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Bulletin No. 1199-1

September 1956

Older Workers
Under Collective
Bargaining
PART I
Hiring
Retention
Job Termination

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
James P. Mitchell, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner




LABOR

Reports on the Department of Labor’ s Older Worker Program:




Job Performance and Age: A Study in Measurement

Older Workers under C ollective Bargaining:
Part I. Hiring, Retention, Job Termination

Older Workers under C ollective Bargaining:
Part II. Health, Insurance, and Pension Plans

Pension C osts in Relation to the Hiring of Older Workers

Older Worker Adjustment to Labor Market P ractices:
An Analysis of Experience in Seven Major Labor Markets

Counseling and Placement Services for Older Workers

How to Conduct an Earning-Opportunities Forum in Your
Community

Bulletin No. 1199-1

Older Workers

Septem ber 1956

Under C ollective
Bargaining
PART I
Hiring
Retention
Job Termination

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
James P. Mitchell, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U S. Government Printing Office, W ashington




25 D C. - Price 25 cents




P reface

A s p art o f the U. S. D epartm ent o f L a b o r 1s co m p r e h e n ­
siv e p ro g r a m rela tin g to o ld e r w o r k e r s , the B u reau o f L a b o r
S ta tistics has a nalyzed the status o f o ld e r w o r k e r s under c o l l e c ­
tive bargain in g a g re e m e n ts .
This re p o rt c o v e r s p r o v is io n s o f
the b a s ic a greem en t a ffectin g the em p loym en t and reten tion o f
o ld e r w o r k e r s .
A com pa n ion re p o rt d e a ls with the status o f
o ld e r w o r k e r s under health, in su ra n ce, and p en sion p lan s, w h ich
a re freq u en tly set up apart fr o m the a g re e m e n t p r o p e r .
The
a g reem en ts and plans a nalyzed w ere s e le c te d fr o m the B ureau*s
cu rren t file s w hich a re m aintained fo r p u b lic and govern m en ta l
u se in a cco r d a n ce with S ection 211 o f the L a b o r M anagem ent
R ela tion s A ct of 1947.
The in cen tive f o r th ese studies w as p ro v id e d by the
D epartm en t1s deep c o n c e r n fo r the e c o n o m ic w e ll-b e in g o f o ld e r
w orkers.
The p u rp ose o f th ese stu dies, h ow e v e r, w as to in ­
v estig a te, not to in flu en ce, c o lle c tiv e bargain in g p r o v is io n s r e ­
lating to o ld e r w o r k e r s . P r a c t ic e s that tend to d e te r, as w e ll
as th ose con d u cive to the h irin g and reten tion o f o ld e r w o r k e r s ,
w e r e given the em p h asis that th eir p re v a le n c e and s ig n ifica n ce
a pp eared to m e r it.
T his study o f a greem en t p r o v is io n s w as con d u cted in
the B ureau*s D iv ision o f W ages and Industrial R ela tio n s by
H arry P . C ohany, under the d ir e c tio n o f Josep h W. B lo ch .
Ralph G. Wright a s s is te d in the a n a ly sis o f a g re e m e n ts .




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Contents

P a ge
In tr o d u c tio n _____________________________________________________________________________
S cope and m ethod o f study ______________
Su m m ary ____________________________________________________________________________

1
1
2

P a rt I . — The h irin g a s p e c t ____________________________________________________________
P r o v is io n s a ffectin g the h irin g o f o ld e r w o rk e rs ________________________________
R atio cla u ses _____________________________________________________________________
Wage adjustm ent cla u se s _______________________________________________________
S p ecia l jo b s fo r o ld e r w o r k e r s _________________________________________________
Banning d is cr im in a tio n on the b a sis of a g e ____________________________________
L im its on h irin g age ____________________________________________________________
M e d ica l e x a m in a tio n s ___________________________________________________________
O ther o ld e r w o rk e r h irin g c l a u s e s _________________________

5
6
6
7
8
9
9
10
10

P a r t II----- The retention a s p e c t ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------L e n g th -o f-s e r v ic e b e n e f i t s ________________________________________________________ S e n io r it y __________________________________________________________________________
S upplem entary b e n e f i t s _____________________________
P r o v is io n s dealing with the o ld e r o r aged w o r k e r ___________ _____________________
T r a n s fe r c la u s e s — no r e fe r e n c e to pay a d ju s t m e n t __________________________
T r a n s fe r and m ethods o f pay a d ju s tm e n t______________________________________
P ay adjustm ent fo r o ld e r w o r k e r s — no re fe r e n c e to t r a n s f e r -----------------------S p ecia l s e n io r ity righ ts in la y off and r e c a l l ----------------------------------------------------M is ce lla n e o u s cla u ses rela tin g to the o ld e r em p loy ee -----------------------------------

11
11
11
13
13
14
17
21
22
23

P a rt III.— The term in a tion a sp ect ____________________________________________________

27

D is m is s a l and la y o ff p a y ________________________________________________________________ - —

28




v -




Older Workers Under Collective Bargaining

Introduction
D u rin g the p a s t tw o d e c a d e s , the n u m b e r o f w o r k e r s c o v e r e d b y c o l l e c t i v e
b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n ts h a s m u ltip lie d s e v e r a l f o l d .
O v e r the sa m e p e r i o d , a s y e a r s
o f life h ave le n g th e n e d in the to ta l p o p u la tio n , o ld e r w o r k e r s h ave a c c o u n te d f o r an
in c r e a s in g ly l a r g e r p r o p o r t io n o f the la b o r fo r c e o T w o d e v e lo p m e n ts o f m a jo r i m p o r ­
ta n ce to o ld e r w o r k e r s c o v e r e d b y c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n t s , as w e ll as to
o t h e r s , h ave b e e n the F e d e r a l O ld A g e and S u r v iv o r s In s u r a n c e p r o g r a m and the r a p id
s p r e a d o f s u p p le m e n ta ry p r iv a t e p e n s io n plans®
T h e s e h av e m a d e it fe a s ib le f o r the
w o r k e r r e a c h in g 65 ( o r an e a r l i e r a ge in s o m e c a s e s ) to r e t i r e , thus a v o id in g f o r
h im s e l f and h is e m p lo y e r s o m e o f the p r o b le m s on the jo b a ttrib u ta b le to a g i n g . 1 T h is
study d is c u s s e s the w a ys in w h ich c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n ts d e a l w ith the h ir in g ,
r e t e n t io n , and jo b te r m in a tio n o f o ld e r w o r k e r s s t ill in the la b o r f o r c e .
A ll w o r k e r s in the b a r g a in in g unit s h a r e e q u a lly in s o m e o f the fr u it s o f c o l ­
le c t iv e b a r g a in in g , su ch a s g e n e r a l w a ge in c r e a s e s ®
S om e b e n e fits o c c a s i o n a l ly v a r y
b y e a rn in g s o r s k ill l e v e l s .
It is a c o m m o n p r a c t i c e , h o w e v e r , to p r o v id e g r e a t e r
jo b s e c u r it y th rou g h s e n io r it y p r o v is io n s and m o r e l ib e r a l b e n e fits ( e . g . , lo n g e r p a id
v a c a t io n s ) to w o r k e r s o f lon g s e rv ice ® It is fa r l e s s c o m m o n , in d e e d r e la t iv e ly r a r e ,
to n e g o tia te p r o v is io n s d ir e c t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y to w o r k e r s o f an a d v a n ce d a g e , w h e th e r
se e k in g e m p lo y m e n t o r a lr e a d y on the p a y r o ll .
A lth ou g h th is stu dy d e a ls w ith th e s e
la tte r p r o v is io n s — l e n g t h - o f - s e r v i c e b e n e fits and s p e c if ic p r o v i s io n s f o r o ld e r w o r k e r s —
it m u s t b e e m p h a s iz e d that the g e n e r a l status o f the o ld e r w o r k e r u n d er c o l l e c t i v e
b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n ts is o b v io u s ly n ot d e te r m in e d e x c lu s iv e ly b y su ch p r o v i s i o n s .

S co p e and M eth od o f Study
T o d e te r m in e the status o f the o ld e r w o r k e r w ith in the fr a m e w o r k o f f o r m a l
u n io n -m a n a g e m e n t r e la t io n s h ip s , the B u re a u o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s a n a ly z e d v ir t u a lly a ll
c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n t s in the U n ited States c o v e r in g 1 ,0 0 0 o r m o r e w o r k e r s
o f w h ich it had r e c o r d , e x c lu s iv e o f r a i lr o a d and a ir lin e a g r e e m e n t s (ta b le )® 2 Th e
1 ,6 8 7 m a jo r a g r e e m e n ts stu d ied c o v e r e d a p p r o x im a te ly 7 .5 m illio n w o r k e r s o r r o u g h ly
so m e w h a t l e s s than h a lf o f the e s tim a te d c o v e r a g e o f a ll c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a in in g a g r e e ­
m e n ts , e x c lu d in g the r a i lr o a d and a ir lin e in d u s tr ie s ® 3
The a g r e e m e n ts a n a ly z e d w e r e in e f fe c t d u rin g 1955 o r 1 95 6. In the a b s e n c e
o f e a r l ie r and e q u a lly c o m p r e h e n s iv e s t u d ie s , it is n ot p o s s i b l e to d e te r m in e w h e th e r
c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n ts (e x clu d in g p e n s io n and h ea lth and in s u r a n c e p r o v i s io n s )
a s a w h ole now d e v o te m o r e a tten tion s p e c i f i c a l l y to the o ld e r w o r k e r than th e y d id
10, 2 0 , o r 30 y e a r s ago® The c o n c e p t o f ’ ’o l d e r , ” o r the a ge b o r d e r lin e that s e p a r a te s
’ 'w o r k e r s 1 f r o m ’ ’o ld e r w o r k e r s , ’ 1 m a y w e ll h ave ch a n g e d o v e r th e s e p e r i o d s . R e c o g ­
1
n iz in g that the c o n c e p t o f b e in g ’ ’o l d e r ” is an e la s t ic one and that it d if fe r s w id e ly
a m on g o c c u p a t io n s , the B u re a u c o n s id e r e d a ll r e f e r e n c e s in the a g r e e m e n ts s tu d ie d to
e m p lo y e e s 45 o r m o r e y e a r s o f a g e , e m p lo y e e s w ith 20 o r m o r e y e a r s o f s e r v i c e , and
” o v e r - a g e , ” ’ ’su p e ra n n u a te d , ” o r ” l o n g - s e r v i c e ” e m p lo y e e s to b e w ith in the s c o p e o f
the study®
It sh ou ld b e n o te d in the p r o v is io n s q u oted h ow fr e q u e n tly o ld e r w o r k e r s
and h a n d ica p p e d w o r k e r s a r e g r o u p e d together®

1 A fo r th c o m in g r e p o r t d e a ls w ith c o l l e c t i v e l y b a r g a in e d p e n s io n and o th e r w e lfa r e
p la n s as th e y re la te to the o ld e r w o r k e r .
2 F o r a d e ta ile d a c c o u n t o f th e s e a g r e e m e n t s , s e e C h a r a c t e r i s t ic s o f M a jo r U nion
C o n t r a c t s , M on th ly L a b o r R e v ie w , July 1956 (p . 8 0 5 ). A r e p r in t o f th is a r t i c l e (N o . 2 19 7)
is a v a ila b le on request®
3 The B u re a u d o e s not c o l l e c t r a i lr o a d o r a ir lin e a g r e e m e n t s , h e n ce th e ir o m i s ­
s io n f r o m th is study®



