r purposes
o f these rules m a y n ot h ave been lim ited to m axi­
m izin g w ork opportu nities fo r regu lar em ployees,
b u t their sim ila rity to provision s effective o n ly in
the even t o f im p en d in g la yo ffs w ou ld appear to

ju s tify th eir consideration in this stu dy as m ethods
designed to foresta ll and m in im ize layoffs.
A greem e n t lim ita tion s on o vertim e, sh ift opera­
tions, subcontracting, and em p loym en t practices
are discussed in this analysis as specific provision s
(e ffe c tiv e o n ly in the even t o f slack w o rk ) and
general or standing provision s (n o t specifically
related to im pen d in g la y o ffs ). B o th typ es m a y
appear in the same agreem ent; fo r exam ple, an
agreem ent m ig h t lim it the am ount o f o vertim e or
su bcontracting during n orm al or peak operations
b u t p roh ib it all o vertim e o r su bcon tracting w hen
la yo ffs are scheduled. A lso discussed are p ro ­
visions fo r redu ction in hours w hich m a y fu rth er
d ela y or m in im ize layoffs.

T a b l e 4 . — Provisions regulating subcontracting , overtime , shift operations , and employment practices in m ajor collective
bargaining agreements, by industry , 1954-55

Agreements with—
General provisions not specifically related to
impending layoffs
Industry

Subcontracting

Overtime

Specific provisions effective only in event of slack work

Shift operations Subcontracting

Overtime

Shift operations Employment
practices

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All industries
164
Manufacturing__________________
79
Food and kindred products
1
Tobacco manufactures___
6
Textile-mill products.. ____
Apparel and other finished tex­
tile products___________
32
Lumber and wood products
(except furniture!
5
Furniture and fixtures
2
Paper and allied products. _ _
Printing, publishing, and allied
industries__________________
1
Chemicals and allied products...
Products of petroleum and coal.. 3
Rubber products
1
Leather and leather products___
2
Stone, clay, and glass products. _ 1
Primarv metal industries
1
Fabricated metal products
3
7
Machinery (except electrical)___
Electrical machinery____
3
8
Transportation equipment____
Instruments and related products. 1
Miscellaneous manufacturing in­
dustries______________
3
Nonmanufacturing_______________
85
Mining, crude petroleum, and
natural gas production.
2
Transportation i_
1
Communication.
7
Utilities: electric and gas____
16
Wholesale trade
1
Retail trade___________________ 5
Hotels and restaurants
2
Services ........ _
8
Construction
. ._
42
Miscellaneous nonmanufactur­
1
ing_________________________

898.7
430.8
2.3
25.0
273.6
8.1
4.0
1.8
12.7
22.0
6.0
1.6
2.1
6.9
13.4
7.8
34.1
1.0
8.4
467.8
2.0
5.0
107.2
33.7
2.0
9.9
2.8
23.6
280.1
1.5

129
70
5
6
29
3
2
4
1
3
1
5
3
1
3
2

712.8
482.6
9.3
27.3
369.1
6.3
7.0
6.1
2.3
4. 7
1.2
27.0
4.4
2.5
5.9
4.8

2
59

4.9
230.2

6
2
9
5
5
32

44
23
1
I
17

1
3

1.6
10.0

21

75.6

13.4
13.6

2

11.0

27.6
27.8
15.5
132.2

1
1
4
13

1.7
4.0
17.0
41.8

1 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily equal totals.




100
67
2
7
25

571.4
370.9
4.2
21.6
258.8

2

252.3
176.8
1.0
7.0
157.1

2.0

4
7
1
2
2
1
1
2
3
1
2
5
33
1
1
11
20

13.2
22.5
1.0
5.7
3.4
6.5
2.2
3.2
5.4
5.0
3.9
12.3
200.5
1.0
1.1
133.8
64.6

30
26
1
1

187.5
66.5
6.0
1.3

2

3.6

1

1.8

3
3
8
6

4.5
9.6
16.4
20.8

1
4

2. 5
121.1

2
1

111.1
7.2

1

2.8

9
9

23.7
23.7

3

3.4

1
2
2
1

2.2
3.1
5.2
9.8

422
352
25
1
13
1
1
8
11

1,991.2
1,507.1
64.5
1.3
28.9
1.0
1.8
15.1
20.5

19
2
12
6
2
31
24
63
32
77
13
11

40.4
4.7
24.6
20.8
2.5
80.9
65.7
202.0
59.8
813.4
36.3
22.8
484.1

70
1
53
8
2
5
1

1.6
449.4
19.8
3.6
8.3
2.0

7

Specific Provisions.

O f the measures specifically
designed to a vo id or m in im ize la y o ff o f regu lar
em ployees, b y fa r the m ost com m on in the agree­
m ents studied w ere those regu la tin g em p loym en t
procedures. M o r e than 400 agreem ents co verin g
alm ost 2 m illion em ployees p rovid ed fo r changes in
e m p loym en t practices w hen la y o ff was im pending
(ta b le 3).
S ign ificant concentrations o f such
clauses w ere n oted in the m ach in ery and transpor­
ta tio n equ ipm ent industries (tw o-fifth s and oneh a lf o f the agreem ents in the respective industries)
and in the com m unication in du stry (three-fourths
o f the agreem ents). (See table 4.)
F ou r-fifth s o f the agreem ents regu latin g em p loy­
m en t practices specified th a t a ll tem p orary and
p rob a tio n a ry em ployees m ust be rem o ved from
the p a y ro ll before regu lar em ployees m a y be la id
off. T h e re was no u n ifo rm ity in the agreem ent
definitions o f tem p orary and p rob a tio n a ry em ­
ployees. Som e p rob a tio n a ry periods ran fo r as
lo n g as 6 m onths or more.
C lo sely lin ked to the practice o f la y in g o ff p ro ­
b a tion a ry em ployees b efore sen iority em ployees
was the practice o f re m o vin g em ployees w ith less
than a certain m inim um p eriod o f service before
the “ regu lar” com plem en t w ou ld be affected.
O n e-fourth o f the agreem ents con tain in g clauses
restrictin g em ploym en t practices a t tim e o f la y o ff
specified such a measure. T h e definition o f w h a t
constitu ted short service likew ise va rie d am ong
agreem ents— fro m a fe w m onths o f service to
several years. Such clauses w ere o ften fou nd as
the second step in the la y o ff process, fo llo w in g the
la y o ff o f p rob a tio n a ry or tem p ora ry em ployees.
F o r exam ple:
L ayoffs shall take place w ithin
classification in the follow ing order:

each

occupational

1. T em po ra ry em ployees shall be laid off first; and then
2. E m p loyees having less than 6 m o n th s’ service shall
be laid off in such order as to cause the m in im u m disturb­
ance to the business and when practicable in inverse order
of e m p lo y m e n t; and then
3. E m p loyees having m ore th an 6 m o n th s' service shall
be laid off in inverse order of seniority.

Clauses w hich p ro vid ed th a t no n ew em ployees
w ou ld be hired during slack periods w ere com para­
t iv e ly few . O ther in frequ en t provisions included

8 In some cases, the restriction or limitation on subcontracting may not
have been intended primarily as a method of spreading the work among
regular employees but as a method of controlling the flow of work to non­
union plants.




those fo r la y in g o ff peak force em ployees, m arried
w om en w ith w ork in g husbands, o r a specified
p rop ortion o f the w o rk fo rce before la y o ff in
accordance w ith sen iority was to begin.
T h e n ext m ost com m on provision fo r a vo id in g or
m in im izin g la yo ffs in v o lv e d the lim ita tio n or
proh ibition o f su bcontracting w o rk during slack
periods, fou nd in 100 agreem ents. T h e ty p ic a l
clause a llow ed the em p loyer to subcontract w o rk
o n ly i f (1 ) no la y o ff or w ork-sharing w ou ld resu lt
or (2 ) the present w ork force was fu lly supplied
w ith w ork. F o r exam ple:
T h e com pany agrees th a t it will not contract any work
which is ordinarily or custom arily done b y its regular
em ployees, if, as a result thereof, it would becom e neces­
sary to lay off or reduce the rate of p a y of any such
em ployees.

T h e largest cluster o f clauses lim itin g subcon­
tra ctin g in the eve n t o f slack w ork was fou nd in
apparel industries, w here subcontracting is a
standard practice. A p p ro x im a te ly h alf o f the
apparel agreem ents had such restrictions to a vo id
reducing the am ount o f w ork available to regu ­
lar or “ inside” em ployees. In nonm anufacturing,
the com m unication and u tilities industries ac­
counted fo r alm ost all o f the clauses restrictin g
subcontracting p rior to consideration o f layoffs.
Specific lim itation s and prohibitions on o v e r­
tim e w o rk during slack periods w ere found in 30
agreements. F ifte e n agreem ents proh ibited o v e r­
tim e en tirely during slack periods.

General Provisions. Som e agreem ents contained
standing lim ita tion s on the am ount and exten t
o f subcontracting, the am ount o f o vertim e, and
extra sh ift operations, or restricted the choice o f
procedures on the p a rt o f the em ployer. Th ese
w ere n egotiated p red om in an tly in the apparel and
construction industries (ta b le 4).
T h e m ost p reva len t ty p e o f general lim ita tion
was on the am ount and exten t o f subcontracting,
found in 164 agreem ents. H a lf o f these agree­
ments p rovid ed th a t a n y w o rk subcontracted had
to be giv en to either a subcontractor a pproved
b y the union or one w ho agreed to observe all
pertinen t term s o f the union agreem ent, particu ­
la rly the union w a ge scale.5 Som e proh ibited
subcontracting o f all types o f w o rk ; others pro­
hibited or lim ited subcontracting o f certain types
o f w ork, such as m aintenance and repair, or set

8
T a b l e 5 . — Provisions fo r reducing the workweek as a com­

ponent of layoff procedures in m ajor collective bargaining
agreements, by industry , 1954-55

Industry

Number with
Number with provisions for
reduction in
layoff
provisions workweek prior
to layoff
Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)

All Industries........................................... . 1,347
Manufacturing.............. ............................. 1,039
Food and kindred products................. 96
Tobacco manufactures_____________ 10
Textile-mill products___ __________ 55
Apparel and other finished textile
products___________ ______ ______
3
Lumber and wood products (except
furniture)............................................ 17
Furniture and fixtures. ........................ 16
Paper and allied products________ . 53
Printing, publishing, and allied in­
dustries___________________ _____ 14
Chemicals and allied products........... 61
Products of petroleum and coal.. _ 26
Rubber products__________________ 21
Leather and leather products_______ 14
Stone, clay, and glass products_____ 32
Primary metal industries.................... 117
Fabricated metal products.................. 63
Machinery (except electrical).. .......... 142
Electrical machinery______ ________ 102
Transportation equipment.................. 139
Instruments and related products___ 29
Miscellaneous manufacturing indus­
tries___________________________ 29
Nonmanufacturing___________________ 308
Mining, crude petroleum, and natu­
ral gas production_______________ 15
Transportation1__________________ 52
Communication__________________ 68
Utilities: electric and gas_____ _____ 64
Wholesale trade_____ _______ ... 11
Retail trade___ __________ ________ 48
Hotels and restaurants_____________ 16
Services____ ____ ____________ ____ 26
Construction________________ _____
6
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing___
2

5,815.1
4,123.1
320.3
29.5
118.5
4.1
39.2
29.2
119.5
28.1
132.6
71. 7
128.8
41.7
102.6
662.5
169.2
369.8
424.0
1, 205.4
64.8
61.5
1,692.0
295.0
336.9
538.5
173.2
18.6
139.6
102.8
74.1
9.6
3.8

356
281
8
1
16
2
1
8
11

2,211.8
1,591.3
28.8
1.3
41.2
3.1
1.8
15.3
20.7

13
13
7
8
53
20
48
37
23
7
5
75
5
5
47
5
7
1
5

44.0
36.9
27.0
33.8
480.2
57.6
133.8
98.5
534.2
20.2
12.9
620.6
84.0
10.3
456.8
38.4
19.7
1.6
9.9

1Excludes railroads and airlines.
N ote —Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
up specific conditions under w hich w ork could
be subcontracted. F o r exam ple, certain construc­
tion agreem ents proh ibited su bcontracting unless
the subcontractor supplied the m aterials as w ell
as the labor. Som e agreem ents proh ibited sub­
con tractin g except in em ergency situations. A
num ber o f agreem ents requ ired the com pan y to
n o tify the union p rior to subcontracting, either
m a k in g specific union perm ission a prerequisite
to such action or p erm ittin g the union to enter
a grieva n ce p rotestin g the action i f it so desired.
A clue to the considerations w hich m ig h t guide
the union in determ in ing w heth er an em p loy er’s
requ est to subcontract was reasonable w as sup­
plied b y a fe w agreem ents w hich p rovid ed th at
su bcon tracting w ou ld be p erm itted o n ly if the
co m p a n y did n ot h ave the necessary facilities or
the skilled m an pow er required.




T h e am ount o f o vertim e th a t could be w orked
was regu lated b y 129 agreem ents co verin g alm ost
three-quarters o f a m illion em ployees. T h ir t y nine agreem ents lim ited d a ily or w e e k ly o vertim e
hours, as in this exam ple fo r the garm en t in d u stry:
O vertim e is lim ited to 5 hours per week during 3 m onths
of each of the 2 [peak] seasons of the year, and the workers
shall be paid for overtim e a t the rate o f tim e and one-half.

T h ir ty -fiv e agreem ents m ade union perm ission a
prerequ isite fo r o vertim e w ork. N in eteen agree­
m ents coverin g about 150,000 em ployees fla tly
proh ibited all o vertim e w ork.
T w en ty -sev en agreem ents, a p p lyin g to about
230,000 em ployees, contained specific proh ibition s
against w o rk on S atu rd ay or S unday or on both
S atu rd ay and Sunday.
A grou p o f 44 agreem ents, a p p lyin g to a pproxi­
m a te ly 250,000 em ployees, lim ited sh ift operations.
T h e bulk o f these agreem ents eith er requ ired union
perm ission fo r o p era tin g m ore than 1 sh ift or
p roh ib ited w ork on m ore than 1 shift. A few
agreem ents proh ibited sh ift w ork in specific
departm ents o n ly or w here there had been no
n igh tw o rk under previous agreem ents. In some
instances, sh ift lim ita tion s w ere w a ived in the
even t o f em ergencies.

Reduction in Hours .

A ft e r o ve rtim e is elim inated
and oth er devices h a ve been used, la yo ffs can be
fu rth er dela yed or m in im ized b y redu cing sched­
uled w eek ly hours b elo w 40 or w h a teve r the n orm al
schedule happens to be. In some agreem ents, the
redu ction in hours is the first step possible in a
la y o ff sequence p ro vid ed b y the agreem ent.
A p rovision in a co llective b a rgain in g agreem ent
requ irin g the em ployer, as p a rt o f the la y o ff
sequence, to reduce hours represents, in its effect,
a lim ited fo rm o f w ork-sharing.6 T h e agreem ent
m a y fix a lo w er flo or to hours b eyon d w hich p o in t
la yo ffs are to be m ade, or m a y p ro vid e th at a
decision be m ade as to w heth er hours should be
reduced or w orkers la id o ff.7

• In this study, the Bureau attempted to distinguish between agreements
under the terms of which the hours of work may be reduced prior to and
during the course of a layoff and those providing for work-sharing in lieu
of layoff. In actual operation, this may be a difficult line to draw. A general
reduction of hours prior to an expected layoff which fails to materialize is in
effect purely a work-sharing arrangement. Contrariwise, even when a con­
tract provides for equal division of work, work-sharing might have to give
way to layoff if work-sharing is no longer feasible. Work-sharing methods
are discussed on pages 34-35.
7 Whether the union or management makes this decision, as established in
the agreements, is discussed on pages 13 and 14.

9

T a b l e 6.— Level

and duration o f reduced workweek p rio r to consideration of layoffs, m ajor collective bargaining agreements,

1954-55

Number with
Duration of reduced workweek before layoff is considered
reduction in
workweek prior
More than 4
More than 2
Other i
4 weeks
weeks
to layoff
2 weeks or less weeks but less
than 4 weeks

Level of reduced workweek

No duration
stated

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­ ments (thous- ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
Total......................................................
Number with provisions for level of
reduced workweek________ ______
Weekly hours reduced:
To 35.........................................
To 32.....................................
To 24-30._______________
As necessary______________
In accordance with other
provisions establishing
minimum weekly hours 2__
No provision regarding level of re­
duced workweek________________

356

2,211.8

15

29.6

15

38.0

27

48.4

29

121.6

16

558.8

254

1,415.4

236
11
136
20
21

1,628.0
18.4
811.1
54.0
54.2

14
2
5
2
1

28.5
2.1
12.5
34
1.1

15

38.0

119.8

23.9
21
8.9

43.5
1.1
26.0
8.0
4.8

28

11
1
2

24
1
14
4
3

15
1
1

43.6
1.9
1.0

15
2
6
1

550.2
3.4
59.8
1.2

140
6
85
12
13

848.0
11.7
646.0
38.6
37.2

48
120

690.3
583.8

4
1

9.4
1.2

1

3.1

2
3

3.6
4.9

11
1

73.9
1.8

6
1

485.8
8.6

24
114

114.5
567.4

1Includes agreements which provided that reduced hours were to be limited
to “2 or 3 pay periods,” a “reasonable” period, or a maximum number of days
or weeks within a specified period; and 5 agreements covering 469,200 workers
under which the duration of the period during which a reduced workweek
was to be in effect depended upon the level to which hours were reduced.
For example, 1 of these 5 agreements provided that the workweek could be
reduced to 24 hours for not more than 2 weeks, or 32 hours for not more than
8 weeks.
2 In addition to the 5 agreements under which the level of reduced hours
varied with the duration of such reduction, this group also includes agreeAbout

a

fo u rth

la y o ff

p rocedu res

h ou rs

to

of

th e

a g re e m en ts

p r o v id e d

fo r e s ta ll la y o ff

fo r

( t a b le

a

c o n ta in in g

re d u c tio n

5 ).

in

A g re e m e n ts

ments which specified minimum levels other than those listed, such as 36
hours or a stated percentage of normal workweek; agreements which pro­
vided for reducing hours in successive steps until the specified minimum
was reached; agreements under which minimum hours were established by
department, occupation, or seniority groups; and agreements which provided
for negotiation of the level of reduced hours.
N o t e — Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
w h ic h t h e r e d u c e d w o r k w e e k w a s t o b e in e ff e c t .
For

e x a m p le ,

one

of

th e se

a g reem en ts

p r o v id e d

t h a t th e w o r k w e e k c o u ld b e r e d u c e d to 2 4 h o u r s

p r o v i d i n g f o r a r e d u c t i o n in h o u r s w e r e p a r t i c u l a r l y

fo r n o t m o re

p r e v a le n t

m o re th a n 8 w eek s.

in

p r im a r y

c o m m u n ic a tio n s .
in c o r p o r a t e d

Of

m e ta l
th e

p r o v isio n s

356

fo r

i n d u s t r ie s

and

in

a g r e e m e n ts w h ic h

r e d u c in g

h ou rs,

236

O n ly

102

on

be red uced

in s titu te d .

O n ly 9 6 a g re e m e n ts, h o w ­

2 w eeks or 32

a g r e e m e n t s s p e c ifie d

h o u rs fo r n o t

th e

num ber of

w e e k s d u r in g w h i c h t h e c o m p a n y w o u l d o p e r a t e

s p e c ifie d t h e l e v e l t o w h i c h t h e w o r k w e e k w o u l d
(ta b le 6 ) .

th a n

a r e d u c e d w o r k w e e k b e fo r e la y o ffs w o u ld

be

T h e la r g e st g ro u p o f a g re e m e n ts w ith

e v e r , s p e c ifie d b o t h t h e l e v e l o f h o u r s a n d t h e d u r a ­

a d e f in it e p a t t e r n p r o v i d e d f o r a p e r io d o f 4 w e e k s

tio n o f re d u c e d h o u r s b e fo r e la y o ffs w o u ld b e g in .

o r m o r e fo r th e d u r a tio n o f re d u c e d w o r k w e e k s.

