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1 0V /A ST A T E

I

T E A C H E R S COLLEGE
JAN 1 8

1961

L I BRARY

Impact
ofAutomation
A

C O L L E C T IO N

C H A N G E ,




FR O M

O F
THE

B u lle tin

2 0 A R T IC L E S A B O U T T E C H N O L O G I C A L
M O N TH LY

N o.

LABO R

R E V IE W

1287

U NITED STATES D E PA R TM E N T O F L A B O R
J a m e s P. M it c h e ll, S e c r e ta r y
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

OTH ER BLS PU BLICATIO N S O N A U TO M A TIO N A N D PRODUCTIVITY

AD STM TS T T E INTRODUCTION O OFFICE AU M
JU EN
O H
F
TO ATIO (B ull. 1276, I960), 86 p p ., 50 cents.
N
A study o f some implications of the in sta lla tion o f electronic data processing in 20 o ffic e s in
private industry, with sp ecia l reference to older workers.
STUDIES O AU M
F TO ATIC TE H O G (Free).
C N LO Y
A series o f case studies o f plants introducing automation. Describe changes and implications
fo r productivity, employment, occupational requirements, and industrial rela tion s.
A CASE STU Y O A C M N M U CTU G EIECTRONIC EQU EN
D F
O PA Y AN FA RIN
IPM T.
T E IN
H
TRODU
CTION O A ELECTRONIC C M TE IN A LARG IN RAN CO PAN
F N
O PU R
E SU CE M Y.
A CASE STU Y O A LARG M AN
D F
E ECH IZED BAK
ERY (Report 109).
A CASE STU Y O A M D IZED PE O U REFINERY (Report 120).
D F
O ERN
TR LE M
A CASE STU Y O A AU M
D F N TO ATIC AIRLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM (Report 137).
TREN S IN O TPU PER M N O R IN T E PRIVATE EC N M 1909-1958 (B u ll. 12l*9, 1959), U pp., 50 cents.
D
U T
A -H U
H
O O Y,
7
Indexes of output per man-hour, output, and employment in major sectors.
factors a ffectin g changes.
INDEXES O O TPU PE M N O R FO SELECTED INDUSTRIES, 1939 and 19U7-59.
F U T R A -H U
R
(July, I960), 16 pp. Free.

Analysis of trends and

Annual Industry Series,

Indexes o f output per man-hour, output per employee, and unit labor requirements fo r 22 industri
including coal and metal mining, various foods and fib e rs , basic s te e l, e tc .
COM
PARATIVE JOB P R O M N E BY AGE:
EFR AC

OFFICE W R E S (B ull. 1273, I960), 36 p p., 30 cents.
OKR

Compares the job performance o f s ix age groups, including output per man-hour, accuracy, and con
sistency o f performance. Covers 6,000 employees in industry and government.
PRODUCTIVITY:

A BIBLIOGRAPHY (B ull. 1226, 1957), 182 pp., $1.

Covers nearly 900 references to a r t ic le s , books, papers, pamphlets, and reports on productivity
measurement, factors a ffectin g productivity, and significance o f productivity changes.
Sales publications may be purchased from the Superintendent o f Documents, Washington 25, D. C.
or from regional o ffic e s o f the Bureau o f Labor S ta tistics at the addresses shown below. Free publi­
cations are available, as long as the supply la s ts , from the Bureau o f Labor S ta tis tics , U.S. Depart­
ment o f Labor, Washington 25, D. C.
Regional O ffice s :
New England Region
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Impact
of Automation

A

C O L L E C T IO N O F 2 0 A R T IC LES A B O U T T E C C H N O L O G IC A L

C H A N G E , FRO M THE M O N TH LY LA BO R R EV IEW

B u lle tin

N o .

1287

November 1960

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, Washington 25, D.C.




Price 60 cents




PREFACE

A u t o m a t io n a n d o t h e r c h a n g e s i n t e c h n o l o g y h a v e a n im ­
p o r t a n t im p a ct on v i r t u a l l y a l l a s p e c t s o f i n d u s t r i a l l i f e .
New
t e c h n o lo g y c o n t r ib u t e s t o th e c o n t in u e d g ro w th o f p r o d u c t i v i t y
u n d e r ly in g A m e r ic a n s h ig h s ta n d a r d o f l i v i n g .
A t t h e sam e t i m e ,
i t c r e a t e s s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m i c p r o b le m s s u c h a s l a b o r d i s p l a c e m e n t
and o b s o le s c e n c e o f s k i l l s .
F or t h is r e a s o n , t h e r e i s deep p u b lic
i n t e r e s t i n th e p r o g r e s s o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l ch a n ge and c o n c e r n w ith
t h e p r o b le m s o f a d j u s t m e n t .
T h is p u b l i c a t i o n i s a c o m p i l a t i o n o f 2 0 a r t i c l e s t h a t
h a v e a p p e a r e d i n t h e M o n t h ly * L a b o r R e v ie w o v e r t h e p a s t
years.
T hey d e s c r ib e
v a r io u s l a b o r a s p e c t s o f a u to m a tio n and t e c h n o ­
l o g i c a l ch a n ge.
The a r t i c l e s a r e b a s e d o n s t u d i e s , r e p o r t s , a n d
s p e e c h e s b y r e s e a r c h w o r k e r s a n d o f f i c i a l s o f G o v e r n m e n t, l a b o r ,
m a n a g e m e n t,a n d u n i v e r s i t i e s .
The a r t i c l e s

a re grou p ed u n der th re e

h e a d in g s , a s f o l l o w s :

P a rt I c o n ta in s a r t i c l e s p r e s e n tin g g e n e r a l su rv e y s o f
a u t o m a t i o n a n d s u c h d e v e lo p m e n t s a s a t o m i c e n e r g y a n d t h e i r s o c i a l
im p lic a t io n s •
P a rt I I co v e rs a r t i c l e s
m a tio n on i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s i n
b a r g a in in g r e l a t io n s h ip s .

d is c u s s in g th e e f f e c t s o f a u to ­
g e n e r a l and on s p e c i f i c c o l l e c t i v e

P a r t I I I c o n s i s t s m a i n l y o f a r t i c l e s s u m m a r iz in g c a s e
s t u d i e s made b y t h e B u r e a u 's D i v i s i o n o f P r o d u c t i v i t y a n d T e c h n o ­
l o g i c a l D e v e lo p m e n t s .
The f u l l s t u d i e s a r e a v a i l a b l e f r o m t h e
D iv is io n .
The f i n a l a r t i c l e d e a l i n g w i t h a u t o m a t i o n i n t h e F e d e r a l
G o v e rn m e n t i s b a s e d o n r e c e n t C o n g r e s s i o n a l h e a r i n g s .




i




CON TENTS

Page
P art I .

G e n e r a l S u rv e y s o f A u to m a tio n a n d T e c h n o l o g i c a l D e v e lo p m e n ts ..................
A R e v ie w o f A u to m a tic T e c h n o lo g y ................................................................................
S o c i a l I m p l i c a t i o n s o f T e c h n o l o g i c a l P r o g r e s s .................................................
Im p a ct o f T e c h n o l o g i c a l P r o g r e s s on L a b o r and S o c i a l P o l i c y ...............
An I n q u i r y i n t o th e E f f e c t s o f A u to m a t io n ...........................................................
L a b o r 's Aims i n A d j u s t i n g t o t h e New T e c h n o l o g y . . . ............ .........................
L a b o r I m p l i c a t i o n s o f P e a c e f u l U ses o f A to m ic E n e r g y . . ...........................
W o r k e r s ' H e a lth i n an E ra o f A u to m a t io n ................................................................

1

3
11
15
20
28
32
U3

P a rt I I .

E f f e c t s o f A u to m a tio n on I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s i n G e n e r a l and on
S p e c i f i c C o l l e c t i v e B a r g a in in g R e l a t i o n s h i p s ...................................................
U7
The E f f e c t o f A u to m a tio n on I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s ..........................................
k9
P a p e r From th e F a l l AMA P e r s o n n e l C o n fe r e n c e :
Some P ro b le m s o f C h a n ge............................................................................................
5U
W a g e-R a te D e t e r m in a t io n i n an A u tom ated R u b b e r P l a n t ................................
56
Im p a ct o f A u to m a tio n on Ford-UAW R e l a t i o n s h i p s . . . . . . ..................................
58
L o n g s h o r in g and M e a tp a c k in g A u to m a tio n S e t t l e m e n t s ......................................... 62
M a in te n a n ce o f Way E m ploym ent:
I.
T e c h n o l o g i c a l D is p la c e m e n t i n Em ploym ent a n d P o s s i b l e
M o d e r a tin g M e a s u r e s .................................
65
II.
C y c l i c a l and S e a s o n a l I n s t a b i l i t y and P o s s i b l e R e m e d ia l
M e a s u r e s .....................................................................................................................
71

P a rt I I I .

A d ju s tm e n ts t o A u to m a tio n :
Sum m aries o f C ase S t u d ie s and
A r t i c l e s on O f f i c e A u t o m a t io n ......................................................................................
77
A d ju s tm e n ts t o A u to m a tio n i n Two F ir m s ..................................................................
79
A d ju s tm e n t t o A u to m a tio n i n a L a rg e B a k e r y ........................................................
8U
L a b o r A d ju s tm e n ts f o r C hanges i n T e c h n o lo g y a t an O i l R e f i n e r y . . . .
88
A d ju s tm e n t t o an A u to m a tic A i r l i n e R e s e r v a t i o n S y s te m ..............................
93
E x p e r i e n c e s W ith t h e I n t r o d u c t i o n o f O f f i c e A u to m a t io n ...........................
96
The R e a c t i o n s o f E m p loyees t o O f f i c e A u t o m a t i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . ............... 1 0 1
O f f i c e A u t o m a t io n - in th e F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t ........................................




iii

109




Part I.

General Surveys of Automation and
Technological Developments




1




A Review of Automatic Technology
T h e M eaning, O u tlo o k, an d
Im p licatio n s of A m erica’s M o st R e ce n t
In d u stria l D evelo p m en t

E dgar W

e in b e r g

*

u t o m a t i c t e c h n o l o g y , autom ation, or autom ­
atization are terms w idely and interchangeably
used to describe the m ost recent phase o f Am erican
industrial developm ent. T h ey cover the increas­
ing use, b o th in offices and factories, o f various
types o f laborsaving equipm ent having virtually
continuous and, in some instances, self-regulating
operation. Instead o f small changes to achieve
greater efficiency, as in traditional m anagem ent
practice, recent innovations often involve exten­
sively replanning the flow of w ork and the layou t
o f plants and offices, and com pletely redesigning
products for greater autom aticity in production.
W hile these changes are hailed as the beginning
o f a new era, they are in principle a continuation
o f past trends.
T h e purpose of this article is to describe the
basic principles and some leading examples o f
autom atic technology, to set forth some factors
to be considered in estim ating its rate of growth,
and to discuss some general im plications:

continuous flour mill, B abbage's calculator, Jac­
quard's card controlled loom , and W a tt's a u to ­
m atic controls for his steam engine. T h e 19th
century saw the steady im provem ent in speeds,
capacity, and efficiency o f machines, and their use
in virtually every a ctivity o f the econom y.
T h e 1920's ushered in the m ass-production phase
o f industrial developm ent. Ewan Clague, in the
July 1926 M o n th ly L a bor R eview , described im ­
provem ents in m achinery and processes o f that
period as a “ new industrial revolution . . .
the m ost rem arkable advance in p rod u ctivity effi­
ciency in the history o f the m odern industrial
system ." M achine operations in m ass-production
plants were m ade uniform, reduced to routine, and
subdivided into simple tasks. Th e worker's jo b
becam e a m achine-paced operation on a highly
standardized product, with m echanical con veyors
em ployed to bring the w ork and carry it to the
next step o f a sequence. This type o f specializa­
tion resulted in great increases in p rod u ctivity
but also in greater m on oton y for the operator o f
produ ction m achines and the man on the assembly
line.
A u tom atic technology, starting with the cumu­
lative accom plishm ents o f the past, introduces the
possibility o f eliminating direct human interven­
tion in operating, guiding, ’ and feeding machines
and in controlling processes. Instead o f the
worker, specialized mechanisms with cap acity for

A

Background
T o d a y 's technological developm ents carry for­
ward the search begun in the 18th century for new
m echanical w ays o f displacing man as a source of
energy in production. T h e Industrial R e v o lu ­
tion, the first phase o f this m ovem ent, m arked the
transition from dependence on hand labor to the
application o f pow er-driven m achinery. M a n y of
the principles o f autom atic techn ology can be
traced to such early developm ents as Oliver E va n 's

Ju n e 1955




*Of the Bureau’s Division of Productivity and Technological Develop­
ments.

