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Frances Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lubin, Commissioner (on leave)
A F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner


Collective Bargaining in the
Chemical Industry
May 1942

Prepared by the


[o. 716

{Reprinted w ith o u t change from the M on th ly Labor R e v ie w ,
July 19421

W ASH ING TON : 1942

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, Washington, D. C.

Price 5 cents


Unions in the industry________________________________________________
Union agreements_____________________________________________________
Duration and renewal of agreements____________________________________
Union status_________________________________________________________
Hours, shift provisions, and overtime___________________________________
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays________________________________________
Vacations and leaves__________________________________________________
Seniority, lay-off, and promotions______________________________________
Working foremen_____________________________________________________
Military service_______________________________________________________
Health, safety, and welfare____________________________________________
Adjustment of disputes________________________________________________
Strikes and lock-outs----------------------------------------------------------------------------



U n it e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r ,
B u r e a u of L a b o r St a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. G., June 15, 1942.
The S e c r e t a r y o f L a b o r :
have the honor to transmit herewith a report covering a study
made of collective bargaining in the chemical industry, May 1942,
prepared by Abraham Weiss under the direction of Florence Peterson,
Chief of the Industrial Relations Division.
A. F . H in r ic h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F r a n c e s P e r k in s ,
Secretary oj Labor.

Bulletin 7\[o. 716 of the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
[Reprinted without change from the M

o n th ly L a b o r

R eview, July 1942]

THE chemical industry, as used in this report, includes establish­
ments whose principal products are acids, organic and inorganic;
nitrogen and fixed nitrogen compounds; sodium compounds; potassium
compounds; alums; coal-tar products; plastics; and miscellaneous
organic and inorganic compounds.1 The chief chemical products not
included in this study are compressed and liquified gases, explosives,
fertilizer, soap, and wood-distillation products.
Access to market is probably the chief factor influencing the location
of the chemical industry, although availability of raw materials is also
an important consideration. A large proportion of all chemicals
produced are purchased by other chemical manufacturers or by indus­
tries which make use of a chemical process in manufacture. Fully
half of the chemical-production industry is located within the States
of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, where
industrial consumers are most heavily concentrated. Chemicals are,
however, produced in 39 States, a fact which reflects a wide distri­
bution of consumer centers and raw materials. Partly under the
stimulus of defense requirements, the trend is toward further geo­
graphic decentralization. Plants are now being constructed in the
central part of the country, well inland from coastal areas, where they
are likely to be less vulnerable in time of war.
The large space required for plants and the problem of disposing
of noxious gases and waste products, as well as the necessary proximity
to raw-materials sources, have resulted in the construction of plants
in rural areas, in isolated districts, or on the periphery of industrial
centers. In large measure, therefore, the industry has drawn on rural
areas for its labor supply.
While the chemical industry includes a large number of small plants,
a few establishments employ a relatively large proportion of the total
workers in the industry. According to the 1939 Census of Manufac­
tures, over three-fourths of the plants, with approximately 15 percent
of the total workers, employed less than 100 workers each. Slightly
over one-fifth of the plants, with approximately 60 percent of the total
wage earners, employed between 100 and 1,000 wage earners. Only 11
plants out of 630 in the industry employed over 1,000 wage earners,
representing over one-fourth of the total workers.
Employment in the chemical industry has increased markedly since
1939. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, there were
1 The industry definition used here corresponds to the following 1939 Census of Manufactures classifica­
tions: “ Chemicals not elsewhere classified” ; “ Coal-tar products, crude and intermediate” ; “ Plastic mate­
rials.” Prior to 1939, these groups were classified by the Bureau of the Census as “ Chemicals not else­
where classified.”





110,000 wage earners in the industry in May 1942, compared with
66,400 in May 1939. Very few women are employed, the 1939
census indicating less than 3 percent of the total.

Unions in the Industry
Between 35,000 and 40,000 workers, representing about 35 percent
of the total in the industry, were covered by affiliated union agree­
ments in May 1942.2 Unionization on a fairly extensive scale in the
chemical industry is a development of recent years. Prior to 1937,
there were no international unions primarily interested in organizing
chemicals, although a few plant-bargaining units had been chartered
as federal labor unions by the American Federation of Labor. In
addition, particular groups of workers in some plants were members of
craft unions.
The United Mine Workers of America entered the chemical field in
September 1936, by establishing District 50 with jurisdiction over the
“ coal-process” workers of the United States and Canada. Its juris­
diction was soon extended to cover all chemical workers. The nucleus
of District 50 was the National Council of Gas and By-Product Coke
Workers, a loose organization chartered by the A. F. of L. in 1935 and
composed of Federal labor unions^ mostly in Massachusetts which
had been established during the NRA. District 50, known as the
Gas, By-Product Coke and Chemical Workers, became an affiliate
of the C. I. O. when the United Mine Workers joined the C. I. O. in
1937.3 The majority of District 50’s agreements are with companies
located in the East and Middle West.
Many of the federal labor unions which belonged to the National
Council of Gas and By-Product Coke Workers, but which did not join
District 50, together with other federal labor unions in the chemical
industry, combined to form the National Council of Chemical and
Allied Industries Unions, which was chartered in September 1940 by
the American Federation of Labor. A large number of the organized
chemical plants on the west coast are under this Chemical Council,
which also has agreements in the East and Middle West, as well as
some representation in the South. In addition, there are a consider­
able number of A. F. of L. federal labor unions in chemical plants which
are not yet affiliated with the Chemical Council.
Several unions whose jurisdiction is ordinarily limited to other
industries have also organized a few chemical plants. The Inter­
national Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers (C. I. O.) has a
few locals in the industry, especially in those plants where mining
operations are carried on in connection with the production of chem­
icals. Other C. I. O. unions include the United Steelworkers of
America, the Textile Workers Union of America, the United Elec­
trical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, the Oil Workers
International Union, and the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing
and Allied Workers of America. Two A. F. of L. unions, the Inter­
national Association of Machinists and the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers, have organized some workers in a few chemical
plants. The Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and
Technicians (C. I. O.) has organized the laboratory and technical
2 In addition, about 9,000 workers were covered by agreements negotiated by unaffiliated employee organi­
zations restricted to a single plant. These are not included in the following analysis.
8 Since this article was written, several locals have left District 50 and have joined a newly created
C. L O. National Council of Gas, Coke and Chemical Workers.




staff in a few chemical plants. All of these unions—excepting A. F. of L.
craft unions and the F. A. E. C. T.—organize on an industrial, plantwide basis and take in most or all of the production workers in the plant.
Since the membership of these unions includes many who are not
attached to the chemical industry, no exact figures can be given for
the membership of each union in this industry. Of the chemical
workers under agreement, about 85 percent are represented in almost
equal proportion by District 50 and by the Chemical Council and
other A. F. of L. federal unions; about 5 percent by the Mine, Mill and
Smelter Workers; and about 10 percent by the other unions.