A l o w e r l i m i t o f 3 2 h o u r s w a s s p e c ifie d in m o r e
th a n

h a lf o f th e

re d u c in g h o u rs.

a g re e m e n ts w ith
R e la tiv e ly fe w

v i d e d o t h e r f ix e d l e v e l s .
in g

p r o v is io n s fo r

The

f a il u r e

of

th e

m a jo r it y

of

a g reem en ts

to

p r o v i d e f o r a d e f in it e t i m e l i m i t d o e s n o t m e a n

a g re e m en ts p ro ­

t h a t c u r t a ile d w o r k w e e k s w o u l d g o o n i n d e f i n i t e l y .

F iv e a g re e m en ts, co v e r­

I n p r a c t i c e , s u c h a n o m i s s i o n p r o b a b l y r e f le c t s t h e

a lm o s t o n e -h a lf m illio n

e m p lo y e e s , p r o v id e d

d e s ir e

of

th e

p a r tie s

to

a llo w

fo r

fle x ib ility

in

t h a t t h e l e v e l t o w h ic h h o u r s w o u l d b e r e d u c e d

r e g u l a t i n g t h e w o r k f o r c e in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e

d e p e n d e d u p o n t h e d u r a t i o n o f t h e p e r io d d u r in g

n e e d s o f p r o d u c tio n .







U n io n

P a rtic ip a tio n in

L a y o ff P ro c e d u re s ;

U n io n P a r t i c i p a t io n i n L a y o f f P r o c e d u r e s

O f th e

n e g o tia tio n s o n la y o ff p r o c e ­
d u r e s d o n o t n e c e s s a r ily c e a s e w it h th e s ig n in g o f
th e c o lle c tiv e b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n t. M e th o d s a n d
d e t a ils o f o p e r a tio n o f t e n m u s t b e w o r k e d o u t a t
th e tim e la y o ffs b e c o m e im m in e n t in th e lig h t o f
t h e s p e c i f ic c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h e n e x i s t i n g . U n i o n
p a r tic ip a tio n m a y b e a n in fo r m a l p r o c e d u r e , n o t
c o v e r e d b y th e c o n tr a c t, o r i t m a y b e fo r m a lly p r o ­
v id e d fo r in t h e w r it te n a g r e e m e n t. I n e ith e r
e v e n t, jo in t a g r e e m e n t m a y b e s o u g h t in a d v a n c e
o f a n y p a r tic u la r a c tio n , o r m a n a g e m e n t m a y f u l­
f ill i t s o b l i g a t i o n s b y c o n s u l t i n g w i t h , o r s i m p l y
n o t if y in g , th e u n io n o n a n im p e n d in g a c tio n . I n
p r a c tic e , th e d is t in c t io n b e t w e e n o b ta in in g u n io n
c o n s e n t (jo in t a g r e e m e n t) a n d c o n s u ltin g w it h th e
u n io n m ig h t d e p e n d n o t so m u c h u p o n th e p r e c is e
m e a n in g o f th e s e te r m s in a g r e e m e n t la n g u a g e a s
u p o n th e im p o r ta n c e m a n a g e m e n t le n d s to
o b t a i n i n g u n i o n a p p r o v a l.

U

n io n

-m

a n a g e m e n t

U n i o n p a r t i c i p a t i o n is g e n e r a l l y l i m i t e d t o p r o b ­
l e m s i n v o l v i n g a c h o ic e o f p r o c e d u r e s , s in c e t h e
d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e n e e d f o r a r e d u c t i o n in f o r c e
o r a n e q u i v a l e n t r e d u c t i o n in w o r k i n g t i m e is i n ­
v a r ia b ly a m a n a g e m e n t r e s p o n s ib ility .

T h u s , th e

a b s e n c e o f a p r o v i s i o n in t h e a g r e e m e n t e s t a b li s h ­
in g a n

a re a o f u n io n p a r tic ip a tio n m ig h t s ig n ify

A d va n ce

1 ,7 4 3

p roced u res

N o tic e

o f L a yo ffs

m a jo r a g re e m e n ts stu d ie d , la y o ff

w ere

fo u n d

in

v o l v i n g 5 .8 m i l l i o n w o r k e r s .

1 ,3 4 7

ag reem en ts

in ­

O f th e se , 2 4 5 , c o v e r ­

in g m o r e th a n o n e -fo u r th o f th e w o r k e r s , p r o v id e d
fo r s o m e d eg re e o f u n io n p a r tic ip a tio n in h a n d lin g
l a y o f f p r o b l e m s d u r in g t h e t e r m o f t h e a g r e e m e n t .8
(S e e ta b le 7 .)

T h e a r e a o f p a r tic ip a tio n v a r ie d fr o m a ll la y o ff
p r o b le m s u n d e r s o m e a g r e e m e n ts to o n ly o n e o r
m o r e s p e c i f ic a s p e c t s u n d e r o t h e r s . S o m e c la u s e s
c o n s is te d o f a g e n e r a l s ta te m e n t to th e e ffe c t th a t
th e c o m p a n y w o u ld d is c u s s o r n e g o t ia t e w it h th e
u n io n b e fo r e a n y la y o ff a c tio n w a s ta k e n , o r p r o ­
v id e d fo r u n io n p a r tic ip a tio n in d e te r m in in g la y ­
o ff p r o c e d u r e s a fte r th e in itia l la y o ff o f te m p o r a r y
o r p a r t - t i m e e m p l o y e e s . F o r e x a m p le :
In the event of a severe reduction of working force, re­
quiring a layoff of individuals with seniority, the company
and the union will jointly discuss and agree upon the
problem at the time of such layoff, with reference to the
length of the workweek and the schedule of hours.
*

*

*

*

*

In the event there is a lack of work in any department,
excluding operators, which necessitates either the re­
duction of work or the furloughing of employees, or both,
before either method is determined upon, the company
agrees to confer with the [union] for the purpose of deter­
mining which method will be used.

t h a t ( 1 ) t h e l a y o f f s e q u e n c e is e x p l i c i t l y d e f in e d in
th e

ag re e m en t,

or

(2 )

m anagem ent

r e ta in s

th e

r i g h t u n i l a t e r a l l y t o m a k e t h e v a r i o u s d e c is io n s n o t
c o v e r e d b y th e a g r e e m e n t, o r (3 ) th e p a r tie s are
c o n te n t

to

r e ly

upon

cu sto m a ry

m e th o d s

of

w o r k in g o u t th e se p r o b le m s o n a n in fo r m a l b a sis.




8 The prevalence of union participation clauses may be slightly higher than
indicated. Reference to local negotiation of seniority and layoff was found in
68 multiplant contracts having no provision for union participation; over
900,000 workers were involved. It is possible that some supplemental agree­
ments at the plant level granted the union a voice in determining layoff
policies or represented, in their inception, the exercise of unions’ right to
participate.

12
7 .— Provisions fo r u n ion participation in layoff
procedures in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , by
industry , 1954-55

T able

Industry

Number with layoff
provisions

Number with pro­
vision for some
degree of union
participation1

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thousands) ments (thousands)
All industries................................... 1,347
Manufacturing..... ........................... 1,039
Food and kindred products..
96
Tobacco manufactures............
10
Textile-mill products..............
65
Apparel and other finished
textile products__________
3
Lumber and wood products
(except furniture)________
17
Furniture and fixtures............
16
Paper and allied products___
53
Printing, publishing, and
allied industries ________
14
Chemicals and allied prod­
ucts........................ ...............
61
Products of petroleum and
coal..........................................
26
Rubber products. ....................
21
Leather and leather products.
14
Stone, clay, and glass prod­
ucts.........................................
32
Primary metal industries........ 117
Fabricated metal products...
63
Machinery (except electrical)
142
Electrical machinery.............. 102
Transportation equipment... 139
Instruments and related prod­
ucts______ ____ ________
29
Miscellaneous manufacturing
industries...............................
29
Nonmanufacturing.......................
308
M in in g, crude-petroleum
and natural-gas production.
15
Transportation 3.......................
52
Communications..... ................
68
64
Utilities: electric and gas........
Wholesale trade
11
48
Retail trade..............................
Hotels and restaurants
16
Services....................................
26
Constmetion
6
Miscellaneous nonmanufac
turing.....................................
2

5,815.1
4,123.1
320.3
29.5
118.5
4.1
39.2
29.2
119.5
28.1
132.6
71.7
128.8
41.7
102.6
662.5
169.2
369.8
424.0
1,205.4
64.8
61.5
1,692.0
295.0
336.9
538.5
173.2
18.6
139.6
102.8
74.1
9.6
3.8

245
176
8
1
5

1, 533.5
1,014.7
22.7
1.3
5.8

4
5

5.3
27.5

6
2
6
4
5
40
12
32
22
17
5
2
69
2
6
46
11
2
1

13.9
20.3
11.7
9.3
19.9
447.8
42.0
100.6
68.8
201.9
10.5
5.5
518.8
10.0
10.7
429.3
54.9
11.5
1.2

1

1.3

S o m e a g r e e m e n ts p r o v id e d fo r u n io n p a r tic i­
p a tio n in d is c u s s io n s r e la tin g to c e r ta in t y p e s o f
la y o ffs ; fo r e x a m p le , r e d u c tio n o f t h e w o r k w e e k
in lie u o f im m e d ia te la y o ff; la y o ff o f e m p lo y e e s
w it h o u t r e g a r d to s e n io r ity ; c o m p o s itio n o f th e
u n its to b e c o n sid e r e d fo r la y o ff; tr a n sfe r o f e m ­
p lo y e e s to o th e r g r o u p s to a v o id la y o ffs ; a n d
r e v ie w o f t h e lis t o f e m p lo y e e s s e le c te d fo r la y o ff.
O f t h e 2 4 5 a g r e e m e n t s w i t h p r o v i s i o n s f o r u n io n
1 o r m o r e a s p e c ts o f la y o ff, 1 3 6 ,

c o v e r in g a b o u t a m illio n w o rk e rs, re q u ire d jo in t
a g r e e m e n t ; i. e ., t h e u n io n w a s g r a n t e d a n e q u a l




in

m a k in g

d e c is io n s .

In

som e

in sta n c e s,

t h i s w a s l i m i t e d t o a s p e c ific a s p e c t o f t h e l a y o f f
p r o b l e m ; in o t h e r s , i t a p p l ie d t o a n u m b e r o f d e ­
c is io n s o r a ll p h a s e s o f t h e l a y o f f s e q u e n c e in t h e
p a r tic u la r
q u ir e d

e s ta b lis h m e n t .

th e

e m p lo y e r

to

P r o v is io n s
c o n s u lt w ith

w h ic h
th e

re­

u n io n ,

e it h e r o n s p e c ific o r a ll a s p e c t s o f t h e l a y o f f p r o b ­
le m ,

w ere

fo u n d

th e

in

th ird

of

f in a l

d e te r m in a tio n

106

w ork ers.

ag reem en ts,

U nder

w as

le ft

th e se
to

c o v e r in g
c la u s e s ,

th e

a

th e

e m p lo y e r .

C l a u s e s c o m b i n i n g c o n s u l t a t i o n o n c e r t a in a s p e c t s
o f l a y o f f w i t h n e g o t i a t i o n o n o t h e r s w e r e f o u n d in

1 Includes agreements which required employer consultation with the union,
as well as agreements which required agreement between the employer and
union, on 1 or more aspects of layoff policy before action was taken.
3 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .— Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

p a r t i c i p a t i o n in

v o ic e

th e

th re e

r e m a in in g

a g re e m en ts

w h ic h

p r o v id e d

f o r u n io n p a r t i c i p a t i o n .

N in e a g r e e m e n ts w h ic h r e q u ir e d e ith e r c o n ­
s u lta tio n o r n e g o tia tio n o f so m e a s p e c ts o f la y o ff
r e s e r v e d t o t h e u n i o n t h e f i n a l d e c is io n i n v o l v i n g
a c h o ic e b e tw e e n r e d u c tio n o f th e w o r k w e e k a n d
la y o ffs .
V i r t u a l l y a ll m a j o r a g r e e m e n t s p r o v i d e f o r a g r i e v ­
a n c e p ro c e d u r e w h ic h s a fe g u a r d s th e u n io n ’s r ig h t
t o c h a lle n g e a n y m a n a g e m e n t a c t i o n t h a t a p p e a r s
to v io la te th e a g r e e m e n t.

B u t u n io n p a r t i c i p a t i o n

in t h e g r ie v a n c e p r o c e d u r e d iffe r s s i g n i f i c a n t ly f r o m
p a r tic ip a tio n

in

th e

f o r m u la tio n

of

p rocedu res

to g u id e m a n a g e m e n t a c tio n a n d c o n s e q u e n tly it
is n o t i n c l u d e d in t h i s s t u d y . 9
be

n o ted

ced u res

th a t

m ig h t

th e

o p e r a tio n

open

in fo r m a l

H o w e v e r , i t s h o u ld
of

g r ie v a n c e

aven ues

fo r

p ro­
u n io n

p a r tic ip a tio n , a t le a s t to th e e x te n t o f a t t e m p t in g
to a v o id fu tu r e g r ie v a n c e s.

C
hoice Between Reduction in Hours and Layoff.
O n e o f t h e d e v i c e s d e s ig n e d t o f o r e s t a l l o r m i n i ­
m i z e l a y o f f s is t h e r e d u c t i o n o f h o u r s b e l o w n o r m a l
s c h e d u l e s .10
e m p lo y e e s

B y r e d u c i n g t h e w o r k w e e k , a ll r e g u la r

s h a r e in

th e

a v a ila b le

w o r k f o r c e is k e p t i n t a c t .

w ork ,

and

th e

O n th e o th e r h a n d , if

la y o ffs are m a d e a s s o o n a s w o r k s la c k e n s , m o r e
p r o t e c t i o n is a f f o r d e d

c e r t a in

e m p lo y e e s , u s u a lly

t h o s e w i t h l o n g e r s e r v ic e , a t t h e e x p e n s e o f t h o s e
w h o are la id o ff.

B e c a u s e o f t h i s c o n f l ic t o f i n -

• As indicated later in this report, a substantial number of agreements pro­
vided for advance notice of layoffs to the unions involved. These also have
been excluded as a type of union participation for purposes of this section.
10 For a discussion of the prevalence of provisions in union agreements
to reduce hours as a part of the layoff sequence, see pages 8 and 9.

13

te r e s ts a m o n g e m p lo y e e s , th e u n io n h a s a n e s p e ­
c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t r o le i n e s t a b l i s h i n g p o l i c y .
T h e d e c is io n to r e d u c e th e n o r m a l w o r k w e e k
in t h e e v e n t o f s la c k w o r k m a y b e m a d e b y th e
p a r tie s w h e n th e a g r e e m e n t is n e g o tia te d . I n
t h is c a s e , th e r e d u c tio n w o u ld b e in s t it u t e d a u t o ­
m a tic a lly b y m a n a g e m e n t, u n d e r th e te r m s o f th e
a g r e e m e n t, w h e n c ir c u m s ta n c e s w a r r a n t t h is
a c tio n .

r e m a in in g a g r e e m e n ts w ith la y o ff p r o v is io n s (9 9 1 )
c o n ta in e d n o r e fe r e n c e t o th e r e d u c t io n o f h o u r s
p r io r t o l a y o f f s , p r e s u m a b l y r e s e r v in g t o m a n a g e ­
m e n t , w ith o u t r e str ic tio n o r r e q u ir e m e n t re g a r d in g
u n io n c o n s u l t a t i o n , t h e p o w e r t o m a k e w h a t e v e r
d e c is io n s

w ere

deem ed

a p p r o p r ia te .

M oreover,

4 2 a g r e e m e n ts m a k in g re fe r e n c e t o r e d u c e d h o u r s
s p e c if ic a l l y s t a t e d t h a t t h e c h o ic e b e t w e e n l a y o f f s
and

red u ced

m ent

P r o v i s i o n s p e r m i t t i n g o r r e q u i r in g a r e d u c t i o n

( t a b le

h ou rs
8 ).

w o u ld
T h u s,

be
in

m ade

by

m anage­

a p p r o x im a te ly

300

in t h e n o r m a l w o r k w e e k in lie u o f i m m e d i a t e l a y o f f

a g r e e m e n t s , t h e u n i o n h a d a v o i c e in

w ere in c o r p o r a te d

in o v e r a f o u r t h

p r o c e d u r e s e it h e r in t h e n e g o t i a t i o n o f t h e c o n t r a c t

m a jo r

w ith

a g re e m en ts

T a b l e 8 .—

la y o ff

(3 5 6 )

o f th e

procedu res.

d e te r m in in g

o r a t th e tim e la y o ffs w ere im m in e n t.

The

Method o f decision to reduce norm al workweek in lieu of immediate layoff, as provided in m ajor collective bargaining
agreements, by industry, 1954-55

Number with pro­ In period of slack work, decision to reduce workweek in lieu of immediate layoff made by—
visions for reduc­
tion in workweek
Employer and
Employer
Automatic con­
Other *
prior to layoff
Union
union jointly 1
tract provision

Industry

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All industries___— ____ _____________
Manufacturing------------------ ----------------Food and kindred products............. - Tobacco manufactures____- _____
Textile-mill products - ..........................
Apparel and other finished textile
products __ - _____ _
Lumber and wood products (except
furniture). __ ___
___ Furniture and fixtures
Paper and allied products________
Printing, publishing, and allied in­
dustries _______ ___________
Chemicals and allied products - Products of petroleum and coal__
Rubber products _______ _.. .
Leather and leather products _ __
Stone, clay, and glass products............
Primary metal industries----------------Fabricated metal products._. . _ ....
Machinery (except electrical)__
Electrical machinery_____ ____ ____
Transportation equipment--------------Instruments and related products____
Miscellaneous manufacturing indus­
tries

N onmanufacturing___________ __ ______
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural
gas production
_ _
Transportation 3_
Communications____ _________ Utilities: eleetrie and gas
Wholesale trade

Retail trade

_

TTntels and restaurants
Services _
_
C nnstrn et.ion
Miscellaneous nonmannfactnring

_

356
281
8
1
16
2

8
11
13
13
7
8
53
20
48
37
23
7
5
75
5
5
47

5

7
1
5

42
31

112.7
77.8

Z.5

4

8.8

3
2

4.3
7.2

1
2

1.8
2.5

3

6.8
19.6
5.4
2.0
21.9
6.4
40.7
51.4
38.3
10.5
5.5
422.1
2.8
5.7
368.0
38.4
6.0
1.2

3
3

7.2
8.6

2
1
1
9
4

I§.8
2.2
1.4
20.7
9.4

1
11
1
5

1.5
34.9
2.6
18.1

4
1

12.6
1.6

2,211.8
1,591.3
28.8
1.3
41.2
3.1
1.8
15.3
20.7

135
86
4
3

661.8
239.6
16.3

44.6
36.9
27.0
33.8
480.2
57.6
133.8
98.5
534.2
20.2
12.9
620.6
84.0
10.3
456.8
38.4
19.7
1.6

9.9

4

2
1
11
5
17
15
9
5
2
49
1
3
37
5
2
1

1 Includes 3 agreements which gave the union option to choose between
reduced workweek or layoff when employees with greater than specified
amount of seniority were affected.
* Includes agreements (1) which combined automatic layoff of employees
having a specified minimum seniority, or of a stated percent of the work force,
with union participation in determining whether to reduce or rotate the work­

421587—57---- 3




5
3

19.4
14.3

1

1.3

1
1

3.3
9.8

2

5.1

1

3.1

1

2.0

156
149
3
1
8
2
1
4
7

1,113.5
1,076.1
9.0
1.3
25.3
3.1
1.8
9.3
11.0

7
6
5
6
37
13
30
9
6
2
2
7
2
1

29.9
8.7
21.7
21.8
440.0
45.0
91.7
13.4
327.4
9.7
6.0
37.3
10.0
19.5

1
3

18
12
1
i

304.5
183.4
3.5
3.6

1
2
1
3
3

10.6
3.2
4.0
9.7
149.4

6
1
1
4

121.1
68.5
1.5
51.0

1.1
6.8

week in lieu of layoff for the remaining workers; (2) which provided for auto­
matic reduction of the workweek in specific occupations or departments only;
and (3) which did not clearly state procedure to be used.
3 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .— B ecause o f ro u n d in g , su m s o f in d iv id u a l ite m s do n o t n e ce ssa rily
e v u a l to ta ls.