3

duced. T h e basic principles are often unchanged,
but im provem ents in speeds and cap acity m ay
greatly reduce the labor required for a unit o f
output.
A recently developed autom atic filling machine,
for example, packages cans w ith 4 ounces o f semi­
solid b a b y food, “ untouched b y hum an hands,”
at the rate o f 800 per m inute.
Th e w orker’s
function is limited to manual pushbutton starting
and stopping, observing and adjusting th^ per­
form ance to correct m alfunctioning, and repair
and m aintenance o f the m echanism . Such routine
decisions as determ ining when a can is filled are
m ade b y tireless, highly accurate, specially
designed devices built into the m achine.
N ew m odels o f autom atic machines frequently
incorporate devices to save labor in inspecting,
gaging, and testing, as well as fabricating opera­
tions. A lso, labor in servicing m achinery is now
econom ized b y means o f autom atic lubrication
systems w hich distribute a precisely measured
volum e o f oil to bearings at regular intervals
w ithout direct hum an intervention.
Th e possibility o f m echanizing an industry
through intensive research on the redesign o f the
produ ct as well as o f the fabricating m achinery is
illustrated b y new techniques o f produ cing elec­
tronic parts. Previously, it has not been practical
to devise laborsaving mechanisms for duplicating
the com plex hand m anipulations o f produ cing and
assembling electronic com ponents. A ccord in g to
a B L S study, assembling operations em ployed, in
January 1953, about 30 percent o f the work force
in the electronics indu stry.1 W ith the trem endous
civilian and m ilitary dem and for electronics ou t­
put, the need for tim e-saving autom atic fabricatin g
m ethods has becom e urgent.
A k ey developm ent in the m echanization o f
electronics m anufacture is the fabrication o f the
printed circuit board. Instead o f hand-wired
circuits, condu ctin g patterns are now etched o r
stenciled on plates b y means o f specially designed
machines. T h e results are a considerable econ ­
om y in tim e and a high degree o f uniform ity o f
m anufacture.
A noth er im portant developm ent is the m anu­
facture o f equipm ent for attaching standard elec­
tronic com ponents to printed circuit boards.
Assem bling these parts can now be done m echani-

elem entary sensing, discriminating, and counting,
can now perform routine tasks o f handling m ate­
rials and inform ation with a high degree o f relia­
bility.
A s this new m ovem ent progresses, jo b op por­
tunities in m ore com plex control, service, distribu­
tive, and creative functions becom e relatively
m ore im portant in total em ploym ent. M a n y less
skilled job s becom e obsolete. A grow ing aware­
ness o f the readjustm ents that m a y be required to
conserve human values is accom panying these
industrial changes. A u tom atic technology, wisely
applied, as N orbert W iener suggests, holds prom ise
o f “ m ore human use o f human beings.”

Recent Developments
R ecen t innovations leading tow ard m ore auto­
m atic tech n ology in industry m ay be grouped in
four categories: (a) autom atic m achinery; (b)
integrated materials handling and processing
equipm ent; (c) autom atic control system s; and (d)
electronic com puters and data-processing m a­
chines. T h e first tw o categories cover examples
o f advanced m echanization based on engineering
principles already familiar in industry. T h e latter
tw o encom pass innovations largely developed out
o f experience during W orld W ar I I in the new
fields o f electronics, control, and com m unication
engineering.
Th e emergence o f this techn ology is part o f the
general acceleration o f the N a tion ’s econom ic
grow th follow ing W orld W ar II. T h e availability
o f the results o f wartim e research, large expendi­
tures for new plant and equipm ent, and the con­
tinued need for a large volum e of defense items
have greatly stim ulated the production of new
types of equipm ent. Like E li W h itn ey ’s system
o f interchangeable musket parts m anufacture,
production principles found useful in speeding the
ou tp ut o f arms are now used to g ood advantage in
civilian industries.
Som e types o f specialized
m achinery which carries out a pre-set cycle o f
operations with almost no hum an intervention is
found tod a y in virtually all plants having a large
ou tp u t o f standardized goods. N ew m odels o f
autom atic glassmaking, textile-spinning, and
paperm aking m achinery, printing presses, and
wire-drawing machines are constantly being intro­
A utom atic M a ch in ery.




1 Electronics Employment and Labor Force, Monthly Labor Review*
October 1953 (p. 1049).

U

cally at significantly higher rates o f speed than b y
manual m ethods. In P roject T in k ertoy, a re­
search program con du cted b y the N ational Bureau
o f Standards in cooperation w ith private firms,
the com ponents themselves are produced m echani­
cally, using the m odular principle o f design.
T hus, parts o f standard circuits are printed on
ceram ic wafers w hich are then m echanically
join ed in various com binations into a variety o f
electronic com ponents.
Integrated

M a teria ls-H an d lin g

and

P rocessing

A s faster and larger autom atic m a­
chines reduce the am ount o f labor directly engaged
in fabricating operations, engineers are turning
their attention to developing m echanical w ays o f
saving labor in the m ovem ent and handling o f
materials. T h e im portance o f this fun ction (in
terms o f m an-hours o f em ploym ent) is illustrated
b y the experience o f one large m anufacturer o f
electrical apparatus. (See table.) T h e trend
tow ard m ore elaborate processing o f raw materials
serves to m ake the m ovin g o f goods w ithin plants
increasingly m ore significant. M anual loading
and unloading o f goods in process, m oreover, are
often too slow to perm it full utilization o f the new
high-speed produ ction m achinery.
T h e m etalw orking industries, n ota bly auto­
m obiles and ordnance, p rovide som e o f the m ost
striking examples o f the integration o f materials
handling and processing to achieve continuous
production. Indeed, the w ord “ autom ation ” was
coined b y D . S. H arder o f the F ord M o to r C o. to
refer to “ the autom atic handling o f discrete parts
betw een progressive processing operations.” A u ­
tom ation in this sense is n ow applied in the
m achining o f engine blocks, pistons, ring gears,
crankshafts, and 155-mm. shells. Like the assem­
b ly line of the 1920,s, m ethods o f m aterials
handling used in the autom obile industry are also
being im itated b y other m etalw orking plants
producing large volum es o f standardized goods.
A basic feature o f this typ e o f autom atic p ro­
duction is the linking together o f high-speed
autom atic m achine tools so that a predeterm ined
sequence o f boring and drilling operations can be
perform ed on a standardized part, such as an
engine b lock , w ith virtually no direct hum an labor.
E xtensive use is m ade o f specially built pow ered
E q u ip m en t

* Case Study Data on Productivity and Factory Performance—Fertilizer.
BLS Report 63, May 1954.




5

D is trib u tio n o f produ ctive m a n -h o u rs in a larg e electricala p p a ra tu s m a n u fa c tu rin g c o m p a n y , by m a jo r o p e ra tio n ,1 9 4 8
Operation
Total......................................... ..............................
Assembling__________________________________
Materials handling L _________________________
Machining___________________________________
Testing...........................-........................................
Finishing........................... -....................................
Other_______________________________________

Percent of total pro­
ductive man-hours
1 0 0 .0

27.3
26.8
21.7
12.9
4.5
6 .8

1 Does not include materials-handling work performed by skilled labor as
part of normal activities.
Source . Adapted from table 1 in an article entitled “ Materials HandlingCurrent Experience and Evolving Principles,” by R. W. Mallick, appearing
in American Management Association Production Series 184: Organizational
Teamwork in Production, New York, 1948.

conveyors, or “ shuttles,” to transport the w ork
from m achine to m achine; o f pneum atic, hydraulic,
and electrical devices to turn, load, position, and
u n load; and o f tim ing mechanisms to synchronize
the m ovem ent o f parts being processed. Inspec­
tion after certain operations is also done auto­
m atically. T h e result is a continuous flow o f
p roduction, except for brief interruptions for
changing w ornout tools and m aking repairs.
Integrated handling and processing equipm ent
is also being introduced to save labor in the m etal­
form ing and finishing departm ents o f m etal­
w orking plants. C on veyors and chutes are now
extensively used to m ove sand and h eavy castings
in foundries. “ Iron fingers” autom atically load
and unload h eavy presses and stam ping machines.
In one large plating plant, autom obile bum pers
pass continuously through a 31-step process,
guided b y a com bination o f shuttles and elevators.
Operators at an electrical con trol panel check
the process at numerous points.
Significant advances toward m ore autom atic
operations have also been m ade in the handling
o f bulk materials. N ew plants for processing
such bulk materials as cake m ix and grain are
now built around a system o f belt conveyors,
gravity chutes, and pneum atic tubes to provide
a continuous flow from raw m aterial to finished
produ ct. A fertilizer plant studied b y the Bureau
o f L a b o r Statistics,2 for exam ple, com bines several
processing operations into a single autom atic
sequence, from loading to bagging, b y means o f
autom atic weighing hoppers, screw conveyers,
and chutes.
Longer, faster m oving, and larger cap acity
belt conveyers are increasingly used to reduce
manual handling in transporting coal in mines

and utilities, loading and unloading ships, and
m ovin g bulk m aterials at construction sites. T h e
R iverlake B elt C on veyer P roject proposes to
carry coal and iron ore betw een L ake E rie and
the Ohio R iv er with a m inim um o f handling via
a 103-mile continuously m ovin g “ rubber railroad.”
In sum m ary, increasing integration o f materialshandling and fabricating operations means fewer
w orkers on job s involvin g prim arily physical
strength. Greater use o f m achinery for these
tasks, how ever, requires workers skilled in the
repair and m aintenance o f costly equipm ent,
engineers trained in designing new m achinery
and plant layouts, and m anagem ent executives
capable o f directing technicians and coordinating
mass produ ction and mass distribution.