Union Agreements
The following analysis is based on a study of 84 agreements in the
files of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which cover chemical plants in
18 States. The analysis includes all the major agreements known to
the Bureau to be in force in May 1942. The number of workers
covered by these agreements varies: 34 agreements cover less than
100 workers each; 36, between 100 and 500 workers; 5, between 500
and 1,000 workers; and 10, over 1,000 workers.
Practically all the agreements in the chemical industry were nego­
tiated by the local unions and individual companies or plants. In a
few cases a company has signed one agreement to cover two plants;
in two cases agreements have been signed jointly by two companies.
Three agreements specify that a change in the name of the union shall
not invalidate the agreement.
Agreements with the larger companies are mentioned by name in
the following discussion. The largest of these companies and the
number of plants for which agreements are in the Bureau’s file, are as
follows: American Cyanamid Co. (2); American Potash & Chemical
Co. (1); Celluloid Corporation (1); Diamond Alkali Co. (3); Dow
Chemical Co. (2); Electro-Metallurgical Co. (1); General Chemical
Co. (3); Harshaw Chemical Co. (2); Michigan Alkali Co. (1); Mon­
santo Chemical Co. (5); Pittsburgh Plate Glass (Columbia Chemical
Division) (1); Potash Co. of America (1); and United States Potash
Co. (1). The United States Potash Co. has two agreements covering
the same plant. Important companies in the industry with all or
most of their plants not under agreement include Bakelite Corpo­
ration, Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Corporation, E. I. DuPont de
Nemours & Co., Mathieson Alkali, Rohm & Haas, and Tennessee
Eastman Co. When the Diamond Alkali Co. is mentioned, the
reference is to the plant at Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Duration and Renewal of Agreements
Approximately 80 percent of the agreements, including most of the
major companies, are in effect for 1 year, but are renewable auto­
matically unless notice of intention to change or terminate is given by
either party. The duration of all but one of the remaining agreements
varies from 10 months to 3 years. The three Shell Chemical Co.
agreements are in effect for an indefinite period, with cancelation or
amendment of the agreements effective 2 months after the last of any
month in which either party has given notice.
About 60 percent of the agreements are automatically renewable;
for successive yearly periods, and about 10 percent for an indefinite




period until notice is given. Four agreements are renewable for an
additional year only; and one, for an additional 6 months. The other
agreements make no reference to renewal.
Most of the agreements specify the amount of advance notice which
must be given by either party to effect a change or for termination
at expiration. The usual notice period, found in slightly over 60 per­
cent of the agreements, is 30 days; in 11 agreements it is 60 days.
Other periods specified are 40, 45, and 70 days, respectively, in 3
agreements. One agreement requires a 60-day notice for modification,
and a 30-da.y notice for termination.
In addition to the wage adjustments, discussed below, modification
of other provisions by mutual consent at any time or at specified
intervals during their effective periods is expressly provided for by
agreements of the United States Potash Co. and four others.
About one-fifth of the agreements, in addition to requiring notice,
also specify that conferences must be held after notice is given in
order to negotiate a new agreement. According to eight agreements,
conferences must start within a specified period after notice, varying
from 10 to 45 days; in the remainder, negotiations must begin within a
specified period before the expiration date, 5 days in two agreements
and 20 days in four agreements.
Thirteen agreements, including 6 of the major plants, provide
explicitly for extension by mutual consent if negotiations are in
progress when the agreements expire. The extension is limited to
60 and 30 days in two agreements, and 10 days in one, while one agree­
ment states that either party may terminate negotiations after the
expiration date on 5 days’ notice. The agreements of the Diamond
Alkali Co., Pittsburgh Plate Glass (Columbia Chemical Division),
and Jacques Wolf & Co., specifically make the term of any iibw
agreement thus reached retroactive to the expiration date.

Union Status
About 10 percent of the workers covered by agreements are em­
ployed under closed- or union-sliop conditions. Of the 19 agreements
with closed- or union-shop provisions, only 1 is with a large company
(Michigan Alkali). Nine of them require the company to hire through
the union, usually with the requirement that the union must furnish
needed men within a given time, ranging from 4 to 48 hours. If the
♦union is unable to comply, the company may hire directly, but such
employees must join the union within a short period. One closedshop agreement provides recourse to arbitration should the company
refuse to discharge any employee suspended or expelled from the
union, except for nonpayment of dues.
A modified union shop, under which all new employees, but not
old employees, must join the union, is specified in three agreements.
One of these and one other provide for preference in hiring to union
members. “ Maintenance of membership” clauses are included in two
agreements which require those employees who have joined the union
or who may become members to maintain their membership in good
standing as a condition of continued employment. One of these, the
American Cyanamid Co. (Bound Brook, N. J.), also requires the
company to furnish copies of its agieements to new employees. The
other requires that the company post a statement encouraging
employees to join the union.




Two agreements contain clauses which strengthen the union’s
position without establishing maintenance of membership. One of
these, the result of an arbitration award, specifies that the company
shall “ review” its relationship with the union with any new employee
who fails to join the union. If the union then feels that the result of
the review weakens the status of the union, both company and union
agree to submit the matter to arbitration. In another, the company
“ reserves the right, although it is not obligated,” to dismiss any em­
ployee who fails to maintain his membership or who fails to join
within 30 days after employment. Four agreements state that the
company shall encourage employees to join the union and maintain
their union membership.
In 49 of the 84 agreements the unions are given recognition only
as the sole bargaining agency for all workers. Certain occupational
groups, such as office employees, supervisors and foremen, and labo­
ratory technicians usually are excluded from coverage. One of these
agreements requires the company to furnish copies of its agreement
to new employees. Four agreements either grant the union the
bargaining power for its members only, or fail to specify the recog­
nition status extended to the union.

A general check-off of union dues by the company is established
in 4 major agreements, including Diamond Alkali and Michigan
Alkali. Fifteen agreements, including Dow Chemical (Midland,
Mich.), United States Potash Co., and the Potash Co. of America,
permit individual employees to authorize deductions from their pay
for union dues. One other union agreement contains a reference to a
check-off plan in existence, but gives no details. The maximum
amount which the company agrees to deduct is specified in 9 of these
agreements. The Celluloid Co. and Monsanto Chemical Co. (St.
Louis, Mo.) agreements facilitate the collection of union dues by the
union. In the former, the company agrees to provide space for the
union for dues collection; in the latter, to provide a desk and chair for
a union repiesentative, on his own time, to receive dues during specified

Thirty-four of the 84 agreements include clauses specifically for­
bidding company discrimination on account of union membership
or activity. Four agreements, including Diamond Alkali and Amer­
ican Cyanamid (Bound Brook, N. J.), provide disciplinary action which
may include discharge by the company for employees who engage in
antiunion activity on company premises. In another agreement the
company must post the agreement and instruct the supervisory staff
to comply with its terms. Approximately half the agreements which
include clauses forbidding company discrimination against union
employees also prohibit coercion and discrimination against nonunion
employees by the union. One agreement specifically makes a violation
of this provision grounds for discharge.
Slightly over one-fourth of the agreements prohibit union activity
(except by company permission) or solicitation of members on com­
pany time, and a few prohibit such activities on company property.
One agreement, however, in which the company states that it will



encourage union membership, permits the shop steward to solicit
union membership on company property during the 60 days following
the signing of the agreement.
In 11 agreements, the union representative is specifically accorded
the right to enter the plant to check on enforcement of the agreement
and, with the permission of the employer, to confer with the workers.
These generally stipulate that his visits are not to interfere with plant
operations. Four of these agreements affirm that the company may
have a representative accompany the union official throughout the
plant, and three state that the union representative must sign a
waiver releasing the company from liability for accidents to the repre­
sentatives while on company property.
Slightly under one-half of the agreements, including both small
and large plants, grant the union the right to use the company’s or its
own bulletin board for posting notices. A few specifically limit
notices to announcements of union meetings or other union business,
and some state that notices are subject to management’s approval
before posting.