14
T

9. — Provisions fo r u nion pa rticipa tion in reducing
norm al workweek in lieu o f immediate layoff , m ajor collec­
tive bargaining agreements, 1954—
55

able

Workers
Extent of union participation in reducing workweek Agree­ (thousands)
ments

n e g o tia tio n

356

2, 211.8

140
58
70
7
5
216

681.2
228.3
387.1
46.4
19.4
1, 530.6

m ost

p r e d o m in a n t

O n ly

to

of
In

one

agreem en t

le ft

th e

c h o ic e

to

o f u n io n p a r t i c i p a t i o n w a s n o t c le a r .

A d v a n c e N o tic e o f L a y o ff
A dvance

n o tic e

o f la y o ff

to

th e

a ffe c te d

em ­

p lo y e e s , t h e u n i o n , o r b o t h , is a c o m m o n r e q u i r e ­

n o tic e

w ere

P r o v is io n s fo r a d v a n c e

in c o r p o r a te d

in

m ore

th a n

o n e -h a lf

( 7 0 7 ) o f t h e 1 ,3 4 7 a g r e e m e n t s w i t h l a y o f f c la u s e s ,
c o v e r i n g n e a r ly h a l f o f t h e w o r k e r s ( 2 .8 m i l l i o n ) .
D u r in g

th a t h o u rs w ere a u to m a tic a lly

ty p e

U n d e r th e re m a in in g tw o , th e e x te n t

m e n t in l a y o f f p r o c e d u r e s .

1 Includes agreements which allowed the employer to reduce the work­
week pending negotiation or to invoke arbitration in the event of dispute,
and agreements which provided for consultation combined with union option
to choose between reduced workweek and layoff when employees with greater
than specified amount of seniority were affected.
p r o v is o

th e

1 9 , th e e m p lo y e r w a s r e q u ir e d t o c o n s u lt w it h th e
u n io n .

th e u n io n .

Total with provision for reduction in workweek prior
to layoff _______________ ______________________
Number with provision for union participation in
choice of reduced workweek or immediate layoff____
Employer to consult with union....... .........................
Employer and union to negotiate (joint agreement)
Other arrangements for employer-union considera­
tion 1 _____________________________________
Union to choose between reduced workweek or
layoff______________________________________
No provision for union participation..... ...........................

The

w as

a r r a n g e m e n t — p r o v i d e d f o r in 3 8 a g r e e m e n t s .

th e

p e r io d

o p p o r tu n ity

to

of

n o tic e ,

r e v ie w

th e

th e

u n io n

s itu a tio n ,

has

an

v e r ify

th e

in v o lv e d ,

and

b e r e d u c e d w a s w r i t t e n in t o 1 5 6 a g r e e m e n t s c o v e r ­

s e n io r ity

in g m o r e t h a n 1 .1 m i l l i o n w o r k e r s .

m a k e su g g e s tio n s re g a r d in g th e m a n n e r o f la y o ff.

m e n ts,

p r o v is io n

w as

u n io n c o n s i d e r a t i o n
w hen

th e n e ed

m ade

fo r

In 135 agree­

jo in t

e m p lo y e r -

(n e g o tia tio n o r c o n s u lta tio n )

arose.

F iv e

a g re e m e n ts le ft

th e

c h o ic e u p t o t h e u n io n .
Of

th e

of

th e

e m p lo y e e s

T h e e m p l o y e e is e n a b l e d t o d e t e r m i n e h is d i s p la c e ­
m ent

r ig h ts

under

th e

b u m p in g

and

se n io r ity

p r o v is io n s o f th e a g r e e m e n t, a n d h a s s o m e o p p o r ­
t u n it y to p re p a re fo r e c o n o m ic a d ju s t m e n t .
e m p lo y e e s

are

assu red

c o n s id e r a tio n , 7 0 r e q u ire d n e g o tia tio n b e tw e e n th e

g r ie v a n c e s

are

m in im iz e d .

e m p l o y e r a n d t h e u n i o n , w h il e 5 8 r e q u i r e d c o n s u l ­

m e n t s , p a y m e n t f o r p a r t o r a ll o f t h e n o t i c e p e r io d

or

a g re e m en ts

d is c u s s io n

p r o v id in g

( t a b le

9 ).

As

fo r

T h u s,

jo in t

ta tio n

135

sta tu s

p r e v io u s ly

in d i c a t e d , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n n e g o t i a t i o n a n d
c o n s u lta tio n

m ay

not

be

e n tir e ly

fa ir

tre a tm e n t,

U nder

som e

and

agree­

w a s m a n d a t o r y i f t h e e m p l o y e r f a il e d t o g i v e t h e
r e q u ir e d n o t ic e to th e e m p lo y e e .

In

B e c a u s e o f th e n e e d fo r q u ic k a d ju s tm e n t o f th e

g e n e r a l, h o w e v e r , t h e r e q u i r e m e n t f o r n e g o t i a t i o n

w o r k f o r c e d u r i n g e m e r g e n c ie s , m a n y o f t h e a g r e e ­

p resu p poses

agreem en t

w hereas

re q u ire m e n t fo r

th e

b e fo r e

c le a r c u t .

of

a c tio n

is

c o n s u lta tio n

ta k e n ,

m e n ts m a d e s o m e p r o v is io n fo r w a iv e r o f th e n o tic e

w o u ld

re q u ire m e n t.

E scap e

fo r

th e

e m p lo y e r

ran ged

a p p e a r t o n a r r o w o r l i m i t t h e u n i o n ’ s r o le .

fr o m g e n e ra l s ta te m e n ts t h a t n o tic e w o u ld b e g iv e n

A d d i t i o n a l R e d u c tio n s i n the W o rk w e e k .

ite m iz a tio n o f re a so n s fo r w a iv e r .

“ w h e r e v e r p r a c t i c a l ,”
a b le

w ork

a fte r

an

is

s t i l l in s u f fi c ie n t

in it ia l

n o r m a l w e e k ly

r e d u c tio n
le v e l,

g iv e n

to

fu rth e r

resort

to

la y o ff.

m in in g

w h eth er

of

p r e v e n t la y o ffs

h ou rs

c o n s id e r a t i o n

c u ts

in

U n io n
to

to

cut

w o r k in g

fr o m

fr o m

th e

is s o m e t i m e s
tim e

p a r tic ip a tio n
h ou rs

I f a v a il­

b e fo r e

in

b e lo w

t h e n o r m a l w o r k w e e k w a s p r o v i d e d in 6 0 a g r e e ­
m e n ts c o v e r in g 6 6 3 ,0 0 0 w o rk e rs.

f lo o d ,

or

o th er

“ a c ts

of

T h e s e in c l u d e d

G o d ,”

and

cau ses

b e y o n d m a n a g e m e n t ’ s c o n t r o l , s u c h a s f a il u r e o f
u t i li t i e s ,

breakd ow n

of

m a c h in e r y ,

and

la c k

of

m a t e r i a ls .

d eter­

le v e ls

fir e ,

o r “ i f p o s s i b l e ,” t o s p e c ific

A d va n ce

N o tic e

to

U n io n .

A p p r o x im a te ly

a g r e e m e n ts , c o v e r in g m o r e

th a n

p r o v id in g

400

a fo u r th o f th e

U n d e r som e of

w ork ers

t h e s e a g r e e m e n t s , t h e u n io n p a r t i c i p a t e d in b o t h

r e q u ire d

t h e i n it ia l r e d u c t i o n a n d in t h e d e c is io n t o r e d u c e

( t a b l e 1 0 ) . 11 O f t h e s e , 2 0 4 a g r e e m e n t s a ls o r e q u i r e d

h o u rs fu rth e r .

U n d e r oth ers,

p a t e d o n l y in t h e l a t t e r s t e p .
c o v e r in g

th e

in i t i a l




th e u n io n

p a r tic i­

A s in t h e p r o v i s i o n s

r e d u c tio n ,

e m p lo y e r -u n io n

under

ag reem en ts

advance

n o tic e

of

la y o ff

to

fo r
th e

la y o ff,
u n io n

11A number of these agreements excluded temporary or occasional em­
ployees, or those with specified minimum seniority, from the requirement
for advance notice to the union.

15
n o tic e t o e m p lo y e e s .

A l l b u t 7 o f t h e 2 1 4 a g r e e m e n t s w h ic h r e q u ir e d

U n io n -n o t ic e r e q u ir e m e n ts

w e re m o s t p r e v a le n t in

t h e e le c t r ic a l m a c h i n e r y

n o tic e

of

1 w eek

o r le s s w e r e in

m a n u fa c tu r in g

a n d c o m m u n ic a tio n s in d u str ie s, w h e r e o v e r t w o -

in d u str ie s.

N o t i c e p e r io d s o f m o r e t h a n

th ird s o f th e w o rk e rs u n d e r a g r e e m e n ts w ith la y o ff

w ere fo u n d

p r e d o m in a n tly in n o n m a n u fa c tu r in g ,

p r o v is io n s w ere in v o lv e d .

p a r tic u la r ly

The
274

A ll

p e r io d o f n o t i c e r e q u i r e d w a s s p e c ifie d in

of

th e

c la u s e s .

408

The

ag reem en ts

r e m a in in g

w ith

134

u n i o n -n o t i c e

re q u ire d

th e

em ­

of

in

th e

c o m m u n ic a tio n s

c o m m u n ic a tio n s

1 w eek.

T h e b u lk — 21

3 0 d a y s ’ n o tic e .

in g la y o ffs w ith o u t in d ic a tin g th e a m o u n t o f n o tic e .

r a n g in g fr o m

p e r io d s

to

th e

th a n 1 d a y to 9 0 d a y s .

u n io n

ran ged

fr o m

le s s

T h r e e o u t o f fo u r a g re e ­

u t i lit ie s .

ag reem en ts

o u t o f 3 4 — p r o v id e d fo r

T h e o t h e r 1 3 p r o v i d e d f o r p e r io d s

10 to 90 d a y s.

S ev era l a g re e m en ts

m a d e t h e p e r io d d e p e n d e n t o n t h e r e a s o n f o r l a y ­
o ff.

L o n g e r p e r io d s, v a r y in g f r o m 3 0 to 9 0 d a y s ,

m e n t s t h a t s p e c ifie d t h e p e r io d o f n o t i c e p r o v i d e d

w ere

fo r n o tic e

s y s t e m s o r to o t h e r te c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e s .

of

1 w eek

r e q u i r in g l e s s t h a n
1 w e e k ’s n o tic e

T able

w as

o r le ss, w ith

1 w e e k ’s n o tic e .
p r o v id e d

in

60

th e

m a jo r it y

M ore

th a n

a g re e m en ts.

w h ic h

s p e c ifie d t h e p e r io d o f n o t i c e r e q u i r e d m o r e t h a n

p lo y e r to g iv e th e u n io n a d v a n c e n o tic e o f im p e n d ­

N o tic e

and

1 w eek

set

fo r

p e r io d s , fr o m

la y o ffs

10

to

due

30

to

in s t a lla t io n

d a y s, w ere

of

d ia l

S h o rte r

p r o v id e d

fo r

la y o ffs d u e to o th e r ca u ses.

10 .— Provisions fo r advance notice of layoff to un ion in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , by industry , 1954-65

Number with
provisions for
advance notice
1 day or less
to union ‘

Period of notice3
3 or 4 days

2 days

Industry

5 days or 1
week

More than
1 week

Not specified»

Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All industries_________ _________________ 408 1,672.4
Manufacturing_________________________ 326 1,198.8
Food and kindred products___________
17 41.3
1
Tobacco manufactures_______________
1.3
Textile-mill products_________ ____
4
6.0
Apparel and other finished textile prod­
ucts_____________________________
Lumber and wood products (except
1
furniture)_________________________
1.0
Furniture and fixtures________ _______
5 12.5
6
8.3
Paper and allied products____________
Printing, publishing, and allied indus­
8.5
tries________ ____ _______________ _
4
Chemicals and allied products________
11 28.4
Products of petroleum and coal_______
4
7.1
2
6.0
Rubber products________ ____ ____ Leather and leather products. _______
4
5.8
3
Stone, clay, and glass products. _ ____
5.8
Primary metal industries_____________
34 80.3
Fabricated metal products__ ________
20 55.1
Machinery (except electrical)_______ _ 73 162.4
Electrical machinery. ____________ _ 58 327.6
Transportation equipment___ ____
59 387.6
Instruments and related products___ _ 14 37.7
Miscellaneous manufacturing indus­
7 15.9
tries_____________________________
Nonmanufacturing___________ ______ _ 82 473.6
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural
1
gas production_____________________
1.0
Transportation *_____________________
3
7.7
Communications__________ _________
46 369.2
Utilities: electric and gas_____________
19 47.4
Wholesale trade.____________________
7 27.5
Retail trade_________________________
Hotels and restaurants_______________
2 15.5
3
3.3
Services____________________________
1
Construction___________ ____ ________
2.0
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing ___

62
61
3

284.6
282.6
12.2

33
32
3

74.5
64.5
5.1

2

7.8

2

3.5

2
1

4.5
1.8

1
3
7
11
13
14
1
3
1

1.2
4.5
15.5
15.9
38.0
172.5
1.0
7.8
2.0

1
5
1
7
2
6
3
2
1

1
1

2.0

1.8
7.1
1.0
10.4
3.1
23.3
3.7
5.5
10.0

10.0

1
1
2
11
5
23
9
15

1.0
1.7
3.2
39.0
12. 6
53.2
76.3
55.0

197.8
184. 6
1.4

60
13

327.3
39.5

2

249.0
249.0
7.0

45
41
1

4.0

2

2.5

2
2
3

3.2
4.0
5.9

4
2
11
14
2
3

12.0
2.1
18.3
127.6
5.5
11.2

1

2.7

2
3

2.5
21.3

4

13.2

3

1204 agreements covering 908,000 employees provided for notice to the
employees in addition to notice to the union.
3 Includes agreements with qualified provisions, such as those requiring
advance notice “if possible” or “wherever practical.”
* Includes 5 agreements which specified the period of notice; 4 varied the




69
69
2

7.7

47
1
3
34
8

287.8
1.0
7.7
263.9
14.1

1

5.5

1

1.0

139
110
8
1
4

539.2
378.6
15.7
1.3
6.0

1
1
1

1.0
1.2
1.1

7
1
1
1
2
10
5
21
18
19
7
2
29

23.1
1.2
4.3
1.4
4.0
14.9
23.8
64.6
80.2
110.1
21.8
2.6
160.6

12
8
7
2

105.3
25.6
27.5
2.3

period according to size or cause of layoff, and 1 required 36 hours’ notice.
*Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

16

T a b l e 11. — Provisions fo r

Period of notice2

Number with pro­
visions for advance notice to
employees 1

Industry

advance notice o f layoff to regular employees in

1 day or less

2 days

3 or 4 days 2

5 days or 1 week

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands)
All industries_________________________________
Manufacturing________________________________
Food and kindred products ________________
Tobacco manufactures ____________________
Textile-mill products_______________________
Apparel and"other finished textile products___
Lumber and wood products (except furniture)
Fnrnitnra and fivtnrAS
Paper and allied products___________________
Printing, publishing, and allied industries........
Chemicals and allied products_______________
Products of petroleum and coal______________
Rubber products___________________________
Leather and leather products_______________
Stone, clay, and glass products______________
Primary metal industries___________________
Fabricated metal products ________________
Machinery (except electrical)_______________
Electrical machinery_______________________
Transportation equipment _______________
Instruments and related products___________
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries______
N onmanufacturing____________________________
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural gas
production.
Transportation 8___________________________
Communications___________________________
Utilities: eleotrie and gas
Wholesale trade

_
____

2, 063.1
1, 789.9
45.1
10.6
12.4
2.5
5.0
33.7
12.1
77.0
17.2
43.6
3.2
39.7
96.6
32.5
217.5
280.9
801.9
48.4
10.1
273.2
7.3
39.4
79.6
72.9
2.0
23.0
16.6
31.2
1.3

503
428
21
3
8
1
4
13
5
35
10
14
2
12
35
18
88
56
78
19
6
75
2
13
10
26
1
11
4
7
1

______

Retail trade.. . ___________________ ___
Hotels and restaurants __________________
Serviees
Cnnstrnetion
__ _ _ ____
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing____________

99
97
6

2

56
54
1

153.1
137. 7
2.4

1
5.8

1

1.1

8
3
23
18
34
1
1
2

1.2

13.2
9.0
45.6
53.0
564.5
1.0
1.6
5.5

2
1
1
5
4
18
6
10
4
1
2

1

3.0

1

2.5

349.8
347.8
2.2
1.1
2.5
11.5
10.3
3.5
15.1
3.2
27.8
41.9
7.4
78.5
71.3
58.0
10.5
3.1
2.0

133
105
6
4

426.4
329.2
8.3
7.5

7.6
1.0
1.8
8.9
4.3
28.8
10.2
64.9
5.2
1.5
15.4

89
88
1
1
1
1
6
1
6
2
5
10
3
24
13
9
3
2
1

1
3
21
4
4
6
9
5
15
11
11
4
1
28

1.6
5.1
44.4
5.4
7.1
10.2
25.2
6.5
43.5
114.6
40.5
7.6
1.4
97.2

1

5.4

1

2.0

1

10.0

3
2
6
1
11
1
4

16.4
8.2
17.1
2.0
23.0
2.5
28.0

< Includes agreements which specified varying periods of notice: 13 agree­
ments were based on length of service and others on occupation, type of work
or product, shift, size, or cause of layoff. Also includes agreements which

1 See footnote 1, table 10.
2 See footnote 2, table 10.
8 Only 4 of these agreements provided for 4 days’ notice.
A d v a n c e N o t ic e to R e g u la r E m p lo y e e s .1
2

717.4
711.9
17.2

M o r e th a n

o n e -fifth

of

th e

a g reem en ts

w ere

in v o lv e d .

In

a th ird o f th e w o r k e r s u n d e r a g r e e m e n ts w ith l a y ­

m o s t o f th e se a g r e e m e n ts , n o tic e o f 8 o r 2 4 h o u r s

o ff p ro c e d u r e s

w a s d e s i g n a t e d ; a f e w s p e c ifie d le s s t h a n 8 h o u r s .

w h ic h

w ere

re q u ire d

e m p lo y e e s

th e

advance

covered

by

e m p lo y e r
n o tic e

503
to

a g re e m en ts
g iv e

o f la y o ffs

N o t ic e o f 5 d a y s o r 1 w e e k w a s th e m o s t c o m m o n

r e g u la r

( t a b le

1 1 ).

p e r io d in

te r m s o f n u m b e r o f a g r e e m e n ts

S u c h c la u s e s w e r e m o s t p r e v a l e n t in m a n u f a c t u r ­

P r o v is io n s

in g in d u s t r i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y in c h e m i c a l s , m a c h i n e r y

a g r e e m e n t s , a n d f o r 2 d a y s in

( e x c e p t e l e c t r i c a l ) , e le c t r ic a l m a c h i n e r y , t r a n s p o r ­
e q u ip m e n t,

p ro d u c ts.

and

in stru m e n ts

and

d a y s ’ n o tic e

41

ag reem en ts.

n o t ific a tio n

w ere

e m p lo y e e o f m o r e

by

c la u s e s r e q u i r in g n o t i c e

to

th e

e m p lo y e e .
T h e p e r io d o f n o t i c e t o e m p l o y e e s w a s s p e c ifie d
in 4 5 0 a g r e e m e n t s .