1

2

The study w as d esign ed to u n cov er all types o f p r o v is io n s relatin g s p e c ific a lly
to the o ld e r w o r k e r , no m atter how u n com m on these p ro v is io n s m ight be*
This was
not intended, b a s ic a lly , as a p re v a le n ce study; exam ination of a s m a lle r grou p o f c o n ­
tr a c ts w ould a ls o have d is c lo s e d that such p ro v is io n s w e re infrequent but it w ould
undoubtedly have fa ile d to u n cov er m any o f the in terestin g d e v ic e s fo r re s o lv in g o ld e r
w o r k e r p rob lem s re p ro d u ce d in the follow in g pages*
The illu s tra tiv e cla u s e s should
not be c o n s id e r e d as ty p ica l, or n e c e s s a r ily taken as ideal or m od el p ro v is io n s * Each
was n egotiated fo r a p a r ticu la r situation and each op era ted in the context o f the a g r e e ­
m ent as a w h ole*4
An a greem en t fo r a la r g e establish m en t or a num ber o f estab lish m en ts e m ­
p lo y in g , in the a g g re g a te , a la rg e num ber o f w o r k e r s tends to be m o r e s p e c ific than
one co v e rin g a sm all establishm ent* A study o f fo rm a l p r o v is io n s in m a jo r a gre e m e n ts
is thus lik e ly to be m o r e fru itfu l, in term s o f co v e ra g e and d e ta ils , than a study o f
equal tim e and e ffo r t cov erin g sm a lle r agreem en ts* It should not be in fe r r e d , h o w e v e r ,
that m a jo r com pa n ies or a s s o cia tio n s a ctu a lly treat the o ld e r w o rk e r d iffe re n tly than
s m a lle r com pa n ies or that the p ro b le m s a re not the sam e*
S everal lim ita tion s o f this app roach should be kept in mind* The a b se n ce o f
a s p e c ific con tra ct p r o v is io n dealing with old e r w o rk e rs d oes not n e c e s s a r ily m ean lack
o f p o lic y or co n c e rn fo r th ose o f advanced age*
Such an o m is s io n m ay be b a sed on
the ex is te n ce o f s a tis fa cto r y in form a l a rran gem en ts* In in d u stries or lo c a lit ie s with a
p red om in a n tly young la b o r f o r c e , o ld e r w ork er p ro b le m s m ay have been so ra re that
they w e re not an issu e*
A ls o , in som e estab lish m en ts w here a re la tiv e ly low wage
stru ctu re and la ck of p rom otion al opportu n ities do not a ttra ct you n ger w o r k e r s the
la b o r fo r c e w ould n o rm a lly include a la rg e p ro p o rtio n o f o ld e r w o r k e r s and the a g r e e ­
m ent cou ld lo g ic a lly be ex p ected to contain no r e fe r e n c e to age d is cr im in a tio n . F in a lly ,
as in m o st human e n d e a v o rs, th ere m ay be a gap betw een intentions and p ra ctice s *
The m anner in w hich the p ro v is io n s quoted in this re p o rt w e re a ctu a lly c a r r ie d out
and what adjustm ents in p o lic y w e re n e ce s s ita te d in the p r o c e s s are sig n ifican t question s
but b eyon d the scop e o f this study*
Sum m ary
With the above lim ita tion s in m ind, it i s , n o n e th e le ss, sign ifican t to note the
d iv e r s e w ays in w hich som e a greem en ts have attem pted to deal with o ld e r w o rk e r
p r o b le m s . F o r in sta n ce , cla u ses banning m axim u m h iring ages o r age d is crim in a tio n
have been w ritten to ea se the old er jo b s e e k e r ’ s en try into the plant* Some a g re e m e n ts
re q u ire that a certa in p ro p o rtio n o f w o r k e r s h ire d m ust be o v e r a s p e c ifie d age* F o r
the w o rk e r grow n old in the s e r v ic e o f the com pany and no lo n g e r able to m eet the
re q u irem en ts o f the jo b , sp ecia l tr a n s fe r righ ts to le s s taxing jo b s or to s p e c ific o c ­
cupations have been p rov id ed in som e a g re e m e n ts , frequen tly with the a ctive p a r tic ip a ­
tion of the co m p a n y ’ s m ed ica l departm ent*
S en iority p ro b le m s o c c a s io n e d by such
tr a n s fe r s have b een , in som e in s ta n ce s , so lv e d by granting the o ld e r w o rk e r su p e rse n io r ity ; in som e co n tr a c ts , union and m anagem ent p ledged to w ork out, on an individual
b a s is , sp e cia l adju stm en ts to existin g s e n io rity rules* F req u en tly, such tr a n s fe r s in ­
v o lv e d adjustm ents in ra tes of pay as w ell as in s e n io r ity . T h ese p r o b le m s , relatin g
to the w o r k e r 's e a rn in g s, have lik ew ise been re s o lv e d in a v a rie ty o f ways ranging
fr o m the reten tion of h is fo r m e r pay to the estab lish m en t o f p e rs o n a liz e d rates*
The ru le of se n io rity and p rote ctio n against a rb itr a r y d isch a rg e a re p rob a b ly
the m ost e ffe c tiv e p r a c tic e s unions have d evelop ed to p ro te ct the jo b se cu rity of longs e r v ic e e m p loy ees and o ld e r w ork ers*
Sen iority finds its m o st im portan t a pp lication
in la y o ffs and in subsequent re h irin g , but it is a ls o ap p lica ble in such m a tters as
p ro m o tio n s , t r a n s fe r s , ch oice o f sh ift, and ch o ice of vacation p eriod*
H ow ever, in
m any in sta n ces s e n io rity b a sed s o le ly on length o f s e r v ic e is m o d ifie d by introducing
fa c to r s such as s k ill, e ffic ie n c y , and p h y sica l fitness* Such "q u a lifie d ” se n io rity cla u se s
tend to dilute an old er w o r k e r ’s job s e cu rity to the d e g re e that it p la ce s him in m o re
d ir e c t com p etition with his ju n iors*
4
Some of the cla u se s w ere su bject to m in or e d ito ria l change to enhance cla rity ;
irre le v a n t p arts w ere om itted w h ere feasib le*



3
The w id esp rea d a ccep ta n ce o f p ro v is io n s w hich have the e ffe c t o f banning d is ­
ch a rge on the b a s is o f age alone (without co n sid e ra tio n o f the w o r k e r ^ e ffic ie n c y )
a ffo rd s a b a s ic p ro te c tio n fo r the o ld e r w ork er*
This p ro te c tio n is stren gthen ed by
the a v a ila b ility o f g rie v a n ce and a rb itra tion p r o c e d u r e s . M o r e o v e r , in about 1 out o f 6
a g re e m e n ts , p ro v is io n s fo r d is m is s a l pay, ty p ica lly graduated by y e a r s o f s e r v i c e ,
cush ion the e ffe c t o f lo s s o f jo b fo r rea son s b eyon d the w o r k e r s * c o n tr o l.
The status of the o ld e r w o r k e r under the c o lle c tiv e bargain in g a greem en t as a
w hole cannot be defin ed in c o n c r e te , m ea su ra b le t e r m s . C on sid era tion o f what m a jo r
a g reem en ts p rov id e in the way o f s p e cia l treatm en t fo r o ld e r w o r k e r s , the righ ts and
b en efits a ccru in g to w o r k e r s by re a s o n o f long s e r v ic e , the s e c u r ity and b en efits
a vaila b le to all w o r k e r s w hich a re o f p a r ticu la r im p orta n ce to o ld e r w o r k e r s , and the
p re s e n ce or a b sen ce of s p e c ific lim ita tion s on m anagem ent p r e r o g a t iv e s , lea d s to th ese
g en era l o b se rv a tio n s : The o ld e r jo b -applicant, w hether o r not he is a m e m b e r o f the
union, can ex p ect no p re fe re n tia l treatm en t and little p ro te c tio n against d iscrim in a tio n
on the b a s is o f age fr o m the te rm s o f m ost a g re e m e n ts . Only a r e la tiv e ly sm all p r o ­
p ortion o f the m a jo r a greem en ts studied contained a re q u ire m e n t that som e o ld e r w o r k ­
e r s m ust be h ire d or a p ledge on the part o f m anagem ent to a void d is cr im in a tio n against
o ld e r a p p lica n ts.
On the oth er hand, the w o r k e r grow ing old in the s e r v ic e o f the
e m p lo y e r is g e n e ra lly a s s u re d a g r e a te r d eg re e o f p ro te c tio n on the jo b and m o r e
lib e r a l b en efits than h is ju n iors in point o f s e r v ic e . This co n tra st betw een the status
o f the old er w o r k e r on the outside and tlie o ld e r w o rk e r on the in side u n d e r s c o r e s
the change in the status o f the w o rk e r who lo s e s his jo b a fte r attaining a substantial
d e g re e of s e n io r ity .
Major collective bargaining agreements studied by industry group

Industry group

Agreements

Workers
(thousands)

All agreements studied 1 ___________ _________________________

1,687

7 ,4 4 8 .9

Manufacturing _ _____ __ __ ____ __ ___ _______ _
.— Ordnance
__
_ _ . . . . . . . . . _ ________
_
__ __
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 c o a l______ ___________________
Rubber products______ ____ _
_
---- _ __
Leather and leather products___ _ __ ___ __ ____ __
Stone, clay, and glass products___ _ _
______
Primary metal industries _ ______ _ ____
____ __ __
Fabricated metal products_______________________________
Machinery (except electrical). __ _ _____ - _______
Electrical fnachinery________ ___ _
____
Transportation equipment__ __ _ _ ___
Instruments and related products________ __ __
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries _____„ ______

1,126
16
106
12
56
44
17
17
52
30
60
27
22
20
41
117
68
132
108
136
27
18

4 ,7 3 2 .5
31.1
347.1
29.9
151.2
426.3
40.5
27.1
105.6
72.2
120.2
80.4
171.9
57.3
117.7
675.9
175.2
321.2
451.6
1,2 37.6
60.5
31.9

Nonmanufacturing
_
Mining, crude petroleum, and natural-gas
production __
__ _ _ __
__
___ ___ _ _ _ _ _ _
Transportation2 _____ _ ________ __ __ __
__ _ _
Comm uni cati on s ___ ____________ _ _________ __
Utilities: Electric and gas _ __ __ ____ __ -------- ------Wholesale trade _
___ __ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _
__ __
Retail trade _
------ ------------------ -------------------------------Hotels and restaurants _
_ _ _____ __
Services __ ___ _
_
____
_ — - - -----Construction______
____ __
___ — ----------- _
Miscellaneous nonmanufacturing industries-------------------

561

2 ,7 1 6 .5

24
96
68
78
11
81
22
45
127
9

328.3
527.8
509.9
196.6
20.7
246.5
101.8
124.9
633.1
26.8

1 All agreements covered 1,000 or more workers and were effective in 1955 or 1956.
2 Excluding railroads and airlines.
NOTE:

Because of rounding, sums of individual items do not necessarily equal totals.







5
Part I.— The Hiring Aspect

The s e le c tio n o f new e m p lo y e e s is e s se n tia lly a p re r o g a tiv e o f m anagem ent.
With re la tiv e ly few ex cep tion s am ong the 1,68 7 m a jo r a g re e m e n ts studied, the righ t
o f m anagem ent to e sta b lish h irin g p o lic ie s — to set an age lim it if it so c h o o s e s — had
not been a b rid g ed by p r o v is io n s o f the union co n tra ct.
Although the e m p lo y e r has
y ie ld ed h is p re v io u s d ecision m a k in g authority to jo in t n egotiation s in many m a tte rs
a ffectin g the em p loy ed w o r k e r , he has not yie ld e d the right to ch o o s e and h ire new
e m p lo y e e s.
T his m anagem ent righ t is freq u en tly e x p r e s s e d in c o lle c tiv e bargaining
a g re e m en ts, as in the follow in g exa m p le:
The righ t to h ir e , p ro m o te , tr a n s fe r , d is ch a rg e , o r d is c ip lin e , and
to m aintain d is cip lin e and e ffic ie n c y o f e m p lo y e e s and the o r d e r ly
op era tion o f its plants is the so le re s p o n s ib ility o f the com pan y,
su bject to p r o v is io n s o f th is a g ree m e n t.
In addition, the p rod u cts
to be m an ufactu red, the sch ed u les o f p rod u ction , the m eth ods and
p r o c e s s e s o r m eans o f m an ufactu re, the d ir e c tio n o f the w orkin g
f o r c e , including its co m p o s itio n and nu m ber, a re s o le ly and e x c lu ­
siv e ly the re s p o n sib ility o f the com pan y.
E ven though no p r o v is io n in the union co n tra ct m ay p ro h ib it the e m p lo y e r fr o m
hirin g anyone he c h o o s e s , ce rta in p r o v is io n s in the a g re e m e n t m ay influen ce the c h o ic e .
In the ca s e o f an o ld e r w o r k e r , the q u estion o f p o s s ib le subsequent re a ssig n m e n t, pay
adjustm ent, o r even term in a tion m ay be im portan t.
Do the c o n t r a c t s s e n io rity p r o ­
v isio n s a llow the o ld e r w o r k e r , o r the w o r k e r grow ing old, to be shifted to lig h te r and
le s s rem u n erative w o r k ? Or can he be kept on the sam e jo b , but at a red u ced rate
o f p ay? The e m p lo y e r m ay a ls o take into accou n t the p o s s ib le in c r e a s e in p en sion and
group in su ra n ce c o s ts o c c a s io n e d by the em p loym en t o f o ld e r w o r k e r s .
If the o ld e r
w o r k e r is unable to keep up with p rod u ction dem ands, how e a s ily can the e m p lo y e r
invoke the ru les govern in g d is c h a r g e ? T h ese a sp e cts w ill be d is c u s s e d la te r in this
s tu d y ,5 but th eir influ en ce on h irin g p o lic ie s n eeds to be e m p h a sized at this point.
F o r the m ost p art, union co n c e rn with m anagem ent h irin g p o lic ie s h is to r ic a lly
has tended to ce n ter on a cq u irin g ex c lu s iv e o r p re fe re n tia l em p loym en t righ ts fo r union
m e m b e rs , a type o f se cu rity a ss u re d by a c lo s e d -s h o p a g re e m e n t. In 1946, a y e a r b e ­
fo r e the en actm en t o f the L a bor M anagem ent R ela tion s (T a ft-H a r tle y ) A ct, w hich banned
the c lo s e d shop in c o v e r e d in d u stries, about a th ird of a ll w o r k e r s under c o lle c tiv e
bargain in g w e re c o v e r e d by c lo s e d -s h o p a g re e m e n ts . U nder such a g re e m e n ts, m a n age­
m ent m ay have retain ed the right to ch o o s e am ong applican ts r e fe r r e d by the union, o r
to h ire any union m em b e r a v a ila b le, but the righ t o f se le c tio n w as in evitably cu rta ile d .
W here ju stify in g a s e le c tio n to the union w as n e c e s s a r y , th is w ould undoubtedly be
d ifficu lt if the s e le c tio n w e re b ased on age a lo n e .
By r e s tr ic tin g union m e m b e rsh ip ,
o r through the p r o c e s s o f r e fe r r a ls , many unions e x e r c is e d in flu en ce on the h irin g o f
w o r k e r s , freq u en tly fo r the p u rp ose o f safeguarding em p loym en t op portu n ities fo r the
o ld e r m e m b e r s .
T o the extent that such m o tiv e s p re v a ile d , the p ro h ib itio n o f the
c lo s e d shop in in d u stries under the ju r is d ic tio n o f the L a b o r M anagem ent R ela tion s A ct
re m o v ed the u n io n s influen ce and gave m anagem ent g r e a te r latitude in the s e le ctio n
o f new e m p lo y e e s .
In c o lle c tiv e bargaining a g re e m e n ts, h ow e v e r, m anagem ent cou ld
a g re e to r e s tr ic tio n s on the fr e e e x e r c is e o f its hirin g p r e r o g a t iv e s .
In this stu d y ,ag reem en ts w e re exam ined fo r s p e c ific m ention o f h irin g p o lic ie s
a ffectin g the o ld e r w o r k e r . It is im portant to em p h asize that in fo rm a l la b o r -m a n a g e ­
m ent a rra n gem en ts to p ro v id e em p loym en t fo r o ld e r w o r k e r s w ould not be re v e a le d in
an exam ination o f w ritten a g re e m e n ts .
F o r exam p le, w a g e -ra te c o n c e s s io n s o r the
adoption o f in d ivid u alized ra tes in p a rticu la r situ ations, d e v ic e s w h ich run cou n ter to
trad ition al union w age p o lic y , m ay be p r a c tic e d without s p e c ific a g reem en t r e fe r e n c e .
On the oth er hand, som e e m p lo y e rs m ay find it convenient to h ire a ll o r m ost union
r e fe r r a ls without the co m p u lsio n p rov id ed by a c lo s e d -s h o p cla u s e . The freq u en cy o f
th ese and oth er p r a c tic e s cannot be d eterm in ed .
5

See footnote 1.