Nearly half of the agreements contain detailed occupational wage
listings. An additional 14 percent contain minimum wage rates.
About one-fourth of the agreements specify beginners or new em­
ployees’ rates below the minima lor a stipulated period, ranging from
2 weeks to 6 months. The other agreements do not include wage
rates as such, but usually indicate that present wage levels are to be
maintained or increased by a specified amount.
Several of the agreements which have occupational listings also
indicate that incentive plans are in force in specified departments or
for certain occupations. Bonus plans based on plant production and
shipments are contained in two agreements. In one of these (Southern
Alkali Co.) a graduated percentage, varying with the total amount
of shipments of the products of the plant for each quarter, is added
quarterly to the minimum rates ol employees with at least 6 months*
service. In the other, employees receive a specified sum varying
with the amount produced.
All but three agreements specify minimum wage rates at 50 cents
per hour or more. Twelve agreements establish minimum rates above
75 cents per hour. The highest rates are specified by an agreement
which sets a minimum of 91% cents for helpers (white) and 85M cents
for laborers (colored). Three agreements, covering plants located in
the South and Southwest, have minimum rates ranging from 32 to 50
cents per hour.
Four agreements, including Celluloid Corporation and Monsanto
Chemical Co. (Springfield, Mass.) have lower minimum rates for
women than for men. The difference ranges from 5 cents in any
department to a blanket 20 cents per hour difference. The Celluloid
Corporation agreement protects the position of male employees by
forbidding hiring of women if this results in the loss of a job or of
work by male employees.

Wage adjustments during the term of the agreement are allowed in
over one-half of the agreements, covering the same proportion of
workers. Slightly over half of these permit the question of wages



to be reopened whenever there is a change in cost of living, but only
nine, negotiated with smaller companies, require automatic adjust­
ment of wages to cost of living. A small number of agreements
permit reconsideration of the wage scale at any time during their
life, provided notice is given by either party. In the remainder,
the wage question may be reopened in case of inflation; or at specified
periodic intervals; or if there has been a “ material increase” in the
price of the company’s product; or on petition by the company that,
owing to conditions beyond its control, an “ adjustment of productive
costs'' is necessary. In the latter case, the agreement provides for a
joint survey of wages and hours in “ comparable operations in this and
similar localities.”

Dismissal pay to employees whose jobs are permanently abolished
is assured by the Celluloid Corporation agreement. Employees
affected are given the option of being placed on a reinstatement list
or receiving dismissal pay on the basis of 1 week's average pay for
each full year of service up to 10 years' service. “ One week's average
pay" is defined as 40 hours multiplied by the average hourly earned
rate of the year in which the dismissal takes place,

A common provision, found in over three-fourths of the agree­
ments, requires payment of a minimum amount to employees who
report to work at the usual hour or who are called to work, but are
not given employment for a lull shift. Usually, the minimum call
pay varies from 2 to 4 hours, with the latter most frequent. Two
agreements, however, guarantee employees a full shift's work. Ten
agreements assure a minimum of 2 hours' pay if no work is available
and 4 hours' pay if work is started. One agreement guarantees a
minimum of 2 hours' pay if the employee reports for work on the
first day of the week and a minimum of 4 hours for succeeding days
in the same week. A minimum of 4 hours' pay if no work is available
and 8 hours' pay if work is started is paid employees on the midnight
shift, according to one agreement. Three Monsanto agreements
grant a full shift's pay to employees unable to finish their day's
work because of occupational illness or injury.

Two-fifths of the agreements guarantee pay for a specified number
of hours to employees called back to work after having completed
their regular shift. The rate specified is usually that allowed for
overtime, although work in excess of the regular hours may not neces­
sarily be involved. The minimum guaranty varies considerably and
ranges from 1 to 8 hours, but is most frequently 2 hours. Five agree­
ments contain no minimum guaranty but specify the overtime rate
for time so worked even though within regular hours. The Buffalo
Electro-Chemical agreement establishes a sliding rate for such work,
ranging from triple time for 1 hour or less to 1% for wr over 3 hours.
Pay for the entire elapsed time, in addition to time actually worked,
only if employees are called back within 3 hours and within 8 hours,
respectively, after leaving the plant, is specified in two agreements.
474366°—42------ 2



Provision is frequently made in chemical agreements for the tem­
porary transfer of an employee to a job paying a different rate than
his usual wage. Employees temporarily shifted to higher-classified
jobs generally receive the higher scale immediately. In a few agree­
ments, the higher rate applies only after an employee has worked on
the job for a minimum period or until he is “ fully qualified.” In
two cases, employees get the higher rate lor a full shift if they work
at the higher job more than a minimum number of hours. One of
these also provides that an employee temporarily assigned to a higher
rated job for more than 3 days shall receive the higher rate for the
entire week, and if so assigned for 2 consecutive weeks, shall be
entitled to 80 hours’ work at the higher rate regardless of whether
or not he stays on the higher-rated job the full time.
Over one-third of the agreements provide, as a guard against loss
of earnings, that a temporary transfer to a lower-paid position will
not result in a deduction from the employee’s regular rate unless, as is
generally specified, such transfer is to avoid lay-off for lack of work in
the employee’s regular position. According to two agreements, how­
ever, the employee continues to receive his original rate for 2 weeks.

Sick-benefit plans, under which employees are eligible for sickbenefit payments in case of absence due to illness or other disability,
except in cases where compensation is payable under the provisions of
State workmen’s compensation laws, are provided in eight agreements.
In all but three cases, benefits are restricted to employees with at
least 1 year of service. The benefits granted vary.
In three agreements covering employees of the Shell Chemical
Co., employees get half pay, beginning with the fourth day of dis­
ability, up to a total of 4 weeks during any year of service, and em­
ployees with less than 1 year of service are entitled to pro rata benefits.
Another agreement states that injured employees shall be compensated
during the 1 week “ waiting period” provided under the State work­
men’s compensation act. The Potash Co. of America agreement
provides for 5 days1 pay to sick employees with at least 1 year’s
service. Another agreement which has a similar provision also per­
mits unused sick leave to be added to the vacation period, if this
is for 1 week, but not if for 2 weeks.