F o u r o u t o f f iv e p r o v i d e d f o r

n o t i c e o f 1 w e e k o r le s s .

P e r io d s o f 1 d a y o r le s s

a p p lie d to a p p r o x im a t e ly t w o -fift h s o f th e w o r k e r s
u n d e r th e

450




a g reem en ts,

a lth o u g h

o n ly

about

fo u n d

5 6 ; o n ly 4

in

85

agree­

to

A s in t h e c a s e o f p r o v i s i o n s f o r

w o r k e r s u n d e r l a y o f f p r o v i s i o n s i n t h e s e in d u s t r ie s
covered

w ere

P e r io d s o f m o r e t h a n 1 w e e k w e r e f o u n d in o n l y

r e la te d

B e tw e e n a h a lf a n d tw o -th ir d s o f th e

3

(1 3 3 ).

m e n t s s p e c ifie d 4 d a y s ’ n o t i c e .

ta tio n

fo r

th e

u n io n ,
th a n

n o tic e

p e r io d s

to

th e

1 w eek w ere m o re p re v -

12 Advance notice of short-term layoffs was not commonly required and was
not included in this section. Only 29 of 400 agreements which distinguished
between indefinite and short-term or temporary layoffs required advance
notice to the employees for short-term layoffs; virtually all specified a shorter
notice period than for long-term or indefinite layoffs. This section deals with
provisions which did not distinguish between short- and long-term layoffs
and with the advance notice provisions relating to long-term or indefinite
layoff in cases where such a distinction was made. For a discussion of short­
term layoffs, see table 23 (p. 28).

17
m ajor collective bargaining agreements, by industry , 1954-55
Period of notice *—Continued

More than 1 week

If employer fails to give notice, he
must pay for—
Other *

Not specified

Full notice period

Less than full
notice period

Industry

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands) ments (thousands)
41

90.3

53

182.2

32

143.9

107

346.8

15

29.0

All industries.

12
3

31.4
4.7

46
3
9
3

161.7
8.7
9. 2
3.8

26
1
1

70.2
1.7
1.4

74
3

235.9
4.5

13

26.5

3

4. 5

2
3
2
3
2
1

2.3
6.4
4.1
9.6
2.4
15.0

l
2
1
12
6
5

1.6
2.3
2.8
19.8
12.3
15.8

1

1.2

2
2
2
6
7
5
1

3
1

5.1
1.8

10
15
9
2
1

16.5
103.2
33.8
10.3
1.7

1
5
6

2.0
9. 5
13.8

Manufacturing.
Food and kindred products.
Tobacco manufactures.
Textile-mill products.
Apparel and other finished textile products.
Lumber and wood products (except furniture).
Furniture and fixtures.
Paper and allied products.
Printing, publishing, and allied industries.
Chemicals and allied products.
Products of petroleum and coal.
Rubber products.
Leather and leather products.
Stone, clay, and glass products.
Primary metal industries.
Fabricated metal products.
Machinery (except electrical).
Electrical machinery.
Transportation equipment.
Instruments and related products.
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries.

4
1

6.2
2.2

1

4.3

2

4.4

3
3

5.1
5.9

3.8
4.3
12.6
13.8
42.5
20.7
2.6

1
1
6
2
5
1

3.7
1.0
8.5
17.8
19.7
1.0

2
1

11.9
2.2

29
1

58.8
1.0

7
1

20.5
6.2

6

73.8

33
1

110.9
1.0

2

2.6

7
4
13

12.6
12.1
28.2

1.4
12.9

3
2

57.9
14.8

2
4
10

11.5
17.6
27.9

1

1
5

1.5

1

1.1

1.1

9
2
5

18.8
5.0
29.1

1
2

1.6
2.1

1

N onmanufacturing.
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural-gas
production.
Transportation.®
Communications.
Utilities: electric and gas.
Wholesale trade.
Retail trade.
Hotels and restaurants.
Services.
Construction.
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing.

1.3

1

provided for notice only to employees with a minimum length of service, to
employees in certain departments, to those replaced by returning veterans,
or for notice only in event of plant shutdown.

a le n t

in

p e r io d s

n o n m a n u fa c tu rin g
of

1 w eek

o r le s s

in d u s t r ie s ,

w e re

m o re

and

n o t ic e

p r e v a le n t

in

5 Excludes railroads and airlines.
Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
N o t e .—

th e

above

c a te g o r ie s

q u a lific a tio n s

in

th e

becau se

of

v a ria tio n s

or

c la u s e s .

m a n u fa c tu rin g .
T h e
th e

re m a in in g

p e r io d

32

o f n o t ic e

a g re e m e n ts w h ic h
w e re

not

d e s ig n a te d

c la s s ifie d

in

an y

of

P a y i n L i e u o f N o t ic e .
lie u

(t a b le

T a b l e 12.— Provisions fo r payment f o r fu ll notice period in
lieu o f advance notice of layoff to regular employees in
m ajor collective bargaining agreements, by period of notice
required , 1954—
55
Period of advance notice

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

1 1 ).

p lo y e r

to

fa ilu r e
th e

107

346.8

1 day or less_______________________ _____ ______
2 days_______________________________________
3 days________________________________________
5 days or 1 week_______________________________
More than 1 week___ ____ _____________________
Other1
________________________ _______________

11
4
20
54
13
5

35.1
4.8
101.3
155.8
35.4
14.4




p ay

to g iv e

fo u n d

in

122 a g re e m e n ts

c la u s e s e it h e r r e q u ir e d

th e

e m p lo y e e s

as

a

th e em ­

p e n a lt y

fo r

t h e n o t ic e d e s ig n a t e d , o r p e r m it t e d

e m p lo y e r

P aym en t

th e

c h o ic e

fo r

th e

r e m a in in g

if

fu ll
th e

of

g iv in g

n o t ic e

or

of

th e re o f.
n o t ic e

la y o ff

p e r io d

(o r fo r

any

d u r in g

th e

occu rred

n o t ic e p e r io d ) w a s p r o v id e d in

107 a g re e m e n ts a n d

f o r le s s t h a n t h e f u ll n o t ic e p e r io d in t h e r e m a in in g
15.

A bo u t

h a lf

p a y m e n t p ro v id e d
1

i In 4 agreements, the period of notice varied by length of service; the re­
maining agreement did not specify the period of notice.

T h ese

m a k i n g p a y m e n t in lie u

t im e

Number with provisions for payment of full notice
period______________________________________

P r o v is io n s f o r p a y m e n t in

o f la y o f f n o t ic e w e r e

w eek

q u ir e d

(t a b le
in

20

of

th e

c o n tra c ts

re q u irin g

fu ll

f o r a d v a n c e n o t ic e o f 5 d a y s o r

1 2 ).

T h ree

a g re e m e n ts

days’

re q u irin g

n o t ic e
fu ll

w as

re­

p aym en t.




Seniority a n d B u m p i n g Practices

T

h e

th at

p r in c ip l e

am on g

e m p lo y e e s

le n g th -o f-s e r v ic e

m e rit

s p e c ia l

d iffe re n c e s

c o n s id e r a t io n

in

h o w e v e r , s e n io rity p r o v id e s n o
o f jo b

s e c u rity .

t h e e v e n t o f la y o ffs o r r e d u c t io n s in fo r c e is w id e ly

w id e

a c c e p t e d in p r iv a t e a n d G o v e r n m e n t e m p lo y m e n t .

m e n ts

T h e

c o n tin u e

b a s ic

is s u e s

m a n a g e m e n t in

th at

a ris e

b e tw e e n

u n io n s

c o lle c t iv e b a r g a i n i n g r e la t e

and

to

th e

s h ift s in
(s u c h
to

th e
as

w o rk e r w ith
m ount

situ a tio n s , h e

to

d is c r e t io n o r c h o ic e t o b e r e s e r v e d t o m a n a g e m e n t .

event

H is t o r ic a lly ,

m ost

s e c u rity

fo r w o rk e rs,

d u r in g

m ay

e n jo y s

a

to

lo s e

w h ic h

th e

sta tu s

e m p lo y m e n t.

expect

a b le

tan ta­

In

le s s

to

dep art­

r e p a ir )

p la n t la y o ffs ,

s e n io rity

gu aran teed

and

o r in

oth er

t im e

in

th e

re m a in s .

aspect

need

m a in t e n a n c e

h ig h

d e t e rm in in g th e o r d e r o f la y o ff a n d

a b s o lu t e a s s u ra n c e

e s t a b lis h m e n t s n o t s u b je c t

o p era te

s p e c ific w e ig h t to b e a s s ig n e d to le n g t h o f s e r v ic e in
th e a m o u n t o f

In

o f jo b

s e n io rity

r u le

g o v e rn s,

th ereby

a n d , w ith
O n

th e

it,

th e

of

th e

of

w ith
a

le n g t h

e lim in a t in g
p o s s ib ilit y

hand,

la y o ff,

s e r v ic e

o f b ia s

it

saw

of

th e

in d iv id u a l

fit n e s s

an d

o th er

c ie n c y ,

in

a d d it io n

re c o g n iz e
A

r u le

le n g t h

m a tte rs
to

a

as
fit ,

w o u ld

s p e c ific

g e n e r a lly

w e ig h t

has

sought

a llo w

w o r k e r ’s

re la tin g

c h o ic e

d e t e rm in in g

m uch
or

a lo n e

fa v o rit is m .

has

a fre e h a n d in

q u a lifie d s e n io rity r u le w h ic h
s id e ra tio n

or

t h is

s tra ig h t

m anagem ent

a llo w in g

as

fo r

o f s e r v ic e

m anagem ent

to m a in t a in

ord er

le n g t h

con cern ed
p ressed

have

u n d e r w h ic h

oth er

a tte m p te d

u n io n s

to
a

fo r c o n ­

fix e s

cons

e x te n s iv e ly

of

p o s s ib ilit y

s e n io r it y

fo r m a n y

th e

w o rk er

a g a in s t

u n c e rta in ty
stan d s.

as

d is c r im in a t io n

th at

W o rk e rs

p a r tic u la r
th at,

in

w o rk er

g r o w in g

com pany

th e ir

th e

a b ilit y

are
to

o ld

e ffi­

w ork er,

m a in t a in e d ,

m ake

w o rk er

T h e w o r k e r ’s s t a n d i n g o n a s e n i o r i t y f i s t i s ,

la y o ff

th e

been

th e

it

lo y a l w o r k
th e

is

m in im iz e s
w h e re

fo rc e .

r u le

of

O n

he

e m p lo y

of a

b y

fa c t

o th er

th e

jo b s

a ssu ra n c e s
fo r

one

p ro tects

d im in ­

is h e s , t h e ir s e n io r it y , h e n c e t h e ir s e c u r it y , in

p la n t

of a

an d

c o m fo rte d
o b t a in

Such

to

O n

know s

in

i n c r e a s e s . 13

c o m m itm e n t

of

have

y e a rs.

e m p lo y m e n t

to

sta tu s

an d

th e

h a n d , it is c la im e d t h a t a s e n io r it y s y s t e m

th at
th e

p ro s

d ebated

bu t

and

r e la t iv e to t h a t o f o t h e r e m p lo y e e s in th e e s t a b lis h ­
m e n t.

T h e

la y o ffs ,

a b ilit y

o f s e r v ic e .

o f s e n io rity

of

a

th e ir

to

s t a b le

th e
an d

th e o t h e r h a n d , it is a r g u e d

s e n io r it y

e n c o u r a g e s in e ffic ie n c y .

d is c o u ra g e s

a b ilit y

an d

R e lia n c e o n s e n io rity m a y

le a d to a g e n e r a l a n d u n b a la n c e d a g in g o f th e w o r k
fo r c e

in

th e

p a r tic u la r

e s t a b lis h m e n t

o r in d u s tr y .

in m a n y w a y s , a m e a s u r e o f h is jo b s e c u r it y a n d is
h ig h ly
la y o ffs

v a lu e d

as

re m a in s




su ch.

A s

lo n g

s u b je c t

to

b u s in e s s

as

th e

e x te n t

of

flu c tu a tio n s ,

1 See Older Workers Under Collective Bargaining—Hiring, Retention,
3
Job Termination, BLS Bull. 1199-1.

20
Order of Layoff Provided in 1/743 Major
Agreements, 1954-55

th e

q u e s tio n

u n it

w ill

w ork ers
of

as

be
w h o

s k ills

to

la id
are

an d

w h e th e r

o ff

equal

w age

d is p la c e m e n t

m itte d .

T h us,

in

w ork ers

d e te rm in e d b y
io rity

in

In

lo w e r

w o r k e r in

of

th e

la s t

of

jo b

a

th e

p la n t

m ay

lo w

to

or

p er­

o rd er
p a y r o ll

ty p e

of

h ir e d

is

b u m p in g

th e

an d

in

sen ­

e lim in a t e

r e s u lt in

s e n io rity

be

th e

u n it, a n d

need

la b o r e r

fo r

w o rk ,

th e

o f th e

one

ju n io r

h ie r a rc h y

to

fro m

s e n io r it y

u n s k ille d

changes

th e

o p e ra tio n ,

in

u n it

“ b u m p in g ” w ill

se p a ra te d

th e

in

c o n tin u e

or

th eo ry ,

s k ille d

th e

a n o th e r

th e in t e ra c t io n

e ffe c t,

p r iv ile g e s .

or

ac tu a l

a re

in

rates

w h eth er

w h ic h

s e n io r w o r k e r s

w h ile

a

one

la y o ff

n um ber

w ork ers

a lo n g

w ay.

Types of Seniority Provisions
T h e

w id e s p re a d

p r in c ip le

in

p r e v a le n c e

e s t a b lis h m e n t s

g a in in g is d e m o n s t r a t e d b y
a

fo u rth

fa ile d
le n g th
o ffs.

of

to

th e

of

under

th e

s e n io r it y

c o lle c t iv e

b ar­

t h e f a c t t h a t le s s t h a n

1 ,7 4 3 m a j o r a g r e e m e n t s s t u d i e d

p ro v id e

s p e c ific a lly

o f s e r v ic e

in

(S e e c h a r t .)

fo r

c o n s id e r a t io n

d e t e rm in in g

th e

ord er

14
of

o f la y ­

T h e se agreem en ts w e re p re d o m ­

in a n t ly in n o n m a n u fa c t u r in g in d u s tr ie s ; a ll b u t

12

p e rc e n t o f th e m a n u fa c tu rin g a g re e m e n ts p ro v id e d
th at

r e la tiv e

s h a ll b e

th e

fa c t o r , in

1 Exclusive of railroad and airline agreements.
3 Includes small number of agreements classified as “other.”

s e n io r it y ,
o n ly

e s t a b lis h in g

S tr a ig h t S e n io r it y .
F ro m

a

bro ad er

m a in t a in e d

th at

s e n io rity

d e te rs

in d u s try

to

an d

th u s

fo rc e .

p o in t
th e

of

v a lu e

m ovem ent

in d u s tr y ,

ten d s

to

and

as

th is

stu d y

of

it

is

w ork ers
fro m

jo b

fro m

im m o b iliz e

T h e is s u e is f a r f r o m

sen se,

v ie w ,

fre q u e n tly
p la c e

to

to

of

an

o r d e r o f la y o ffs .

S t r a ig h t s e n io r it y , u n d e r w h ic h
w as

th e

o n ly

fa c to r

to

th e m a jo r a g re e m e n ts

bo th

w ork

b a rg a in in g

s e r v ic e ,

im p o rta n t

fro m

re g io n ,

N a t i o n 's

M o r e o v e r , a s lo n g a s h ig h

th e

le n g t h
le a s t

a p p ro x im a te ly

in

be

con­

a th ird

m a n u fa c tu rin g

of

an d

n o n m a n u fa c t u r in g in d u s t r ie s , c o v e r in g a b o u t o n e h a lf o f t h e w o r k e r s in
s e n io rity

sy ste m s,

th e la t t e r g r o u p .

under

w h ic h

Q u a lifie d

v a ry in g

w e ig h t

p ro ­
w as

v is io n s s h o w s .

s e r v ic e

at

s id e re d , w a s p r o v id e d b y

r e s o lv e d in a n y g e n e r a l

c o lle c t iv e

of

e .,

or

upon

jo b ,

r e g io n
th e

le n g t h

i.

fa c to r,

g iv e n

to

le n g t h

of

s e r v ic e ,

w as

th e

p re d o m i­

e m p lo y ­
n a n t fo rm

o f s e n io rity

in

m a n u fa c tu rin g , fo u n d

in

m e n t le v e ls p r e v a il, it is n o t lik e ly t h a t t h e p ic t u r e
as

a

w h o le

w ill

be

m a t e r ia lly

changed

th ro u gh

m o re

th an

h a lf

of

th e

a g re e m e n ts.

U n d er

a g r e e m e n t s in

T h e
or

a p p lic a t io n

q u a lifie d ,

of

s e n io r it y ,

becom es

e s p e c ia lly

w h e th e r

e x a m p le ,

m anagem ent
of
a re

it

c o m p e t it io n
to

be

e s t a b lis h e d

is

u s u a lly

n e g o tia tio n s
or

ran k ed
such




u n its
in

n ecessary

to

e s t a b lis h

w ith in

o rd er

u n its , th e

of

in

in

u n io n -

fix e d

w h ic h

p a rtie s m u s t

a re a s

e m p lo y e e s

re te n tio n .

la y o ff p ro c e d u re s b a s e d

th e n u m b e r

of w ork ­

o n s tra ig h t

s tra ig h t

c o m p lic a t e d

e n t e r p r is e s w i t h a h ig h d e g r e e o f jo b s p e c ia liz a t io n .
F o r

a ll in d u s t r ie s ,

e rs c o v e re d b y

c o lle c t iv e b a r g a i n i n g .

m a jo r

H a v in g
th en

fa c e

s e n io rity
b y

w as

q u a lifie d

r o u g h ly

th e

sam e

as

th o se

c o v e re d

s e n io rity p r o c e d u re s .

I n d u s t r y c h a r a c t e r is t ic s a n d th e r e q u ir e m e n t s o f
p r o d u c t io n
m in in g

th e

w ere

u n d o u b t e d ly

typ e

of

im p o r t a n t in

s e n io rity

p ro c e d u re

d eter­
to

be

1
4
Each agreement covered 1,000 or more workers. For scope of study, see
see pages 2 and 3.

21
p ra c tic e d ,

bu t

th e o n ly o n e s.
w h ic h

th ese

re fe rre d

s e n io rity

w as

fa c to rs

w e re

a p p a re n tly

Q u a lifie d S e n io r it y .

not

A m o n g t h e 1 ,3 4 7 m a j o r a g r e e m e n t s
to

th e

th e

o rd er

of

p re d o m in a n t

T h e

e s s e n tia l

d iffe re n c e

be­

t w e e n a s t r a ig h t a n d a q u a lifie d s e n io rity p r o c e d u re

la y o ffs ,

s tra ig h t

is t h e e le m e n t o f d is c r e t io n o r s e le c t io n r e s e r v e d t o

m e th o d

in

m anagem ent

su ch

under

th e

la t t e r

m eth o d .