6

P r o v i s i o n s A ffe c t in g the H irin g o f O ld e r W o r k e r s
P r o v i s i o n s w h ich r e q u ir e d o r e n c o u r a g e d the h ir in g o f o ld e r w o r k e r s w e r e
fou n d in on ly 76 o f the 1, 687 m a jo r a g r e e m e n ts s u r v e y e d . T h e m o s t c o m m o n ty p e o f
p r o v is io n , fou n d in 26 a g r e e m e n t s , w a s a g e n e r a l sta te m e n t ban n in g h ir in g a g e lim it s
o r d is c r im in a t io n b e c a u s e o f a g e .
A s lig h tly s m a lle r n u m b e r o f a g r e e m e n t s (2 3 ) r e ­
q u ir e d the e m p lo y m e n t o f one o ld e r w o r k e r to a s p e c if ie d n u m b e r o f jo u r n e y m e n e m ­
p lo y e d .
N in e te e n c o n t r a c t s g ra n te d s p e c ia l w a g e - r a t e c o n c e s s i o n s t o e n c o u r a g e the
h ir in g o f e ld e r ly jo b s e e k e r s .
A s c a tte r in g o f o th e r p r o v i s io n s r e la tin g to th e h ir in g
o f o ld e r w o r k e r s , su ch a s c la u s e s d e s ig n a tin g s p e c i f i c jo b s to be s e t a s id e f o r th o s e
o f a d v a n ce d a g e , c o m p le t e d the g r o u p .
R a tio C l a u s e s .— One typ e o f c o n t r a c t p r o v i s io n w h ich s p e c if ic a l l y r e q u ir e s the
e m p lo y e r to h ir e o ld e r w o r k e r s is know n a s a r a tio c la u s e . Such c la u s e s p r o v id e that
a c e r t a in r a tio o f the w o r k f o r c e m u st c o n s is t o f m e n p a s t m id d le a g e .
U n ion s w h ich h ave n e g o tia te d a g r e e m e n t s e m b o d y in g su ch m a n d a to ry p r o v i s io n s
in c lu d e the p a in te r s , e l e c t r ic ia n s , b r i c k la y e r s , c a r p e n t e r s , p la s t e r e r s , h od c a r r i e r s ,
s h e e t -m e t a l w o r k e r s , and p lu m b e r s . A ll o f th e s e a g r e e m e n t s a p p lie d to b u ild in g c o n ­
s t r u c t io n .
T h e r e a s o n s f o r th is c o n c e n t r a t io n m a y be s u r m is e d :
U nion c o n t r a c t s in
b u ild in g c o n s t r u c t io n o r d in a r ily d o n ot co n ta in s e n io r it y p r o v is io n s (p e r h a p s b e c a u s e
e m p lo y m e n t is in te r m itte n t), a fa c t w h ich m a y h ave in flu e n c e d the u n io n s t'o s e e k r a tio
c la u s e s to ob ta in s o m e f o r m o f jo b s e c u r it y f o r o ld e r w o r k e r s w h o c o m p r is e a s u b ­
s ta n tia l p r o p o r t io n o f t h e ir m e m b e r s h ip ; the c o n s t r u c t io n in d u s try h as a lo n g h is t o r y
o f e x p e r ie n c e u n d er c l o s e d - s h o p a r r a n g e m e n ts ; the p r a c t i c e
o f m u lt ie m p lo y e r b a r ­
ga in in g and u n ifo r m a g r e e m e n ts a s s u r e s e a c h e m p lo y e r in the a r e a that h is c o m p e t it o r s
o b s e r v e s im i la r r u le s , and ten d s to e n c o u r a g e a m o n g e m p lo y e r s a s a g ro u p an in d u s try
p o in t o f v ie w — in th is c a s e d ir e c t e d to w a r d p r o v id in g e m p lo y m e n t o p p o r tu n itie s f o r the
o ld e r w o r k e r .
T h e fo llo w in g th r e e a g r e e m e n t s , c o v e r in g e l e c t r i c i a n s , c a r p e n t e r s , and p a in t e r s ,
r e s p e c t i v e l y , p h r a s e d the r a tio r e q u ir e m e n t a s fo llo w s :
On a ll jo b s e m p lo y in g 5 o r m o r e jo u r n e y m e n , if a v a ila b le ,
fifth jo u r n e y m a n sh a ll be 50 y e a r s o f a g e d r o l d e r .

every

* * *

W h ere th e r e is a jo b e m p lo y in g 15 m e m b e r s o f o u r o r g a n iz a tio n th e r e
m u st b e 1 m e m b e r o v e r the a g e o f 60 y e a r s e m p lo y e d . W ith e v e r y
a d d itio n o f 15 m e n a n o th e r m e m b e r o v e r 60 sh a ll be e m p lo y e d and
th e s e m e n m u st not be d is c r im in a t e d a g a in st on a c c o u n t o f t h e ir a g e .

** *
A n e m p lo y e r e m p lo y in g 10 o r m o r e jo u r n e y m e n s h a ll ta k e in h is
e m p lo y at le a s t 1 jo u r n e y m a n o f 60 y e a r s o f a g e f o r e v e r y 10 m e n
in h is e m p lo y , w h o sh a ll r e c e iv e the p r e v a ilin g ra te o f w a g e s set
fo r t h in th is a g r e e m e n t.
A lth ou g h the c o n t r a c t q u oted a b o v e c o u p le d a r a tio sta te m e n t w ith a s p e c i f i c
r e q u ir e m e n t that o ld e r w o r k e r s b e p a id jo u r n e y m e n s w a g e s , in tw o o th e r c o n t r a c t
p r o v i s io n s — the f i r s t c o v e r in g p la s t e r e r s and the s e c o n d , p a in te r s — the u n ion w a s w i l l ­
ing to m a k e w a g e c o n c e s s i o n s in o r d e r to p r o v id e e m p lo y m e n t f o r su ch m e m b e r s :
T h e r e m u s t be a r a tio o f n ot l e s s than 10 p e r c e n t o f su p era n n u a ted
m e n on a ll jo b s w h e r e th e r e a r e m o r e than 10 jo u r n e y m e n p la s t e r e r s
at w o r k , and in no c a s e sh a ll th e r e be m o r e than 10 p e r c e n t o f
su p era n n u a ted m e n e m p lo y e d on any jo b . T h e m in im u m h o u r ly w a ge
f o r su ch su p era n n u a ted m e n s h a ll be $ 2 . 7 5 p e r h o u r. (R a te f o r j o u r ­
n e y m e n p l a s t e r e r s is $ 3 . 6 0 p e r h o u r .)



*

sje

7

A ll e m p lo y e r s who e m p lo y 5 m e n o r m o r e s h a ll e m p lo y 1 o r m o r e
o v e r 60 y e a r s o f a g e f o r e v e r y 5 m e n s o e m p lo y e d . S u ch m e n sh a ll
h a v e the p r iv i le g e o f a sk in g f o r a r e d u c e d w age s c a le . . .

Unlike the agreem en ts cited above w hich m ake the h irin g o f o ld e r w o rk e rs
m an datory, two ra tio cla u ses w ere found which gave e m p lo y e rs op era tin g re ta il m eat
m ark ets the option o f eith er h irin g superannuated m en o r a p p re n tice s:
One a pp ren tice o r superannuated man shall be allow ed to e v e r y
4 jou rn ey m en o r fra ctio n th ereof p e r m a rk et.
M arkets em ployin g
le s s than 4 jou rn ey m en sh all be en titled to 1 ap p ren tice o r s u p e r ­
annuated man . . . Superannuated m a n 's rate o f pay w ill be d ecid ed
by the man in v olv ed , the e m p lo y e r in v olv ed , and the union.
A c o n t r a c t o r 's pled ge to co o p e r a te with the union in the h irin g o f the e ld e r ly
was found in a b r ic k la y e r s ' a greem en t.
In this c a s e , w ages f o r such w o rk e rs w ere
to be a rriv e d at by the e m p loy er and the em p loy ee on an individual b a s is :
E m p loy er a g re e s to co o p e ra te with the b r ic k la y e r s in em p loyin g s u ­
perannuated m en in the ratio o f 1 m an to e v e r y 10 b r ic k la y e r s e m ­
p loy ed and the shop stew a rd sh all k eep the fo re m a n a dvised as to
the num ber o f such m en on the jo b .
T h ese m en sh all be fr e e to
w ork fo r w hatever w ages a re a g re e d upon b y h im and the e m p lo y e r.
W age A djustm ent C la u s e s . — A s th ese cla u se s illu s tr a te , unions have o c c a s io n ­
a lly a g reed to make s p e c ia l wage co n c e s s io n s in o r d e r to induce e m p lo y e rs to h ire
o ld e r m en.
When view ed in the ligh t o f trad ition al union e ffo r ts to p r o te c t u n iform
wage s c a le s , these c o n c e s s io n s con stitu te a co n c re te e ffo r t to w iden em p loym en t o p p o r ­
tunities fo r e ld e r ly w o r k e r s . H ow ev er, union p a rticip a tio n in the rate setting p r o c e s s
is g e n e ra lly m aintained by the req u irem en t that such ra tes be s p e c ia lly n egotiated,
eith er by the com pan y and the union, o r by the com pa n y, the union, and the e m p lo y e e .
Som e o f these and oth er cla u s e s cited b elow w e re not lim ite d to h irin g situ a tion s; they
would apparen tly a lso apply to w ork ers grow n old in the s e r v ic e o f the com pan y. The
a greem en ts cite d b elow c o v e r e d w areh ou sem en , fu r w o r k e r s , and m o ld e r s , r e s p e c tiv e ly :
A p e rs o n w hose earning ca p a city is
o f a ge, p h y s ica l o r m ental h andicap,
p loy ed o r p la ce d on light w ork at a
lish ed by this a greem en t, s u b je ct to
the em p lo y e r and the union.

o r shall b e co m e lim ite d b e ca u se
o r oth er in firm itie s m ay be e m ­
wage b e lo w the m in im u m e s ta b ­
the a pp roval in each instan ce o f

* * *

It sh all be the duty o f the C om m ittee on Im m ediate A ctio n o r a s p e ­
cia l join t C om m ittee esta b lish ed f o r the p u rp o se , to adopt m e a su re s
to s e c u r e em p loym en t fo r unem ployed and e ld e r ly w o r k e r s .
The
C om m ittee on Im m ediate A ction m ay esta b lish w age adjustm ents fo r
such e ld e r ly w o r k e r s , ir r e s p e c tiv e o f the wage p ro v is io n s o f this
a greem en t.
* * *

The lo c a l union sh all allow an old o r p h y sica lly in ca p a cita ted m e m ­
b e r o f the union to w ork fo r such wage as m ay be m utually a g re e d
upon betw een h im , his e m p lo y e r, and the lo c a l union.
A b a r te n d e r s ' a greem en t p erm itted p a r t-tim e em p loym en t f o r " o ld t im e r s "
with a co rre sp o n d in g s ca le to be n egotiated o r , fa ilin g th is, to be d e cid e d by a rb itra tio n .
In o r d e r to p rov id e w ork fo r o ld e r and unem ployed b a rte n d e rs who
a re eith er unable o r do not d e s ir e fu ll-s h ift em p loy m en t, it is u n d e r­
stood that 3 - and 4 -h o u r shifts m ay be u tilize d in those e s ta b lis h ­
m ents w here sh ort shifts are fe a s ib le .
A r e a lis tic rate o f pay fo r



8

sh ort shifts sh all be n egotiated by the p a r tie s . G uarantees shall be
esta b lish ed s o that no p re s e n t b a rte n d e r su ffe rs a red u ction o f w ages
fr o m his p re s e n t e m p lo y e r and so that the o ld tim e rs who a re not
available fo r fu ll-s h ift em p loy m en t w ill be given an opportunity at
p a r t-tim e em p loy m en t.
This p r o v is io n shall b e c o m e e ffe c tiv e when
the d etails and the guarantees a re a g re e d upon by the p a r tie s . F a il ­
ing a g reem en t upon guarantees and wage ra te s , the m atter m ay be
su bm itted to a m e r it a rb itra tion under the g rie v a n ce p r o c e d u r e .
T h ree a g reem en ts— all co v e rin g p a in ters— a llow ed the h irin g o f aged m e m b e rs
at a lo w e r rate than that paid to jou rn ey m en , but a m in im u m guarantee was p ro v id e d :
H andicapped w o rk e rs w hose earn in g ca p a city is lim ite d b e ca u se o f
a g e, p h y sica l d is a b ility , o r oth er in firm ity , m a y be em p loy ed at a
wage b elow the m in im u m upon app roval o f the D is tr ic t C ou ncil but
they sh all not be em p loy ed f o r a l e s s e r wage than 75 p e rc e n t o f the
journeym en* s p e r h ou rly ra te .
Said w o rk e rs need not be em p loy ed
u n less req u ested by e m p lo y e r s .
In addition to setting a m in im u m -w a ge flo o r , three a greem en ts n egotiated by
the International L a d ies ' G arm en t W o r k e r s ' Union a ls o lim ite d the m axim u m num ber
o f p eop le em p loy ed under such a rra n gem en ts:
It is fu rth er a g re e d that in any event 20 p e rc e n t o f the em p lo y e e s o f
any departm ent o f any sh op, w eek w ork, o r p ie c e w o r k , m ay r e c e iv e
le s s than the m inim um s c a le s above p ro v id e d f o r , but in no event
le s s than $31 p e r w eek . Said 20 p e rc e n t sh all inclu de superannuated
o r p h y sica lly d efe ctiv e em p loy ee s o r a p p ren tices who m ay be e m ­
p lo y e d in the shop . . .
(This a g reem en t was n egotiated in 1954).
F o u r oth er con tra cts o f this typ e, 2 in m anufacturing and 2 in re ta il tra d e ,
stipu lated that an em p loy ee en gaged at a s p e c ia l rate f ir s t obtain w ritten p e r m is s io n
fr o m the union, o r that the e m p lo y e r n otify the union o f such h irin g . In a ca rp e n te rs '
and a t e a m s te r s ' a g reem en t, these poin ts w ere e x p r e s s e d as fo llo w s :
A p e rs o n who is in cap a citated b y a g e , p h y sica l o r m ental h an d icap s,
te m p o r a r y d is a b ility , o r oth er in firm itie s m ay be em p loy ed at an
h ou rly rate o f wage b elow the m inim um e sta b lish e d by this a g r e e ­
m ent, p rov id ed he sh all f ir s t have obtained a w ritten d ispen sation
fr o m the union.