Extra pay for hazardous or unpleasant occupations is sometimes
provided. The Shell Chemical Co. pays employees engaged on
such work an extra half-hour’s pay at their regular rate; in addition,
this company and two others grant a monthly clothes allowance to
compensate for damage to employees’ clothing.
Under one agreement, a regular employee (except a shift worker)
is entitled to his regular rate of pay for jury duty minus any com[>ensation received for such service, or for the number of hours of work
ost, whichever is smaller, for a maximum of 7 days.





Hours Shift Provisions and Overtime
Almost all of the agreements provide for a regular 8-hour day and
40-hour week. Only five agreements contain provisions differing
from this standard, although all workweeks in excess of 40 hours are,
of course, affected by the overtime pay requirements of the Fair
Labor Standards Act. Under the West End Chemical Co. agree­
ment, production workers on continuous operations work six 40-hour
weeks and two 48-hour weeks in an 8-week period; other production
employees, however, follow the prevailing standard. Under the
terms of the Dow Chemical (Great Western Division) agreement,
shift workers average 42 hours per week in any period of 20 consec­
utive weeks; other employees (except truck drivers, who average 48
hours in a period of 13 consecutive weeks) are on an 8-hour day,
40-hour week basis. One agreement fixes an 8-hour day without
specifying weekly hours; another stipulates a 40-hour week without
limiting daily hours; and a third states that hours are to “ conform
to legal requirements.”

Most chemical companies operate on a multiple-shift basis owing
to the continuous nature of the manufacturing processes.
Shift rotation is required in 11 agreements, covering about onefourth of the workers under agreement. (Other plants may, in practice,
have shift rotation.) Two-day notice of shift changes (except in
cases of emergency) is specified in two General Chemical Co. agree­
ments and an employee failing to receive such notice is entitled to the
overtime rate for time worked within such 2-day period for which he
has failed to receive notice.
Extra pay ranging from 2 to 6 cents per hour, and in one case,
10 percent, is provided for employees on shift work by 14 agreements.
Four of these provide for rotation of shifts. One agreement, which
does not provide for shift rotation, specifies time and a quarter for
regular employees on the night shift, while temporary employees
receive a 5-cent differential. The Pacific Coast Borax Co. agreement
provides that employees “ regularly required to work in rotation”
shall “ while performing such shift work” be paid a differential, but
that only the second and third shifts are entitled to the differential on
fixed shifts. The Monsanto Chemical Co. (Springfield, Mass.) pro­
vides a 2K-cent hourly differential for all rotating shift workers;
Catalin Corporation pays a 5-cent hourly shift premium for nightshift workers on rotating shifts. The Diamond Alkali Co. agreement
(Fairport Harbor, Ohio) provides for shift rotation and grants a 3-cent
hourly differential for afternoon and night shifts for those not on
In 10 agreements shift employees required to work extra hours due
to failure of their relief to report, receive their regular rate of pay
unless such work causes their weekly hours to exceed 40 hours; in
3 others the overtime rate is paid for the extra work whether or not
this results in overtime. Under the Dow Chemical Co. (Great
Western Division) agreement, employees working an extra shift are
to be furnished meals.
Under 11 agreements, overtime is to be paid employees called in to
work on their regular day off, with minima of 3 hours and of 8 hours
specified in two. Five of these, including several Monsanto plants,



cancel the overtime rate if previous notice of a change in their work
schedule, ranging from 16 hours to 1 week, has been given.

The overtime rate of time and one-half applies to work in excess of
either 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, with but few exceptions.
About 15 percent of the agreements specifically stipulate that there
shall be no duplication of overtime pay although others may, in
practice, be so interpreted. In a few cases, particularly for shift
workers, overtime is permitted only for work beyond 40 hours. The
Shell Chemical Co. agreements require a minimum of 1 hour overtime
pay even though actual overtime worked is less. Four agreements
provide that any changes made in the legal overtime provisions of
the Fair Labor Standards Act shall supersede the hours and overtime
provisions of the agreement. In the American Cyanamid Co. (New­
ark, New Jersey) agreement, however, any proposed increase of the
40-hour week by the company is considered a grievance and is subject
to the grievance machinery. The Dow Chemical Co. (Great Western
Division) agreement provides that employees’ normal weekly earnings
shall not be reduced if such changes should take place.
Approximately one-fifth of the agreements, including most of the
large plants, state that overtime is to be distributed equally among all
employees affected. To enforce this provision, the Diamond Alkali
and several Monsanto agreements require the company to post a
record of overtime worked in each department. About 15 percent of
the agreements provide that employees do not have to take time off
to offset any overtime worked.
The Dow Chemical (Midland, Michigan), Electro-Metallurgical,
Monsanto (E. St. Louis, Illinois), Durez Plastics, and eight additional
agreements, covering about one-fourth of all workers under agreement,
make provision for lunch on company time or state that the company
is to supply meals if overtime work exceeds 2, or less frequently 4,
hours in one day.

Only a few agreements make specific reference to regular lunch
periods. Four agreements specifically provide that shift employees
shall eat lunch on company time. A few agreements, however, apply
the overtime rate whenever employees are required to work through
their regular lunch period, although the total time worked may not
exceed 8 hours, and two permit employees to stop work one-half hour
early to compensate for loss of mealtime.

Nine agreements, including two Monsanto plants, Pittsburgh Plate
Glass (Columbia Chemical Division), and three Shell Chemical, specify
that time for cleaning up and for returning tools shall be allowed
during regular working hours without deduction from the employee’s

Saturday9 Sunday, and Holidays
Sixteen of the 84 agreements provide penalty rates for Saturday
work for all or some of the workers. Five (three plants employing
less than 100 workers, and two with less than 300) provide time and




one-half for all work on Saturday regardless of whether or not such
work comes within the 40-hour week. In the Dow Chemical (Mid­
land, Mich.), American Cyanamid (Bound Brook, N. J.), Celluloid
Corporation, Harshaw Chemical, General Aniline Works (Rensselaer,
N. Y.), and six other agreements—covering over 9,000 workers—the
penalty rate for Saturday work excludes the majority of the pro­
duction workers, variously described as “ shift workers,” workers on
“ continuous process,” on “ necessary continuous operations,” on
“ 7-day operations,” and employees “ regularly scheduled for Saturday
Fourteen agreements, including that with the Monsanto Chemical
Co. (Springfield, Mass.) provide penalty Sunday rates for all workers
regardless of whether such work is within the 40-hour week. In 29
agreements penalty rates for Sunday work are provided only for
production workers whose regular schedules do not include Sunday
work. As in the case of Saturday work, employees exempted from
the Sunday penalty rate include “ shift workers,” employees “ regu­
larly scheduled” for Sunday work, and those engaged in “ continuous
grocess,” “ continuous operations,” or “ 7-day operations.” The
unday penalty rate is time and one-half in all but two agreements
(Burton T. Bush and Harshaw Chemical Co.) which specify double
The three Shell Chemical Co. agreements and the American
Cyanamid Co. (Newark, N. J.) agreement specifically authorize the
payment of regular rates for Sunday work. One agreement, covering
craft workers only, grants time off during the week for Sunday work.
The balance of the agreements make no specific reference to the rate
applying to Sunday work when not in excess of 40 hours per week.
Holidays with pay are provided under 11 agreements, the number
of holidays ranging from 1 to 9. The two United States Potash Co.
agreements and the Potash Co. of America agreement provide two paid
holidays, the latter restricting such benefits to employees with a
minimum of 1 year’s service. The Pacific Coast Borax Co. agree­
ment provides 4 paid holidays. The other holiday-with-pay provi­
sions were in agreements with small companies.
Over two-thirds of the agreements establish a penalty rate for
work performed on designated holidays. The number of such holidays
recognized ranges from 2 to 10, with 6 most frequent. One-third
of these, including the Dow Chemical (Midland, Mich.) and Celluloid
Corporation agreements, require the payment of double time; the
remainder, including most of the other large companies, specify time
and one-balf. Two agreements fix time and one-half for all holidays
except Christmas, when double time applies. Some of the agreements
specifically exclude watchmen and, in a few cases, shift workers on
continuous operations from the penalty rate for holiday work.