operator receives inform ation abou t the results o f
a process, m entally com pares it w ith the desired
perform ance, and makes adjustm ents in the input,
if necessary, to achieve the predeterm ined stand­
ard perform ance. L ike the hum an nervous sys­
tem , one scientist suggests,4 closed-loop system s
have the rem arkable ability to control the applica­
tion o f a substantial am ount o f force w ith a
m inim um expenditure o f energy.
T h e operation o f autom atic control is exem­
plified b y the simple closed-loop circuit used to
con trol room temperature. In this fam iliar case,
a sensing device o f the therm ostat measures the
controlled variable, room tem perature. T h e read­
ing is then autom atically com pared w ith the pre­
set desired value. I f som e deviation or error is
detected, a signal is transm itted to the servom otor
or starting switch o f the furnace which operates
until the desired tem perature is reached and then
stops. A new factor that alters the room tem ­
perature beyon d the tolerance allowed sets off
this self-regulating system anew.
Plants converting raw materials into finished
products through som e form o f chem ical process­
ing are m aking increasing use o f autom atic
control instruments. Self-regulation o f the tem ­
perature, pressure, flow, and level o f liquids and
gases in these processes is often achieved b y
networks o f control instruments. M aterials han­
dling in and ou t o f processing tanks, pipes, and
cham bers is naturally continuous. T h e result is
com pletely autom atic p roduction, from the input
o f raw material to the ou tput o f finished products.
N otable examples o f w hole plants built around
autom atic controls are found in the petroleum
refining and chem ical industries, including atom ic
processing, which have expanded their ca p acity
fairly rapidly since the end o f W orld W ar II.
Other industries where scientific experts believe
advanced planning now aims at fully autom atic
plants are cem ent, beverages, paper products,
telephone and telegraph, and electric power.
Som e industries, such as steel, m ake extensive use
o f instrument control in im portant steps o f the
processing.
A s chem ical processing is substituted for
m echanical operations in other industries such as

W id er U se o f A utom atic Controls. W ith the largescale use o f autom atic control devices in industry,
a new phase o f the lon g process o f substituting
m echanical for hum an energy begins. H itherto,
technological progress has been concerned pri­
m arily w ith the transfer o f m anual skills from
m an to m achines, the worker rem aining a con ­
troller and director. N ew developm ents involve
the use o f im proved devices for such operations
as sensing, measuring, com paring, and rem em ­
bering, as well as operating in a predeterm ined
manner. C on trol o f m achines b y other m achines
or com pletely self-regulated produ ction now b e­
com es possible.
A lthough autom atic con trol devices have long
been used in the operation o f the telephone
system and industrial furnaces, their diffusion on
a large scale was greatly speeded b y new know l­
edge and experience gained during W orld W ar
I I . T h e collaboration o f engineers, scientists, and
m athem aticians in designing servom echanism s
for gun positioning, radar, and so forth, as P ro­
fessors B row n and C am pbell o f the M assachusetts
Institute o f T ech n ology have pointed out, “ soon
focused attention on the essential principles that
apply to all control system s.” 3
Th e basis for autom atic con trol o f industrial
processes is the technique o f “ feed b ack .” Briefly,
feedback con trol exists when inform ation a bou t
the ou tp u t at one stage o f a process is returned
or fed b ack to an earlier stage so as to influence
the process and hence change the ou tp u t itself.
This closed loop betw een input and ou tp u t con ­
trasts w ith open-loop controls where a human




* G. S. Brown and D. P. Campbell, Control Systems. (In the Scientific
American, New York, September 1952, p. 59.)
<J. G. Kemeny, Man Viewed as a Machine. (In Scientific American,
New York, April 1955, p. 58.)

6

m e ta l

r e fin in g ,

d o u b t

w ill

u r in g
F o r
fo r

th e

u se

in s tr u m e n ts
a

c o a tin g

v a r n is h ,
A n

a ls o

n ew

c o n tin u o u s
m a k es

b e tte r
th a n

p r o m is e

c o n tr o ls
in

n o

E l e c t r o n i c

m e a s­

m o re

a p p lic a tio n s .

p le x ity , th e

r a d io a c tiv ity

in c r e a s in g ly

m e a su re m en t
ex a ct

o f

o f

th ic k ­

a u to m a tic

g a g ed

m a n y

o f
is

q u a lity
a n y

o f

th e se

u s in g

a lr e a d y

th e

fin e r

p ro d u c ts

la r g e -s c a le

o f

h ig h ly

m a d e

s a v in g

o f

to

m e ch ­

d e v e lo p in g
A

a n d

m a jo r

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

la b o r .

o r g a n iz e d

d ir e c t

D i r e c t la b o r is a lr e a d y a r e la t iv e ly s m a ll p r o p o r t io n

tr o n ic

o f

tio n

th e

w o rk

fo r c e .

A

B L S

stu d y

o f

r u b b e r p la n ts , fo r e x a m p le , in d ic a te d
d ir e c tly

en gaged

c o m p r is e d
la b o r .5
in g ,

in

o n ly

p rocess

a b o u t

a

M a in te n a n c e ,

an d

o th e r

im p o r ta n t
T h e

overh ea d

la b o r

o f fe e d b a c k
th e

p r o d u c tio n

in

c o n tin u o u s

in d u s tr ie s

o f

e q u ip m e n t

c o n tr o ls

o th e r

th e

m o st

p a rts,

an d

to

m a ss

a u to m a tic ,

m a c h in e

g e n e r a lly

n o t

to o ls

stu d y

tio n ,

to o ls

m is s ile s

T h e

o f

fo r

p r o d u c in g

s m a ll lo t s .

W ith

th is

a u to m a tic

d ig ita l

c o n tr o l,

w ith o u t

th e

h u m a n

to o l

is

g u id e d

in te r v e n tio n

o v e r

in

th e

th e

m e a s u r in g

are
fir s t

d e v ic e

e n g in e e r in g p r o b ­

p h y s ic a l

a n a lo g y

a llo w

im p r o v e

b e h a v io r .

su ch

an d

o f

e n g in e e r s

th e

d e s ig n

T h e y

p r o b le m s

a n a ly z in g

c o m p u te r

u se

o f

are

as

th e

n o w

d e s ig n in g

d is tr ib u tio n

o p era tes

s e r ie s
on

o f

su ch

in s tr u c tio n s
m e d ia

p r e v io u s ly

as card s, p a p er

or

film .

T h ese

in s tr u c tio n s

jo b .

P u n c h e d -t a p e

as

is

b e in g

a p p lie d

to

Its

a

c o u n tin g

p r in c ip a l

e le c tr ic a l

im p u ls e s

to

fe a ­

p e r fo r m

o p e r a tio n s

at

record ed

T h e

sp eed s

fa r

e le c tr o n ic

b e y o n d

c o m p u te r

h u ­
co m ­

in
sev eral

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

o p e r a tio n s

in to

on e

ta p e , m a g n e tic
can

b e

T h e

p r o g r a m m in g ,
sta n d a rd

e n tir e

p r o c e s s in g

o f

d a ta

g o es

on

ch an ged
w ith o u t

th e

m a n u a l tr a n s fe r r in g

th e

n ex t

o f

fo r
d a ta

e x a m p le ,

o f

c a p a b ilitie s .

a u to m a tic a lly ,
each

d e v ic e .

th e

m a c h in e .

a fte r

t o o l.

resp on se
b in e s

ta p e ,

its

fo r

m e a s u r in g

a r ith m e tic a l

a

a n a lo g ,

c o m p u te rs
an d

n ew

c o m p u te rs

u tilitie s .

th a n

is

m a n
to

a ls o c o n t r ib u t e d

ty p e
tu re

co d e

a

an d

research

c o n tr o l o f m a c h in e t o o ls p r o v id e s a fle x ib le

m e th o d

w o rk

a
to

o f

e le c ­

c o m m u n ic a ­

s c ie n tific

T h e

o f

th e

or

p r o c e ss, w ith o u t c o s tly e x p e r im e n ta ­

s im u la tin g

n etw o rk

ra th e r

o f

A n a lo g

r e s u lt

r e m a r k a b le

an sw ers

fie ld .

c o u n tin g

e le c tr o n ic

o p e r a tio n s

th is

o f

o f

o f

e s s e n tia lly

o p e r a tio n

u sed

g u id e d

fo r

p r o d u c tio n .

T a p e

th e

th e

b y

is

p a st

co m p u te r

p u rp oses,

te le v is io n

o f

th e

d ir e c t

ta sk s

d ig ita l.

d e r iv e

p r o b le m .

w id e ly

d e­

e c o n o m ic a l

fr o m

to

a c o m p lic a te d

m a t e r ia ls -h a n d lin g

c u s t o m -b u ilt
are

th e

th e

u sed

T h e

th is

en ­

c o n tin u e d

in

in

p r in c ip le s

o f

th e

d e v e lo p e d ,

is

le m s

h a v in g

fo r

b e

an d

to o ls

stre a m

ty p e s

h as

e le c tr o n ic

th e

b ro a d

gen eral

a n a lo g

an d

m a c h in e

th o se

to

d e v e lo p m e n t

T w o

a u to m a tic

s u ita b le

s e lf-r e g u la te d ,

e a r lie r

to

o f

th a n

W h ile

s ta n d a r d iz e d

n o t

jo b -lo t

th e

th e

to

p o s s ib ility

p rocesses.

p r o d u c tio n

s c r ib e d

to

e n g in e e r ­

w ere

a p p lie s

h as

fo r c e

c o n s id e r a b le e ffo r t

m ilita r y

t h a t p r o d u c e d r a d io a n d

1 9 49
p la n t

o c c u p a tio n a l c a te g o r ie s .

a p p lic a tio n

th o u g h

in

to ta l

o f

c o m p u ter

fo r

­

b eco m e s

c o m p u tin g
la b o r

e n g in e e r s

m a c h in e .

e n g in e e r in g
T h e

th e

a

c o m ­

m e c h a n iz a tio n

th e

fa s te r

is

M

an d

h a n d lin g

w o rk

an d

an d

research

c o n tr o l.

th a t w ork ers

a d m in is tr a tiv e ,

in tr o d u c e s

to o ls

s y n th e tic

o p e r a tio n

q u a rte r

n ew

a d v a n c e

s iz e

an d

o f

r e la te d

S c ie n tis ts

ra th e r

p o s s ib le ,

a c c o u n tin g ,

an d

r o c e s s i n g

in

A lth o u g h

p r o p o r tio n

c le r ic a l

in c r e a s e .

a t a - P

o f in fo r m a tio n

im p o r ta n t.

th e

D

grow s

1 0 y e a r s h a v e th e re fo r e d e v o te d

a u to m a tic

a d ju s tm e n t

in

a n d

e c o n o m y

r e c o r d k e e p in g ,

to

o b je c tiv e

p u t e r s

w o rk

a d v a n c ed ,

co n tro l

a d h e s iv e s .

in

o m

th e

n ew

p a p e r , p la s tic s , o r r u b b e r w it h a b r a s iv e s ,

or

C

A s

c h i n e s .

e m p lo y in g

n o n co n ta ct

o p e r a tio n s

a n iz e d

a u to m a tic

Im p ro v e m e n ts

g age

p o s s ib le

im p o r ta n t

c o n tr o ls

o f

e x te n d e d .

e x a m p le ,

n ess
in

b e

fr o m

on e

ste p

to

as

in

m e c h a n ic a l

p r e c is io n ­
sy ste m s.

b o r in g

m a c h in e s.