* * *
The e m p lo y e r m ay h ire any individual w hose earning
p a ire d by a ge, p h y sica l o r m ental d e fic ie n c y , o r
ra tes le s s than those s e t up in this a r tic le . It shall
o f the em p lo y e r to n otify the union as to the identity
h ire d h ereu n d er.

ca p a city is i m ­
in ju ry , at wage
be the p r a c tic e
o f any em p loy ee

Unlike the m andatory ra tio c la u s e s , which w ere con ce n tra te d in the c o n s t r u c ­
tion in d u stry , w a ge-ad ju stm en t cla u s e s w ere s ca tte re d through a num ber o f m a n u fa c­
turing and nonm anufacturing in d u s trie s, ranging fr o m w areh ou sin g to fur shops and
re sta u ra n ts. The 19 agreem en ts in this c a te g o r y w ere n egotiated b y 9 d iffe re n t u n ion s.
M o st o f the a greem en ts co v e r e d s k ille d c r a ft s , such as p a in te rs , m eat c u tte rs , and
ca r p e n te r s .
G e o g ra p h ica lly , the g re a te s t num ber o f these situ ation s (9) w ere found
in C a lifo rn ia .
S p ecia l Jobs f o r O ld er W o r k e r s . — Tw o p ro v is io n s w hich stipu lated that o ld e r
w o rk e rs be h ire d to fill s p e c ific jo b s w ere found— in both c a s e s the jo b s r e fe r r e d to
w e re d ea d -en d jo b s . A group o f m a ritim e e m p loy ees w ere c o v e r e d by the f ir s t a g r e e ­
m en t, con stru ction w o rk e rs b y the s e co n d .



9

M en o v e r 50 y e a rs o f age m ay be p r e fe r r e d in obtaining jo b s o f fir e
w atch m en .
*

*

*

In an en dea vor to find em p loym en t fo r superannuated m e m b e rs o f
the union, the e m p lo y e r a g re e s that he w ill e m p lo y as w atchm en,
m e m b e rs o f L o c a l 95, as he m ay re q u ir e , on the site o f any d e m ­
olition op e ra tio n . In the event that the union cannot fu rn ish a w a tch ­
man when req u ested within a rea son ab le tim e, the e m p lo y e r sh all be
p r iv ile g e d to em p loy such w atchm en on the o u tsid e .
Said m e m b e rs so em p loy ed as watchm en sh all be paid as a m in im u m
w age, the p re v a ilin g leg a l m inim um wage and sh all be gu aranteed a
m in im u m o f 8 hours w ork in each day o r 40 h ou rs w ork in each
w eek , o r its pay equivalent.
Banning D iscrim in a tio n on the B a sis o f A g e . — A num ber o f co n tra cts e x p r e s s e d
the intent o f m anagem ent and the union to elim in ate age lim its in h irin g o r d is crim in a tio n
against applicants on the b a s is o f age a lon e. Such cla u se s a re undoubtedly d ifficu lt to
e n fo r ce sin ce in som e situations a r e je c te d applicant m ay have no r e c o u r s e to n orm a l
e n fo rce m e n t ch a n n e ls , i . e . , the g riev a n ce and a rb itra tion p r o c e d u r e s , but the a p p e a r­
ance o f a n tid iscrim in a tion cla u ses in a greem en ts is n on eth eless o f s ig n ific a n ce to the
unions in v olv ed . This type o f cla u se was found in 26 o f the 1 ,6 8 7 a greem en ts studied.
E ighteen cla u ses w ere found which stipulated a ban on m axim u m h irin g a ges:
The com pan y a g re e s that th ere sh all be no esta b lish e d m axim u m age
lim it in the h irin g o f e m p lo y e e s .
Ten a greem en ts em bodyin g this type o f cla u se w ere n egotiated by the In tern a­
tional A s s o c ia tio n o f M a ch in ists. Seven w ere found in the W est C oa st a ir c r a ft in d u stry.
E ight oth er a greem en ts contained g en era l statem en ts to the e ffe c t that age
should not be u sed to d is crim in a te again st an a pp lican t, n or should it d eter his e m ­
p loym en t.
W ork ers in the New Y ork handbag indu stry and e m p lo y e e s o f a C a lifo rn ia
a ir c r a ft plant, r e s p e c tiv e ly , w ere c o v e r e d by the two a greem en ts cite d b e lo w (note the
e n fo rce m e n t p r o v is io n in the fir s t cla u s e ):
T h ere sh all be no d is crim in a tio n in the h irin g o f any union w o rk e r
b e ca u s e o f union a ctiv ity , a ge, s e x , o r p r io r em p loym en t with the
fir m . Any dispute a risin g h ereu n d er sh all be su b je c t to the d e cisio n
o f the Im p a rtial C hairm an.
*

*

*

It is m utually a g re e d that advanced age by its e lf w ill not be a d e t e r ­
ren t to em p loym en t with the com pan y.
S im ila r a n tid iscrim in a tion cla u s e s w ere found in two m a ritim e co n tra cts c o v e r ­
ing lic e n s e d ' p e rs o n n e l.
L im its on H iring A g e . — As a ru le , la b o r a greem en ts do not im p o se s p e c ific
h irin g age lim its ; that i s , unions and m anagem ents do not a g r e e , fo r m a lly , to r e s t r ic t
the em p loym en t of w ork ers beyond a certa in a ge.
H ow ever, s p e c ific age lim its m ay
be in co rp o ra te d in cla u ses defining entrance req u irem en ts into ce rta in jo b s , p a r tic u la rly
in p ro v is io n s rela tin g to a p p re n tice s . The h igh est age lim it fo r en try into an a p p re n ­
tice d trade is n orm a lly in the m idd le tw en ties. In on ly one a g re e m e n t, in the ch e m ica l
in d u stry, did a statem ent such as the follow in g o c c u r :
The m axim um a ccep ta b le age to qualify as an a pp ren tice shall be
45 y e a r s . T o qualify as a m echan ic a 4 y e a r s ' a p p ren ticesh ip m ust
be s e r v e d . This a pp ren ticesh ip shall c o n s is t o f 1 y e a r as h elp er and
3 y ea rs as a p p ren tice.




10

M ed ica l E x a m in a tion s. — M ed ica l exam inations fo r new e m p loy ees m a y b e part
o f the h irin g p ro c e d u re esta b lish ed by m anagem ent; r e fe r e n c e s to such exam inations
w ere found in freq u en tly in c o lle c tiv e bargain in g a g re e m e n ts. W here they w ere found,
they ty p ica lly u n d e r sc o re d the righ t o f m anagem ent to be the s o le judge as to an a p p li­
c a n t’ s p h y sica l fitn e s s , as in this exam ple:
A pplican ts fo r em p loy m en t, b e fo r e being e m p loy ed , shall be re q u ire d
to un dergo a p h y sica l exam ination by a p h y sicia n s e le c te d by the
cofripany. The co m p a n y ’ s d e cisio n as to e lig ib ility o f such m en fo r
em p loym en t sh all be fin a l . . .
Only s ix a greem en ts contained an outrigh t p ro h ib itio n o f p h y sica l exa m in a tion s.
A ll cla u s e s o f this type w ere found in con ju n ction with "no age lim it" statem en ts:
In h irin g , em p loy ees sh all not be re q u ire d to take a p h y sica l e x a m i­
nation and th ere shall be no age lim it ex cep t as p ro v id e d by law .
F o u r o f the 6 co n tra cts in this ca te g o r y c o v e r e d w o rk e rs re p r e se n te d by the
International B roth erh ood o f B o ile r m a k e r s , Iron Ship B u ild e r s , B la ck sm ith s, F o r g e r s
and H e lp e r s . The oth er two a greem en ts w ere n egotiated by the M etal T ra d es D e p a rt­
m en t, with which this union is a ffilia ted . H ere again the p re p o n d e ra n ce — 5 out o f the
6— was found in W est C oast in sta lla tion s.
Other O ld er W ork er H iring C la u s e s . — One departm ent s to re co n tr a c t studied
gran ted the com pan y the s o le righ t to exclu d e new e m p lo y e e s o f advanced age fr o m
the b argain in g unit:
. . .
New e m p loy ees w hose earning ca p a citie s a re lim ite d by re a so n
o f p h y sica l handicap o r b y re a s o n o f age sh all be exclu d ed fr o m the
union /b a r g a in in g u n it/ at the s o le d is c r e tio n o f the m anagem ent . . .
F u rth er r e s tr ic tio n s on w o rk e rs h ire d after rea ch in g a s p e c ifie d a g e , c ir c u m ­
s c r ib in g th eir s e n io r ity rights and cla im to s e v e ra n ce p ay, w ere found in a greem en ts
n egotiated b y a foun dry and a ch e m ica l plant, re s p e c tiv e ly :
Any em p loy ee h ire d on o r a fter his 55th birth da y and who continues
in em p loym en t beyon d his 65th birthday sh all not be c o n s id e r e d as
having s e n io r ity f o r the p u rp ose o f la y o ff o r r e c a ll to w ork .
*

*

*

No (s e v e ra n ce pay) allow an ce sh all be made to p e rs o n s em p loyed
a fter January 1, 1948, who had attained age 60 at the tim e o f their
h irin g . . .




11
Part II.— The R etention A sp ect

Once the w o rk e r is on the p a y ro ll, o r has s e r v e d a p rob a tion a ry p e rio d , so m e
fo r m of jo b , w age, and health p ro te ctio n is p rov id ed him under the te rm s o f c o lle c t iv e
b argain in g a g reem en ts.
This p ro te ctio n is g e n e ra lly a vaila b le to all q u a lified w o r k e r s ,
young and old a lik e.
H ow ever, many of the p ro v is io n s that have b e c o m e co m m o n in
a greem en ts a re of sp e c ia l im portan ce to the o ld e r w o r k e r , helping h im to m aintain his
e ffic ie n c y and to add y ea rs to his w orkin g life .
F o r exa m p le, the a lm ost u n iversal p r a c tic e o f p rovid in g fo r paid va ca tion s and
paid h olid ays, the adoption of the 2 -d a y w eekend, the d e te rre n t e ffe c ts o f p re m iu m -p a y
req u irem en ts on the sch eduling of o v e r tim e , w eekend, and h olid ay w o rk red u ce the num ­
b e r o f co n s e cu tiv e w orkin g days and, con seq u en tly, help to co m b a t fatigu e.
The in ­
cr e a s in g p rev a len ce of paid re s t p e rio d s and paid tim e a llow an ces fo r washup and cloth es
changing— p r a c tic e s w hich tend to red u ce daily w orking p r e s s u r e s — is a ls o o f p a rticu la r
im p ortan ce to o ld e r w o r k e r s .
T h ese p r a c tic e s a re by no m eans lim ite d to plants and
w o rk e rs under c o lle c t iv e bargain in g a g reem en ts.
In addition, c o lle c t iv e bargain in g agreem en ts p ro v id e n um erous types of wage
and jo b p ro te ctio n . F o r exa m p le, the gen eral p ra ctice o f setting ra tes fo r the jo b rath er
than fo r individual w o rk e rs in the job preven ts d is crim in a tio n on the b a sis o f age alon e.
P erh ap s m o s t im portan t o f a ll, the w id esp rea d banning o f d is ch a rg e on the b a s is of age
alone (d is c u s s e d in ^ a r t III o f this rep ort) a ffo rd s a b a s ic p ro te c tio n fo r the o ld e r w o r k e r .
T his s e ctio n d eals with the types of p ro v is io n s w hich a re m o re d ir e c tly rela ted
to the o ld e r w o r k e r . Tw o a sp ects a re co v e r e d : (l) A b r ie f re v ie w o f the b enefits and
p ro te ctio n a ccru in g to w o rk e rs b y re a s o n of length o f s e r v ic e , that is , the status o f the
w o rk e r grow ing old e r in the s e r v ic e o f the com pan y, and (2) an analysis o f a greem en t
p ro v is io n s d ir e c te d to p ro b le m s of old e r w o rk e rs o r , m o r e s p e c ific a lly , to the aged o r
superannuated w o r k e r .
L e n g th -o f-S e r y ic e B en efits
R ew a rd s o r a ccr u e d rights fo r w ork e rs with long s e r v ic e a re co m m o n fea tu res
o f p e rson n el a d m in istration and c o lle c t iv e bargain in g a g re e m e n ts.
S p e cific rights and
b en efits w hich a c c r u e to w o r k e r s on the b a sis o f their length of s e r v ic e a re sp e lle d out
in m ost c o lle c tiv e b argain in g a g reem en ts.
Sach p ro v is io n s m ay re la te to re tire m e n t
ann u ities, paid v a ca tion s, paid s ic k le a v e , and autom atic in c r e a s e s under wage p r o g r e s ­
sion plans, or they m ay define the job s e cu rity status o f an em p loy ee with r e fe r e n c e to
oth er e m p lo y e e s , as in se n io r ity c la u s e s . In gen era l, the w o rk e r grow ing o ld e r in the
s e r v ic e of a p a rticu la r com pan y en joys a m ore s e cu re status and g r e a te r su pp lem en tary
o r frin g e b en efits than his ju n iors in point o f s e r v ic e .
S e n io r ity . 6— The ru le of s e n io rity is p rob a b ly the m o s t e ffe c tiv e m ea su re unions
have d ev elop ed to p ro te c t an o ld e r w o r k e r 1s job s e cu rity .
It has p a rticu la r im p ortan ce
in red u ction s in fo r c e o r la y offs and in subsequent re h irin g , but it is a ls o ap p lica ble in
su ch m a tters as p ro m o tio n s, tr a n s fe r s , c h o ic e o f shift, and c h o ic e o f vacation p e rio d .
The c o lle c tiv e bargain in g agreem en t d oes not r e s t r ic t the e m p lo y e r ^ right to
lay o ff w o r k e r s when b u sin ess con d ition s so re q u ir e . The typ ica l a g re e m e n t, h ow ever,
6 The B u reau of L a b o r S ta tistics has in p r o g r e s s a co m p re h e n s iv e study o f la y o ff,
r e c a ll, and w o rk -s h a rin g p ro v is io n s of m a jo r c o lle c tiv e bargain in g a greem en ts in w hich
the m atter of se n io r ity is a k ey fa c to r . A part of this study, w hich p resen ts a v a rie ty of
a greem en t c la u s e s , has been issu ed as BLS B u ll. 1189, C o lle c tiv e B argain ing C la u se s :
L a y o ff, R e c a ll, and W ork -S h arin g P r o c e d u r e s , F e b ru a ry 1956.
F orth com in g re p o rts
w ill analyze the p rev a len ce and sig n ifica n ce of the va riou s types o f a rra n gem en ts.