Vacations and Leaves
Annual paid vacations are established in about 95 percent of the
agreements. About 70 percent provide 1 week’s vacation with
pay after 1 year of service. Five agreements, including those in
several Monsanto plants, provide 2 weeks’ vacation after 1 year of
service. American Cyanamid (Bound Brook, N. J.), General Chemi­
cal Co. (Port Chicago, Calif.), and 5 other agreements require 2 years’



service for 1 week’s vacation; 1 agreement requires 2% years; and 3
agreements require 3 years' service.
Provision for longer vacations for employees with additional
years of service is found in 60 agreements including all the major
lants. With one exception—Dow Chemical Co. (Great Western
division), which graduates vacations up to 4 weeks after 25 years of
service—the agreements set a limit of 2 weeks’ vacation after varying
periods of service. Five years’ service is required in 20 agreements,
2 years’ service in 14 agreements; 3 years’ service in 10 agreements;
and the other agreements set a requirement of from 15 months to
10 years. One agreement grants 1 week’s vacation with 80 hours’
pay after 5 years’ service.
Ten agreements, including United States Potash, Monsanto
Chemical Co. (East St. Louis, 111.), and Michigan Alkali, permit com­
pensatory pay in lieu of actual vacations. In the latter two agree­
ments the choice is left to the individual employee; in the others, to
the company. In one agreement, the company has the option of
making cash payment for the second week’s vacation. In another
agreement, if the Government requests continued operations, em­
ployees are to receive pay in lieu of the vacation period, and in addi­
tion, a bonus equivalent to 3 hours for each week’s vacation.

Half the agreements permit limited leaves of absence. Of these,
approximately four-fifths specifically cite leave for union business; in
the others, leave on account of illness or death in the family, or for
other personal reasons, educational purposes, or for Government
service, is mentioned. The two United States Potash Co. agreements
grant up to 30 days’ leave to seek a new job without loss of seniority
rights with the company; General Chemical Co. (Chicago, Illinois),
on the other hand, cancels the seniority of employees who work
elsewhere while on leave.
The agreements generally specify that at the expiration of the leave,
the worker is to be returned to his former or an equivalent job with
his seniority and other rights unimpaired. Eight agreements, more­
over, allow employees who serve as full-time union officers to accumu­
late seniority during their term of office. A specific limit on leave is
commonly set, but varies from 5 to 90 days, and some agreements
grant privileges of renewal. Employees chosen for full-time union
office are entitled to leave up to a maximum of 2 years in three agree­
ments. Ten agreements restrict the number of employees who may
be granted leave at one time for union business; three is the commonly
set limit.
One agreement provides that if an employee of the company who
is not essential to its continued operation procures a job in a defense
industry, and the defense industry certifies that such employee is
essential in that industry, then the union and the employer will
determine whether such employee shall be granted a leave of absence
without loss of seniority.

Seniority9 Lay-Off, and Promotions
Seniority provisions granting preferential treatment based on
length of service are found in all the chemical agreements. They apply




principally to lay-offs and reemployment, although, as indicated
below, seniority is recognized also as a factor in promotions. Most of
the agreements require a probationary period of from 3 weeks to 6
months, although in about one-third of the agreements analyzed no
probationary period is specified.
About half the agreements define the unit to which seniority applies.
Of these, about one-half, which include most of the larger plants,
combine plant-wide and department seniority; the others provide
for seniority either on a plant-wide basis or on a department-wide
basis. Where department seniority only is provided for, a person
transferred from one department to another sacrifices seniority rights
already earned.
Where both plant and department seniority are in effect, if a given
department is reduced, workers who are laid off on the basis of seniority
in the given department, may qualify for positions in other depart­
ments on the basis of their total plant seniority and displace the
workers already filling these positions. A few agreements provide
that, in order to claim jobs in other departments, employees must
have had previous experience in the other department. In several
agreements, displacing or “ bumping” an employee with less plant
seniority is permitted only in the “ yard” or general labor department;
and some agreements restrict “ bumping” rights to employees with at
least 1 year’s seniority.
A few agreements which provide for both plant and departmentwide seniority, specifically indicate the employee's seniority status on
transfer to another department. In some of these cases, employees
lose their former departmental seniority upon transfer. In three
cases, however, seniority rights in the old department are retained for
a specified period—6 months to 1 year—and seniority in the new
department dates from the expiration of this given period. In one
agreement, employees transferred at their own request lose their old
department seniority, but are credited in the new department with
half of their previous department seniority up to a maximum of 2
years; employees transferred at the request of the company, however,
are credited in the new department with their previous department
Dow Chemical (Midland, Mich.), Michigan Alkali, and two addi­
tional agreements permit employees promoted to a supervisory capac­
ity to accumulate plant, but not department, seniority.
Many agreements describe in detail the conditions under which
seniority rights are maintained or may be lost. Most commonly, it
is provided that seniority is retained during periods of enforced
lay-off. This period is limited in most cases to a specified period of
time—most frequently 1 year—after which seniority rights are lost.
The Niagara Alkali agreement permits employees with 1 year’s
service to accumulate up to 9 months’ seniority after being laid off;
Vanadium Corporation and Southern Alkali, up to 6 months; Mon­
santo Chemical Co. (E. St. Louis, 111.) up to 2 years, while Monsanto
(St. Louis, Mo.) sets no time limit, provided employees laid off indicate
their desire every 6 months to be retained on the seniority list.
Retention of seniority rights when absent because of accident or
sickness is guaranteed in about one-fourth of the agreements. Most
of these agreements do not set a time limit beyond which such em­
ployees forfeit seniority rights. Two agreements limit such leave




without loss of seniority to 3 and 9 months, respectively. Four
agreements provide for reinstatement with accumulated seniority if
a worker is not absent more than 6 months or 1 year on account of
illness or injury.
Seniority rights are commonly forfeited by employees who quit or
who are discharged or who fail to return to work after a lay-off
within a specified period of time—from 24 hours to 3 weeks—when
requested by the company to report; also by employees absent with­
out an acceptable excuse, or who work elsewhere during a leave of
absence without company permission, or who fail to return by the
expiration of their leave. The Midwest Carbide Co. agreement
provides that failure to respond to a summons to work will not result
in a loss of seniority if the work is of a temporary nature, but will if
permanent work is offered.
Over 60 percent of the agreements specifically require that seniority
lists are to be posted by the company or be kept available for inspec­
tion by the union or by the employees. Three agreements, including
two of the United States Potash Co., require approval by company
and union representatives before the seniority list shall become