S tr a ig h t

d iv e rs e in d u s t r y g ro u p s a s m in in g , t ra n s p o rt a tio n ,

s e n io r it y is s y n o n y m o u s w i t h le n g t h o f s e r v ic e a n d

c o m m u n ic a tio n ,

o p e r a te s in

p rin tin g

w o rk in g g ro u p
ity ;

ru bber

( t a b l e 1 3 ).

in

p ro d u cts,

le a t h e r ,

and

I n m a n u fa c t u r in g , th e m e t a l­

a s a w h o le fa v o r e d

tra n s p o rta tio n

h o w e v e r,

m e c h a n ic a l fa s h io n .

o f s e r v ic e ;

q u e s tio n s

a

reco rd s

o f le n g t h

q u a lifie d s e n io r ­

e q u ip m e n t ,

a

p lo y m e n t

p ro v id e

r e la tin g

s e n io rity

o ffe rs

th an

Q u a lifie d

s e n io r it y ,

acco u n t,

in

b y

q u a lifie d

trie s s u c h

s e n io rity

p ro v is io n s .

a s t e x t ile -m ill p r o d u c t s a n d

In

in d u s ­

e le c t r ic a n d

g a s u t ilit ie s , w h e r e i n t r a i n d u s t r y d iffe r e n c e s in
n a tu re

o f p r o d u c t io n

v a ria n c e

in

p r a c tic e

(w h ic h
in

m ay

o th er

p o s s ib ly

in d u s tr ie s )

th e

e m p lo y e e s

e x p la in
are

d iffic u lt

not

th e

tw een

s tra ig h t

s e n io rity

an d

in flu e n c e

of

in d ic a t in g

th e

p r o d u c t io n

q u a lifie d
fa c to rs

be­

s e n io rity ,

o th er

and

s a t is fa c tio n

of

th e

u s u a lly

d iv id e d

a b ilit y

of

q u a lifie d

e x e rc is e

th e

of

of

s tra ig h t

in te rp re t a tio n .
tak es

com p eten ce,
o b je c t iv e ly ,

s e n io r it y ,

w ith o u t

p o s s ib ilit y
u n it,

d iffe re n c e s

w o rk ers

em ­

a c c o u n t in g

o th er h an d ,

m easu re,

assess

o p e ra tio n

e q u a lly

fro m

s e n io rity

th e

C o m p an y

d e fin it iv e

p r o b le m s
on

to

e s p e c ia lly p r o n o u n c e d , th e m a jo r a g r e e m e n t s w it h
a lm o s t

th e

fa c to rs

la y o ff p r o v is io n s

w e re

fe w

v a ry in g
in

a s id e

to

la r g e r n u m b e r o f w o rk e rs w e re c o v e re d b y s tra ig h t

a

in t o

am on g

s o m e t im e s
at

a ffe c t e d .

le a s t

to

In

th e

m anagem ent

can

o p p o s it io n

th e

o p tio n

of

r e v e r t in g to s t r a ig h t s e n io r it y in la y o ffs , e s p e c ia lly

re q u ire m e n ts .

th an

in a la r g e la y o ff ; u n d e r s t r a ig h t s e n io r it y , t h e o r d e r
is f ix e d

b y

r e la tiv e

le n g t h

o f s e r v ic e , w i t h

c e r t a in

T a b l e 13 .— Length of service as a factor in determ ining the order of layoff in m ajor collective bargaining agreements, by industry ,
1954-55

Number with seniority
provisions affecting
order of layoff
Industry
Workers
(thou­
sands)

Agree­
ments

Type of seniority applied in layoff
Straight seniority
(length of service only)

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thou­
sands)

Qualified seniority
(length of service and
other factors)
Agree­
ments

Workers
(thou­
sands)

Other 1

Agree­
ments

Workers
(thou­
sands)

All industries___ _______ ______ _____ ________________

1,347

5,815.1

579

2,974.1

749

2, 737. 5

19

103.5

Manufacturing____ _____ ____________________________
Food and kindred products_____ ________ _________
Tobacco manufactures................................ ................
Textile-mill products_____________________ ______ _
Apparel and other finished textile products______
Lumber and wood products (except furniture)_____
Furniture and fixtures______________________ _____
Paper and allied products________________________
Printing, publishing, and allied industries_________
Chemicals and allied products____________________
Products of petroleum and coal-__________________
Rubber products..........- ______ ___________________
Leather and leather products__________ _____ _____
Stone, clay, and glass products____ _______ ________
Primary metal industries_________________________
Fabricated metal products............. ................ ............
Machinery (except electrical)______ ____ _________
Electrical machinery____________________________
Transportation equipment_____ ____ _____________
Instruments and related products..............................
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries____ _______

1,039
96
10
65
3
17
16
53
14
61
26
21
14
32
117
63
142
102
139
29
29

4,123.1
320.3
29 5
118.5
4.1
39.2
29. 2
119.5
28.1
132.6
71.7
128.8
41.7
102.6
662.5
169.2
369.8
424.0
1, 205. 4
64.8
61. 5

388
40
8
26
3
6
4
17
11
19
8
14
9
11
30
17
46
46
55
10
8

1,605. 5
112.9
21.7
66.8
4.1
17.0
6.4
39.1
24.1
33.8
23. 5
85.3
33. 3
56. 0
79.9
25.9
148.4
140.8
653.9
16.9
15.8

635
55
2
28

2,427. 5
205.4
7.9
47.9

16
1

90.0
2.0

1

3.8

11
11
35
3
42
18
6
5
21
85
42
94
56
82
18
21

22.2
19.7
78.8
4.0
98. 8
48.1
8.5
8.4
46.6
577.9
121.7
216.7
283.3
538.9
46.8
45.7

1
1

3.1
1.5

1

35.0

2
4
2

4.7
21.6
4.7

2
1

12.5
1.2

N onmanufacturing___________ ___ _____ _____________
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural gas produc­
tion................................ ...........................................
Transportation *____________ _____ _______ ________
Communi cation_______ _________________________
Utilities: Electric and gas___ ________ ____________
Wholesale trade_______________________ ______ ___
Retail trade______________ ______________ _____ _
Hotels and restaurants..............................................
Services____ ____ ____ _____ ______________ _______
Construction....... .................................. ......................
M iscellaneous nonmanufacturing___________ ______

308

1,692. 0

191

1,368. 6

114

310.0

3

13.5

15
52
68
64
11
48
16
26
6
2

295.0
336.9
538. 5
173.2
18.6
139.6
102.8
74.1
9.6
3.8

6
43
61
31
5
17
9
15
4

272. 7
316.3
517.4
96.6
10.0
60. 7
52.9
34. 7
7.4

9
9
7
30
6
31
7
11
2
2

22.2
20.6
21.1
63.2
8.6
78.9
49.9
39.4
2.2
3.8

3

13.5

1

1 Includes 13 agreements specifying straight seniority for certain groups of
employees and qualified seniority for others and 6 agreements not specifying
which type of seniority would be applied.




* Excludes railroads and airlines,
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not n e ce ssa rily
equal totals.

22
e x c e p tio n s to b e n o t e d la t e r , a n d m a n a g e m e n t h a s
no

a l t e r n a t i v e p r o c e d u r e . 15

T a b l e 15 .— Specified exceptions to the use o f seniority as a

factor in determining the order o f layoff in m ajor collective
bargaining agreements, 1954-55

T h e r e a re th re e b a s ic t y p e s o f q u a lifie d s e n io rity
p ro v is io n s .
a lm o s t

h a lf

s e n io rity

T h e
of

m ost

th e

749

p ro v is io n s

com m on

ty p e,

a g re e m e n ts

(t a b le

1 4 ),

fo u n d

w ith

m akes

th e fo llo w in g

of

e x a m p le s :

W h en ever there is a reduction in th e w orking force or
em ployees are laid off from their regular jobs, total length
of continuous service, applied on a plant, departm ent, or
other

basis

as

negotiated

locally,

shall

be

th e

ferred. . . . H ow ever, ability will be given consideration.
*

*

Total with seniority provisions affecting order of
layoff______________________________________

*

T h e
o f th e

m ents . . . th e

le n g t h

seniority

shall

prevail,

provided the em ployee retained or recalled is capable of

th ird

c la s s ific a t io n

q u a lifie d

A n o th er

ty p e,

q u a lifie d

le n g t h
o n ly

o f s e r v ic e

w hen

a p p e a r in g

s e n io rity
as

a b ilit y

a

in

abou t

a g re e m e n ts,

secon d ary

an d

fit n e s s

fa c to r,
am ong

e m p lo y e e s a re a p p r o x im a t e ly e q u a l.

6
20
8

8.8
74.6
53.1

of

in c lu d e s

a

th ird

of

e s t a b lis h e s
to

g o v e rn

c o m p e t in g

T o illu s t r a t e :

In decreases in forces or rehirings after layoffs the follow ­
ing factors as listed below shall be considered; however,
on ly where b o th factors “ a ” and “ b ” are relatively equal

abou t

s e n io r it y p r o v is io n s in

s e r v ic e

and

r e la tiv e

n iz e d

bu t

th e

fix in g

doing the w ork.

th e

5,029.9
785.2
102.9
80.3
465.5

*

or increases its working forces w ithin any of the depart­
of

5,815.1

1,126
221
35
20
132

N o t e .— B ecause o f ro u n d in g , su m s o f in d iv id u a l ite m s do n o t n e ce ssa rily
e q u a l to ta ls.

I t is agreed th a t w henever the co m p an y either reduces
principle

1,347

No exceptions specified_________________________
With provision for exceptions____ _____________
During defined emergency period _________
During undefined emergency period________
During temporary layoffs___________________
At company’s discretion under special circum­
stances__________________________________
Jointly determined by company and union.......
Other__________ ___________ _______ ________

m ajor

factor determ ining th e em ployees to be laid off or trans­
*

Workers
(thousands)

q u a lifie d
le n g t h

s e r v ic e t h e p r im a r y c o n s id e r a t io n a n d o t h e r fa c t o r s
s e c o n d a r y , a s in

Agreements

Type of exception to seniority provisions

in

th e

r e la tio n s h ip

a b ilit y

o r d e r o f la y o ff w a s

of

one

a

w e re

to

s ix th

w h ic h

th e

not m ade

bo th

recog­

o th er

c le a r .

in
In

s o m e o f th e a g r e e m e n t s , th is m a y h a v e b e e n in t e n ­
t io n a l,
d e c id e
th e

in

th at

(w it h

o c c a s io n

been
(fr o m

th e
th e

w ith o u t

aro se .

In

con sequ en ce
p o in t

h a v e r e fle c t e d
w o rd s

m anagem ent

or

an

r e t a in e d

u n io n
o th ers,

o f lo o s e

o f v ie w

of a

th e

r ig h t

p a r t ic ip a t io n )

or

th ird

th is

m ay

to
as

have

c a r e le s s

w r it in g

p a rty )

or m ay

u n d e r s t a n d in g n o t e x p lic it in th e

o f t h e c l a u s e . 16

E x a m p le s fo llo w :

shall continuous service be the determ ining factor: (a) A b il­
ity to perform the w ork ; (b) Physical fitness; (c) C ontin­
uous service.
*

*

*

*

*

W h e n ability and other qualifications are relatively
equal, seniority shall govern when em ployees are prom oted,
dem oted, laid off, or reem ployed.
T a b l e 14 .— Types o f qualified seniority determ ining the order
o f layoff in m ajor collective bargaining agreements,

1954-55
All industries Manufacturing Nonmanufac­
turing
Qualifications of seniority

Total_________ ____ _____
Seniority governs, pro­
vided senior employee is
competent to do avail­
able work_________ _ __
Seniority secondary, i. e.,
governs only if ability is
equal to competing em­
ployee_________ ___ _
Consideration given sen­
iority not clear _______
Other
~
____

Work­
Work­
Work­
ers
ers Agree­
Agree­
ers Agree­
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
749 2,737.5

635 2,427.5

350 1,039.5

313

264 1,101.6
125
10

557.8
38.6

114

310.0

937.2

37

102.3

215

979.9

49

121.7

97
10

471.9
38.6

28

86.0

i Includes agreements in which the type of qualified seniority varied by
length of service or type of occupation.
N o t e .— B ecause o f ro u n d in g , su m s of in d iv id u a l ite m s do n o t n e ce ssa rily
e q u a l to ta ls.




Seniority is defined as the length of an em ployee’s
continuous service w ith the com p any and it shall apply,
m erit considered, as to dem otions, prom otions, layoffs,
and rehirings within a departm ent.
Such layoffs shall be arranged w ith due consideration
for seniority in the line-of-advancem ent, ability, length of
service w ith the com p any, and fam ily responsibility, and
in reem ploym ent the sam e consideration shall prevail.
*

*

*

*

*

In the event of a reduction of, or any increase in, the
working forces, the case of each em ployee affected, that
is, his transfer, layoff, or recall, will be based upon (1) his
seniority and (2) his ability to perform the work.
1 The distinction between a layoff procedure and a discharge procedure
8
should be borne in mind. As a rule, layoff procedures are not intended to
cover the removal of incompetent or untrustworthy employees. Most agree­
ments provide that management may discharge workers for “ just cause,”
which, when defined, includes such reasons as incompetence, inefficiency,
dishonesty, drunkenness, and insubordination.
1
6
Because of their lack of precision and the use of subjective phrases, quali­
fied seniority clauses in general are known for the number of grievances they
create and for the difficulties they present to arbitrators of grievance disputes
(see, for example, Arbitration of Labor-Management Grievances, Bethlehem
Steel Co. and United Steelworkers of America, 1942-52, BLS Bull. 1159).
In the present analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics attempted to be con­
sistent in interpreting the language of not one but a large number of agree­
ments. In classifying 749 qualified seniority provisions according to the
weight given to length of service, the Bureau obviously does not wish to
lay claim to an insight that arbitrators, or even the parties who negotiated
the contracts, may lack.

23
Exceptions to Seniority1
7
a n tic ip a t io n

of

s p e c ia l

c ir c u m s t a n c e s

m ig h t ju s t ify w a iv e r o r s u s p e n s io n
r u le ,

abou t

a

s ix th

of

th e

w h ic h

a g re e m e n ts

M o re

th an

h a lf

of

th ese

a g re e m e n ts

fo r

o th er

u n io n

re p re s e n ta tiv e s ,

g ro u p s.

e m p lo y e e

T o

in s u r e

re p re s e n ta tio n

d u r in g

to

1 5 ).

u n io n

m em b ers

to

accept

su ch

r e s p o n s ib ilit ie s ,

fo r

to p

s e n io r it y

to

u n io n

r e p re s e n ta tiv e s

stew ard s

rary

not

th ese

a g re e m e n ts

th e

u n io n

re p re s e n ta tiv e s ; ra th e r, th e b u lk

d e fin e d

in

w h ic h
th e

w e re

v a r io u s ly

agre e m e n ts.

A

d e fin e d

or

fo u rth

of

g e n e r a l e x c e p tio n s a p p lie d to “ e m e r g e n c y ” p e r io d s ,
a ls o a n u n d e fin e d t e r m
M o re

com m on

s e n io rity ,

or

a

w e re

p la c e

and

o v e r 4 0 p e r c e n t o f th e la y o ff a g re e m e n t s p r o v id e d

e x c e p t io n s o r s u s p e n s io n o f s e n io r it y d u r in g t e m p o ­
la y o ffs ,

key

c o n tin u e d

a ft e r a la y o ff, a n d p o s s ib ly to p r o v id e a n in c e n tiv e

c o n ta in e d

a llo w e d

or

e x p e r ie n c e d

o f t h e s e n io r it y

p r o v is io n s fo r s u c h g e n e r a l c o n tin g e n c ie s (t a b le

lis t ,

p e r s o n n e l,
In

re te n tio n

v is io n s

(t a b le

lis t e d

1 6 ).

th e

O n ly

gra n ted

a s m a ll

and

s u p e r s e n io r it y

c a te g o r ie s

of

sh op

p ro p o rtio n

u n io n

to

of
a ll

o f th e p ro ­
rep re se n ta-

in a n u m b e r o f a g r e e m e n t s .
p ro v is io n s
at

or

g ra n t in g

of

1
7
Temporary and probationary employees may be laid off before seniority
provisions come into play. This study deals with the provisions as they
affect regular employees.

su p er-

th e

near

to p

th e

T a b l e 16 .— Superseniority provisions fo r u nion representatives d uring layoff in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , by
industry , 1954-55

Industry

Number with Number pro­
seniority
viding
provisions
superseniority
for union
affecting
order of
representa­
tives
layoff

Superseniority for-

All union
representa­
tives

Fixed number
or proportion
of union repre­
sentatives

Listed cate­
gories of
union repre­
sentatives

Fixed number
or proportion
of listed cate­
gories of union
representa­
tives

Other 7

WorkWork­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Agree­ ers
Agree­ ers
Agree­ eis
Agree­ ers
Agree­ ers
Agree­ ers
Agree­ ers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All industries_____________ _____ ________

1,347 5,815.1

590 2,998.6

28

364.6

46

288.0

319 1,467.5

176

701.6

21

176.9

Manufacturing_________________ ____ ____ 1,039 4,123.1
Food and kindred products....................
96
320.3
Tobacco manufactures_____ _ _________
10
29. 5
Textile-mill products________ _______
55
118. 5
Apparel and other finished textile prod­
ucts__ ____ ______ ____________ ____
3
4.1
Lumber and wood products (except
furniture)___________ _____ _________
17
39.2
Furniture and fixtures.. _____________
16
29.2
Paper and allied products____________
53
119.5
Printing, publishing, and allied in­
dustries.____ ________ ________ . . .
14
28.1
Chemicals and allied products_______
61
132. 6
Products of petroleum and coal___ _
26
71. 7
Rubber products___ _____ ___________
21
128. 8
Leather and leather products_________
14
41.7
Stone, clay, and glass products _______
32
102.6
Primary metal industries_____________
117
662.5
Fabricated metal products_______ ____
63
169.2
Machinery (except electrical)________
142
369.8
Electrical machinery ___________ ____
102
424.0
Transportation equipment____________
139 1,205. 4
Instruments and related products... . . .
29
64. 8
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries.
29
61.5

545 2,692.8
20
38.1
2
2.7
76.5
31

26
1

359.0
3.4

39
1

110.9
1.4

1

1. 8

668.9
9.1
1.3
5.0

173.7
4.8

4.7

165
4
1
3

19
2

3

296 1,380.4
19.4
12
1
1.4
65.1
24

1

1.2

1
1

1.6
1.0

1

1.4

1
2
6

3.7
5.0
15.3

3
1
2

138.4
1.0
2.9

2

3.2

2

3.2

Nonmanufacturing_____________ _________
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural
gas production...__________ ________
Transportation 2
_____________________
Communication____ ______ _____ _____
Utilities: Electric and gas__________
Wholesale trade_____________________
Retail trade______________________ __
Hotels and restaurants_______________
Services_____________ ______ _________
Construction____ _________________ __
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing in­
dustries.____ _ _____________ _____

308 1, 692.0
15
52
68
64
11
48
16
26
6

295.0
336. 9
538.5
173.2
18.6
139. 6
102.8
74.1
9.6

2

1
12
7

1.8
22.8
11.4

1
20

1.5
55.0

3

9.6

7
11.3
530.6
72
42
117.6
111
308.9
338.8
73
110 1,097. 5
35. 5
16
33.3
17

3
4
2
4
4
3

4.2
7.1
2.7
5.2
10.1
307.6

1

45

305.8

2

7
7

17.8
199. 8

13
2

33.1
2. 2
25.9
2. 5
18. 0
6.4

2
1

4.9
2.4

1
10

1.5
27.6

8

13.0

9.6

1.0

9
4
11
5
3
1
2

27.4
25.8
31.1
8. 7
5.7
1. 3
5.1

2
42
23
46
42
59
11
6

4.7
449.0
64.1
138.0
165.4
368.1
28.0
13.6

2
16
11
44
22
42
3
6

2.4
43.5
20.0
119.2
154.6
277.7
5.1
10.7

5.6

7

177.1

23

87.1

11

32.7

1
2

1.0
165.0

4
4

7.9
30.8

2
1

8.9
4.0

3

8.6

1

2. 5

2
1
2
1
5
4

4.5
1.0
19. 8
2. 5
14.3
6.4

4
1
1

11.3
1. 2
3. 6

2

3.8

3.8

4
1
7
4

1
Includes agreements which provided that the union representative must
have a specified length of service before being entitled to superseniority;
prohibited the exercise of superseniority over employees with a specified
length of service; and limited superseniority to certain administrative sub­
divisions only or granted it subject to the union representative’s ability to
do the work.