12
d oes sp ell out the p ro c e d u re s w hich a re to govern such a red u ction o f the w ork f o r c e .
In m any a g re e m e n ts , la y o ffs a re sch ed u led to take p la ce on a " stra ig h t” s e n io rity b a s is ,
that is , length o f s e r v ic e is the only fa c to r co n s id e r e d .
In c a s e it shall b e co m e n e c e s s a r y fo r the e m p lo y e r to lay o ff one o r
m o re e m p lo y e e s , se n io r ity ru les shall apply, w ithin c la s s ific a tio n s .
The em p loy ee who has been with the (com pany) the s h o rte s t length o f
tim e shall b e the f ir s t to be laid o ff and in re h irin g , those la id o ff f ir s t
shall be the la st to be re e m p lo y e d .
H ow ever, cla u s e s w hich m od ify s e n io rity b a sed s o le ly on length o f s e r v ic e b y
in trod u cin g fa c to r s such as s k ill, e ffic ie n c y , or p h y sica l fitn e ss a re m o r e co m m o n
am ong m a jo r a g re e m e n ts. F o r exa m p le:
In a ll c a s e s o f r e c a ll, in c r e a s e , o r d e c r e a s e o f f o r c e s , the fo llo w in g
fa c to r s sh all be co n s id e r e d , and w here fa c to r s (2) and (3) are r e la ­
tiv e ly equal, length o f adju sted se n io r ity sh all g ov ern :
(1)

Length o f adjusted s e n io rity as h e r e in -b e fo r e d efin ed.

(2)

K now ledge, s k ill, and e ffic ie n c y on the jo b .

(3)

P h y s ica l fitn ess fo r the jo b .

Such "q u a lifie d " s e n io rity , w hich tends to co m e into play in p ro m o tio n s and
perm an ent red u ction s in fo r c e rath er than in te m p o ra ry la y o ffs , puts the o ld e r w o rk e r
in m o re d ir e c t com p etition with his ju n iors in s e r v ic e . C la u se s such as the one quoted
above o b v io u s ly esta b lish a la r g e a re a fo r judgm ent and, p o s s ib ly , b ia s , but the a v a ila ­
b ility of g riev a n ce and a rb itra tion p ro c e d u re s p la ce s upon m anagem ent the ob ligation to
ju s tify its a ctio n s. In a study o f a r b itr a to r s 1 d e cis io n s in c a s e s involvin g a cla u se s im i­
la r to the one quoted a b o v e ,7 the B u reau of L a b o r S ta tistics stated:
In the a pp lica tion of the se n io r ity c la u s e , the p rin cip a l issu e s rea ch in g
the a rb itr a to r ce n te r e d about the in terp reta tion o f "r e la t iv e a b ility "
in the v a riou s c ir c u m s ta n c e s . The m ea su rem en t o f length o f s e r v ic e
p resen ted no s p e c ia l p ro b le m (asid e fr o m the q u estion o f s e n io r ity
units), b eca u se o f the a v a ila b ility o f the com p a n y1s em p loym en t r e c ­
o r d s ; and the m atter of p h y sica l fitn e s s , w hich w as r a r e ly an is s u e ,
cou ld usually be d ecid ed on the b a s is of m e d ica l ev id e n ce . But the
d eterm in ation o f " r e la tiv e a b ility" in v olv ed the evalu ation o f the a b ili­
ties o f two or m o re individuals fo r a p a rticu la r jo b . F o r th is, th ere
w ere se ld o m any o b je ctiv e m e a su re s w hich co u ld be u sed, and s u b je c ­
tive co m p a riso n s w ere not co n c lu s iv e .
R eten tion rights of lo n g -s e r v ic e em p lo y e e s a re s o m e tim e s enhanced by "b u m p ­
ing" p ro v is io n s w hich p erm it su ch e m p loy e e s to d is p la ce s h o rte r s e r v ic e em p lo y e e s at
the tim e o f la y o ff. The d isp la ced em p loy ee is eith er laid o ff, o r in turn d is p la ce s s o m e ­
one with le s s s e n io rity . M ost a greem en ts w hich p e rm it bum ping s p e c ify that a w o rk e r
e x e r c is in g this right m ust be ca p ab le of p e rfo rm in g his new jo b at tim e of tr a n s fe r o r
a fter a sh ort train in g p e rio d . In oth er c o n tr a c ts , su ch b ack track in g is lim ite d to fo r m e r
jo b s o r d ep a rtm en ts.
The r e c a ll o f la id -o ff em p lo y e e s is g e n e ra lly sch ed u led in the r e v e r s e o r d e r of
sep a ra tion . T y p ica lly , those q u a lifica tion s w hich m o d ify s e n io r ity in the o rig in a l la y o ff
situation a ls o apply in reem p loym en t.
m en ts,

T r a n s fe r of w ork ers fr o m one departm ent o r shift to another is , in m any a g r e e ­
a ls o con d ition ed by se n io r ity .
H ow ever, a greem en ts w hich lis t the right to

7
See A rb itr a tio n of L a b or-M a n a gem en t G r ie v a n ce s , B eth leh em S teel C om pan y
and United S te e lw o rk e rs of A m e r ic a , 194 2-52 , BLS B u ll. 1159.
N ote p a r tic u la rly
parts II and III of this study, dealing with d is cip lin e and d is ch a rg e and s e n io r ity .




13
tra n s fe r as one o f the ex c lu s iv e p re r o g a tiv e s o f m anagem ent a re co m m o n .
S e n io rity
r u le s , w h ere they do apply, m ay p erm it an em p loy ee to retain his a ccu m u lated s e r v ic e
c r e d its in his fo r m e r d epartm en t, o r he m ay c a r r y them to his new one. E ither a r ­
rangem ent p ro v id e s jo b p ro te c tio n fo r w ork ers with long s e r v ic e .
A ssu m in g that a high d eg ree o f c o r r e la t io n e x ists betw een length o f s e r v ic e and
a ge, s e n io r ity cla u s e s o ffe r a substantial m ea su re o f jo b p ro te ctio n to e ld e r ly e m p lo y ­
e e s . 8 H ow ev er, they o ffe r little o r no p ro te ctio n to the o ld e r w o rk e r with sh ort s e r v ic e .
Supplem en tary B en efits
Many su pp lem en ta ry o r frin g e b en efits o f p a rticu la r value to the o ld e r w o rk e r
have d evelop ed into com m on p r a c tic e s during the past 15 y e a r s , including: R etirem en t
p la n s, health and w elfa re p r o g r a m s , paid va ca tion s, paid h o lid a y s, and paid re s t p e rio d s .
A lthough few , if any, co n tr a c t p ro v is io n s establish in g such p r a c tic e s fa v o r o ld e r w o rk e rs
as su ch (ex cep t re tire m e n t p la n s), m any p rovid e m o re lib e r a l b en efits to lo n g -s e r v ic e
e m p lo y e e s . F u ll re tire m e n t annuities a r e , of c o u r s e , a m a jo r e co n o m ic b en efit a ccru in g
to l o n g -s e r v ic e e m p lo y e e s . In addition, m ost o f the paid va ca tion plans under c o lle c tiv e
bargain in g p rovid e va ca tion lea ve and pay graduated by length of s e r v ic e .
S ic k -le a v e
plans a re not com m o n , but w h ere they a re in e ffe c t they ty p ica lly o ffe r g r e a te r a llo w ­
an ces to lo n g -s e r v ic e e m p lo y e e s. A s indicated in part HI o f this r e p o r t, va riou s la y o ff
or term in a tion a llow an ces a re b a sed on length of s e r v ic e .
P r o v is io n s D ealing With the O lder o r A ged W ork er
C o lle c tiv e b argain in g a greem en ts contain a v a rie ty o f cla u s e s d esign ed to keep
w o r k e r s of advan ced age gain fu lly em p loy ed .
N u m e rica lly , h o w e v e r, a greem en ts with
su ch cla u s e s con stitu te on ly a sm a ll fra ctio n o f the total— on ly 2 1 2 9 o f the 1,68 7 a g r e e ­
m ents exam ined in the c o u r s e o f this study contained cla u s e s rela tin g s p e c ific a lly to jo b
p ro te ctio n fo r the o ld e r w o rk e r (in te rm s o f age rath er than length o f s e r v ic e ). Of th ese,
149 cla u s e s r e fe r r e d to a tr a n s fe r o f o ld e r w o r k e r s to lig h te r o r m o r e suitable w ork o r
to ce r ta in r e s e r v e d occu p a tion s. S ix ty -s e v e n o f these tr a n s fe r cla u s e s con tained variou s
p r o v is io n s fo r pay adju stm en ts. In 30 oth er co n tr a c ts , s p e c ia l r a te -s e ttin g p ro c e d u re s
fo r such e m p lo y e e s w ere set forth , but no r e fe r e n c e was m ade to re a ssig n m e n t. Other
co n tr a c t cla u s e s defin ed s p e c ia l se n io r ity rights during la y o ff and r e c a ll, p rov id ed fo r
p o s s ib le p a r t-tim e em p loy m en t, o r banned d is crim in a tio n b a se d on age.
The cla u s e s dealing with retention o f o ld e r e m p lo y e e s did not fa ll into a w e lld efin ed union o r in d u stry pattern.
Of th ose studied, the International A s s o c ia tio n of
M a ch in ists, the United S te e lw o rk e r s, the United A u tom obile W o r k e r s , and the In tern a ­
tional B ro th e rh o o d of E le c tr ic a l W o rk e rs ea ch a ccou n ted fo r 15 or m o re a greem en ts
with su ch c la u s e s . On an ind u stry b a s is , b y fa r the la r g e s t n um ber of cla u s e s (33) o c ­
c u r r e d in public u tilities. The re s t w ere s ca tte re d o v e r 19 m an ufactu rin g and 15 n on ­
m anufacturing in d u stries.
When co n s id e r in g the re la tiv e ly sm a ll num ber o f cla u s e s w hich r e fe r d ir e c tly
to w ages and w orkin g con d ition s fo r old e r w o r k e r s , it is n e c e s s a r y to keep in m ind:
(l) That in fo rm a l a rra n gem en ts m ay e x is t, and (2) that su ch w o r k e r s a re p ro te cte d by
the en tire c o lle c t iv e b argain in g a greem en t.
F o r in sta n ce, ge n e ra l co n tr a c t p ro v is io n s
defining m atters such as intraplant tra n s fe rs and c o r re s p o n d in g changes in rem u n eration
m ay w ell have been adequate to s olv e p rob lem s o c c a s io n e d b y aging w o r k e r s , and c o n ­
sequently no separate cla u s e s s p e c ific a lly r e fe r r in g to this segm en t o f the w ork fo r c e
w e re in c o rp o ra te d in the co n tr a c ts .
8 In m any m a s s -p r o d u c tio n in d u stries, the se n io r ity unit is ty p ica lly not the en tire
plant but, m o re freq u en tly, a d epartm ent o r a hom ogen eou s occu p a tion a l grou p. W here
the s e n io r ity unit is thus r e s tr ic te d , an e m p lo y e e ’ s total length o f s e r v ic e m ay be of
little help to him in a vertin g unem ploym en t. B u sin ess re q u ire m e n ts m ay be such that
a departm ent m ade up o f s h o r t -s e r v ic e em p lo y e e s continues to op erate w hile one with
lo n g -s e r v ic e em p loy ees is sch ed u led to be shut down.
T h ese lim itation s o f s e n io rity
ru le s m ust be kept in m in d, e s p e c ia lly as they apply to the o ld e r w o r k e r .
9 Note that the num ber o f cla u ses found e x c e e d s the num ber o f a g re e m e n ts . S ev­
e ra l a greem en ts contained m ore than one cla u s e .