Under about one-half of the agreements, seniority is the determin­
ing factor in selecting workers for lay-off and rehiring; the other agree­
ments specify that seniority is to be given due consideration along
with ability, skill, qualifications, and in a few instances, family
status, physical fitness, or citizenship. Where these other factors
are relatively equal, seniority is to govern. Dow Chemical (Midland
Mich.), U. S. Potash, Michigan Alkali, American Potash and Chemi­
cal, and Diamond Alkali are among the important firms providing
for straight seniority in lay-off and rehire. Seniority qualified by
other factors in determining the order of lay-off and rehire is provided
in agreements of Monsanto Chemical Co., General Chemical Co.,
American Cyanamid Co., and Potash Co. of America.
Advance notice of lay-offs to employees or to the union is required
in about one-third the agreements, including most of the major com­
panies. The notice period varies from 24 hours to 2 weeks. Pay
in lieu of notice is specified in the agreements of the Martin Dennis &
Co. and two of the Monsanto plants.
Work sharing is combined with lay-offs on the basis of seniority
in about one-fourth of the agreements, including all the major
plants except four Monsanto Chemical plants. Eleven agreements
provide that work will be shared among all the employees until the
hours are reduced to a specified minimum, usually 32 hours per week.
If there is still not enough work to go around, lay-offs are made on the
basis of seniority. Nine agreements do not establish a lower limit
beyond which work is no longer shared and lay-offs .begin. Ten
agreements provide for the equal division of work, but only after
temporary employees or all employees with less than a certain period
of service—most often 1 year— have been laid off in reverse order of
their seniority.

The method of promoting and filling vacancies is outlined in
about three-fourths of the agreements. In most of these, seniority




is considered along with other factors, such as ability, skill, and
competence. If these qualifications are approximately equal, sen­
iority is then made the determining factor. In only a few agree­
ments with small companies does seniority alone govern promotion.
Under the Diamond Alkali, Pittsburgh Plate Glass (Columbia Chemi­
cal Division), and United States Potash agreements, if ability or other
factors are given greater weight than seniority, the grievance com­
mittee must be notified before the promotion is made and has recourse
to the adjustment machinery.
Vacancies must be publicized by posting of announcements on com­
pany bulletin boards according to one-fourth of the agreements, and
four of these require the company either to post the name of the suc­
cessful applicant or to notify the union committee. Notices of
vacancies must be posted for definite periods which range from 48
hours to 1 week. Employees absent on account of illness, vacation,
or leave of absence during bulletining of positions are permitted to
apply for the job and exercise their seniority rights, according to the
United States Potash and several Monsanto agreements. Two of the
latter agreements restrict such right to employees returning within 30
days of the closing date of application.
Under about one-fourth of the agreements, successful bidders must
serve a trial period, generally 30 days, on the new job in order to
qualify for the vacancy. If an employee fails to prove his ability to
fill the job during the trial period, he generally returns to his former
job without loss of accumulated seniority rights. Seven agreements,
including Diamond Alkali, Pittsburgh Plate Glass (Columbia Chem­
ical Division) and Harshaw Chemical, also set a lower rate for the new
job while the employee is serving his trial period.

The subject of discharge is taken up in three-fourths of the agree­
ments, and it is usually provided that in the event of summary dis­
missal of an employee, the company must show reasonable cause for
such dismissal if requested to do so by either the union or the individual
involved. Several of the agreements give a detailed list of reasons
justifying discharge. Some merely require that any discharge be for
“good cause” ; others make violation of posted company rules sufficient
cause for discharge. Eight agreements allow disciplinary action
against employees who fail to report to work as scheduled without
notifying the company in advance. One agreement prohibits dis­
charge because of age.
To safeguard the worker against arbitrary discharge, one agreement
provides 1 week’s notice of the discharge before the employee’s actual
separation from the pay roll and prohibits discharges until after con­
sultation with the union committee. The Southern Alkali agreement
requires discharges for inefficiency on the job to be discussed with the
union. In three agreements, employees are first suspended, and
appeal may be made within 3 days before actual discharge.
Most of the agreements provide for handling disputed discharge
cases through the regular grievance machinery. In some cases,
however, special time limits for settling discharge cases are specified.
One-fourth of the agreements require the discharged employee to
appeal his case within a specified time—24 hours to 5 days—of notice
of termination in order to receive further consideration. A few agree­



ments order that the case shall be disposed of within 5 days, and the
Virginia Smelting Co. agreement requires the company to grant the
dismissed worker a hearing within 48 hours, at which the employee
may be represented by a union committee.
Keinstatement with back pay for a worker found to be unjustly
discharged is specified in half the agreements. In three cases, the
amount of back pay is to be jointly decided by the company and
union. The United States Potash Co. and American Potash and
Chemical Co. agreements limit the amount of back pay which is to
start from the date the complaint is filed. The Potash Co. of America
agreement absolves the company from back pay for the time resulting
from delay caused by the union’s failure to expedite arbitration.

Working Foremen
Sixteen agreements regulate productive work by foremen or other
supervisory employees. Of these, most prohibit any work by fore­
men, except in an emergency or for instruction. The Pittsburgh
Plate Glass (Columbia Chemical Division) agreement limits work by
foremen to not more than 1 hour per week; and the Catalin Corpora­
tion agreement to not more than 20 percent of the time worked by
regular employees, and then only if the work of the shift cannot be
finished in time to fit in with the operations of other departments.

Provisions regarding apprentices are included in 13 agreements,
most of which are with the larger companies. Seven agreements
establish the apprenticeship period at 4 years; the remainder have
2- and 3-year periods. In one agreement, helpers with 4 years’ actual
experience as helper who can pass a regular examination for secondyear apprentices are required to serve only 2 instead of 3 years of
apprenticeship. One apprentice to every 10 journeymen is allowed
in seven agreements; 1 to 5 in one agreement; a definite number for
specified departments in another ; and another provides a maximum
of 1 to 4 journeymen, with the actual ratio determined by the company
with the advice of the union committee. A few agreements permit
at least 1 apprentice in a department, trade, or craft, where less than
the number of journeymen required by the ratio are employed.
Six agreements specify the age limits for beginner apprentices—
five have a range from 16 to 23 years—and one agreement, in which
apprentices must be selected from among helpers in the craft with at
least 2 years’ service, sets an upper limit of 40 years. This agreement
also specifies that applicants for apprenticeship shall be considered
jointly by the craft committee and the company.
References to the training which apprentices are to receive are found
in only eight agreements. Four merely contain a statement that
apprentices shall be “ given an opportunity to acquire a complete
knowledge of the trade” ; two provide for a joint union-management
committee to work out an apprenticeship-training system and to
conduct periodic examinations to test the apprentices’ progress; and
one (American Potash and Chemical Co.) provides that the company is
to appoint an apprentice instructor to supervise the training of appren­
tices and that apprentices shall be rotated every 3 months among
journeymen and spend a maximum of 6 months on any operation.