13.0

1.8
15.2
8.0

3

1

1
8
5

2

5.6

2 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N ote.—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

24
T a b l e 17 .— Superseniority provisions fo r special groups ( other than u n ion representatives) during layoff in m ajor collective
bargaining agreements, by industry , 1954-55
Superseniority for l—

Number with
seniority provi­
sions affecting
order of layoff

Key or excep­
tional
employees,
specialists *

Industry

Work­
Work­
ers
ers
Agree­
(thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)

Agree­
ments

All industries............ .............. ................................. .

1,347 5,815.1
1,039 4,123.1
96
320.3
10
29.5
55
118.5
3
4.1
17
39.2
16
29.2
53
119.5
14
28.1
61
132.6
26
71.7
21
128.8
14
41.7
32
102.6
117
662.5
63
169.2
142
369.8
102
424.0
139 1,205. 4
29
64.8
29
61.5

190
12

N onmanufacturing__________________________ _____
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural gas pro­
duction------------------------------------------------------Transportation *_________________________ _____
Communication_____ _______________ _________
Utilities: Electric and gas______________________
Wholesale trade------------ ---------------------------------Retail trade___________________________________
Hotels and restaurants______________ ________
Services______ _______________________________
Construction.------- ----------------------------------- -----Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing................... .......

308 1, 692. 0

Agree­
ments

Work­
ers
(thou­
sands)

36

455.0

230 1,157.0

Manufacturing............................... .................................
Food and kindred products----------------- ------ -----Tobacco manufactures................. ...........................
Textile-mill products---------------------------------------Apparel and other finished textile products--------Lumber and wood products (except furniture)----Furniture and fixtures ............... - - - ...................
Paper and allied products---------------------- --------- Printing, publishing, and allied industries----------Chemicals and allied products--------------------------Products of petroleum and coal-------------------------Rubber products---------------- ------------ --------- -----Leather and leather products---------------------------Stone, clay, and glass products-------------------------Primary metal industries.........................................
Fabricated metal products-------------------------------Machinery (except electrical)--------- ------------------Electrical machinery---------------------------------------Transportation equipment------------------ --------Instruments and related products---------------------Miscellaneous manufacturing industries--------------

16
52
64
11

48
16
26

32

116.3

15

47.9

98.7

12
1

38.3
4.8

650.2
1.5

2.0
20.0

3.3 _________ _____________________________________________________

18.4
4.4
3.1

7
29
14
38
23
33
8
3

38.8
73.6
25.8
144.0
124.5
463.3
22.8
6.5

40

187.1

1.2 _____________ _______________________________________ _____________ _______

4.9 _____________ ________________________________
1.1

6

17.2

1

2.2

1

1.2

8

19.9

1

1.5

2

3

13.3
4.2
41.2
4.2
562.1

3
3
4
4
1

6

9

1

1.0

1

2

163.7
4.5

1

1

1.0

10.9

4

8.6

2.6

1

6

1.0

1.9
9.6

2

17.6

5.5

75.7
4.5
342.0

12
1

3

1.1
4.6
5.8
37.7
10.3
7.0

11.2

8.0

5.3
5.6
6.2
13.3

1.0

------- ---------

3.3
2.0

3

2
2
3
2

9.2

1

1.3

1

1

1

1

J. O
L

27

74.1
9.6
3.8

Other *

Work­
Work­
Work­
ers
Agree­
ers
ers
Agree­
(thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)

4.6

102.8

6
2

Agree­
ments

Disabled
veterans3

463.7

969.9
29.3

2
1
2
1
11
2
2

295.0
336.9
538.5
173.2
18.6
139.6

68

Superannuated,
disabled
employees

Students,
trainees

2

6.9

14.9

4.5

1 The total number of agreements and workers are nonadditive; 41 agree­
ments in the sample covered more than 1 category of employees.
2 44 of these agreements limited superseniority to a fixed number or pro­
portion of employees in this category.
3 8 of these agreements granted superseniority to all veterans.
* Includes agreements which provided for superseniority for other special
groups such as employees on the basketball team and employees hired before

a specified date; and agreements in which superseniority provisions were
not clear.
3 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

t iv e s

p lo y e e s

to

be

c o v e re d ,

p ro te c tio n
p ra c tic e
m ent

of

to

of

a

fix e d

o r lim it e d
n um ber

s a fe g u a r d in g

u n io n

p r e v a le n t in

th e

th e

s e n io r it y

c o n tin u e d

re p re s e n ta tiv e s

w as

u n io n

re p re s e n ta tiv e s

1 7 ).

tra ted

m a in ly

e m p lo y ­

c a tio n

C o n tracts

in

Such

p ro v is io n s w e re

th e m e ta lw o rk in g

a ls o

p ro v id e

e x tra

s e n io rity

s e c u rin g

c la u s e s

s e n io r it y

su p e ran n u a te d
a b le d

v e te ra n s.

or

d is a b le d
C la u s e s

e m p lo y e e s ,
e x e m p t in g

p r o v is io n s , m a n a g e m e n t fr e q u e n t ly s e e k s s e n io r it y

a t e d o r d i s a b l e d e m p l o y e e s 18 f r o m
s e n io rity

to m a in ­

e s s e n tia l o p e ra tio n s , p la n t s a fe ty , o r fo r o th e r

reaso n s.

Som e

c o n s id e r a t io n

a g re e m e n ts

m ade

o b je c t

th e

f o r t h e o t h e r ; t h a t is , s u p e r s e n i o r i t y

w as gra n ted

to a n

and

u n io n

re p re s e n ta tiv e s .

s ix th

o f th e

s e n io rity

one

equal n um ber of key




fo r

key

e m p lo y e e s

A p p r o x im a t e ly

a g re e m e n ts c o n ta in e d

p r o v is io n s

or

c o m m u n i­

p rotec­

t io n to o t h e r g r o u p s , s u c h a s s t u d e n t s a n d t ra in e e s ,

w a iv e r s fo r k e y o r e x c e p tio n a l e m p lo y e e s
ta in

and

concen­

in d u s t r ie s .

p a r tic u la rly

fro m

(t a b le

T h e

th e m e t a lw o r k in g in d u s tr ie s .

J u s t a s u n io n s a re in t e r e s t e d in
e x e m p t in g

e x tra

o r p ro p o rtio n .

a

c la u s e s w a i v i n g
e x c e p tio n a l

em ­

m e n ts,

w ere

fo u n d

p a r tic u la rly

in

th e

4

of

m e n ts p r o t e c t e d o t h e r s p e c ia l g ro u p s .
a

s p e c ia l

w a iv e r

fo r

th e

a g re e m e n ts

t ra n s p o rt a tio n e q u ip m e n t in d u s tr y .

p ro v id e d

d is ­

la y o ffs b a s e d o n

p ercen t

m a jo r

and

su p eran n u ­

a gree­
in

th e

F e w e r a g re e ­
O n e c la u s e

m em b ers

of

th e

c o m p a n y ’s b a s k e t b a l l t e a m .

1
8
For clauses granting special protection to older workers, see Older Workers
Under Collective Bargaining, op, cit. (p. 22).

25
T able 18.—Extent of definition of seniority unit in m
ajor collective bargaining agreem , by type of em
ents
ployer u ity 1954-55
n

Extent of definition of seniority unit

N umber with seniority
provisions affecting
order of layoff

Type of employer unit
Single plant

Multiplant company

Multiemployer

Agreements Workers Agreements Workers Agreements Workers Agreements Workers
(thousands)
(thousands)
(thousands)
(thousands)
Total........................................... .
Defined............................ ..............
Fully defined; no reference to local agreements_____
Defined in master agreement; subject to change lo­
cally.______________ _________________________
Defined for certain situations only________________
Not defined______________
Not defined in master agreement; established in local
__________
agreements_________ _____
Not defined in single plant agreements; to be nego­
tiated_______________ .
__ .............
Referred to but not defined............................................

1,347

5,815.1

803

1,954.0

330

2,681.1

214

1,180.1

1,101
1,080

4,369.8
3, 727.8

729
728

1,794.4
1, 782.9

254
236

1,869.6
1,248.4

118
116

705.7
696.5

17
4
246

602.6
39.4
1,445.3

1
74

11.5
159.5

16
2
76

597.0
24.2
811.4

1
1
96

5.6
3.7
474.3

40

678.1

38

675.6

2

2.5

9
197

23.1
744.1

9
65

23.1
136.4

38

135.8

94

471.8

N ote.—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily equal totals.
S en iority U n it 1
9

In contrast to the practice o f p ro vid in g supersen iority to special groups, a fe w agreem ents
p ro vid ed less-than-norm al sen iority p rotection to
certain em ployees otherwise considered as regu lar
em ployees. F o r exam ple, 2 agreem ents required
th a t in a slack period m arried w om en whose hus­
bands w ere em ployed w ere to be la id o ff w ith ou t
regard to sen iority; 3 agreem ents specified that
apprentices w ere to be la id o ff w ith o u t regard to
sen io rity; and 1 agreem ent p ro vid ed th a t n on­
union w orkers w ere to be la id o ff before union
m em bers. O f greater significance was the estab­
lishm ent o f separate sen iority lists fo r m en and
w om en em ployees, discussed la ter in this section,
w hich in operation m a y p rovid e less sen iority p ro ­
tection to w om en than to men w ith equ ivalen t
years o f service.

T able

T h e second m a jo r com ponent in the procedu re
o f determ in ing the order in w hich em ployees m a y
be laid o ff is the sen iority u nit; th a t is, the area in
w hich em ployees com pete in term s o f len gth o f
service and oth er factors th at m a y be in v o lv e d in
seniority.

S en io rity units are necessarily ta ilored

to fit the needs o f the particu lar establishm ent.
A m o n g establishm ents in general, the m ore h o m o ­
geneous the w ork force in term s o f operations and
skills, the w id er the sen iority unit tends to be.

In

diversified operations, each jo b or occupational
classification m a y com prise a separate u nit; on the

19 For a description of a seniority system in operation, see The Practice of
Seniority in Southern Pulp Mills, Monthly Labor Review, July 1955 (p. 757)

19.— Type of seniority unit specified for layoff purposes in m
ajor collective bargaining agreem , by type of em
ents
ployer
u n it y

1 9 5 4 -5 5

Type of employer unit

Total

Single plant

Type of seniority unit specified
Agree­
ments
All types of seniority unit _______________________
Job, craft, occupation, classification.__ ________ ___
Job or occupational families___ _________________ ___
Job and department_____________ ________________
Department- ______ ________________ ______ ___
Plant__ _____ ____________________________ ______
Unit varies with type of layoff____ _________________
Unit broadened if layoff caused by technological dis­
placement,
Unit varies by craft or occupation . . ______ ____
Unit varies with length of service_____________ _____
Other i____________________________________________

1,101
151
38
193
299
71
28
6
61
25
229

Workers
(thousands)
4, 369.8
360.3
140.0
633.3
846.5
156.9
106.4
350.4
173.5
157.3
1, 445.2

1 Includes agreements with seniority units defined by administrative subdivisions such as “district," “wage group," “payroll location," “station,"
office," “zone"; agreements with combinations of the seniority units listed




Agree­
ments
730
91
34
145
215
45
20
3
50
20
107

Workers
(thousands)
1, 795. 5
224.6
128.6
340.2
400.4
77.1
58.4
6. 4
139.6
85.2
335.0

Multiplant company
Agree­
ments
254
24
4
37
53
17
7
3
10
4
95

Workers
(thousands)
1,869. 6
44.2
11.4
215.1
356.6
53.9
46.8
344.0
28.4
64.8
704.5

Multiemployer
Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

117
36
11
31
9
1

704.7
91.4
78.1
89. 5
25.9
1.2

1
1
27

5.6
7.3
405.8

separately in the table; and agreements in which the seniority units were not
clearly defined,
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

26

T able

20.—Provisions in m
ajor collective bargaining agree­
m
ents for separate seniority lists for m and wom , by
en
en
industry, 1954.-55

Number with Number with
separate sen­ other related
iority lists
provisions i
Industry

All industries__________________________
Manufacturing___ ____ ________________
Food and kindred products__________
Tobacco manufactures............................
Textile-mill products___________ ____
Apparel and other finished textile prod­
ucts______________________________
Lumber and wood products (except
furniture)________________________
Furniture and fixtures_______________
Paper and allied products____________
Printing, publishing, and allied indus­
tries_____________________________
Chemicals and allied products_______
Products of petroleum and coal_______
Rubber products____________________
Leather and leather products_________
Stone, clay, and glass products_______
Primary metal industries...... ..................
Fabricated metal products__________
Machinery (except electrical)________
Electrical machinery________________
Transportation equipment__________
Instruments and related products____
Miscellaneous manufacturing indus­
tries_____________________________
N onmanufacturing___ __________________
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural
gas production___________________
Transportation 2____________________
Communication ___________________
Utilities: Electric and gas____________
Wholesale trade ___________________
Retail trade________________________
Hotels and restaurants______________
Services____________________________
Construction ___________________
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing .

Work­
Work­
Agree­ ers Agree­ ers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
92
89
24
1

596.5
571. 2
110.8
2.5

14
9
2

42.5
25.8
2.1

3
3

3.8
7.1

1

1.4

6
4
4
4
5
12
9
7
4
3
3

9.4
8.0
5.3
5. 2
11.1
54.0
16.9
324.6
4.9
7.6
25.4

2

24.3

1

1.1

1
2
1
1
1

2.2
6.6
1.2
2.9
9.4

5

16.8

1
2
1
1

3.9
5.0
1.6
6.3

1 Includes agreements which provided separate seniority lists for women
in certain departments only or for women hired after a specified date, excluded
women from exercising seniority to displace employees in specified classifica­
tions, confined hiring and firing of women to certain classifications for senior­
ity purposes, specified separate job classifications for men and women, or
otherwise indicated separate seniority lists. One agreement permitted
women to bid on certain jobs if there were at least 3 such jobs in the unit,
2 of which were filled by men; 1 permitted interchangeability of male and
female operators by determination of the general foreman and shop steward.
Women were classed as temporary employees under one agreement, with
no seniority rights except among themselves; they were to be replaced by men
as soon as an adequate supply of men became available.
2 Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
oth er hand, in some situations the plan t as a wholem a y be considered as a single unit.
T w o lim ited aspects relatin g to sen iority units
in agreem ents w ere studied: w heth er the agree­
m ent defined the sen iority units and the ty p e o f
unit specified. Since these aspects m a y be a
fu n ction o f size, it is im p orta n t to em phasize th a t
each o f the agreem ents analyzed covered at least
workers.
A b o u t 1 out o f ev e ry 5 agreem ents coverin g the
order o f la y o ff fa iled to describe the nature o f the
sen iority unit (ta b le 18). M o s t o f these agree­

m ents, w hich included a substantial proportion o f
m u ltiem p loyer agreem ents, referred to sen iority
units b u t did n ot define them . Since sen iority is
m eaningfu l o n ly in the con text o f a given area o f
application, it is lik e ly th a t in these situations the
sen iority u nit was n egotiated a t the local le v e l or
was established b y custom.
Because term s such as job , departm ent, and
pla n t h ave m a n y synonym s and a v a r ie ty o f
meanings am ong the 1,101 agreem ents w hich
defined the sen iority unit,2 the classification o f units
0
can be, at best, o n ly a rough approxim ation.
A b o u t a fifth o f these agreem ents referred to units
such as “ d istrict,” “ w age grou p,” “ sta tion ,”
w hich could be defined o n ly w ith kn ow led ge o f the
operations o f the particu lar establishm ent covered
b y the agreem ent. O n the w hole, h ow ever, it
w ould appear th a t jo b o r dep artm en tal sen iority
units, o r their equ ivalen t, w ere the m ost com m on.
U n its based on jobs o r jo b fam ilies w ere specified in
17 percent o f the agreem ents; jo b and dep artm en t
units in 18 percen t; and dep artm en t units in 27
percent. P la n tw id e units w ere p rovid ed fo r in
o n ly 6 percent o f the agreem ents. S lig h tly m ore
than 10 percent p ro vid ed fo r units v a ry in g w ith
the em p loyee’s jo b , len gth o f service, or the nature
o f the la y o ff situation (ta b le 19).
T h e order o f la y o ff applicable to m en and w om en
is som etim es adm inistered through the use o f
separate sen iority lists, a practice w hich has the
effect o f establishing sen iority units based on sex.
G en erally, m en and w om en are first d ivid ed in to
noninterchangeable occupational groups and then
in to separate sen iority units w ith in a dep artm en t
or the plant. T h e em p lo y e e ’s re la tiv e standing
on the appropriate retention list determ ines the
order o f la yo ff. A b o u t 8 percen t o f the agree­
m ents w ith la y o ff provisions contained clauses
p ro vid in g fo r separate sen iority lists fo r each sex
(table

20).

en tirely

to

Such

clauses w ere confined alm ost

m anu facturing

agreem ents.

Th ey

w ere m ost com m on in the fo o d industries, w here
th e y appeared in a fou rth o f the agreem ents w ith
la y o ff procedures, and in tran sportation
m ent,

w here

8

agreem ents

w ith

such

equ ip­
clauses

covered alm ost 335,000 workers.

1,00 0




20 Time worked in the seniority unit does not necessarily coincide with the
basis upon which length of service for layoff purposes is computed or calcu­
lated. The methods of calculating length of service were not covered in this
study.

27
Bum ping P ractices
A lth o u gh the ty p e o f sen iority and the sen iority
unit determ ines the order in w hich em ployees m a y
be reached fo r la y o ff, the question as to w h eth er
an em ployee is actu ally separated fro m the p a yro ll
m a y depend on another fa cto r— his p rivilege o f
displacing or bu m ping a ju n ior em p loyee (in term s
o f len gth o f service) in another sen iority unit.
F o r exam ple, a too l and die m aker w ith 5 years’
service m a y be the first to be reached fo r la y o ff
in his unit, bu t he m a y be allow ed b y the agree­
m en t to displace a less skilled m achine to o l
operator in another unit w ith 4 years’ service.
T h e m achine too l operator, in turn, m a y bum p a
w orker in another unit w ith 3 years’ service. T h e
practice o f bum ping, w hich m a y in v o lv e a chain
reaction a ffectin g a num ber o f w orkers fo r each

T able

one la id off, is gen era lly qu alified in the in terest o f
m ain tain in g plan t efficiency.
A p p ro x im a te ly h a lf o f the agreem ents w ith
la y o ff procedures contained bu m ping provisions
(ta b le 21). T h e practice was m ore preva len t in
m an u facturing than in nonm anufacturing agree­
m ents (56 percen t as against 31 percen t o f the
agreem ents) and was fa irly w ell distribu ted am ong
m a jo r large-establishm ent industries.
T h e co m p lexity o f the adm in istrative processing
and the disruption caused b y bu m ping m a y ac­
count fo r clauses lim itin g the use o f bu m ping to
in defin ite or lon g-term layoffs. A lm o st a third o f
the agreem ents w ith bum ping clauses contained
this specific qu alification (ta b le 21). On the oth er
hand, re la tiv e ly few agreem ents specified th a t
bu m ping w ou ld be practiced in both short-term
and in defin ite layoffs. T h e m a jo rity o f clauses

21.— Bumping provisions in m
ajor collective bargaining agreem , by type of layoff and industry, 195 —
ents
4 55

Industry

Number with Number with
seniority provi­ provisions for
sions affecting
bumping
No reference to
order of layoff
length of layoff

Bumping permitted in—
Indefinite
layoffs
only

Indefinite and
short-term
layoffs

Other *

Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Work­
Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers Agree­ ers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All Industries....................................................................... 1,347 5,815.1
Manufacturing................................................... .................. 1,039 4,123.1
Food and kindred products____________________
96 320.3
Tobacco manufactures................................................
10 29.5
Textile-mill products___________ ______________
65 118. 5
Apparel and other finished textile products............
4.1
3
Lumber and wood products (except furniture)___
17 39.2
Furniture and fixtures.................................................
16 29.2
Paper and allied products...........................................
53 119. 5
Printing, publishing, and allied industries............ .
14 28.1
Chemicals and allied products.......................... .........
61 132.6
Products of petroleum and coal________________
26 71. 7
Rubber products................................. .......... ..............
21 128.8
Leather and leather products___________________
14 41. 7
Stone, day, and glass products_________________
32 102.6
Primary metal industries____ _____ ____ ________
117 662.5
Fabricated metal products_____________________
63 169.2
Machinery (except electrical)__________________
142 369.8
Electrical machinery_______ __________________
102 424.0
Transportation equipment_____________________
139 1,205. 4
Instruments and related products______________
29 64.8
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries_________
29 61.5
N onmanufacturing______________ _________________
308 1,692.0
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural gas produc­
tion________________________________________
15 295.0
Transportation 2______________________________
52 336.9
Communication______ ________________________
68 538. 5
Utilities: Electric and gas______________________
64 173.2
Wholesale trade_____ _________________________
11 18.6
Retail trade__________________________________
48 139.6
Hotels and restaurants__________ ______________
16 102.8
Services..................................... ..................... ................
26 74.1
Construction_________________________________
6
9.6
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing...____________
2
3.8
1 Includes agreements which qualified bumping in relation to type of lay
off and/or workers affected.
2 Excludes railroads and airlines.