14
T r a n s fe r C la u se s — No R e fe r e n c e to P a y A d ju stm e n t,—C la u se s co v e rin g tr a n s fe r
to lig h ter o r m o re su itable job s f o r w ork ers who, fo r re a so n s o f a ge, w ere unable to c o n ­
tinue th eir p resen t d u ties, but w hich made no r e fe r e n c e to the new rate of pay fo r such
w o r k e r s , w ere inclu ded in 82 o f the 1 ,68 7 c o lle c tiv e bargain in g agreem en ts exam ined.
In the g rea test num ber o f c a s e s (28), the com pan y a g re e d to ‘’ give c o n s id ­
e r a t io n ,” o r to “ m ake e v e r y e ffo r t ” to p lace lo n g -s e r v ic e e m p lo y e e s in jo b s g e a re d to
th eir (red u ced ) p h y sica l ca p a c itie s .
The two cla u s e s cite d b e lo w , fr o m a g reem en ts
in a b a k ery and a ru b ber com pa n y, r e s p e c tiv e ly , illu stra te the p h ra s e o lo g y ty p ica lly
em p loy ed :
E m p loy ees who have given long and faithful s e r v ic e and who b e co m e
unable to handle the w ork at w hich they have been re g u la rly e m ­
p loyed w ill be given p r e fe r e n c e on ligh ter w ork w hich they a re able
to p e r fo r m .
*

*

*

E m p loyees who have a r e c o r d of long and faithful s e r v ic e and who have
b e co m e unable to handle or engage in heavy w ork w ill b e, as far as
p r a c tic a b le , tr a n s fe r r e d to w ork m ore suitable and in keeping with
th eir p h y sica l con d ition .
One a greem en t— in lo c a l tra n sit op e ra tio n s— m ade such a re a ssig n m e n t su b ject
to a 1 0 -y e a r s e r v ic e req u irem en t:
C om pan y w ill en d ea vor, as h e r e to fo r e , to fu rn ish em p loym en t fo r e m ­
p lo y e e s , when p r a c tic a b le , who have been e m p loy ed con tin u ou sly by
com pa n y fo r 10 y e a rs or m o re and who have b e co m e unfit b e ca u s e o f
old age o r p h y sica l d is a b ility , to continue in th eir usual occu p a tion .
The 28 a greem en ts containing tra n s fe r cla u se s lik e those illu stra te d above w ere
n egotiated by 13 d ifferen t unions and w ere d is p e r s e d o v e r 11 m anufacturing and 3 n on ­
m anufacturing in d u stries.
In only a few in stan ces (7) w ere tra n s fe rs made s u b je ct to union a pproval o r to
s p e c ia l a greem en t betw een union and m anagem ent.
In two s te e lw o r k e r s 1 a g re e m e n ts,
this p r o v is o was e x p re s s e d as fo llo w s :
E m p loyees who have grow n old in the s e r v ic e o f the com pan y and e m ­
p loy ees p a rtia lly d isa b led as a resu lt o f com p e n sa b le inju ry who are
not p h y sica lly able to p e r fo r m the full job content o f th eir c l a s s i f i c a ­
tion m ay be a ssig n ed to lig h ter w ork that they a re able to do. The
assign m en t w ill only be m ade a fter approval o f the union.
*

*

*

T ra n s fe rs due to d isa b ility and a g e : C a s e s o f this type shall be d e te r ­
m ined by a greem en t betw een m anagem ent and the union.
Such tr a n s ­
fe r s m ay be used fo r the p u rp ose o f reh a bilita tion .
F ou r cla u s e s w ere found w hich p erm itted w o rk e rs o f advanced age to re q u e st a
tr a n s fe r . The follow in g illu stra tion , taken fr o m an a greem en t in the a u tom obile in d u stry,
sets forth the m anner in w hich such w o rk e rs m ay e x e r c is e their s e n io r ity righ ts.
Note
a ls o the role played by the com pany*s m e d ica l departm ent:
An em p loy ee who obtains a w ritten statem ent fr o m his d o cto r o r fr o m
the co m p a n y 's m ed ica l d ir e c t o r stating that b e ca u se o f an occu p a tion a l
in ju ry, advanced a ge, o r illn e s s , he is unable to p e r fo r m his re g u la r
jo b , m ay make a req u est to the P e rso n n e l D epartm ent fo r a tr a n s fe r .
The com pany*s m ed ica l d ir e c to r in con ju n ction with the em ployee*s
p e rso n a l p h y sicia n w ill d eterm in e the type o f w ork w hich the em p loy ee
is ca p ab le o f p erfo rm in g and w ill s o in fo rm the P e r s o n n e l D epartm en t.




15
The P e r s o n n e l D epartm ent w ill a rra n ge a m eetin g with the em p loy ee
and his union rep resen ta tiv es to d iscu ss the ca s e and w ill b rin g to the
attention o f the em p loy ee and his rep re se n ta tiv e s any open jo b o r jo b s
held by em p loy ees with le s s se n io rity w hich the em p loy ee is cap able o f
p e rfo rm in g .
The em p loy ee shall be tr a n s fe r re d to a jo b w hich he is cap able o f p e r ­
form in g in the follow in g o r d e r :
(1)

T o an open job in his own departm ent.

(2)

T o a job o ccu p ied by another em p loy ee with le s s s e n io r ity in his
own departm ent.

(3)

To any open jo b in the bargaining unit.

(4)

T o any jo b in the bargaining unit held by an em p loy ee with le s s
se n io rity .

An em p loy ee who is tr a n s fe r r e d under the above p ro v is io n s m ay not
a u tom atica lly return to his orig in a l jo b when his d isa b ility is re m o v e d ,
but shall be c o n s id e r e d fo r tr a n s fe r and p ro m o tio n in the sam e m anner
as other e m p lo y e e s.
An em p loy ee d isp la ce d fr o m his job by an e m p lo y e e not ca p a b le o f
p e rfo rm in g his reg u la r job as outlined above shall be c o n s id e r e d as
being laid off and shall have a ll the rights a ccru in g to an em p loy ee
being laid o ff under the con tra ct.
A s in d icated by the above illu stra tio n , issu e s rela tin g to s e n io rity m ay have
to be c o n s id e r e d when tra n s fe rrin g o ld e r w o r k e r s .
In som e co n tr a c ts , a tra n s fe r is
p erm itted only if c a r r ie d out under existin g s e n io rity ru le s , w h ereas in other c o n ­
tra cts this req u irem en t is w aived, thus granting an e ld e r ly em p loy ee su p e rse n io rity .
T h ese two points w ere e x e m p lifie d in the follow in g a greem en ts w hich c o v e r e d w o rk e rs
in a toy m anufacturing and plum bing supply plant, re s p e c tiv e ly :
An em p loy ee who has b e co m e unable, due to s ic k n e s s , a ccid e n t, o r
a ge, to p e r fo r m o r d isch a rg e his reg u la r w ork or duties sh all be given
p r e fe r e n c e to w hatever ligh ter w ork there is a v a ila b le , if any, if c o m ­
petent to p e r fo r m the jo b to w hich he would be entitled on a s e n io r ity
b a s is .
*

*

*

E m p loyees who have given long and faithful s e r v ic e , and who have b e ­
com e unable to p e r fo r m heavy w ork by re a so n o f a ge, p h y sica l handi­
ca p , or o th erw ise, shall be given light w ork they a re able to p e r fo r m ,
re g a r d le s s o f s e n io rity righ ts, if such w ork is a va ila b le.
In a s im ila r vein , a gla ss industry co n tra ct granted s p e c ia l se n io r ity c o n s id e r a ­
tion to lo n g -s e r v ic e e m p lo y e e s; and in a lead r e fin e r y su ch w o r k e r s w ere e lig ib le fo r
tra n sfer without follow in g the job bidding p ro ce d u re :
S p ecia l con sid e ra tio n rela tiv e to se n io rity shall be given to em p lo y e e s
with m o re than 25 y e a r s 1 continuous s e r v ic e with the com pa n y, in a c ­
co rd a n ce with past com pan y p r a c tic e , in so fa r as p ra ctica b le , c o n s is t ­
ent with e fficien t op era tion . Such em p loy ees with m o re than 25 y e a r s 1
s e r v ic e who have b e co m e unable to handle their re g u la r w ork w ill be
given p re fe re n ce to such available w ork as they a re able to p e r fo r m .




*

*

*

16
E m p loyees having long s e r v ic e with the com pa n y, who have b e co m e
unable to handle heavy w ork to advantage, w ill be given p r e fe r e n c e
to su ch light w ork as is a va ila b le. Such em p loy ees w ill be a ssig n ed to
w ork o f this nature without follow in g the bidding p r o c e d u r e .
A ged w o r k e r s in a ch e m ica l plant w ere given tr a n s fe r rights re g a r d le s s o f s e n ­
io r ity ru le s , p rov id ed the m e d ica l departm ent re c o m m e n d e d su ch action :
B y mutual agreem en t betw een the B arga in in g C o m m itte e s , an e m ­
p loyee in any one of the c a te g o r ie s lis te d b elow m ay be p la ced on an
open job w hich he can do with a re a son a b le amount o f training, p r io r
to departm ental p ostin g, and without re g a rd to any s e n io r ity p r o v i­
sion s of this a greem en t.
This p riv ile g e is only available to e m p lo y e e s who m eet at le a s t one o f
the con d ition s stated b elow :
An em p loy ee with 10 y e a rs or m ore s e r v ic e , w hom the M ed ica l D e ­
partm ent recom m en d s b eca u s e o f illn e s s or old age should not c o n ­
tinue on his p resen t w ork .
E leven a greem en ts p rovid ed that a tr a n s fe r r e d em p loy ee was entitled to c a r r y
his p re v io u s ly accu m u lated s e n io rity to his new jo b .
This p ro te ctio n against lo s s of
se n io r ity was e x p re s s e d in a greem en ts o f a public utility and a furn itu re fa c to r y , r e s p e c ­
tiv e ly , as fo llo w s :
In the ca s e o f a reg u la r em p loy ee who has given long and faithful
s e r v ic e and who is unable to c a r r y on his re g u la r w ork to advantage,
the com pan y w ill attem pt to p la ce su ch e m p lo y e e on w ork w hich he
is able to p e r fo r m .
In such c a s e s , . . the em p loy ee shall be a c ­
co r d e d s e n io rity in his new job equal to that w hich he had in the jo b
c la s s ific a tio n he left if he is tr a n s fe r re d to an equal o r lo w e r jo b
c la s s ific a tio n .
*

*

*

W henever any em p loy ee who is on the se n io r ity lis t is unable to c a r r y
on his o r h er n orm a l w ork , due to p h y sica l d isa b ility o r in firm ity ,
then such em p loy ee shall be given the p riv ile g e of doing ligh ter w ork
or be tr a n s fe r re d to a d ifferen t departm ent without lo s s o f s e n io r ity ,
p rov id ed the em p loy ee is q u a lified to p e r fo r m the w ork a va ila b le.
A total of 32 agreem en ts w ere found in the co u r s e o f the analysis w hich dealt
with the va riou s se n io r ity a sp ects d is cu s s e d a bove.
The la r g e s t num ber o f co n tra cts
(10) w ere negotiated by the United A u tom obile W o rk e rs .
Six bargain in g situations c o v ­
e re d w o rk e rs in m a ch in ery m anufacturing, and four each in a u tom obile plants and public
u tilitie s .
The p o s s ib ility of tra n s fe rrin g aged w o rk e rs to s p e c ific jo b s or r e s e r v e d o c ­
cupations was m entioned in 11 a g reem en ts.
T y p ica lly , jo b s su ch as ja n ito r, gu ard,
fire m a n , or e lev a tor op era tor w ere lis te d . The follow in g two c la u s e s , the fir s t r e la t­
ing to w o rk e rs in an ex p losiv e m anufacturing plant and the secon d to furn itu re w ork ers,
ph rased this m atter thus:
It is u n derstood that em p loy ees within the bargain in g unit w ho, b e ­
cau se of age o r p h y sica l con d ition , m ust s e c u r e ligh t w o rk w ill be
given co n sid e ra tio n by the com pan y in the fillin g of v a ca n cie s fo r
guards and w atchm en.




* t *

17
An e m p lo y e e , le s s than 65 y e a rs o f age and with continuous s e r v ic e o f
20 y e a rs o r m o r e , who on accou n t of p h y sica l con d ition is unable e f f i ­
cien tly to p e r fo r m the jo b content of his c la s s ific a tio n m ay, upon ap­
p lica tio n to the In du strial R elations D ir e c to r o f the com p a n y, be a s ­
sign ed to the c la s s ific a tio n o f ele v a to r o p e ra to r o r ja n ito r to r e p la c e
an em p loy ee so c la s s ifie d who is re c e iv in g p ension b en efits on accou n t
o f s e r v ic e s p e r fo r m e d elsew h ere o r , if there are no such e m p lo y e e s ,
then to re p la c e an em p loy ee so c la s s ifie d who is o v e r 60 y e a rs o f age
and has le s s than 4 y e a rs of continuous s e r v ic e with the com pan y.
An a g reem en t co v e rin g pulp m ill w o rk e rs indicated the p ro ce d u re to be f o l ­
low ed in setting up r e s e r v e d occu pa tion s fo r lo n g -s e r v ic e e m p lo y e e s.
S im ila rly , in a
ste e l plant su ch occu p a tion s w ere to be esta b lish ed a fter jo in t a g reem en t on s e n io rity
e x clu sion :
E m p loyees o f the com pan y who through age or p a rtia l d isa b ility are
unable to fu lfill the req u irem en ts of their occu p a tion s m ay be tr a n s ­
fe r r e d to a r e s e r v e d occu p a tion in w hich an opening e x is ts .
A s ch e d ­
ule of r e s e r v e d occu pation s w ill be m aintained as m utually a g re e d
upon by the com pan y and the union.
Jobs inclu ded on the sch edule o f r e s e r v e d occu p a tion s w ill not be g o v ­
ern ed by the Job Bidding S ystem .
The r e s e r v e d occu pation s are lis te d on a sch ed ule signed by the
p a rties h e re to , co p ie s of w hich a re on file with the com pan y and the
union and h ereb y by r e fe r e n c e m ade a part h e r e o f and said sch edule
m ay be a lte re d fr o m tim e to tim e.
*

*

*

A B oa rd of R eview co n s istin g o f 3 m em b e rs appointed by W orks M an­
agem ent and 3 m em b ers appointed by the o ffic e r s o f the E m p loyee
R ep resen ta tiv es C om m ittee shall investigate and a g re e on such o c ­
cupations as m ay by exclu d ed fr o m departm ental o r se ctio n a l s e n io r ity
a g reem en t. E m p loyees who have given long and faithful s e r v ic e w hile
in the em p loy o f the c o r p o ra tio n , who have b e co m e unable to p e r fo r m
arduous w ork , w ill be given p re fe re n ce fo r a ssign m en t to such a g re e d
upon jo b s .
T r a n s fe r and Methods of P a y A d ju stm e n t.— Unlike the tra n s fe r cla u s e s cited
a b ove, in 6Y oth er a greem en ts the wage rate o r m ethods of rate setting fo r tr a n s fe r re d
o ld e r w o rk e rs was d is cu s s e d .
By fa r the la r g e s t n um ber of a greem en ts in this c a te ­
g o r y — 18— c o v e r e d w o rk e rs in public u tilities.
N ea rly half of the cla u se s (31) s p e c ifie d that the w o rk e r r e c e iv e the rate o f the
jo b to w hich tr a n s fe r r e d , as illu stra ted in this m eatpacking a greem en t:
E m p loyees who have given long and faithful s e r v ic e in the em p loy of
the com pan y and have b e co m e unable to handle th eir p o sitio n s , w ill be
given p r e fe r e n c e to such other w ork as is a va ila b le.
W ages paid to
such em p loy ees shall be the wage of the p osition a ssig n ed .
In fo u r other a g re e m e n ts , the s p e c ific wage to be paid a tr a n s fe r r e d e ld e r ly
w o rk e r was not sp elled out; ra th e r, the com pan y was to m ake a "m in im u m " adjustm ent
in ra te, o r esta b lish a s p e c ia l one.
In the two illu stra tion s lis te d — the fir s t , relatin g
to o p e ra to rs in a yarn m ill, and the secon d , to public u tility e m p lo y e e s — these points
w ere stated in this m anner:
M anagement w ill continue its p resen t p ra ctice with r e s p e c t to an e m ­
p loyee who, b eca u se o f age, illn e s s , or in ju ry, has b e co m e incapable
o f p r o p e r ly p e rfo rm in g his usual w ork; v iz , such em p loy ee m ay be