Three of the eight agreements also require that apprentices work only
under a journeyman’s supervision.
Six agreements specify that apprentices shall receive periodic wage
increases—every 6 months, or, in one instance, yearly—until the
journeyman’s rate is reached. In two agreements with the Shell
Chemical Co., negotiated by craft unions, the apprentice rate after
the first 2 years of apprenticeship is to be negotiated between the
company and union; these agreements also prohibit apprentices from
working overtime until the last year of apprenticeship.

Military Service
Fifty-four of the 84 agreements refer to reemployment and seniority
rights of employees who volunteer or are drafted for military service.
Many of them include provisions similar to the Selective Service Act.
Over half of these agreements specifically provide for cumulation of
seniority during an employee’s absence. The Michigan Alkali agree­
ment provides that if no work is available on his return, an employee
accumulates seniority not to exceed 1 year from the date of his dis­
charge from military service. The Dow Chemical Co. (Great Western
Division) agreement protects the promotional rights of a selectee
when an employee who replaces him receives a promotion during his
absence. On his return, the selectee is entitled to consideration for
promotion if he applies within 30 days after his return and the qualifi­
cations of both employees are then referred to a bipartisan committee
for consideration. In the event of disagreement, the case goes to
Supplementary pay or a bonus to employees who are drafted or who
volunteer for military service is provided under the American Cyanamid, American Potash and Chemical, Niagara Alkali, Vanadium Cor­
poration (Niagara Falls, N. Y.), and eight additional agreements.
In a few cases, these benefits are restricted to employees with a given
length of service, either 6 months or 1 year. The sums paid vary
from 1 week to 2 months’ pay, 1 month being most common. Thirteen
agreements, including five which grant supplementary pay, grant
earned vacation pay to employees called for military service. The
Niagara Alkali and Vanadium Corporation agreements (both at
Niagara Falls, N. Y.) pay employees who lose time in order to take
physical examinations for military service.
Pledges by the company to continue the group life insurance during
an employee’s term of military service, and to pay the employee’s
premium are found in the Keokuk Electro-Metals Co., Celluloid
Corporation, and American Potash and Chemical Co. agreements. In
the latter two agreements this obligation was to be terminated “ if
the United States became involved in hostilities.”


Health Safety9 and Welfare

Clauses relating to health, safety, and sanitation are contained in
about half the agreements. Most frequently, they consist of pledges
by the employers to make “ reasonable” provisions for the employ­
ees’ safety and health at the plant* and for proper wearing apparel and
devices and safety equipment to protect employees from injury. Dis­



putes arising under the clauses are generally handled through the
regular grievance machinery. In order to maintain and enforce the
safety standards in the plant, the Monsanto Chemical Co. (East St.
Louis, 111.), American Potash and Chemical, and two additional
agreements provide a union safety committee and one other a joint
safety committee.

Under 12 agreements, all but 2 of which cover larger companies,
employees may be required to undergo physical examinations author­
ized and paid for by the company prior to employment, at periodic
intervals, or when rehired after a lay-off. Of these, 6 specifically state
that the employee shall receive a copy of the report. Four agreements
specifically allow an employee to appeal the findings of the company
doctor through the regular grievance machinery. One agreement
attempts to resolve a deadlock in such cases by providing that a doctor
chosen from a list of five submitted by the president of the local med­
ical association shall decide the issue.

In 18 of the agreements, senior employees who have given faithful
service or who have become disabled in the course of employment
are to be given preference on lighter work or work they are capable
of handling, presumably at a lower wage. Only four agreements con­
tain specific mention of the wage to be paid; one specifies the employ­
ee's previous rate of pay, one allows it to be set by the company, and
the others provide for joint determination by the company, union,
and employee involved. As indicated above, one agreement pro­
hibits discharge because of age.

Adjustment of Disputes
While all the chemical agreements provide some machinery for the
adjustment of disputes, and a large majority place restrictions on strikes
and lock-outs during the term of the agreements, a substantial number
do not provide for the final settlement of disputes by an impartial

About 32 percent of the agreements grant the employee the option
of presenting grievances to the foreman alone or of being accompanied
or represented by the shop steward or other union official. Twentytwo percent of the agreements specify the steward or union repre­
sentative, without the employee, shall take up grievances with the
foreman. The first-mentioned procedure is specified in the Diamond
Alkali, Pittsburgh Plate Glass (Columbia Chemical Division), Amer­
ican Potash and Chemical, Celluloid Corporation, and Monsanto
Chemical Co. (Everett, Mass.), agreements. The second-mentioned
procedure is provided in the Michigan Alkali and other smaller agree­
ments. In a few cases, including the large American Cyanamid Co.
plant at Bound Brook, N. J., the aggrieved employee must accompany
the shop steward to the foreman. The remaining 40 percent of the
agreements stipulate that the employee is to take up any grievance




with his foreman directly before taking it to the union. This pro­
cedure is found in the agreements of Dow Chemical Co. (Midland,
Mich.), several Monsanto plants, Electro-Metallurgical Co., United
States Potash Co., Potash Co. of America, and the Durez Plastics
Co., the latter requiring the company to notify the union of the
grievance before any action is taken.
If no settlement is reached with the foreman, most agreements
provide that the matter shall be referred to the union grievance
committee which meets with the plant management. If the grievance
is not adjusted at this point, it is then generally referred to a national
representative of the union, who takes the matter up with the respon­
sible official of the company.
In order to forestall undue delay and protracted negotiations at
any one stage of the negotiating process, approximately one-fourth
of the agreements stipulate time limits for the handling of grievances
and many of them provide for regular meetings between the union
committee and the management. Two agreements specify that the
union shall have access to necessary pay-roll and employment informa­
tion for the purpose of investigating employees’ grievances.
Most of the agreements specify the size of the union committee,
the number specified varying from two to seven. In nine agreements,
including Dow Chemical (Midland, Mich.), only employees of the
company with seniority standing of from 1 to 4 years may be com­
mittee members and in one of these, only American citizens. Agree­
ments covering 40 percent of all the workers under agreement provide
that committeemen shall be paid for time lost in attending meetings
with management. The Diamond Alkali agreement limits such pay­
ment to a maximum of 3 hours in 1 day or 4 hours in 2 consecutive
days. Should the company hold a conference after working hours,
one agreement provides that committeemen attending shall be paid
for time so spent; and another requires payment at the overtime rate,
with a minimum of 2 hours. Ten agreements specifically grant shop
stewards sufficient time off without pay to carry out their duties or
to attend committee meetings. One agreement specifies that the
shop steward is to be paid $2 per week extra, presumably to compensate
him for time lost in grievance work.
Members of the grievance committee have the right to visit depart­
ments other than their own on regular grievance business, generally
after notice to the foreman of their department, according to 10 agree­
ments, including Diamond Alkali, Vanadium Corporation (Niagara
Falls, N. Y.), and Michigan Alkali. The latter agreement—the first
negotiated between the company and union—provides for a grievance
chairman who devotes his entire working time to the operation of the
grievance machinery. He is paid by the company which provides
him with an office and a telephone extension.
In a few cases, special protection against discrimination is given the
shop steward and members of the shop committee. Nine agreements,
including several for the larger plants, grant special preference to shop
stewards and grievance committeemen by stipulating that they shall
be the last to be laid off and the first to be returned after a shut-down.
In another, the union reserves the right to negotiate with the company
the seniority position of union officials and grievance committeemen
during their term of office in the event they are affected by lay-offs.