681 2,380.2
586 2,026.0
38 205.3
3
4.9
18 31.4
7 13.9
g 11. 5
22 50.8
5 11.9
40 90. 2
14 35.9
13 27.3
6 23 4
17 54.5
67 200.9
28 65 8
94 253.4
68 230.0
98 623.5
22 53. 5
18 38.0
95 354.2
9 14.3
20 44.6
15 155. 7
39 96.2
1
2.0
6 29.6
4 10. 5
1
1.3

425 1,379.2
347 1,091.7
30 187.1
3
4.9
15 28.0
7 13.9
4
6. 2
11 18. 5
5 11.9
22 48.8
12 25. 7
9 19. 7
6 23. 4
8 30.7
43 109.4
17 51 2
56 148.5
36 108.8
38 200.6
14 35. 6
11 18! 8
78 287.5
8 12.3
17 37.6
11 124. 6
31 70.9
1
2.0
6 29.6
3
9.3
1
1.3

16
14
1

46.0
41.7
3.4

2

3.8

5.5

1
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
2

4.3
10.0
1.4
3.2
3.4
1.0
7.1
4.2
4.3

5.5

1
1

2.8
1.5

210
197
5
2

769.3
712.5
11.8
2.4

30
28
2
1

185.7
180.2
3.1
1.0

3
9
17
2
3
7
22
9
32
27
48
6
5
13
1
2
4
5

4.1
28.5
39.9
10.2
3.3
12.6
88.3
11. 5
89.1
114.2
266.6
15. 2
15.0
56.9
2.0
4.2
31.1
18.3

1

1.2

1

1.5

1
1
5
4
10
2

1.3
1.8
12.4
5.0
149.3
2. 7

2
2

1

1.2

N o t e .— Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

28
T

able

— B u m ping practices in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , by type of sen iority applied in layoff , 1954-55

22.

Type of seniority applied in layoff

Total
Bumping practices

Straight seniority
Workers
(thousands)

Agree­
ments
Total with seniority provisions affecting order of layoff. Without provision for bumping............................................
With provision for bumping_________________________
Without limitations________________________ ___
Provided employee is capable of doing work_______
Provided he has minimum service requirement.........
Provided he has specified amount of service above
that of employee bumped_________ ____ ________
Provided he has prior service in unit____ _________
Provided he bumps to former job(s) only__________
Area of bumping geared to service.._____ ________
Other provisions ®
_______________________________

1,347
666
681
104
299
7
9
23
30
10
199

5,815.1
3,434.9
2,380.2
416.7
965.9
17.8
21.8
38.0
89.9
29.8
800.3

1 Includes 13 agreements specifying straight seniority for certain groups of
employees and qualified seniority for others and 6 agreements not specifying
which type of seniority would be applied.
* 124 agreements specified various combinations of employee qualifications
forbumping rights listed in the table. The remaining 75 included agreements
which varied bumping practices for different jobs, restricted bumping rights
contained no reference to the len gth o f la y o ff
in establishing bu m ping rights.
A n em ployee's rig h t to bum p w as qualified,
under m ost agreem ents, b y consideration o f his
a b ility or the nature o f his previous experience
T

23.—Duration of short-term or tem
porary layoffs
specified in m
ajor collective bargaining agreem , 1954~
ents
6
5.

able

Duration
Total with layoff provisions_________ __________
With provisions covering short-term layoff______
5 days (or 1 week) or le s s ___________ _ ___
More than 5 but less than 10 days (or 2 weeks)
10 days (or 2 weeks) _ ___________________
More than 10 days, but less than 1 month___
1 month or more___________________ ____
Undefined_________ _____ _ ______ ______
Other1. . ______ ___ .. . ___

Agree­
ments
1,347
400
172
22
63
34
23
67
19

W orkers
(thousands)
5,815.1
1,858.4
503.5
88.5
204.1
485.8
105.8
301.9
168.9

1 Includes agreements which limited the number of days of temporary
layoffs which may be accumulated in a specified calendar period; varied the
duration of the layoff period by the reason for layoff; provided for extension
of the temporary layoff by mutual agreement; and agreements which defined
temporary layoff as “ 1 week or more.”
N o t e .—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.




Qualified seniority

Agree­
ments

Agree­
ments

579
258
321
61
127
2
4
10
14
4
99

Workers
(thousands)
2,974.1
1,917.8
1,056.3
145.9
385.8
3.3
15.4
16.1
51.4
12.7
425.8

749
400
349
40
168
5
5
13
16
6
96

Workers
(thousands)
2,737.5
1,454. 5
1, 283.0
267.0
564. 7
14.5
6.4
21.9
38.5
17.1
352.9

Other 1
Agree­
ments

Workers
(thousands)

19
8
11
3
4

103.5
62.7
40.8
3.8
15.4

4

21.6

to em ployees of sp e cifie d le n g th of se rv ice , or lim ite d th e area of b u m p in g to
sp e cifie d s e n io rity u n its o r o n ly to jo b s h e ld b y u n sk ille d o r sh o rt-se rvice
em ployees.
N o t e .— B ecause of ro u n d in g , su m s of in d iv id u a l ite m s do n o t n e ce ssa rily
e q u a l to ta ls.

(ta b le 22). O n ly 15 percen t o f the bu m ping p ro ­
visions did n ot state specific lim itation s on the
rig h t to bum p. Q ualified bu m ping privileges
p reva iled to a slig h tly sm aller exten t am ong agree­
m ents w hich p ro vid ed fo r straight sen io rity than
in those w hich p ro vid ed fo r qu alified sen iority in
establishing the order o f la yo ff.
S h o rt-T erm or T em p o ra ry L a y o ffs
R eferen ces to short-term or tem p orary la yo ffs
in previous sections o f this rep ort m a y be clarified
b y contract definitions o f these term s. O f the
1,347 agreem ents w ith la y o ff procedures, 400
referred to short-term or tem p ora ry la yo ff. A b o u t
a sixth o f these agreem ents did n ot define the
terms. M o r e than three-fifths defined the period
intended as 10 days (o r 2 w eeks) or less, w ith m ost
a t 5 days (o r 1 w eek ) o r less. In som e agree­
ments, la yo ffs as lo n g as a m on th o r m ore w ere con­
sidered tem p ora ry or short term ed (ta b le 23).

Recall P r o c e d u r e s ; W o r k - S h a r i n g

T h e basic principle u nd erlying m ost recall p ro ­
cedures is the return to w ork in in verse order o f
la y o ff, i. e., the last person la id o ff is the first to be
recalled. A p p lica tio n o f this principle, h ow ever,
is com plicated b y p la n t requ irem en ts; produ ction
m a y n ot be resum ed sim ultaneously in all units o f
a plan t or in in verse order o f cu rtailm ent, n or is
the return to fu ll produ ction necessarily a t the
same ra te am ong units. Such situations often
result in m odification o f the recall principle, usually
b y w iden in g or n arrow in g the area o f jo b o p p o r­
tu n ity (sen io rity u n it) o r b y ascribing m ore w eigh t
to a b ility and skill than these factors m a y h ave had
in determ in in g the order o f la yo ff. T h is m a y be
done b y m utual agreem ent w hen the exigencies
arise or m a y be p ro vid ed fo r in the agreem ent.
Som e agreem ents p ro vid e fo r such contingencies
b y p erm ittin g d evia tio n fro m the regu lar recall
procedure, as in the fo llo w in g p rovision :

R ec a ll Procedu res
Just as a la y o ff procedure in a co llective b ar­
gain ing agreem ent assures the em ployed w orker
th a t the order o f la yo ff, should the occasion
arise, w ill be equitable, a recall procedure assures
the la id -o ff w ork er th at the order o f return to
w ork w ill be based on sim ilar, if n ot identical,
principles. A lth o u gh business requirem ents de­
term ine the tim in g and volu m e o f la y o ff and recall,
re la tive len gth o f em ployee service is an im p ortan t
and o b je c tiv e consideration in fixin g the order
in w hich w orkers are affected. T h e recognition o f
his eq u ity in the jo b is an im p orta n t righ t retained
b y the la id -o ff w orker under the agreem ent,
usually fo r a specified period.
D u rin g recent
years, this rig h t has been supplem ented b y other
rights, through co llective bargainin g or uni­
la tera lly b y em ployers, w hich also enhance, fo r
a tim e, the status and security o f the laid-off
w orker.
F o r exam ple, he m a y be en titled to
su pplem ental unem ploym ent benefits financed
b y the c o m p a n y ; he m a y be p erm itted to continue
his particip ation in the co m p a n y’s health and
insurance p la n ; he m a y preserve his credited
service under the com p a n y’s pension plan, or m a y
even q u a lify under len gth o f service or m inim um
age requirem ents fo r a deferred pension (vestin g)
during a la y o ff period w hich u ltim a tely becom es
a perm anent separation.




It is recognized that deviations from the [stipulated]
order of recall may be made necessary by the sequence in
which plant operations are resumed. For example, in the
case where plant equipment must be put back into shape
before operations can be started, the appropriate senior
mechanical department employees required to do the work
may be recalled, even though other employees with greater
plant seniority are still laid off until such time as the de­
partment is operating normally. Similarly, if a particular
operating department is to be started up and operating
employees with the necessary qualifications and experience
in that department are required, such employees may be

29

30
recalled even though employees o f other departments with
greater plant seniority are still laid off.

O f the 1,743 m a jo r agreem ents studied, la y o ff
procedures w ere fou nd in 1,347, co verin g 5.8 m il­
lion w orkers. M o s t o f these agreem ents ex p lic itly
set fo rth a recall procedu re; a few , h ow ever, con­
tained no reference to the m anner in w hich recall
was to proceed. M o s t agreem ents also stipu lated
the len gth o f tim e th a t la id -o ff w orkers w ou ld
retain sen iority.

call provision s w hich w ere n o t exp licit or w hich
p ro vid ed o n ly fo r preference o v e r n ew em ployees
in rehire accounted fo r 13 percen t o f the agree­
ments.

T h e rem ainin g

1 percen t p ro vid ed fo r

recall b y stra igh t sen io rity fo r som e groups and
qu alified sen iority fo r others.

Seniority in Recall.

A s in la y o ff, qu alified senior­
ity , w h e reb y len gth o f service is considered w ith
oth er factors such as a b ility , skill, and ph ysical
fitness, was the predom in an t ty p e o f sen io rity
a pplied in reca ll: 58 percen t o f the 1,347 agree­

T able

m ents in recall and 56 percen t in la y o ff.2 O n ly
1
28 percen t o f the agreem ents specified stra igh t
sen io rity (i. e., len gth o f service is the o n ly fa c to r)
in recall, in contrast to 43 percen t in la yo ff. R e ­

24 .—

(See table 24.)

Q u alified sen iority w as specified m ore freq u e n tly
in m an u facturing than in n onm anufacturing indus­
tries.

Such provisions w ere fou nd in slig h tly m ore

31 For a discussion of seniority types and their prevalence in layoff pro­
cedures, see pages 19-22.

Recall provisions in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , by in du stry , 1954-55
Laid-off employees recalled on the basis of—
Number with
layoff provisions

Industry

Straight seniority Preference over
Straight seniority Qualified senior­ for some, quali­ new employees, Recall procedure
fied seniority for seniority not a
not explicit
ity
factor
others 1

Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­ ments (thou­
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
sands)
All industries---------------- -------------------- 1,347 5,815.1
Manufacturing------------------------------------ 1,039 4,123.1
96
320.3
Food and kindred products_________
29.5
10
Tobacco manufactures____________55
118.5
Textile-mill products _______________
Apparel and other finished textile
4.1
3
products_________________________
Lumber and wood products (except
39. 2
17
furniture) ___ ______________
16
Furniture and fixtures _ ________
29.2
119. 5
Paper and allied products
53
Printing, publishing, and allied indus­
14
28.1
tries. ___________________________
132. 6
Chemicals and allied products___ _ .
61
71. 7
26
Products of petroleum and coal ____
Rubber products______________
21
128.8
14
41.7
Leather and leather products____ _
32
102.6
Stone, clay, and glass products______
662.5
Primary metal industries........ ...........
117
63
169. 2
___
Fabricated metal products
142
369.8
Machinery (except electrical)______ _
102
Electrical machinery___ __ _____
424.0
139 1, 205. 4
Transportation equipment.. ___ ..
Instruments and related products._
29
64.8
Miscellaneous manufacturing indus­
61.5
29
tries____________________________
Nonmanufacturing_____________________
308 1, 692.0
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural
295.0
15
gas production______ _ . _ _ ____
52
336.9
Transportation 3__
___ ___
538.5
Communications__ _________ _____
68
64
173.2
Utilities: Electric and gas
11
18. 6
Wholesale trade
48
139.6
Retail trade ___
_____
16
102.8
Hotels and restaurants__________ __
74.1
26
Services. ___________ _______ ____
6
9. 6
Construction .
____
2
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing____
3.8

373
298
30
6
25
2
4
4
16
9
14
4
8
6
6
22
16
33
32
50
6
5
75
3
23
10
13
4
6
5
9
2

1, 665.1
1,255.0
66.8
17.8
65.8
3.1
9.0
6.8
28.6
14.8
24.0
8.8
34.3
15.7
21.7
70.2
28.3
121.9
79.5
615.2
10.1
12.4
410.1
3.1
238.0
73. 6
28.3
8.5
18.1
16.8
19.8
3.9

1 7 of these agreements combined straight seniority in recall for certain occu­
pational groups or departments with qualified seniority for others; 4 used
straight seniority if the employee was recalled to his regular job classification
and qualified seniority if recalled to a new job classification; the remaining
agreement used straight seniority for employees with 7 years’ service and
qualified seniority for those with less service.




786
642
55
2
27

3,136.5
2,517.2
232.9
4.7
46.1

8
10
32

17.1
17. 9
80. 9

40
17
9
6
23
90
40
100
56
85
20
22
144
8
11
47
34
6
22
5
8
1
2

97. 6
36.3
19.5
15.1
62.4
583.5
114. 7
232.7
286.7
572.8
49.4
46.9
619. 2
19.4
24.4
375.3
70. 5
8. 6
57.4
44.3
14.4
1.2
3.8

12
10

296.1
27.6

1

1.0

1

3.1

2
1
1
2
1
1

4.7
1.5
3.5
3.3
9.4
1.2

2
2

268.5
268.5

43
28
2
1

155.0
93.9
4.8
4.5

2

5. 5

1
4
1
1
1
2
10
1
1
1
15

1.8
4.9
3.2
9.5
1.1
2.7
50.4
2.1
2.4
1.0
61.0

1
1
6
3
4

2.8
3.0
11.9
13.8
29.5

133
61
9
1
2
1
3
1
5
4
3
4
4
1
3
2
6
6
2
2
1
1
72
2
17
10
11
1
17
2
9
3

562.5
229.4
15.8
2.5
5.6
1.0
7.6
1.4
10.0
11.5
6.1
23.4
75.0
1.4
18.6
3.0
24.8
9.0
4.1
5.9
1.7
1.2
333.2
4.0
71.7
86.5
62.4
1.5
50.3
12.3
40.0
4.5

* Excludes railroads and airlines.
N o t e .— B ecause o f ro u n d in g , sum s of in d iv id u a l ite m s do n o t n e ce ssa rily
e q u a l to ta ls.

31
than 60 percent o f bo th la y o ff and recall provisions
in m anu facturing agreem ents. In nonm anufac­
turing, the proportion was 47 percent in recall and
37 percen t in la yo ff. R e c a ll based on qu alified
sen io rity was p rovid ed in o ver 70 percent o f the
agreem ents in the stone, clay, and glass; p rim a ry
m etals; and m ach in ery (excep t electrical) indus­
tries.
O f the 786 agreem ents p ro vid in g fo r qualified
sen io rity in recall, len gth o f service was the p ri­
m a ry fa cto r in 56 percent and a secondary fa cto r
in 30 percent o f the agreem ents, as in dicated in
the fo llo w in g tabu lation:

Agreements
T o ta l_____________________________
Seniority governs, provided senior
em ployee is com petent to do
available w ork_______________
Seniority secondary, i. e., governs
only if ability equal to com ­
peting em ployee_____________
Consideration given seniority not
clear_________________________
Consideration given seniority varies
by length of service or type
of occupation________________

Workers

(thousands)

786

3, 136. 5

443

1, 656. 9

237

1, 023. 3

98

425. 1

8

31. 2

W h ere sen iority was the p rim a ry factor, experience
on sim ilar or related w ork, either w ith the em ­
p lo yer or w ith oth er firm s, was o ften accepted as
dem onstration o f a b ility. In som e instances, the
em ployee was to be g iv en a short tria l period to
p ro ve his a b ility. U n d er clauses w here sen iority
was secondary, the first test was th a t o f a b ility
or fitness. A s betw een tw o com petin g em ployees,
if a b ility was equal or r e la tiv e ly equal, len gth o f
service was the determ in ing factor.
S tra igh t sen iority go vern ed the order o f recall
in 373 agreem ents, accounting fo r 28 percent o f
m an u facturing and 24 percent o f n onm anufactur­
in g agreem ents, in contrast to 37 percent and 62
percent, resp ectively, in la yo ff. In each industry^
except lum ber, the num ber o f agreem ents p ro v id ­
in g fo r straigh t sen iority in recall was lo w er than
in la y o ff; the difference was m ost m arked in the
com m unications industry, w ith 15 percen t p ro ­
vid in g fo r straight sen iority in recall and 90 per­
cen t in la yo ff.
A com bination o f b oth straight and qualified
sen io rity was applied in recall under the term s o f
12 agreem ents.
T h e factors determ in ing the ty p e

22 For a discussion of seniority units, see tables 18,19, and 20 (pp. 25-26).




o f sen iority applicable w ere the occupational
groups or departm ents in seven in stan ces; and the
em p loy ee’s len gth o f service in another. In fou r
such agreem ents, including the n ational anthracite
and bitum inous coal contracts, straigh t sen iority
govern ed recall to the em p loy ee’s fo rm er jo b , and
qu alified sen iority go vern ed recall to a new jo b
classification.