W h ile

th e

a d v a n ta g e s

o f

su ch
T h e

fle x ib le

a u to m a tic

c o n tr o ls

are

r e c o g n iz e d ,

th e se
d e v e lo p m e n t w o r k

s t ill r e m a i n s ,”

a c c o r d in g

h ig h

to

m a c h in e s

“ b e fo r e

co n tro l

sy ste m s

can

b e

are

lo w

c o st,

a c cu ra te ,

an d

v e r s a tile

a ll-a r o u n d

r e lia b ility

b een

o f

im p r o v e d .

to

th e

can

b e

S ta n fo r d

h a n d le d

R esea rch

In s titu te ,

e le c tr o n ic a lly

a t

m o re

en ou gh
th a n

fo r

an d

s te a d ily

d e v e lo p e d
“ fig u r e s

th a t

sp eed s

h a v e

on e
A c c o r d in g

e x p e rt,

c o m p u tin g

“ m u ch

1 ,0 0 0

tim e s

th e

sp eed

o f

c o n v e n tio n a l

u s e .” 6
p u n ch ed

* Trends in Man-Hours Expended Per Unit: Synthetic Rubber and
Components: 1945-49. Bureau of Labor Statistics, processed, 1952.
•J. Diebold, What's Needed to Make Tape Control Take Hold. {In
Automatic Control, New York, April 1955, p. 48.)
7 Electronic Data Processing.
{In Research for Industry, Stanford, Calif.»
November 1953, p. 5.)




card

d u ced

19 53

in

c a p a c ity

T w o

th e

fir s t

b y

th e

sa m e

ty p e s

d is tin g u is h e d :

7

25

o f

p ro d u ced
*

e q u ip m e n t .”
h a d

o f

to

la r g e

7

A

m a c h in e

tim e s

in

co m p u ters

s p e c ia l

th e

p u rp o se

in tr o ­

sp eed

e le c tr o n ic

c o m p a n y

d ig ita l

th e

3 5

a n d

co m p u te r

1 9 4 8 .
m a y
an d

a ls o

b e

gen eral

p u rp o se.

S p e c ia l

s p e c ia lly

d e s ig n e d

seq u en ces
A

o f

p u rp o se
p a rts

co m p u ters

to

c o m p u tin g

p e r fo r m

o p e r a tio n s

fe w

or

fin a n c ia l r e p o r t in

o f

m a n -h o u r s

p ro g ra m s.

u n it

an d

co m p u te r

to

k eep

an

a n a ly s is ,

ite m

b y

ite m ,

e n t lin e s .

A n

a ir lin e e m p lo y s

c o m p u te r

to

h a n d le

p u r p o s e , h ig h -s p e e d
tr a ffic

co n tro l

an d

ta il m e r c h a n d is e
T h e

gen eral

v a r ie ty

o f

p ro g ra m .
o p ed

in

sea t

in

a n a ly z e

d e p a rtm e n t

p u rp o se

o p e r a tio n s

n o t

In ste a d , a n ew

p roced u res

s u b je c t
T h e

to

can

h a v in g

a

in

a ir

is

re­

c r e a s in g

d ig ita l

s c ie n tific a n d

u sed

fix e d

P r o g r a m m in g

fo r

th e

m o n th s in to

a fe w

a ir p la n e

w ere

d e fe n s e .

is

n o t

d e v e lo p e d

T h e ir

p h y s ic s .
o p en

N e w

an d

tim e

con ­

c o n v e n tio n a l m e th o d s —
T h e

m a r k e tin g

e le c tr o n ic
in g

b u s in e s s

o f a n ew
m a d e

an d

m a c h in e s
d a ta

e r a in

e a r ly in

to

o th e rs m a y

in

are

n o w

r e n ta l in

p r o b a b ly

in

research

th e

to o

c o s tly

1 9 53

m a rk ed

as­

stu d y

w ith

c o m p u te rs to
th e

e v e n tu a lly
n ew

ex p ect

W .

n o w

b e in g

to

in fo r m a tio n

a p p lic a tio n s

are

h is

stu d y

y e a rs

a

u se

m a d e

p e r fo r m e d

b y

s lo w e r

ev er

in

in ­

b u s in e s s

o f

o f

th a n

a b ru p t

th e

E v a n s
u sed

a ll lo n g

th e

m a c h in e
d is p la c e d
O th e r

g ra d u a l

fo r

o ld

ch a n g e,

th e

th e

fo u n d
g la s s

h a n d

w ith

h a n d

a fte r

b een

in ­

h a n d ,

in

th a t

tu b in g

p rocess
a

th e

a b o u t

y e a rs

h a d

o th e r

r e v e a le d

o f

p resen t

th a t

19

re­
1 8 98

several

m a k in g

c ig a r s ,

m a k in g

th e

a t

in

in d u s tr y

s tu d ie s

a fte r

m e th o d s
o n

tec h ­

h is

e x te n t

ev en

fille r

g la s s

th e

19 36

m a c h in e
S te rn ,

in

e s tim a te d

in

w ith

o f

in te r e s tin g

L a b o r ,9
“ is

p r o d u c tio n ,

s till

e x p e r ie n c e

o b serv e d

M a c h in e

D u a n e

o f

is

w ith

m o re

a n y

g r a d u a ln e s s

W r ig h t

a n d

o f

h en ce

p rogress,

th a n

p a st
th e

“ O n e

D .

o f

d ep en d s on

a n d

p e r io d .
o n

th e a c tu a l

a d o p t a u to m a tic

a ffe c te d

p r o b a b le

sh o rt

B o r is

i n d u s t r y . 11
tern

p rocesses

illu s tr a te

w ere

t r o d u c e d . 10

fo r m a n ­

b e in g

d o u b t

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

fa c to r s

d a ta

e c o n o m ic a l

in

8

h a d

in

th e

s im ila r

p a t­

v a r ia tio n s

fr o m

on
in d u s tr y

ta sk s

o f

P ie c e m e a l

m e c h a n iz a tio n ,

o n e -q u a r te r
m o re

n ear

to

a

m e th o d

t i m e .”

c o m p a n ie s

th e

in

H a n d
o f

m e th o d s

a su rv e y

in

a n d

ch a n g e.

o f

h a n d

b e g in n in g

la r g e

m a c h in e s in s ta lle d

o b ta in

fir s t

th e

a u to m a tic ity ,

e c o n o m ic

m o re

C a r r o ll

d ecad es

fo r p ro ce ss­

th e

th e

m a c h in e

n eed ed

in d u s tr y

fo re c a st.

seem s

s u lt s ,”

o f h ig h -s p e e d

A c c o r d in g to

o f

c o m p le x

little

h a n d lin g

d ir e c tio n

g rea ter

ea ch

in d u s tr ie s

n o lo g ic a l

fo r

p r a c tic a l.

d e s ig n e d

to

e n tir e ly

a g e m e n t,

is

o f

m e c h a n iz a tio n

are

e c o n o m ic s ,

1 9 5 5 , a b o u t a d o zen

fir m s

th e

th e re

th e

d e c is io n s .

gen eral

F ra g m e n ta ry

n u c le a r

c o m p u ta tio n s

a n a ly s is —

o ffic e w o r k .

m a n y

fo r

to

a cco u n t

c o m m e r c ia lly a v a ila b le

ch a n g eo v er

f u t u r e .8
A lt h o u g h

th e

to w a rd

w id e * v a r ie t y

so m e

o f in c a lc u ­

p r o b le m s

s c ie n tific

s p e c ia lly

h a v e

to o l

3 2 0
cost

A lth o u g h

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

m a k in g

it w ill t a k e

o th e rs,

h a v e in s ta lle d d a ta -p r o c e s s in g m a c h in e s a n d n e a r ly
3 0

is

d iffic u lt

ta b le s , e v a lu a tin g

in te r in d u s tr y

se a so n a l tre n d

n o

a

fo r

a b ility

h a s b een

m a th e m a tic a l

fo r e c a sts,

tro n o m y ,

s o lv in g

p a th w a y s

b eca u se

w ea th er

h o u rs, w o rk

p r e p a r in g b a llis tic

d e s ig n s ,

ta k e

o f in fo r m a tio n

fo r

co n tra st

d e v e lo p in g

m a c h in e ,

e ffic ie n t

v o lu m e

A lth o u g h
ch an ge

t e le s c o p e t r e m e n d o u s s e r ie s o f c o m p u t a t io n s t a k in g

la b le v a lu e in

h ig h ly

in

r e q u ir e d .

e q u ip m e n t n o w

co m p u ters

m ilita r y

th e

to o k

Outlook

d e v e l­

t im e -c o n s u m in g a n a l­
w h ic h

fo r

fo r m e r ly

m a n u fa c tu r in g

fo r

b u ilt-in

e n g in e e r in g r e s e a r c h p u r p o s e s in

w ith

a

fig u r e s

e le c tr o n ic

e n te r p r is e s
b e

m u st b e

o p e r a tio n s

fo r

th e

fo r

m e c h a n iz a tio n .

fir s t

n e c tio n

an d

u sed

sto res.

p ro g ra m

e a c h ,a p p lic a tio n .

o f

a ls o

th a t

th a t

1 ,2 0 0

fo r m e r ly

n eed ed

in s tr u c tio n s

S p e c ia l

d em a n d

co m p u te r

c o m p u te r , h o w e v e r , in v o lv e s
y s is

are

u n it

p e r io d

h ou rs

m a c h in e -h o u r s ,

c o m p a r a tiv e

lo n g

a s im ila r h ig h -s p e e d

in

2

p rep ares

m a n -h o u r s

th e se

d iffe r ­

r e s e r v a tio n s .

co m p u ters

to

1 2 ,0 0 0

12

1 ,8 0 0

u p -to -t h e -m in u te
o f

a n d

rep o rts

fix e d

la r g e m a il o r d e r fir m , fo r e x a m p le , u s e s a m e m o r y

in v e n to r y

a

c o n s is t
a

to

in d u s tr y ,

d e p e n d in g

o n

e c o n o m ic

m e th o d s.
c ir c u m s ta n c e s .