Fifty-six of the 84 agreements analyzed, covering about 50 percent
of the workers under agreement, provide for automatic impartial
arbitration of unsettled disputes. In addition, two agreements with
small companies specify that the United States Department of Labor,
and one agreement, the New York State Board of Mediation, shall
be called in to mediate any dispute which cannot be settled directly.
Under one agreement, the union is obligated to call in a State or
national conciliator in an attempt to settle a dispute before resorting
to strike action. The Diamond Alkali and Pittsburgh Plate Glass
(Columbia Chemical Division) agreements set up a. permanent joint
labor relations committee, composed of representatives from both
sides, to whom grievances are referred for settlement; however, no
arbitration to resolve any deadlock is provided.
Five other agreements call for arbitration only by mutual consent
of both parties. Among the latter, however, the Celluloid Corpora­
tion agreement provides that cases involving discrimination, suspen­
sions, demotions, or discharges shall be submitted to arbitration auto­
matically. If no agreement can be reached to arbitrate matters other
than those specified, the party proposing arbitration may, within 1
week after the refusal of the other party to agree to such arbitration,
give 30 days' notice of its intention to cancel the agreement. Such
notice of cancelation must be authorized and approved by the national
office of the union or by the president and works manager of the company.
Among the major agreements which do not provide for arbitration
are the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.), Southern Alkali Co.,
Michigan Alkali Co., and American Cyanamid (Bound Brook, N. J.).
With but one exception, which contains no work-stoppage prohibition,
work stoppages are restricted until the grievance machinery has been
exhausted, but thereafter a strike or lock-out may be resorted to if
either party remains dissatisfied.
A majority of the arbitration provisions establish the arbitration
procedure, although three leave the exact procedure to be mutually
agreed upon at the time of reference. Most frequently, a tripartite
arbitration board consisting of one or two representatives chosen by
each side, together with a jointly selected impartial chairman, is set
up at the time of the dispute. In 11 cases, the impartial member is
not added unless the bipartisan board is unable to reach a decision.
Six agreements state that a dispute shall be referred to an individual
or agency to be chosen by the parties at the time of the dispute. In
one of these, should the parties fail to agree on an impartial arbitrator,
they must appoint a bipartisan board to make the selection.
When the two parties are unable to agree upon the person to act as
impartial chairman and no provision is made for outside assistance to
select such a person, the entire arbitration machinery may fail through
default. In 22 agreements, or almost half of those which leave the
choice of impartial chairman to be determined at the time of the dis­
pute, an outside agency or individual is designated to make the selec­
tion if the employer and the union, or their representatives as the
arbitration committee, are unable to reach an agreement within a
specified time—usually 3 to 10 days. Eight agreements designate the
Conciliation Service of the United States Department of Labor; others,



the Commissioner of Labor and Industries of Massachusetts, specified
judges or individuals, and the American Arbitration Association.
Seven agreements obviate the need for choosing an arbitrator at the
time of the dispute by specifying an impartial person or agency to
arbitrate the dispute or to designate an arbitrator. In one case an
individual is specified; in two cases the Massachusetts State Board of
Arbitration and Conciliation; in another case the American Arbitra­
tion Association; and in three cases the United States Conciliation
Some of the agreements require a decision within a specified time
after the matter goes to arbitration, or state that the decision shall be
made either “ promptly” or “ within a reasonable time.”
Generally, arbitration may be invoked only in connection with the
application or interpretation of matters specifically covered by the
agreement. Under five agreements wage rates are explicitly excluded
from arbitration. The Niagara Alkali Co. and two Vanadium Co.
plants also exclude the question of “ enlargement or extension of the
scope of the status of the union.” One agreement further prohibits
the arbitration board from giving a decision on any matter not orig­
inally submitted to it and another exempts amendments or renewals
of the existing agreement.

Strikes and Lock-Outs
Over half the agreements prohibit stoppages of work for the entire
life of the agreement. All but one of these provide for arbitration.
In three agreements the no-strike provision is waived if either party
refuses to join in the arbitration proceedings or to abide by the arbi­
tration decision, or where both parties fail to agree on the arbi­
tration procedure or on h mutually agreeable arbitrator for the final
disposition of the dispute. One of these latter agreements also re­
quires a majority vote by union members and 2 weeks’ advance notice
to the company of intention to strike before a strike is called.
In about 30 percent of the agreements, stoppages are prohibited only
until all the steps in the grievance machinery have been exhausted
without arriving at a settlement. In four of these agreements, auto­
matic arbitration is included in the grievance machinery; in three,
arbitration is optional. Three of the agreements which do not provide
for arbitration impose additional restrictions. A maximum period of
60 days during which efforts to settle the grievance must be made is
set by one agreement. Another agreement prohibits strikes and
lock-outs until 2 weeks after the grievance machinery has been ex­
hausted and the international union has authorized a strike and
notified the company.
The Michigan Alkali Co. agreement requires, in addition to a
majority vote by secret ballot under the supervision of the national
union, that the union post a notice stating the matter in dispute 3
days before the election is held. The company retains the privilege
of posting its views. If a strike is voted, the international union
president or his representative shall authorize the strike, give the com­
pany written notice of the date, and confer with the company presi­
dent or his representative. The company agrees to cease produc­
tion in case of an authorized strike and further agrees not to lock
out the employees. The Diamond Alkali and Pittsburgh Plate Glass



(Columbia Chemical Division) agreements prohibit strikes until a
national officer of the union has conferred with company officials after
having been furnished with a full statement of the dispute by a bi­
partisan grievance committee.
Under eight agreements which prohibit or restrict stoppages, in­
cluding some of the major companies, the union agrees to protect com­
pany property in the event of a strike or suspension of work. In
seven agreements, the union agrees to permit maintenance employees
to work the necessary time to stop operations without damage to the
equipment. In the other, a union committee is allowed to inspect the
plant to see that no production is being carried on. In addition,
necessary “ protective production” in specified departments is to be
performed by a union committee.
The disciplining of irresponsible members who stop work in violation
of the agreement is provided for in five instances; in one of these, the
extent of the disciplinary action must be mutually approved by the
union and the company. Under one agreement, the union undertakes
to enforce the “ no-strike” provision by disavowing the strike and
penalizing its members who participate in the stoppage.