18

transferred, in accordance with the Rules of Job Progression covering
disabled employees, to such other work in the plant which, in the
opinion of management, the employee is capable of performing. Every
practicable effort will be made to make necessary placement and ad­
justment for the purpose of assuring continued retention of the em­
ployee so transferred with a minimum adjustment in rate. The union
shall be notified in advance of such placements. This provision shall
not be construed as a guarantee of employment.
*

*

*

Employees who are incapacitated through age or physical infirmity
or other causes beyond their control may be assigned to work which
they can do safely and efficiently, provided such work is available.
Special rates will be applied in all such cases, taking into account
the circumstances in each case.
In some instances, the setting of a new rate for such long-service employees
was a matter for special agreement between the company and the union, the company
and the employee, or by the three parties jointly.
Rate setting by the company and the union was exemplified in a textile and a
structural steelworkers1 agreement, respectively:
A handicapped employee whose earning capacity is limited by advanced
age, physical or mental handicap or other infirmity, may be employed
upon light work at such wage as may be mutually agreed upon between
the union and the company.
❖

*

*

The company shall make every reasonable effort to find work for
handicapped or superannuated employees which they are able to per­
form and the wage rates for such employees shall be subject to special
negotiations between the company and the union.
Employer and employees were permitted to arrive at a mutually agreeable rate
in the first clause cited below.
The workers covered were janitors.
The second
clause— from a furniture workers1 contract— provided for the employer, the union, and
the affected worker to participate in the rate setting:
As to any employee whose earning capacity is limited because of
physical handicap, or who has reached, or reaches the age of 65 years,
the employer will endeavor to find such employee suitable work at a
wage agreeable to the employer and employee, but shall be under no
obligation to do so.
*

*

*

Superannuated or incapacitated employees may be given suitable less
onerous work at appropriate rates of pay by mutual agreement be­
tween the company, the union, and the employees.
Eleven agreements provided for a pay adjustment based on age and/or length of
service.
Where the adjustment was based on length of service, a sliding scale was
introduced which, generally, permitted workers with 25 or more years* service to retain
their pretransfer rate.
The details were set forth in this public utility agreement:
In the event that an employee who is 45 or more years of age and
has 15 or more years of service, becomes partially disabled from
injury or natural causes, which cannot be attributed to his gross
negligence or which cannot reasonably be corrected to the extent
that he is able to continue in his regular occupation, but can satis­
factorily perform another useful occupation^ he shall thereupon be



19
transferred to that occupation when a vacancy occurs* Such employee
shall be compensated at a rate established by his regular rate less
an amount equal to a percentage of the differential between such
employee^ regular rate and the recognized rate for the new occu­
pation, such percentage being determined from the following table.
(Note: Should an uneven figure result, hourly rates will be rounded
to the nearest whole cent per hour, weekly rates to the nearest
50 cents per week and monthly rates to the nearest whole dollar
per month.)
Years of service
at time of transfer

Differential
percentage reduction

24
23

— 5
... 10
15

22
21

...

19
18
17
16

15

20

...
...
...
_
—
...

20

25
30
35
40
45
50

Further, any employee who has attained 25 years1 of service, re­
gardless of age, and becomes physically disabled as referred to above
shall not be reduced in rate as the result of such an occupational
change.
No reduction in pay for transferred employees after reaching a specified age
was stipulated in the two public utility agreements below. Note that the second clause
lists separate ages for male and female employees:
An employee with 20 or more years of service with the company who
becomes incapacitated so as to be unable to perform his or her regular
work to the satisfaction of the company may, in the sole discretion of
the company, be placed at any work the employee can perform at an
appropriate rate of pay. *Appropriate rate of payn shall be determined
by the company in relation to the circumstances in each individual
case but shall not exceed the maximum rate of pay of the position to
which an employee is assigned, unless such employee is 50 or more
years of age. In that case an employee^ existing rate shall not be
lowered by virtue of the assignment to the lower rated job.
The
Head Shop Steward will be notified of such transfers at the time
such transfers are made.
*

*

*

An employee who becomes incapacitated for his regular work may,
at the option of the company, be placed at any work he can do at
an appropriate rate of pay and without regard to the seniority pro­
visions of this agreement.
appropriate rate of pay" shall be de­
termined by the circumstances in each individual case, including
length of service with the company, and shall not be considered to
be limited by the maximum rate of pay of the position to which such
employee is assigned.
Further, in the case of any male employee,
who, at the time of his assignment to a lower position because of
incapacity, is 60 years of age or over, or a female employee who
is 5 5 years of age or over, his existing rate shall not be lowered
by virtue of the assignment to the lower rated job.



20

If a male employee who is 60 years of age or over, or a female
employee who is 55 years of age or over, is assigned to a lower
classification not for incapacity, but because of the elimination of
his job, his existing rate shall not be lowered by virtue of the assign­
ment to a lower rated job.
Employees transferred because of age were specifically made subject to further
pay increases in 5 agreements, while in 2 other agreements such progression was ruled
out.
The following clauses illustrate these points:
In the event an employee with 20 years1 or more service becomes
unable to perform his normal duties because of permanent partial
physical disability, whether compensable or not under the Workman’s
Compensation Act, the company will provide him with such related
departmental work as the incapacitated employee can do« If the
assignment is to a lower grade job, he shall receive at the time
of such assignment a special rate equal to his rate at the time the
disability started,. The special job rate shall be effective until the
rate for his new classification reaches his special rate, after which
he will advance with the classification*
*

*

*

An employee with 25 or more years of service with the (company)
who cannot thereafter perform his regular duties due to some phys­
ical condition or other impairment, and is assigned to a work func­
tion which he is capable of performing, shall, for the duration of
his employment by the (company), retain the same job title and con­
tinue to receive the same rate of compensation as theretofore, re­
gardless of the range of pay attaching to the job classification for
such work function, but shall not be eligible for wage increases
beyond the maximum rate for that work function which he is performing .
Both agreements covered workers in public utilities.
In two other agreements— in the toy industry— the matter of transfer and/or
pay adjustment for elderly employees was to be decided by the permanent arbitrator:
If because of advanced age or nontemporary physical disability, a
worker’s ability to perform his job has been substantially impaired,
the member of the association may submit the matter as a griev­
ance . . .
In the event that the grievance shall reach the second
step and be submitted to the Impartial Chairman, he shall make an
award applicable during such impairment only, which shall either
(1) dismiss the grievance or (2) transfer such worker to another
job, which the worker can perform with average ability at the rate
for such job or (3) reduce the rate of the worker in his present job
commensurate with the decrease in production resulting from such
impairment, but in no event below the minimum for such job.
To ease financial hardships caused by downgrading due to layoffs or organi­
zational plant changes, one contract— in the candy industry— provided for a cushioning
allowance whereby employees transferred to lower rated jobs were to continue to receive
their regular rate for specified periods, depending upon their length of service. Max­
imum benefits accrued to workers with 20 or more years1 service.




21

In the case of abolition, combination, or permanent reduction of a
department or the permanent reduction of personnel in a job, the
persons permanently transferred shall have their job rate continued
according to the following schedule, unless the rate of the new job
is higher, then they shall receive the higher rate:
Job rate to be
continued for—

Seniority
Less than 3 years _____________________________________
3 years but less than 5 y e a r s __________________________
5 years but less than 10 years __________________ _____
10 years but less than 20 y e a r s _______________________
20 years and o v e r____ -________________________ __, ____
_

0 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
16 weeks
26 weeks

Pay Adjustment for Older Workers— No Reference to Transfer.—A smaller
number of agreements (30) provided for special or individualized wage rates for older
workers, but made no mention of reassignment. It may therefore be inferred that
in these situations such a worker was to be permitted to remain on his old job, but
at lower remuneration.
In 12 agreements in this category, the union and the company were to negotiate
a special rate which, in some instances, could be below the contract minimum.
Employees producing less than 90 percent efficiency are subject to
dismissal. However, in the case of aged or handicapped employees
now on the payroll, a reduction in wages comparable to the rate of
efficiency can be adopted by mutual agreement of company and union.
*

*

*

The employer, subject to separate agreement with the union in each
instance, may retain an employee whose earning capacity is limited
because of age, physical or mental handicap, or other infirmities,
at a rate of pay below the minimum wage herein provided.
Production workers in an electronics plant were covered by the first agreement
cited above, and warehouse employees by the second.
A possible change in wages or hours of work for those of advanced age was
outlined in a seafood cannery agreement:
. . . It is acknowledged by all parties that there are now persons,
and there may be others, who, because of physical disability, injury,
or old age, are unable to perform a satisfactory day*s work but who
could be employed to do less work or to work shorter hours than the
average within the various classifications. As to such persons the
employer or association and the union shall confer and determine
upon a reasonable adjustment of wage or hours, as the case may be,
to permit of their employment. It is hereby declared to be the policy
of all parties not to discriminate against said handicapped persons
but to offer them reasonable opportunities for employment under terms
fair to them and to the employer.
In 11 other agreements, a wage rate was to be worked out by the company,
the union, and the employee.
The phraseology employed was virtually identical with
the one used in the pay adjustment clause for transferred older workers quoted earlier.
A restriction on the number of aged workers whose wages were exempted from
established minimum job rate provisions was found in an agreement covering workers
in a machine-tool plant:
The rate of pay of superannuated and physically handicapped em­
ployees, not to exceed 5 percent of the employees, shall not be gov­
erned by the provisions of this Article (wages).



22

Special Seniority Rights in Layoff and Recall. — As pointed out earlier, a
worker's most important protection against layoff rests on his seniority standing within
the bargaining unite Seniority, of course, is not based on a worker's age but on length
of service. However, as several of the clauses cited above indicated, employees of
advanced age are sometimes given superseniority for transfer purposes® Very rarely
is such superseniority extended to reduction-in-force situations.
The strongest expression of superseniority for older workers is cited in the
first clause below, and was found in only one agreement (in the structural steel in­
dustry).
The second clause refers to a household appliance factory where certain
elderly employees were not subject to bumping®
In the event of any layoff, handicapped or superannuated employees
will be retained, regardless of seniority, and will be exempt from
the seniority provisions of this agreement in that respect®
* * ❖

Employees over 65 with 5 years1 seniority listed on approved handicap
list also will be immune to being bumped.
In another agreement (construction machinery), an exception to the normal
application of seniority rules governing layoff and recall was made for long-service
employees, but the number so affected was limited on a departmental and plant basis:
. ® ® The company shall have the right, because of employee's special
skills and long and faithful service to the company, to hire and retain
or to call back to work after layoff, without regard to seniority, not
more than 10 percent of the regular number of employees before
layoffs began in any one department, but it is understood and agreed
that the total number of such exceptional employees . ® ® shall not
exceed 100 employees®
Length of service displacement rights were spelled out in a radio and tele­
vision worker agreement. However, the procedure outlined applied only in a layoff
due to occupational changes, and not in a general layoff situation.
When occupations are abolished, any affected employee who has at­
tained the seniority specified in the following table shall be absorbed
in such other occupation in any department within the bargaining unit
as he shall choose in accordance with the following table, provided
such employee is capable of performing the work and provided further
that before effecting any transfers in accordance with this section
the company shall advise the union:
An employee with—
25 years1 seniority and u p __________________________
20 years1 seniority but less than
25 years___________________________________________
15 years1 seniority but less than
20 years___________________________________________
10 years 1 seniority but less than
15 years___________________________________________

May displace any
employee with—
5 years1 seniority
4 years1 seniority
3 years1 seniority
2 years1 seniority

The section of an agreement defining seniority qualifications for promotions
and layoffs made the following reference to age:
When factors (ability to perform the work) and (physical fitness) are
equal, length of continuous service shall govern. It is understood and
agreed, however, that the factor of "physical fitn ess," as used above,
is not intended to be applied to the age of employees®



23
Miscellaneous Clauses Relating to the Older Employee. — In a small number of
agreements, clauses were found which dealt with various other benefits and conditions
of employment for older workers® Many of these were one-of-a-kind clauses® The
topics covered ranged from ,lno discrimination1 to tour assignments and bargaining
1
unit exclusion.
Seven agreements contained clauses banning age discrimination against em­
ployees. In 5 situations, this ban was part of a general one prohibiting discrimination
because of race, color, creed, etc.; in the other 2, age was the sole subject referred
to®
The first point was illustrated in an agreement covering brass workers; the
second, public utility employees:
The company and the union agree that the provisions of this agreement
shall be applied, as in the past, to all employees within the bargaining
unit without discrimination on account of sex, race, color, creed,
national origin, or age®
* * *

It is the request of the union that there shall be no discrimination
toward employees because of their age, if they are capable of per­
forming their duties®
A stipulation that an employee *s age was to have no bearing on his continued
employment was foujid in three interstate bus company agreements. Similarly, retire­
ment and reassignment for reasons of age were banned in a steelworkers1 agreement;
The age alone of an experienced employee shall have no bearing on
his qualifications as to continued employment.
5{e

3je

The company shall not retire, discharge, transfer, or demote any
employee on account of age®
A special wage increase to employees with 25 years1 service was granted to
public utility employees® Another agreement in the same industry listed length of serv­
ice bonuses, with maximum payments going to workers employed 30 years or longer.
All employees on the weekly payroll who complete 25 years of con­
tinuous service in the calendar year 1955 shall be granted a 25-Year
Service Increase of 5 cents per hour, effective as of the next pay
period beginning after his completion of such continuous service®
An employee who has been granted a 25-Year Service Increase shall
be continued thereafter in the wage structure relationship created by
granting him such 2 5 -Year Service Increase®

# $ $
Employees will be paid a Christmas Bonus of 4 percent of their
annual earnings in accordance with the rules covering this payment
as agreed to by the company and the union®
A length-of-service annual bonus will be paid on the following terms;
Employees having from 15 through 19 years of adjusted service—
l/z percent annual bonus®
Employees having from 20 through 24 years of adjusted service—
1 percent annual bonus®
Employees having from 25 through 29 years of adjusted service—
1 V 2 percent annual bonus®
Employees having 30 or more years of adjusted service— 2 percent
annual bonus •



24
Possible part-time employment was outlined in a textile agreement. In meat­
packing plants, such employment was limited to workers receiving social security
benefits:
For reasons of age, health, home responsibilities, or other justi­
fiable causes, an employee with a regular job may give up his job
and go to the spare floor by mutual consent of the overseer and the
shop steward. A person so permitted to go to the spare floor shall
be placed according to the seniority and qualification on those days
he or she reports for work.
*

*

*

Effective January 1, 1956, an employee who works for the employer
who has reached the age of 65 and desires to secure old-age sur­
vivors1benefits under the Federal Social Security Act and if he has
worked for the employer 15 years or more and is able to perform
the work assigned to him by the employer, the employer will schedule
him for sufficient work to make it possible for the employee to earn
$100 per month or not more than $1,200 per calendar year. He
will not be entitled to holiday pay unless he works during the holiday
week. He will not be entitled to future vacations or weekly guarantee.
Insurance agents and employees of a telephone company were the recipients
of various other benefits. In the first clause quoted below, those with 25 or more
years1 service were not required to punch the time clock; in the second, such longservice employees were given their choice of tours.
Employees who have been in the service of the company for 25 years
or more shall not be required to punch the time clock. This privi­
lege may be withdrawn from any employee whose record is not com­
parable with the average employee who is required to punch the time
clock.
*

*

*

Subject to the needs of the business, regular assignments to night
tours for coverage purposes in the central office, repair service
bureau, and outside repair forces will be provided on a basis of
rotation among the available employees with the following limitations:
1.