A

la r g e

a p p lia n c e

c o m p a n y

u ses

its

e le c tr o n ic

S o

fa r

as

th e

im m e d ia te

fu tu re

is

con cern ed ,

c o m p u t e r fo r p r e p a r in g its p a y r o ll, s c h e d u lin g m a ­
b r ie f
te r ia ls , a n d
p ares
to

u se

h ig h -s p e e d

p r e m iu m
T h e
la b o r

c o n tr o llin g in v e n to r ie s .

c u s t o m e r s ’ b ills .

co m p u ters

a c c o u n tin g ,

p o s s ib ilitie s
a p p e a r

to

b e

In su ra n ce

o f

an d

on

A

u tility

c o m p a n ie s

p r e m iu m

p re­

an d

s a v in g s

in

r o u tin e
A

so m e

th e

gen eral

sp read

fa c to rs

a c c e le r a tin g

o f te c h n o lo g ic a l im p r o v e -

8 P. B. Laubach and L. E. Thompson, Electronic Computers: A Progress
Report. (In Harvard Business Review, Boston, March-April 1955, p. 121.)
8 Thirteenth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, Washington,
Bureau of Labor, Vol. 1,1898 (p. 6).
wMechanization and Productivity of Labor in the Cigar Manufacturing
Industry, BLS Bull. 600,1938 (p. 1).
11 Productivity of Labor in the Glass Industry, BLS Bull. 441,1927 (p. 6).

b illin g ,

c le r ic a l

c h e m ic a l c o m ­

p a n y r e c e n tly r e p o r ts th a t its c o m p u te r p r o d u c e s a




r e ta r d in g

o f

p la n

a c tu a r ia l c o m p u ta tio n s .

s u b s ta n tia l.

r e v ie w

8

a

m e n ts

su g g e sts

g ro w th

b u t

n ific a n t
p ly

o f

m a d e

1 9 5 5

12 f o u n d

in d u s tr y

co n tro l

s e ll a b o u t 2 9

e x p e n d itu r e s

b y

c o n tin u e d

flo w

o f

o f

a s

m a tic

cu ssed
m e n t

co st o f th e

1 9 5 4 .

v o lu m e
d e s ig n .

p r o m is e

as

are

to o l

o ffe r e d

e x c lu s iv e ly
n o w

in

g rea ter

th e

a n d

te c h n ic a l
o f

jo u r n a ls
an d

research

d is ­

o n

th e

b a s is

o f

e q u ip m e n t
o v e r a ll

in

fig u r e s

b y

th e

a n d

to

U n ite d

th e

a ll

th e

fir m s

e r n iz a tio n
T h e

tic u la r ly
in

ra th er

an d

in

fo r

th a n

e le c tr o n ic
la r g e

th e

fo r

o f

P rogress
F e d e ra l

m a y
ta x

a ls o

w a y s

In

b e

b a s is .
to w a rd

w o rk

is

lik e ly

an d

to

2

d e s ig n in g
s p e c ia liz e d

a b o u t

s c ie n tific

5

y e a rs

in v o lv e d

o f th o u sa n d s

r e q u ir e d

o f a u to m a tic fo r

e le c tr o n ic

y ea rs

in s ta ll

in te rn a l fa c to r s

o fte n

c rea te

la r g e

fo r
a

th e

o f

p ro ­

o f co m p o n e n ts
A

in s u r ­

a n a ly z in g

its

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

c h a n g e s . 16

T h e

in

p u rch ase

in v o lv e s

a n d

w ith in

d e la y s

th e

m o d e rn

in tr o d u c in g
o f

c o s tly

lo n g -r a n g e

n eed

to

b e

p e r s o n n e l.

r e s o lv e d .

a u to m a tic

p la n n in g

C o n flic tin g

In s ta llin g

m a y

d u tie s

sta tu s

p a r­

w ork ers, a n d

a n d

o b s ta c le .

occu r

h u m a n
b ra k es

In

o n

e x a m p le ,
o f

c e r ta in

b r ie f,
m a y

th e

th e

a n d

in te r e s ts

in

e x e c u tiv e s
to

w o rk ­

h ig h -s p e e d
a

la r g e

ch a n g es

in

as

o n e

a n d

th e

w e ll

ch a n g e m a y

e lu s iv e

p ro v e

r a p id

a

m a c h in e

m e a n s

th e ir r e s is ta n c e

fa c to r

cor­

la r g e -

t h e fie ld s o f c o r p o r a te fin a n c e ,

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

b e

as
an

s e n s itiv e

o f

im p o r ta n t

o f

d iffu s io n

th e
th e

n ew

te c h ­

n o lo g y .

sev era l

Some Broad Implications

a u to -

* See Business Week, April 23, 1955 (p. 26), New York, McGraw-Hill
*
Publishing Co.
* These are: (1) Automatic Controls, Reinhold Publishing Co., New York;
*
(2) Automation, Penton Publishing Co., Cleveland; (3) Control Engineering,
McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., New York; and (4) Instruments and Automa­
tion, Instruments Publishing Co., Pittsburgh.
h Investment and Sales Anticipations in 1955. (In Survey of Current
Business, U. S. Department of Commerce, March 1955, p. 4.)
15 See I. H. Siegel, Technological Change and Long-Run Forecasting (In
The Journal of Business of the University of Chicago, July 1953, p. 147).




p rogress

to o k

fo r

c o lle c tio n ,

se p a ra te

s ta b le

jo b -lo t

c o m p le x

s c a le

c o m p a n y ,

o f in tr o d u c in g

m a c h in e s.

c o m p a n ie s ,

fa ir ly

n eed ed

th e

e le c tr o n ic

p o s ta l s e r v ic e , w h e r e s p e c ia l

s tu d y in g

d a ta -p r o c e s s in g

m e ta lw o r k in g

ers

c h e m ic a l­

c o n tr o l,

is

la r g e

o f s to c k h o ld e r s , e x e c u tiv e s , s u p e r v is o r s , a n d

m o d ­

in d u s tr ie s

a

c o n tin u e to

b u t

m a n u fa c tu r e r s.

ord er

m a r k e tin g ,

e q u ip m e n t,

th e

o f

d iffu s io n

tim e

la r g e

c o m p le x d e c is io n s in

record

o n

r a p id

a s s e m b ly

e q u ip m e n t

e x p a n s io n .

a u to m a tic

b a n k in g ,

n o w

19 53

la r g e r a m o u n t s

o n

p la n ts .

a n d

s c a le

19 55

a n d h ig h o p e r a tin g c o s ts

e x p a n s io n

d em a n d

are

to

c o s t-c u ttin g

sp en d

p a te n t p r o c e s s in g , a n d
c o m m itte e s

c lo s e

F in a lly ,

C o m m is s io n ,
in

to

d e v e lo p m e n t

in

th e
h ig h

fa b r ic a tin g .

lo n g

3 0 0

re ta rd
o f th e

a u to m a tio n

a s s e m b ly

e x a m p le ,

c o m p a n y

p o r a tio n

C o m m e rce

e q u ip m e n t

p e t r o le u m -r e fin in g

n ew

in s u r a n c e

a n d

c o m p e titio n

to

o f

fin d

e q u ip ­

m a c h in e .

e x p e c ta tio n s

E x c h a n g e

b e

search

b u s in e s s

D e p a rtm e n t

p la n t

m a y

p la n

g rea ter

o f

an d

n ew

c o n tin u e d

p r o c e s s in g
m e a n

in

W ith

s p u r r in g
m a n y

S ta te s

in d u s tr y

l e v e l . 14

su rv e y

S e c u r itie s

in v e stm e n t
b y

th e

a n d

m e th o d s

on

c a p it a l in v e s t m e n t , is a ls o lik e ly to b e fa ir ly s t r o n g .
A c c o r d in g

A
fo r

n e a r ly

a n ce

th e

o f

b u ild in g

an d

d u c tio n

m a n a g e ­

th e

c u sto m

co m p u te r,

N e w

in

o b s ta c le
is

g o o d s

c o m p le x itie s ,

th a n

m a c h in e r y .

a u to ­

a n d

to

p r o d u c in g

m e c h a n iz e d

th e

s lo w e r

fr o m

la b o r s a v in g

o f

A n o th e r

a s s o c ia tio n s .
fo r

b e

a

to

B ec a u se

th e re fo r e m a y

m e c h a n iz a tio n

te c h n o lo g y

fie ld

s o c ie tie s ,

to

te n d

p la n ts

g o o d s

on

in ­

an d

ch a rg ed

la b o r s a v in g

o f e q u ip m e n t,

to

s ta n d a r d iz e d

M o s t

p ro d u ced

a

p u r­

p u b l i s h e d . 13

tra d e

o f

p u rch asers

le a s e
to

F o u r

to

b e in g

th e

b ee n

u s in g

fa c to rs

ty p e s

lim ite d

B ec a u se

fin a n c in g

fo r

o f a u to m a tio n .

n ew

g e n e r a lly

d e v e lo p m e n t

gro u p

o f

su ch

e n g in e e r in g

tra d e

fu tu re ,

a u to ­
ex p ect

in

h a v e

areas

e c o n o m ic

d e v e lo p m e n t

im p r o v e m e n ts.

are

d em a n d

th a n

an d

a n d

C e r ta in

e le c tr ic a lo f

d e p a rtm e n ts

w a y s

m e n t.

su rv ey 1

o th e rs)

1 9 5 8

in d u s tr y

d e s c r ib e d

b e fo r e
a n d

T h e
n ea r

is

th e

p rod u cers

m o d e r n iz a tio n .

d ev o te d

e q u ip m e n t

su p ­

in

research

to o ls ,

to

c o n tr o ls ,

n ew

a s w e ll a s

a rra n g em e n ts,

jo u r n a ls ,

fir m s

m e th o d s

m a c h in e

in c e n tiv e s

s ig ­

fa ir ly

p r o d u c in g fir m s a ls o a p p e a r s t o b e

E a s ie r

s ta llm e n t

th e

(c o v e r in g

th is

M a r k e tin g b y
v ig o r o u s .

th a t

la r g e

m a tio n

A

a

M c G r a w -H ill

p e r c e n t m o r e in

an d

ste a d y

in c r e a s in g

o f

r e v o lu tio n .

is

A

e q u ip m e n t

C o m p e titio n

ch ase

fa c to r

e q u ip m e n t.

m a c h in e r y

to

lik e lih o o d

e c o n o m y w id e

a c c e le r a tin g
n ew

in

m a tic

th e

n o

T o

c la r ify

o f a u to m a tic
b e tw e e n

th e

b ro a d

m a n 's

r o le

d u cer.

C o n c e r n in g

is

th a t

c le a r

th e

p er

s e r v ic e s

co n su m ed

d ep en d s

9

im p lic a tio n s

o f

t e c h n o lo g y , i t is u s e fu l t o

o n

th e

as
h is

a

co n su m er
w e lfa r e

c a p ita
in

p ercen t

a n y
o f

as

g ro w th

d is tin g u is h

an d
a

a m o u n t

as

a

p ro ­

co n su m er,
o f

e c o n o m y
th e

th e

g o o d s

it

a n d

b a s ic a lly

p o p u la tio n

e m -

p lo y e d , a v e r a g e
m a n -h o u r .
p r o d u c tiv ity
o m y

fr o m

p ercen t
(b a se d
1 9 6 5 ,
g a in

g ro w th

2

o n
or

o f

a

p er

in

le is u r e

d u c tiv ity

as

a

r e s u lt

o f

sh o rter
sh o rt,

a to m ic

h ig h e r

im p lic a tio n s

liv in g

an d

o th e r

o f th e n ew

c o n s id e r e d , o n e p r o b a b le

fo r

n eed s

n ew

b u ild in g

th e

s h iftin g

o f

p r o d u c tiv e

resou rces

o f

In

th e

eco n o m y .

w o rk ers

th is

r e s u lt

o f

d is p la c e m e n t;

r e s u lt

o f

u p -g r a d in g .

n o t a d o p t a d v a n c e d

c o s t-c u ttin g

T h e

are

e x te n t

te c h n o lo g ic a l

o f

d is p la c e m e n t

ch an ges

d is e n ta n g le fr o m

w ill

a lw a y s

o f la b o r s a v in g

T h e

su p p o rt
m a y

p a st

b e lie v in g

fo r

b e

th e

th a t

a c c o m p a n ie d

m e n t.