Relation Between Layoff and Recall Procedures.
In 964 agreem ents, coverin g 68 percen t o f the
w orkers under la y o ff procedures, the order o f re­
call was determ ined b y the same m eth od a p p li­
cable to la yo ff, i. e., ty p e o f seniority, w eigh t given
to a b ility, skill, or oth er factors, and com position
o f the sen iority unit (ta b le 25) .2 Such procedures
2
w ou ld n orm a lly result in recall in inverse order o f
la yo ff, i f production w ere resumed in the same
order as it was curtailed. In a num ber o f these
agreem ents, w orkers w ere given a w ider jo b area
fo r reem ploym en t b y a proviso gran tin g preference
in rehire to la id -off em ployees before n ew w orkers
could be hired. Thus, em ployees w ith recall
rights in a u nit w here operations had n ot y e t
resumed w ou ld h ave preference in em ploym en t in
oth er units o f the com pan y w hich were expanding.
In another group o f 133 agreem ents, the recall
procedure was n ot explicit. H o w e ver, it is
probable th a t the intent, in m a n y o f these agree­
ments, was to fo llo w the same principles in recall
as in la yo ff. T h is group also included 6 m aster
agreem ents w hich p rovid ed fo r n egotiation o f
la y o ff and recall provisions a t the local level.
In the rem aining 250 agreem ents, recall p ro ­
cedure differed from th a t used in la yo ff. T h e
m a jo r ty p e o f difference, found in 140 agreem ents,
was in the use o f qualified sen iority fo r recall as
against straigh t sen iority fo r la yo ff. In general,
such procedure m odifications are designed to
fa cilita te recall o f workers to jobs th a t th e y can
perform , w ith o u t the cost o f extensive retraining,
i f their regu lar w ork is n ot available. Som e o f
these clauses w ere found in agreem ents w hich con­
tained specific provision fo r broadening the
sen iority unit or gran ted la id -off em ployees p refer­
ence in reem p loym en t o ver n ew hires in other
units.
I t is probable th a t w here clauses sp ecify­
in g qu alified sen iority occurred in the absence o f
provisions fo r broadening the sen iority unit, th ey
w ere designed to im p lem en t in form al arrange­
m ents to this effect. In a re la tiv e ly sm all propor-

32

tion o f the 140 agreem ents, the em p loy ee’s p h ysi­
cal fitness a t the tim e o f recall w as the o n ly fa cto r
q u a lify in g len gth o f service. U su a lly such clauses
m erely requ ired th a t the em ployee be p h ysically
fit or p h ysically able to do the jo b . Less fre ­
qu en tly, the agreem ent specified th a t the em ployee
w as requ ired to pass a ph ysical exam ination before
reem ploym en t.
O n ly 33 agreem ents w hich p rovid ed fo r qu alified
sen iority in la y o ff based recall on straight sen iority.
R ec a ll provisions in 43 agreem ents, con trary to the
procedure fo r la yo ff, did n ot specify sen iority as a
factor, bu t p rotected la id -o ff em ployees in other
w ays, eith er b y banning n ew hires u ntil all la id -o ff
em ployees w ere recalled, or b y p ro vid in g fo r p refer­
ence in reem p lo ym en t o v e r new workers.
O th er areas o f difference in la y o ff and recall
procedures, fou nd in 34 agreem ents, in v o lv e d (1)
the w eigh t giv en len gth o f service, w hich was
secondary to a b ility in la y o ff b u t p rim a ry in recall;
(2) the sen iority unit applicable, w hich w as w id er
fo r recall than la y o ff; or (3) the use o f straight
sen iority fo r some groups and qu alified fo r others
T

25 .— Relation between layoff and recall procedures
in m ajor collective bargaining agreements , 1954-55

able

Layoff and recall procedures

Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­
sands)

Total with both layoff and recall provisions___________ 1,347
Total with straight seniority in layoff_________________
579
Recall procedure:
Same as in layoff—straight seniority______________
336
Differs from layoff procedure..........................................
169
Qualified seniority_____________________ ___
140
Straight seniority for some groups; qualified for
others_________________________________ _
5
Seniority not a factor, but preference given in
rehire_______________ ______
_ __ _
24
Not explicit___ ___ __ __ __
74
Total with qualified seniority in layoff................... ...........
749
Recall procedure:
Same as in layoff—qualified seniority_____________
621
Differs from layoff procedure____________________
76
Qualified seniority, but procedure differs 1_____
24
Straight seniority____________________________
33
Seniority not a factor, but preference given in
rehire____________________________________
19
Not explicit--............................................... .....................
52
Total with straight seniority for some groups and quali­
fied seniority for others in layoff_______ ____________
13
Recall procedure:
Same as in layoff—combination of straight and
qualified seniority____________________ _____ ___
7
5
Differs from layoff procedure_____________________
4
Straight seniority____ _____
1
Qualified seniority_______________ _ __ -_ __
1
Not explicit______ _____ _______________ _______
Total with type of seniority in layoff and recall not
specified (master agreements)............................................
6

5,815.1
2,974.1
1, 587.5
1,024.1
635.6
280.3
108. 2
362.5
2, 737. 5
2,329.3
278.9
160.6
71.5
46.8
129.3
43.6
25.4
7.3
6. 0
1.3
10.9
59.9

1 Most of these clauses differed in that (1) in layoff the weight given length
of service was secondary to ability, but in recall it was the major factor if the
employee was capable of doing the work; or (2) the seniority unit applicable
in layoff was narrower than in recall.
N ote.—Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.




T

26 .— Preference to laid-off employees in rehiring ,
provided by m ajor collective bargaining agreements ,
1954-55

able

Types of preference given laid-off employees in rehire

Agree­ Workers
ment (thou­
sands)

Total with layoff provisions.................................................. 1,347
With provisions for preference in rehire....... .......................
440
No new hires until laid-off employees recalled______
264
Preference in rehire over new employees___________
142
Some preference in rehire in other plants of com­
pany i_____________________ ____ ______ _______
11
Other2...........................................................................
23

5,815.1
1,782.5
783.4
521.1
416.4
61.6

1 4 agreements limited preference to employment in new plants only and in
2 instances, preference was applicable only during the first 6 months of
operation of the new plant. The remaining 7 agreements granted preference
in other plants of the company, but in 3 instances, this was limited to employ­
ees laid off because of plant closing.
2 Includes agreements which banned new hires for certain departments
only, or where employees with a specified amount of seniority were involved;
banned new hires “insofar as practical,” or waived the ban where special
skill or training was required for new work; or permitted new hires in
emergencies until laid-off employees returned to work. Also includes agree­
ments which granted preference to laid-off employees if work of a different
nature developed; or granted preference to employees who had lost their
seniority combined with a ban on new hires where seniority employees were
involved.
N o t e .— Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.
in eith er la y o ff or recall, w here eith er straight or
qualified sen iority w as specified in the reverse
situation.

Preference in Reemployment.

In addition to the
43 agreem ents w hich did n ot specify sen iority as
a factor, bu t gran ted preference in reem ploym en t,
397 agreem ents w ith p rovision fo r sen iority in
recall ga ve fu rth er p rotection to la id -o ff w orkers
b y requ iring preference in reem p loym en t (ta b le 26).
A s stated earlier, this procedure m a y p ro vid e the
la id -off em ployee a w id er area o f jo b o p p o rtu n ity
fo r recall than was applicable in la yo ff.
T h ree-fifth s o f the 440 preference clauses banned
n ew hires u ntil la id -o ff em ployees w ere recalled.
T h e bu lk o f the rem ainin g clauses p ro vid ed fo r
preference o v e r new w orkers in rehire. V a ria tion s
in a lim ited num ber o f clauses included preference
to em ployees w ho had lost their sen iority com bined
w ith a ban on n ew hires w here sen iority em ployees
w ere still la id o ff; ban on new hires fo r certain
departm ents only, or w here em ployees w ith a
specified am ount o f sen iority w ere in vo lv ed , or
“ insofar as p ra ctica l” ; or preference to la id -o ff
em ployees if w ork o f a d ifferen t nature d evelop ed.
A few agreem ents w a ived the ban on n ew hires in
em ergency situations; persons so em p loyed w ould,
h ow ever, h ave tem p orary status pen din g the recall
o f la id -o ff workers.
E xtension o f the area o f reem p loym en t p refer­
ence to oth er plants o f the same com pan y was

33
provided for in 11 agreements. In 4, preference
was limited to new plants only; and in 2 of these,
in the automotive industry, preference was ap­
plicable only during the first 6 months of opera­
tion.2 In 3 agreements, preference was limited to
3
employees laid off because of plant closing. Prefer­
ence in employment in other plants was not limited
in the remaining 4 agreements.

Retention of Seniority.

The employee's retention
of his seniority status during extended layoffs is a
generally accepted practice. Provisions covering
seniority retention were found in 975 agreements,
covering 75 percent of the workers under agree­
ments with layoff clauses (table 27). N early all of
these agreements specified a maximum period of
retention; only 49 provided that seniority continue
indefinitely during layoffs.
Sometimes management and unions hold di­
vergent views on the length of time that seniority
should be retained. Unions tend to argue that a
short retention period unjustly penalizes the laidoff worker by forfeiture of the rights he has earned
by his years of service. Since seniority is a central
factor in determining not only eligibility for recall,
but also promotions, vacation benefits, pension
eligibility, and other benefits during reemploy­
ment, the period of retention is of considerable
concern to workers in a layoff situation. Prom a
management viewpoint, the retention of employees
on a recall list provides a pool of experienced work­
ers to draw on when needed; high seniority em­
ployees, even though employed elsewhere, often
prefer to return to their jobs when recalled in order
to preserve the benefits acquired through length of
service. However, some employers object to
long-term retention on the grounds that laid-off
employees working in other occupations for an
extended period m ay have lost their skill and speed.
Another objection is that, after lengthy layoffs,
there is a stronger possibility of the employee's
rejection of the job offer, with consequent delay
before new employees could be hired.

33 The Executive Board of the United Automobile Workers on September
20, 1956, instructed “all regional directors and department directors to ap­
proach employers within their jurisdictions with a view to negotiating
supplemental agreements which will include:
“ (a) New provisions on the broadening and strengthening of existing
contract provisions, requiring corporations, when hiring in any plant, to
give preference in order of seniority to workers laid off from their other plants;
and
“ (b) Provisions to require employers, when hiring, to give preference to
laid-off workers in the same area and industry, taking into consideration the
seniority of such workers with their former employers.”




A uniform period of seniority retention appli­
cable to all employees regardless of differences
in length of service was provided b y more than
half of the agreements with retention clauses.
Retention periods of from 1 to 2 years, inclusive,
were specified in 460 agreements, covering nearly
half of the workers under agreements with reten­
tion clauses. One-year periods were most pre­
dominant, but agreements providing 2-year periods
covered nearly twice as many workers. Seniority
was retained for less than 1 year in only 67 agree­
ments, and for more than 2 years in 83.
The period of retention was related to the em­
ployee's length of service under 283 agreements.
In 126, the period was equal to the employee's
length of service. However, this was limited to a
maximum number of years, varying from 1 to 7
in 72 agreements, and to 3 years in addition to
length of service in 1 agreement. Relatively
short-service employees were granted additional
protection in 20 of the 126 agreements by providT

27.—Seniority retention period for laid-off em
ployees
under m
ajor collective bargaining agreem
ents, 1954-55

able

Period of seniority retentions

Agree­ Workers
ments (thou­
sands)

Total with layoff provisions. ............. .................................. 1,347
No reference to retention of seniority after layoff____
372
With provisions for retention of seniority after layoff.
975
Period of retention:
Less than 1 year........................................................... .
67
1 year___________________________________ ______
197
More than 1, but less than 2 years____ _____ ______
102
2 years______ ____ _____________________________
161
More than 2 years... ___________________________
83
Equal to employee’s length of service_____________
33
Equal to employee’s length of service up to a maxi­
mum number of years L .._____ _______________
73
Related in some other ratio to employee’s length of
service_____________ ________________________
157
For specified period; then continued for additional
21
period, provided employee requests extension____
Equal to length of service or specified period, which­
ever is greater 2____ __________ ____ ___________
20
Continues indefinitely___ _____________________ _
18
Continues indefinitely, provided employee takes
prescribed action 3_____________________________
31
Other *___________________________ _____ _____ ____
12

5,815.1
1, 469. 2
4,345. 9
182.8
716.8
294.2
1,145.3
261.6
365.8
356.1
435.5
110.1
242.1
76.7
108.8
50.1

» Maximum periods specified were: 5 years in 25 agreements, 3 years in 12,
2 years in 16,1 year in 13, and from 1J$ to 7 years in 6 agreements. The re­
maining agreement provided for retention equal to length of service, plus 3
additional years.
a Seniority was retained for a minimum period of 1 year under 13 of these
agreements; for minimum periods of 2, or 3 years in the remaining 7.
3 In practically all instances, the actions prescribed consisted of periodic
notification by the employee of his desire to remain on the recall list—most
frequently at semiannual or annual intervals.
* Includes agreements with no limitation on duration of seniority retention
for skilled classifications, or for employees with a specified amount of service
(5 and 15 years); agreements with a longer retention period for certain skilled
classifications; or a shorter period if the employee refused work other than in
his regular occupation. Under 1 agreement, the provision was not applicable
if 20 percent of the employees were laid off for over a year; one prohibited loss
of seniority due to layoff during the 5-year term of the agreement; another
agreement limited retention of seniority beyond the termination date of the
agreement or any renewal or amendment.
N o t e .— Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily
equal totals.

34
ing for retention of seniority for minimum periods
of 1 to 3 years if these were greater than the
employee’s length of service. Retention for a
period equal to the employee’s length of service
was not limited in the remaining 33 agreements
in this group.
In 157 of the 283 agreements, the period of
retention was related to length of service in some
other ratio, such as one-half the length of service;
1 month for each year of service; or periods of
2 years for less than 2 years’ service and 5 years
for 2 years or more. Some of the agreements in
this group also set an upper limit on the length of
time that seniority could be retained b y a laid-off
worker.
Another group of 21 agreements specified an
initial period of retention, after which seniority
could be further retained if the employee took
prescribed action— usually notification at stated
intervals of his desire to remain on the recall list.
Other variations, found in 12 agreements, in­
cluded provisions with no limitation on duration
of seniority retention for skilled classifications, or
for employees with a specified amount of service;
provisions for a longer retention period for certain
skilled classifications; or for a shorter period if
the employee refused work other than his regular
occupation.
Th e degree of freedom accorded workers on
layoff to accept or reject proffered work varied.
In some agreements, rejection of proffered work
did not affect the employee’s recall status; in
others, such action limited his recall rights to his
former occupation or job, limited the period dur­
ing which his seniority was retained, or resulted in
loss of seniority rights. Similar penalties were
invoked under some agreements if the employee
failed to report for work or to reply to the recall
notice within a specified time. Exceptions were
sometimes permitted if the employee could not
report because of illness or for other valid reasons.
The method of recalling workers was specified
in a number of agreements. Such provisions re­
quired that notice be given b y mail, registered
mail, telegram, telephone, or some other specified
device. Notification to the union was sometimes
required at the time recall notices were sent out.
Other agreements left the method of recall to the
employer’s discretion. N o attempt was made in
this study to determine the prevalence of these
phases of recall provisions.




Work-Sharing
Layo ff and recall procedures based on seniority
favor workers in proportion to their length of
service. I f layoffs materialize, workers with
relatively low seniority m ay expect to be laid off
early and recalled late; the high seniority workers
m ay expect the reverse or that they might not be
affected at all. In contrast, a work-sharing
procedure implies an equal division of available
work among qualified employees, regardless of
differences in length of service. Slackening of
work would thus affect all employees in the
sharing unit in about the same way.
On the whole, the principle of work-sharing
appears to be attractive to m any companies and
unions up to a certain point. F or example,
management might favor a reduction of scheduled
weekly hours for all employees, prior to resorting
to layoffs, so as to keep intact the work force and
individual work groups, but would not want to
carry this procedure beyond the point where
plant efficiency is impaired. Unions, on the other
hand, might favor the principle of equal treatment
for all union members in the establishment, but
not to the point where no one earns a living wage.
The availability of unemployment compensation
and the expansion of the economy over the past
two decades have undoubtedly had a profound
influence on current attitudes toward work-shar­
ing, tending to restrict its use. Supplementary
unemployment benefit plans m ay also, in time,
modify some procedures.
T w o basic types of work-sharing appear in
agreements: (1) temporary reduction of scheduled
weekly hours for all workers in a plant or unit in
order to forestall and minimize layoffs, and (2)
equal division of work to take the place of layoffs.
Approxim ately 20 percent of the 1,743 m ajor
agreements studied required the employer to
reduce hours before regular employees were laid
off.2
4

Only 4 percent provided for work-sharing

in lieu of layoff, either for as long as work is
available or layoff can reasonably be avoided.
The following discussion deals with this 4 percent
of the agreements which apply the principle of
equal division of work.
Seventy-four
m ately

525,000

agreements,
workers,

fc* See tables 5 and 6 (pp. 8-9).

covering

provided

approxi­

for

WOrk-

35
sharing in lieu of layoff. Such arrangements were
scattered through 10 industries, nearly all m anu­
facturing.2 However, 47 of the 74 agreements
5
were in apparel manufacturing, accounting for
all but 5 of the m ajor agreements in that industry
group. The food, textile, printing, and leather
industries accounted for 18 of the remaining 27
agreements.
Alm ost all of the work-sharing plans, covering
98 percent of the workers under such arrange­
ments, were in agreements negotiated b y multi­
employer groups.2 Bargaining through employer
6
associations is the general practice in the apparel
industry, and is fairly common in most of the
other industries with work-sharing plans.
Arrangements for equal division of work involve
a determination of who will share the work and
the area within which work-sharing will take
place. The work-sharing unit m ay vary according
to type of establishment and the complexities
of the processes involved. Thus the unit m ay
include all or only portions of the labor force
covered b y the agreement.
I f skills are not
readily interchangeable, work-sharing m ay be
done on an occupational or craft basis, rather
than b y department or plant.
Departm ental
units m ay be specified if skills are interchangeable
within departments or the nature of the business
is such that curtailment of production does not
affect all departments in the plant.
Fifty-four of the 74 work-sharing agreements
specified the work-sharing unit. In almost half
of these, work was to be shared on the basis of
occupation, craft, or classification; in slightly
more than a fourth, b y plant; and in the re­
maining agreements, by department.2
7




In order to increase the work opportunities for
regular employees, layoffs of temporary, probational, or short-service employees m ay be made
before work-sharing begins.2 However, 61 of the
8
74 agreements provided for equal division of work
among all employees in the plant or work-sharing
unit. I t is likely that, in actual practice, w ork­
sharing was limited to regular employees. The
remaining 13 agreements specifically provided for
sharing work among regular employees.
T em ­
porary, probational, “ peak force,” and, in 2
instances, employees with less than 6 months’
service were to be laid off. Further consideration
was given length of service in 2 of these agree­
ments : One, in the apparel industry, provided for
equal division of work as far as practical among
employees who had worked for the employer for
2 consecutive seasons; the other provided for
preference in work-sharing, if possible, to employees
with the longest service. A few agreements, also
in the apparel industry, excluded certain occupa­
tions (e. g., workers on sample garments) from the
work-sharing plan.
Such workers were subject
to layoff and recall b y seniority.

2» See table 1 (p. 2).
26 See table 2 (p. 3).
27 In the apparel industry, it should be noted, a department or plant unit
may roughly coincide with what might be called an occupational or classifica­
tion unit in a more diversified industry or one comprising larger establish­
ments.
28 See tables 3 and 4 for other devices for increasing work opportunities for
regular employees (pp. 4-6). The small number of work-sharing arrange­
ments in major agreements and the concentration of such arrangements in
apparel industries would seem to undermine any generalization, based on
agreement analysis, relating the practice of work-sharing to the relatively
high prevalence of provisions regulating subcontracting, overtime, shift
operations, and employment practices, as shown on pages 3-9. In other
words, both aspects may be independent characteristics of labor-management
relationships in the apparel industries.

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFIC E: 1957


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