Employees with 25 or more years of net credited service maybe
exempted from such rotating assignments if they so desire.

2.

Employees
of service
in excess
work such

3.

When the number of employees with 25 or more years of net
credited service who either desire exemption as provided in 1 above
or desire to be scheduled as provided in 2 above is more than
can be accommodated, choice among such employees with 25 or
more years of net credited service shall be in the order of sen­
iority based on net credited service.

who as of September 30, 1950, had 25 or more years
and had been on night-tour assignments for a period
of 5 years may, if they so desire, be scheduled to
assignments.

A public utility agreed to consider a program for elderly employees:
The company agrees to give consideration to the development of a
program to cover regular employees of long service who are unable
to carry on their duties because of age or disability.




25
In two agreements— both covering department store employees— employees
with 25 or more years1 service were given the choice of either retaining or yielding
their union membership. Furthermore, in the second agreement, regular employees
of advanced age could be excluded from the bargaining unit by mutual agreement be­
tween the company and the union.
Superannuates.— Such term is herein used to designate persons whose
earning capacities in the judgment of the employer are limited by
physical handicaps because of age and shall include all employees
employed 25 years or more; which latter employees shall retain all
their accrued seniority. Any employee who shall attain 25 years of
seniority after the effective date of this agreement and while a mem­
ber of the union may retain union membership should he or she so
desire. Upon attaining the 25th year the employer shall notify the
employees as heretofore of their privilege to remain in the union
or resign as they desire, copy to be sent to the local, and the em­
ployers and the union shall be bound by the employees1 choice.
❖

❖

*

Regular employees whose earning capacities become limited by reason
of physical handicaps or by reason of age shall be excluded from the
union by mutual agreement of the management and the union . • .
Employees who have completed 25 years or more of continuous em­
ployment shall have the choice of maintaining or discontinuing mem­
bership in the union (bargaining unit).







27
Part III.— The Termination Aspect

The older worker may leave his job for a variety of reasons, voluntary or
involuntary. He may quit for other employment; he may become sick or disabled; he
may retire; or he may die® He may be discharged; he may be laid off with the ex­
pectation of being recalled to work when business picks up; or he may be laid off
permanently through no fault of his own. Except in the case of a worker who quits,
collective bargaining agreements impose certain obligations on the employer designed
to protect the worker from arbitrary action, to cushion the economic impact of un­
avoidable changes or occurrences on the worker and his dependents, and to provide
for an orderly and more secure retirement®
In large measure, discharge or layoff based solely on age, without considera­
tion of efficiency, is prohibited by collective bargaining agreements* On the other
hand, plans established to cushion the impact of layoff, although they do not favor the
older worker as such, tend to provide more liberal benefits to the worker with long
year8 of service. These aspects of the collective bargaining agreement are discussed
below .1
0
Discharge
As the management prerogative clause cited in part I (p. 5 ) illustrates, the
company generally retains the right to discharge employees. However, such action
must be in conformity with the agreement rules governing discharge.
Typically, the
contracts analyzed provided that an employee could only be discharged for n
just and
reasonable ca u se," or for "good and substantial reason s." Where the reasons were
further elaborated, matters such as incompetence, inefficiency, dishonesty, drunken­
ness, or insubordination were mentioned frequently.
Discharge clauses illustrating the above points follow:
The company will not discharge any employee except for good and
substantial cause.

***
An employer shall have the right to discharge employees for just
cause, such as, but not limited to, slowdown in production, inef­
ficiency, dishonesty, falsifying time cards, insubordination, intoxi­
cation, lateness, or absence without reasonable excuse in excess of
3 times in any 1 month; having salary garnisheed or wages assigned
more than 3 times, smoking on the employer^ premises, or for any
violation of the employer^ reasonable working rules. If the union
shall dispute such discharge, the same shall be handled as provided
for in the arbitration provisions of this agreement, and if arbitrated,
then the arbitrator shall determine whether or not such discharged
(employee shall be reinstated, and whether with or without back pay.
* # *

The company and the union recognize the principle of a fair dayfs
work for a fair day*s pay. Employees who repeatedly fail to meet
normally expected production requirements shall be advised of such
failure.
The departmental committee shall also be informed. If
this employee still fails to meet such requirements, except for rea­
sons beyond his control, he shall be subject to disciplinary action,
including discharge.

1 Other aspects of voluntary and involuntary separations, as well as the key
0
issue of compulsory retirement, are covered in a forthcoming report (see footnote 1).




28
The worker ls age was not mentioned as a cause justifying discharge in any of
the 1,687 agreements analyzedo In one agreement, however, discharge at a specified
age was permitted, but only if the worker was unable to perform his job:
Any employee having reached the age of 65 years, and who is
no longer capable of performing his duties, his services will be
terminated.
In other instances, where age was mentioned in this context, the contract
explicitly prohibited discharge on such grounds.1
1
Provisions which define the causes for which an employee may be discharged
are designed to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory action on the part of the employer
in a vital matter for the individual employee. Unions regard the widespread prevalence
of clauses banning arbitrary discharge as one of their major achievements. It is rec­
ognized, however, that these safeguards would have little effect if there were no pro­
visions for protesting or appealing discharges— to a third party if necessary. Conse­
quently, virtually all agreements establish procedures through which grievances in this
area, as well as others, may be resolved.12 Thus, a worker facing discharge, or the
union acting for the worker, may invoke the general grievance and arbitration machinery
of the agreement or, perhaps, special procedures which may have been set up to settle
discharge cases. In proceedings of this kind, the burden of proof tends to rest with
the employer; that is, he must convince union representatives or the arbitrator that
the termination was a proper one under the terms of the contract.1 Since agreements
3
do not permit discharge for reasons of age alone, any attempt to remove a worker
on such grounds would presumably fail in an established grievance and arbitration
procedure.
Dismissal and Layoff Pay
Provisions for severance or dismissal compensation, a payment made to work­
ers whose employment is terminated through no fault of their own, were found in ap­
proximately one-sixth of major agreements, primarily in the communications, primary
metals, and printing and publishing industries.1 Such payments help to ease the em­
4
ployee^ financial burden while looking for a new job, at the same time making the
layoff of long-term employees a matter of substantial expense to the employer.
The conditions under which workers are eligible to receive separation allow­
ances are, in some agreements, stated broadly, such as ’lack of work" or ’’reasons
beyond the workers’ control.” In other situations, however, they are tied specifically
to technological changes, plant mergers, or job elimination. A severance allowance
is occasionally made to workers who have become unadaptable to plant requirements
but are not eligible to be retired under the pension plan.
In the great majority of dismissal pay plans, the amount of pay is based on
length of service with the company. In some of these plans, no ceiling is established;
that is, all years of service are taken into account in computing the allowances. Ex­
amples of dismissal pay clauses follow:
The company agrees to the principle of 1 week’s severance pay for
each year of plant service for employees with at least 2 years* plant
service who lose employment solely because of technological change.
* * *

1
1
12
Review,
Monthly
1
(P .

See clauses cited in part II (p. 23).
See Grievance Procedures in Union Agreements, 1950-51, Monthly Labor
July 1951 (p, 36), and Arbitration Provisions in Collective Agreements, 1952,
Labor Review, March 1953 (p. 261).
See Arbitration of Labor-Management Grievances in Bethlehem Steel, op. cit.

ii).

A separate study of dismissal pay provisions is in preparation.



29
In the event that an employer shall convert one or more elevators
in his building to operatorless elevators and the job or jobs of one
or more regular elevator employees are eliminated after October 3,
1955, on that account, the employer shall pay to the elevator em­
ployee or employees whose job or jobs are thus eliminated, conver­
sion pay in the amount and upon the terms and conditions as follows:
(a)

The elevator employee must have had at least 5 years1 service
in the building;

(b)

Elevator employees of 5 or more years, but less than 20 years
of service in the building, shall receive conversion pay in the
amount of $100 plus $50 for each additional year of service in
excess of 5;

(c)

Elevator employees of 20 or more years1 service in the building
shall receive conversion pay in the amount of $1,000 plus $50
for each additional year of service in excess of 20; . . .
#

*

5ft

Employees having 10 years or more of service whose employment is
terminated because of their physical inability, due to reasons other
than those covered by the State Workmenr Compensation Act, to
s
perform the duties of any established job in their department shall,
if such termination occurs prior to the normal retirement age (65),
be entitled to termination pay in addition to any other benefits to
which such employees may be entitled®
Such termination pay shall be computed at the rate of 80 hours1 pay
for each year of employment to a maximum of 26 years of service.
The hourly rate of pay shall be the base rate of the classification
held at the date on which the employee last worked®

***
Regular employees who are laid off due to lack of work and regular
employees who retire at the compulsory retirement age and who are
not eligible for pension shall be paid a termination allowance deter­
mined as to amount by their net credited service and basic weekly
wage rate, at the time of leaving the service, in accordance with
the following table:
Time of employment

Amount of pay

Less than 6 months____________________________________

None
1 weekrs pay
2 weeks1 pay
3 weeks1 pay
4 weeks1 pay
5 weeks1 pay
6 weeks1 pay
7 weeks1 pay
8 weeks1 pay
10 weeks1 pay
12 weeks1 pay
14 weeks1 pay
16 weeks 1 pay
18 weeks1 pay
20 weeks1 pay
22 weeks1 pay
2 6 weeks1 pay
30 weeks1 pay
34 weeks1 pay
38 weeks1 pay
42 weeks1 pay

6 months but less than 1 year_________________________
1 year but less than 2 years___________________________

2
3
4
5

years but less than 3 y e a r s_________________________
years but less than 4 y e a r s _________________________
years but less than 5 y e a r s __________________________
years but less than 6 y e a r s _________________________
6 years but less than 7 y e a r s_________________________
7 years but less than 8 y e a r s_________________________
8 years but less than 9 years __________________________
9 years but less than 10 years________ -_______________
10 years but less than 11 years ____ _________________
11 years but less than 12 y e a r s ______________________
12 years but less than 13 y e a r s______________________
13 years but less than 14 years ______________________
14 years but less than 15 y e a r s ______________________
15 years but less than 16 y e a r s______________________
16 years but less than 17 y e a r s ______________________
17 years but less than 18 y e a r s ______________________
18 years but less than 19 years ______________________
19 years but less than 20 y e a r s ______________________



30
For a term of employment in excess of that specified for payment
of 42 weeks1 pay, 42 weeks1 pay plus 5 weeks1 pay for each year
or fraction thereof of such excess0
Under some agreements, employees accepting severance pay lost all reemploy­
ment rights, and, if rehired, were to be classed as new employees, without credit
for seniority accumulated prior to termination.. In other agreements, an employee
faced with layoff had the option of rejecting severance pay and in this manner main­
taining his claim to reemployment. These points are exemplified as follows:
Any employee who has received dismissal pay from the company shall
lose all seniority and shall cease to be in any way connected with the
company. Should such employee thereafter by reemployed by the
company, he shall accept such reemployment as a new employee.
* * *

An employee on being laid off shall have the right to elect not to
receive severance pay and thereby retain all seniority and any other
privileges to which such an employee may be entitled.
A slightly different type of severance allowance— one which grants payments
only at time of retirement— was found in a small number of agreements, primarily
in the textile industry. Such plans, negotiated in the absence of conventional pension
plans, called for a^lump -sum separation benefit to be paid to workers who retire vol­
untarily at age 65, usually after having completed 15 or more years of service. All
of the textile agreements which incorporated retirement separation provisions estab­
lished a maximum allowance of 20 weeks1 pay.
The standard textile clause read as
follows:
It is agreed that the company will pay retirement separation pay to
an employee who, having attained the age of 65 voluntarily retires
during the term of this agreement from the employment of the com­
pany and has at the time of his retirement completed 15 years of
continuous service with the company with an average employment of
1,000 hours or more for each service year. The amount of the re­
tirement separation pay shall be 1 week!s pay for each service year,
with a maximum of 20 weeks1 pay.
Supplementary unemployment benefit plans, a recent development in collective
bargaining, also take length of service into account. The establishment of employerfinanced trust funds from which payments are made to laid-off workers to supplement
benefits received under State unemployment compensation plans was initiated by the
Ford Motor Co. and the United Automobile Workers in m id -1955. The plan provides
for allowances graduated in duration by the amount of money in the fund and the seniority
of the laid-off worker.
Under later agreements, in the flat-glass industry, the employer sets up a
separate "security benefit account1 for each employee, from which the worker may
1
make withdrawals at time of unemployment or sickness.
Unlike the Ford plan, pay­
ments are not related to earnings or seniority. All funds in an employee^ account
are paid to him or his family when he quits, retires, or dies.




U S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1956

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398779


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102