C a r r o ll

p h ra se

“ e x p a n s io n

a n d g ro w th
tu n itie s
in g

to

D .

o f

w ith

th e

T h e

g ro w th
th e

to

g ro w th ,

su ch

1 9 2 0 ,s ,

u rb a n

fir m s t h a t d o

P r o fe sso r s

a n d

In

m a y

ra y o n ,

1 9 5 5

in

e m p lo y m e n t.

g a in

in

th e

la b o r

h ig h

le v e ls
in

o c c a s io n e d

m ea su res

a d ju s t

to

b e

o f

to
e m ­

m e e tin g

b y

a n d

L a b o r
fo r

to

g rea ter

ease

c o n flic tin g

im p o r ta n t

p r o b le m s

w ere

S h u ltz

R e v ie w .
a ll

th e

o f

d is c u s s e d

in

th e

b y

F e b ru a ry

an

fo r

a

in te r e s t

m a n a g e m e n t,

r e s p o n s ib le

th e

c o n s titu te

h a v in g

L a b o r,

a g e n c ie s ,

in te re s ts

is s u e s

T h e y

g ro u p s

m a rk e t.

g o v e rn m e n t

to

a n d

e d u c a tio n ,

a

r e s u lt

o f

v o c a tio n a l, tr a in in g ,

d iffic u lt

to

p lo y m e n t

in s u r a n c e ,

h o u rs, a n d

in d u s tr ia l r e la tio n s , th e r e fo r e , a re lik e ly

c o n s id e r a b le

u sed

r is e

w a s

to

n ew

a n d

s tu d ie s

th e

b o th
th e

rose

con cern ed

w ith

n o lo g y

u n e m ­

w a g es

th e

an d

p r o b le m s

te c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e .

o f

t h a t fo llo w s is t h e e v e r in c r e a s in g

in fo r m a tio n

a b o u t

th e

h u m a n

a s­

C a r r o ll D . W r ig h t ,

o f th e p e r v a s iv e in flu e n c e o f t e c h n o lo g y
h e in itia te d

m e c h a n iz a tio n
T o d a y

a

p r o g r a m s fo r e a s in g

o p p o r­

fo u n d

o f

c e n tu ry .

an d

c h e m ic a ls

F a b r ic a n t

aw are

s e r v ic e s ,

a p p r e n tic e s h ip ,

o n .l a b o r p r o b l e m s w h e n

d e c lin ­

a c tiv tie s

e m p lo y m e n t

p e c ts o f te c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e .

o p p o r­

a n d

b y

im p o r ta n c e

th e

th e

in c r e a s in g ly

O n e c o n c lu s io n

e m p lo y ­

’s

b e

c rea ted

p rogress

o f

o ld e r

o p en ed

e m p lo y m e n t

lik e ly

M o n th ly

c o n tr ib u te

as

tr a n s p o r ta tio n

to ta l o u tp u t o ffse ttin g

are

fr a m e w o r k

r e q u ir e s

in fo r m a tio n

a

so u n d
th e

a t

th e

b a s is

tr a n s itio n

c o m p r e h e n s iv e

a b o u t

su ch

s u b je c ts

h is p io n e e r in g

en d
fo r
to

th e

la s t

p o lic ie s

o f

a n d

th e n ew

sy ste m
as

o f

tec h ­

tim e ly

p r o d u c tiv ity ,

e m p lo y m e n t , u n e m p lo y m e n t , la b o r tu r n o v e r , o c c u ­

in

p a tio n s ,

th a t

W ith

c o n s u m p tio n ,

p r o d u c tio n ,

a n d

le is u r e .

b r o a d e r u n d e r s ta n d in g , a u to m a tic te c h n o lo g y

r a p id ly ,
a n d

th e

jo b

o p p o r tu n itie s .

th a t

b e

d e s c r ib e

a u to s,

th e

n ew

in d u s tr ie s in a n e a r ly s ta g e

S o lo m o n

p rogress

in d iv id u a ls , to tr a in w o r k e r s

to

B a ld w in

o f d is tr ib u tiv e , se r v ic e ,

a c tiv itie s

as

D r .

p r o d u c tiv ity

o f

a n d

T h e se

l ^ O

s h ift o f h o m e

e x p a n s io n

g o v e rn m e n t

th e

la b o r ”

s k ills ,

tr a n s itio n .

le v e ls

th e

n ew

a

in d u s tr ie s p r o v id in g n e w

t u n itie s in t h e p a s t .
o f

in

th e

c o n tr ib u tio n

lo s s e s

a d e q u a te

a s

b e n e fite d ,

te c h n o lo g ic a l
h ig h

fo r

o n

p r o v id e s

o ffs e t d is p la c e m e n t in

u tilitie s , a n d
a n d

W r ig h t

o f n ew

in d u s tr ie s .

fa c to r y ,

b y

If

an d

h ig h w a y

e q u ip m e n t.

a

o th e r fa c to r s th a t c a u s e e c o n o m ic

o f

fo r

n ew

an d

m a jo r

jo b

as

to

record

n eed

a

o f

h a r d s h ip s o f d is p la c e d

so m e

lo s s e s

w ill b e

o f

p o lic ie s

e c o n o m y

u se

u n b a la n c e .
T h e

th e

in te n s ify

ch a n g e,

th e ir

recrea­

research

p ro g ra m s

sou rce

p r o b le m s

F ir m s t h a t a r e a b le to a d o p t

ex p a n d

o f

a

th e

te c h n iq u e s o f p r o d u c tio n

a n d

an d

in d u s tr ia l

p u b lic

p r iv a te

p lo y m e n t

e q u ip m e n t m a y g a in a s ig n ific a n t c o m ­

a d v a n ta g e

to ta l

o th e rs

a n d

w ork ers,

E m p lo y e e s in

b e c o m e u n e m p lo y e d .

p e titiv e

p r o v id e

P u b lic

a c tiv itie s

o f

e q u ip m e n t,

fr o m

le is u r e

m a y

th e

o f

s u ffe r

th e

th e

m a y

in

v a r io u s

p rocess

in e v ita b ly

fo r

to

s c h o o l c o n s tr u c tio n .

fo r m a n

to

a s

o f a u t o m a t ic t e c h n o lo g y is g r a d u a l, th e s e in d u s tr ie s

B r o a d ly

assess.

c a p ita l a m o n g

in d iv id u a l

a n d

su ch

e le c tr o n ic s ,

p ro ­

ch a n g e

t e c h n o lo g y

m a n a g e m e n t, a n d

a n d

w o rk w eek

e q u ip m e n t

c a te r in g

r e p a ir

p ro d u c ts

d e v e lo p m e n t;

sh o rter

e x p a n s io n

p r o d u c in g

(tr a v e l, h o m e

tio n );

a

in str u m e n ts,

in d u s tr ie s

in

so m e

fr o m

in d u s tr ia l

in d u s tr ie s

T h is

w o rk w eek s

e ffe c t w ill b e

o f

te c h n o lo g y ;

o u tp u t

sta n d a rd s

a s a p r o d u c e r a r e m o r e d iffic u lt t o

co m e

a ir c r a ft,

n ew

in c r e a s e d

te c h n o lo g ic a l

en erg y ,

3

to

S ta te s.

T h e

o f

m a y

sou rces

b illio n

m o re .

a llo w

n ew

g ro w th

sou rce

U n ite d

a ls o

th ro u g h
In

$ 2 8 7

a n d

o f

econ ­

ra te ,
$ 5 4

n a tio n a l

w o u ld

v a c a tio n s .

th e

in

ra te

n o n fa r m

lo n g -t e r m

b a s is ,

in tr o d u c e d ,

o u tp u t p er

a d d itio n a l

p r ic e s )

c a p ita

th e

a n n u a l

p r iv a te

a n

m a te r ia l w e a lth

lo n g e r

th e

th e

m e a n

co n sta n t

in

th e

p e rc e n t,

o n

in c r e a s e

b e

in c r e a se

w o u ld

in

a n d

h o u rs w o rk ed , a n d

A n

r e d u c tio n

g rea ter

p r o d u c tiv ity

b e c o m e

th e

b a s is

fo r

in
e n r ic h in g

life

in

a

fr e e

s o c ie ty .

u n i t m a n - h o u r r e q u i r e m e n t s . 16
In

th e

fu tu re ,

p la c e m e n t,

a s

so m e

a c c o m m o d a tio n

a u to m a tic




te c h n o lo g y

is

to

jo b

d is ­

“ 8. Fabricant, Employment in Manufacturing, 1899-1939, New York,
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1942.

g r a d u a lly

10

Social Implications of

m a n -h o u r s

Technological Progress

p er

te c h n o lo g y

is

th o se

in

p la c e

E

d it o r ’ s

N

o t e .—

e x c e r p t e d
S t e w

a r t

a r d s

,

D

a n d

b e f o r e

a

e p u

t h e

a r t i c l e

p a p e r

t y

A

,

F i f t e e n t h
A

d e n o t e

o f

S

A

n

o n

e a s i e r

u n u s e d

i n d i c a t e d

.

t

.

n

s s o c i a t i o n

L e g i s l a t i o n

i n t e r e s t

U

w

h i c h

f o l l o w

p r e s e n t e d

s s i s t a n

S t a t i s t i c s

C a n a d i a n
L a b o r

T h e

f r o m

D
u

e p a r t m

a

l

f o r

A

e n t

o f

t h e

th e o ry

a s
D

an d

.

L a b o r

8 ,

o f

R a p id

o f

.

1 9 5 6

t e x t

I n

m

h a v e

n o t

o f

th e

fo r

t o

b e e n

la b o r ,

hat

are

T h e se

p r o b le m s

p rogress
m e n t

the

fo r

la b o r

la b o r

d iffe r e n t
m a y

b e

w h ic h

an d

o ffic ia ls ,

a p p ro a ch es
o u r s e lv e s ,

im p l ic a t io n s

to

la b o r
w e

fa m ilia r

w ith in

a

m o st

u se fu l

a rrested

te c h n o lo g ic a l

p o lic y ?

n eed

to

A s

a n d

P erh a p s

w h a t

I

if

on

in

m y

to u ch

I

can

c le a r ly
th e

areas.

b y

a

h ig h e r

im p lic a tio n s

fo r e se e

th e

o f

b e

d em a n d

tr a in in g
m o re

m a y

in d u s tr ie s

in d u s tr ia liz e d
r is e

a n d
b e

m u st

d e­

ea sed

th e

In

ex p ect

th a n

c o u n tr ie s .

in

seen

im m o ­

e m p lo y m e n t.

S ta te s, w e

o f u n e m p lo y m e n t

a p p r e c ia b le

m a l­

b e

g e o g r a p h ic

fu ll

an d

s e r io u s

stru c tu ra l

w h ic h

s ic k

m a l­

s h o r t-r u n

a n d

o f

th e

o f

o f

U n ite d

ra te

a n d

n o

w ill

m a jo r

p r o b le m s

b u t

ir r e g u la r itie s

A ll o f th e se p r o b le m s c a n

a v era g e

d y n a m ic

a tte n tio n .

w ith

a b s o r p tio n

p ro d u ce

th e

p r o b le m s

c o n d itio n s

a n d

can

in to

ta k e

e c o n o m ic

o f

s u p p ly

ec o n o m y ,

p r o b le m s

gen eral

C a n a d a

sa y

th e

in

b ility —

fin d

q u ite

in

th e

m a y

p la c e .

to

T h e re

m e rg e

c o n n e c te d

p ressed

m a n y

m a y

w o r k in g

m o st

g o v e rn ­

r e th in k

p r o b le m s

g e n e r a tio n ,

e n v ir o n m e n t.

h a v e

o f

c y c le .
b etw ee n

n ew

s a tis fa c to r y ,

ta k e s

ch a n g e

it

T h e

to o

c o n tr ib u te

a c c e n tu a tin g

a d ju s tm e n ts

W

p rocess

w h ic h

b u s in e s s

ra te.

n o n e

th e

e s s e n tia ls fr o m

m e c h a n is m s

is

te c h n o lo g ic a l

m o b ility .

.

th e

th e

m a la d ju s tm e n ts

t h e

a r k s

th a t

a d ju s tm e n ts

t h e

a n tic ip a te

I

a c c e le r a te d

a n y

in

in

d e s c r ib in g

k n o w

p r o d u c tio n

ex cep t

p a st,

an

o f

d iffe r e n t

r e e m p lo y m e n t

w e

,

i n i s t r a t o r s

d m

s u s p e n s i o n

o f

w

S t a n d ­

C o n f e r e n c e

o f

r e a d i n g ,

s

C h a r l e s

S e c r e t a r y

O c t o b e r

p o r t i o n s

b y

th e

a t

u n it

n o

in

a

le s s

B u t

I

le v e l

a v era g e

o f

u n e m p lo y m e n t d u r in g p e r io d s o f fu ll e m p lo y m e n t ,

Implications for Full Employment

i.e .,

in

fr ic tio n a l

u n e m p lo y m e n t
In

C a n a d a

a n d

e m p lo y m e n t
b een

fa c ts

p o lic y .
th e

m o re
N o w
in

o f

T h e

fu ll

w e

th a n
h a v e

o v e r c o m in g

th e

c o n n e c te d

b eg u n

tr ia liz a tio n .
a c c e le r a te d

to

to

a g a in

s e r io u s

T h e

to

fu n c tio n in g
b y

h a d

p r o b le m




o th e r

la r g e

th e
set

o f

m ea su re

b u s in e s s

th e

o f

sw e e te r

D o e s

s ta b ility
o f

a

fa c to r s.

d is p la c e m e n t

or

T h e

to

r e s p o n s ib le

s e r v ic e ,

tr a in in g

n o

to

in d u s ­
an

th e

reason

u n e m p lo y m e n t

s ta b ility a n d

in n o v a tio n

ou r

le a d

in c r e a se

o f
fu ll

te c h n o lo g ic a l

a r is in g

p rogress.

in

11

o u t

so

in
th e

w h o

la b o r

is
are

m a rk e t

e m p lo y m e n t

in s u r a n c e

as

o u g h t

h o w ev er,

o ffic ia ls

g u id a n c e ,
fa r

th e m

a g e n c ie s ,

e tc .

gen eral

T h e re

is

e c o n o m ic

th e b u s in e s s c y c le a re c o n c e r n e d , t h a t
to

fis c a l,

m o re

r e d u c tio n

a n d

th in k ,

c a p a c itie s

m o n e ta ry ,

la b o r

p a r tic u la r ly

v o c a tio n a l

an d

le v e l
w ith

g rea ter b u t o u r

w ith
H e re ,

im p r o v e m e n t

m o st

b e

d eal

g o v e rn m e n t

fo r

in s titu tio n s ,

u n e m p lo y m e n t?

n o t

c h a lle n g e

w e

o f

to

c o m m e n s u r a te ly .

in ­

a c h ie v e d , a n d

o f

im p r o v e

a n d

a u to m a tio n

is

n ew .

to

c a p a c itie s

c y c le ,

fr u its

te c h n o lo g ic a l

b y

o f su ccess

in s ta b ility

th e

in s titu tio n a l

e c o n o m y ,

w ith

p r o b le m s

D e ce m b e r 1956

o f

(th e

c o n s is te n t

P r o b le m s o f a d ju s t m e n t m a y

la b o r

c o n d itio n e d

is

e m p lo y m e n t).

h a v e

fo r

e c o n o m ic

im p a ir th e

u n e m p lo y m e n t

a n y
a

Q u e s tio n :

th rea ten

is

p o stw a r

p o lic y

im p o r ta n c e

o f w ork ers

o b ta in

ra te

S ta te s , h ig h

e m p lo y m e n t

o v e r r id in g

w e lfa r e

p erh ap s

s e c u r ity

U n ite d

fu ll

e m p lo y m e n t

th a t

h a v e

th e

a n d

u n e m p lo y m e n t

w h ic h

s ta b iliz e
a n d

r a p id ly

o f

th e

o th e r
th a n

in c r e a s in g ly

e c o n o m y
p o lic ie s

th e

p r o b le m s

r a p id

th ro u g h
w ill

n o t

w e

fa c e

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

Implications for Shorter Hours

m in im u m
it

T h a t
tio n

sh o rter h o u rs

a n d

th e

e n v is a g e

k in d

r e fle c ts ,

u n e m p lo y m e n t
J u st
is m

as

th a t

th e

th e

n o

r e la tiv e

g r e s s iv e

w ith

te c h n o lo g ic a l

m a n y

p rogress

in s ta n c e s ,

a

n o t

w o rk
it

te c h n o lo g y

is

h e r a ld s

a

a

sh o rte r

u p o n

th is c h o ic e

o f

le is u r e

a n d
a n d

e a s ie r t o

o u sn ess

o f

s tr a in

p in g e

h e a lth ,

on

w o rk

s o c ia l life ,

sta n d a rd s
I

d o

o th e r

fa m ily

k n o w

to

n o te

age

w o rk ed

h ou rs

o f

th a t

in

an d

o f

in

m a y

b e

n o

liv in g

th e

in

I t

fo r

or

fo r

fu ll
in

H o u rs

in

G in s b u r g

W o rk e rs

h o ld in g is n o t u n c o m m o n

w ith

in c lin e d

g e n e r a lly

to

s a id , I

c e n te r

th e

tim e
h a v e

p o lic y

in

fo r e se e

s o c ia l in s u r a n c e

in

th e

w ill

le n g t h

fa c ilita te

d is p la c e m e n t

th e

m a y

la tte r

m o st

ta k e

or

a g a in

or

o f

th e

w o rk ­

r e a d ju s tm e n ts

th e

th e

o f

th e

th a t

te c h n o lo g ic a l

fo r m

fu tu re

w o rk y ea r,

tru st

a n d

s e r io u s

in

y e a rs

I

th a t

or

n o t

to

I

a m

s o c ia l

w o rk

on

ers

1

p o lic y

o u t

o f

o f c h o ic e

th e

m is ta k e n ,
in

th e

c e s s io n -o r ie n te d

a t

th e

is n o t

th a t

th e

in d iv id u a l’s

th e

r e la tiv e

a

p a rt

o f

th e re

w o rk

fu tu re

la b o r

o f

sp a n .
fro m

o u t to
to

s ig n s

rest

u s,

w o rk

w ork ers.

n o t

th e

in p u t

life

g r o w in g

w ill

o f

fre e d o m

c h o ic e

o ld e r

are

b ia s e s to w a r d

g lu tte d

to

fr e e d o m

h ou rs

h o u rs

b u t

in c r e a s in g

p e r m it

u p o n

U n ­
th a t
r e -

c le a r in g o ld e r w o r k ­

m a rk e t

b u t

on

fr e e d o m

o r r e tir e

R a lp h

th e

Occupational Skills and Satisfactions

th a t

6 -d a y ,
T h e

see m

th e

o v e r­
L a b o r

C e r t a in ly it is t r u e , h o w e v e r ,

cu rren t

in te r e s t

in

th e

m o re

s p e c ta c u la r

A t p re se n t,
a sp e c ts o f a u to m a tio n

w ork ers

in to

te c h n o lo g ic a l p r o g r e s s h o ld s

le s s

M ill

re p o rte d

3 6 -h o u r w e e k in A k r o n r u b b e r p la n t s .

F a ir

w ill

recen t

a n d

S ta te s

w a n t w h ic h

W .

w o rk

th e

H e re

in ­

o f W o r k

o v e r tim e

o th e r h a n d , th e

c a ta p u lte d

fle x ib ility

b y

P r o b a b ly
p r o b le m

a v e r­

th e

o f

u n e m p lo y m e n t.

e m ­

P a p er
a t

th e

c o n s id e r a tio n s o u g h t to

w o rk y ea r,

o c c a s io n e d

an d
is

th e

a lr e a d y

le g is la tiv e

th e

G e o rg e

a n d

S h o rte r

L .

or

w ee k

n o n a g r ic u ltu r a l

S ta te s.

p resen ted

R u b b e r

in

h a v e

im ­

in d u s tr ia l

r e d u c tio n

a n d

c h o ic e

t h a t th e te n d e n c y , fo r s o m e tim e a t le a s t, to sh o rte r

m a te r ia l

s u b s ta n tia lly

v ie

p a rt

h o u rs,

a rd u ­

w o rk

fu tu re .

w o rk

s u p p o r t o f w a g e b a r g a in in g .

fa ir la b o r s ta n d a r d s .

fu ll p a r tic ip a tio n

S u lp h ite

o n

w h a t I

w h ere

th e

o f

v o lu n ta r y

U n ite d

s h a r e -t h e -w o r k

w o rk w eek ,

occu rred

W o o d r o w
th e

A c t

O n

th e

F r o m

P ro ­

o f

o f

tim e

w o rk w eek

p a p er

w ork ers

p a y .

in

w h en

to

r is e .

U n ite d

C o n fe r e n c e

B e rg m a n n
d u a l jo b

h a s

a

p e n a lty

S ta n d a rd s

I t b eco m e s

p o in t

sa m e

w ith

P u lp ,

in

fa c to r y

p r e m iu m

life ,

ch oose

th e

th e

s a id

A F L -C I O

a

r e c e n t y e a r s , little

e m p lo y m e n t

o f

fa v o r o f le is u r e ,

d e tr im e n ts

th e

th a t

in

W o rk e rs

a t

w h a t

w ill

p lo y m e n t

B ro o k s

b e lo w

o th e r

w h ile

la b o r le g is la tio n .

tim e

as

a s h o u r s in p u t a n d

o f c o n s u m p tio n

n o t

te r e s tin g

fa ll

a n d

w ork ers

in

a d d i­

in c o m e .

m a k e in

m o r e u n c e r ta in

to

le v e ls

h o u rs

fo r

p r e s s in g , w ill m in im iz e t h e r o le o f h o r n s r e g u la tio n

d a y

ju d g m e n t

p r o d u c tiv ity

in

o p p o r tu n ity

w o r k in g h o u r s , a s t h e n e e d fo r in c o m e b e c o m e s le s s

u to p ia n ­

h o u rs

th e ir

a s o c ia l p o lic y s t a n d p o in t ,

sh o rte r

o f p o litic a l p r e s s u r e in

p r e fe r

w o rth

F r o m

th a t

w e

w o rk .

p h y s ic a l

in

im p r o v e d

sh ared .

n ew

w a g es.

o b v io u s

th a t

fe a r

r e fle c ts

b u t t h e o u t c o m e is h a r d ly p r e d ic t a b le .
m o re a n d

a u to m a ­

if

h o w ev er,

d ep en d s

g a in s

in e v ita b le

sp read

w ork ers

in c o m e

m a k e

in

w ill

n ew

an d

W h e th e r
tio n a l

o f

c o m m o n ly ,

a ll p la y

are

is

p la c e

a

an d

a to m ic

e n e rg y

d e v e lo p ­

h ig h e r
m e n ts h a s fo c u s e d a tte n tio n o n p r o s p e c tiv e c h a n g e s

v a lu e

o n

a d d itio n a l

in c o m e

th a n

o n

m o re

le is u r e ,
in

b u t

th is

m a y

n o t

a lw a y s

b e

th e

th e

s k ill c o n t e n t o f jo b s

E v e ry o n e
S o m e

fu r th e r

r e d u c tio n

in

h ou rs

o f w o rk

is

agreed

a p p e a r

in e v ita b le .

T h is

m a y

ta k e

v a r io u s

e c o n o m ic a l u se

o f c o s tly

d u c t iv e fa c ilitie s w ill le a d to m u c h

fo r

t h e w o r k s c h e d u le .
th e

w o rk y ea r

w ill

im p lic a tio n s

fo r

ch a n g e

tra d itio n a l

h a s

o ccu p a ­

t h e s u g g e s t io n is t h a t t h is is in c r e a s in g ly

th e

th e

fu tu re .

U n ite d

S ta te s,

a t

le a s t,

I

th in k

g o v e rn ­

I t is m u c h m o r e
m e n t

th a t

te c h n o lo g y .

e x p e r im e n ta tio n
In

c e r ta in

n ew

p ro ­
tru e

a n d v a r ie t y in

th e

te c h n o lo g ic a l

fo r m s.
tio n s , a n d

r e q u ir e m e n ts o f

th a t

w o u ld
r e v o lu tio n a r y

T h e

in

case.

b e

red u ced

la b o r

o ffic ia ls

h a v e

p a id

a ll

to o

little

a tte n ­

th a n
tio n

to

g o v e rn m e n t

r e s p o n s ib ility

in

s h a p in g

th e

t h a t t h e w o r k w e e k w ill b e s u b s t a n t ia lly s h o r te n e d .
o c c u p a tio n a l
A s id e

fr o m

q u e s tio n s

o f

in d u s tr ia l

sa fe ty

g o v e r n m e n t la b o r

o ffic ia l m a y

b e

con cern ed

w ith

th e

im p a c t

o f

a d m in is tr a tio n




o f

o v e r tim e

la b o r

fo rc e .

F o r

w ork ers,
th ro u g h

s p e c ia liz e d
e x p e r ie n c e

s k ills
o n

th e

h a v e
jo b .

b ee n

ac­

T h e re

h a s

c h a n g in g
1 For excerpts from Mr. Brooks* paper, see Monthly Labor Review, No­
vember 1056 (p. 1271); and from the paper by Messrs. Ginsburg and Bergmann
(p. 1268).

h o u r s in c o n n e c tio n w ith s t a t u t o r y h o u r s s ta n d a r d s
a n d

th e

m o st
q u ir e d

d ir e c tly

o f

a n d
m o st

h e a lth , th e

c a p a b ilitie s

p r o v is io n s

in

12

b een
n o t

o ffic ia l s u p p o r t
p la y e d

th e

c o u n tr ie s .

tio n

fit

tr a in in g

In

r e c e n tly ,

m e c h a n is m s

in to
is

to

m e e t

h a s

p ro g ra m

to

to

to g e th e r

S e c re ta ry
a

o f

S k ills

p u b lic

an d

in

L a b o r
th e

in

J a m e s

o u tlo o k

s tu d ie s
o f

th e

g u id a n c e

an d

to

th e

p rocess

th e

p u b lic

o f

fo r

p u b lic

an d

tr a in in g

m u st

is

th e

d e m a n d .

lin k

if

an d

b e lie v e ,

o r le s s

th a n

h is

jo b

p o lic y ,

s itu a tio n ,

p rogress

p erson n el

a n d

in

a d m in is ­

s o c ia l le g is la tio n .

s c h o o ls ,

w ill

B u t

b a la n c e ,

p r o v id e d

it

ap p ears

th a t

a u to m a tic

tech ­

th e
p o rte n d s

a

le s s e n in g

o f

o c c u p a tio n a l

th ro u g h
a

T h is

gen eral

im p r o v e m e n t

in

w o r k in g

e ffo r ts.
b etw ee n

la b o r

T h e . t e c h n o lo g ic a l

o n ly

is

in

r e la tio n s ,

s u p p ly

is n o t s o

th e

a d a p te d

la b o r

to

p o te n tia l

s u p p ly

la b o r

in

c e r ta in , a t th e

p resen t

an d
a t

le a s t,

w ith

resp ect

to

e x te n d e d

a p p li­

ca n

k in d

o f a to m ic

B u t in

r e a liz e d

n u m b e rs

m o re

c o n te m p o ra ry

c a tio n
b e

c a p a b ilitie s ,
I

o f

w h o le

s e r v ic e ,

m o m e n t
la b o r

ran g e

th e

g e n e r a liz e ,

sta tu s

u p o n

h azard s* a n d

T r a in in g

w id e
fo r

Protective Labor Legislation

v o c a tio n a l

c h o ic e .

b e

a

I s u s p e c t th is w ill d e p e n d

in d iv id u a l’s

c o n d i t i o n s .2

e m p lo y e r

can

d a y s .”

e c o n o m ic

n o lo g y
m e a n s

o p e r a tio n s

D e p a r t m e n t ’s

O n
c o n tr ib u te

b e

o p en

s a tis fa c tio n s w ill b e

d ep en d s

tr a tio n ,

to

in te llig e n c e ,

la b o r -m a n a g e m e n t

a tte n tio n

e m p lo y m e n t
in

th e

w h ic h

a u to m a tic

a p p ea r

o n e

th e “ g o o d o ld

u p o n

P .

F o rce

th u s

N o

w h e th e r jo b

th e

h a n d le

o p p o r tu n itie s

h u m a n

in te r e s ts .

s k ills .

W o r k

o f

to

d a y s ’ tr a in in g .

w o u ld

ran g e

an d

a p p r a is e o c c u p a tio n a l n e e d s

a c tiv itie s

fe w

a tte n ­

sh o rta g e s

T h e

a

o c c u p a tio n a l

e m p lo y e r

tr a in in g .

jo b

T h e re

little

te c h n ic a l

o f

q u a lifie d

o n ly

p u b lic

a n d

s c ie n tific

w ith

O u r

p rocess.
o n

b eco m e

h a s

th e

r e q u ir e m e n ts

d ir e c t

w ith

g iv e n

w h ic h

o f

e ffe c tu a te

c o u n s e lin g

h a v e

it

E u ro p e a n

p r o s p e c tiv e

in itia te d

o c c u p a tio n a l

b u t

so m e

b y

c e n te re d

c o n s c io u s e ffo r ts t o

an d

in

w e

tr a in in g

s itu a tio n ,

M itc h e ll

to

th e

la r g e ly

c a te g o r ie s

th is

as

th e

to

n o w

h ig h e r

a p p r e n tic e s h ip ,

r o le

U n til

a tte n tio n
s c h o o ls

o f

sa m e

en erg y

to

g e n e r a l in d u s tr ia l u se s.

g e n e r a l, o n e w o u ld

a n d

r e q u ir e m e n ts .

e x p e c t, w ith

p r o g r e s s iv e

In ­
im p r o v e m e n ts in r e a l in c o m e s a n d liv in g s ta n d a r d s ,

d iv id u a l

p o te n tia ls

an d

s a tis fa c tio n s ,

u n d er

a n y
th a t

g iv e n

set

o f

te c h n o lo g ic a l

fa c ts,

are

lik e ly

to

w o r k in g

in g ly .
m a x im iz e d

u n d er

su ch

c ir c u m s ta n c e s .

F o r

I

lo g ic a l

u n e m p lo y m e n t
tr a in e d

ca n

b e

m in im iz e d

b y

c a p a b le

o f m e e tin g

r e q u ir e m e n ts

o f a

c h a n g in g

to

to

C u r io s ity

a b o u t

th e

fu tu re

O p p r e s s iv e

d is a p p e a r ,

b e

su re,

n e t

e ffe c t

o f

le a d s

u s

to

o f

p en u ry

te c h n o lo g ic a l

u p o n

th e

o c c u p a tio n a l
th e re

is

n o

stru c tu re

con sen su s

o f

th e

o n

to

d a te ,

d u r in g

su g g ests

A u to m a tio n

v e lo p m e n ts

an d

th e

w h o le

an

p e r io d

b u t

as

in

sta n d a rd s

en h a n cem e n t

p rocesses

fo r

m e c h a n ic a l

u n s k ille d

an d

m a y

o n

to

la b o r .

e m p h a s iz e

n ew

n eed

fo r

h ig h e r

s k ills

fo r

a

so u rce

o f

th e

fie ld

o f

p r a c tic e

g o v e rn m e n t
r is e

as

to

fin a n c e

s itu a tio n s ,

p r o g r a m m in g

s p o n s ib ility

is

th a t

an

th e re

tr a in in g

is

n o

an d

a

th a t

p r o te c tiv e

s m a lle r r o le

Y e t

o u r

in c r e a s in g ly
an d

in

w a y

are

r e q u ir e d .

Y e t

th a t

im p o r ta n t

s p e c ia liz e d

a u to m a tio n

s o c ia l

c u ltu r a l
to

g o ,

in

th e

la b o r

fu tu re

sta n d a rd s

th a t

p e r s p e c tiv e s .

a n d

th e re

T h e re

w ill

as
th e

c e r ta in
a m o u n t

o p e r a tio n s
o f

s k ill

th e

le a s t

a d v a n ta g e d

fr o m

e m p lo y e r

lin e

w ork ers

d e c lin e s ,

S o m e

s till

b e

a

b a c k ­

w ork ers

n eed

ab u ses.

p r o m is e s

fr o m

to

d an gerou s,

r e lie v e

d ir ty ,

m o re

h e a v y ,

a n d
a n d

m o re
b a ck ­

ta k e s
jo b s .

In d u s tr ia l

h y g ie n is ts

fo r e se e

th e

s tu d ie s

b ec o m e

r e q u ir e d
an d

th e
w ith

fa c to r ,

o f

w ork ers

o f

a

la r g e

p e rc e n ta g e

o f

tr a u m a tic

fu lly
fr o m

lift in g ,

h a n d lin g ,

a n d

u n lo a d in g

o f

p ro­
sto ck ,

d u c tio n

is

a lw a y s

p r o te c tio n

in ju r ie s
a u to m a tiz e d

in

r is e

in te llig e n c e

a p p a r e n tly

o p e r a tio n s .

le g is la t io n
th a n

w ill

w h ere

e lim in a tio n
in d ic a te

th e

re­

b r e a k in g
o f th e s k ille d

h a v e

c o n tr o ls .

q u e s tio n

w ork ers

o v er so m e

s e r v ic e s ,

w e

te c h ­

A u to m a tio n
b ro a d

m o d e l

th e m .

o u ts id e

so m e

la b o r

e n tr e p r e n e u r ia l

w ash es
In

th e

G o o d

h ig h e r
lo n g

an d

e m p lo y e r .

o th e r

T h e

th e

th e

b u s in e s s , o f c o u r s e ; a n d

a n d

su g g ests

h a v e

ch an ges
seem s

th e

o f
d e­

p a st.

n o lo g y

o f

r e la x e d

h a s

o f

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

r e la te d

s u b s titu te

s u p e r v is io n

score.

T h is
s k ills .

th e

p r o d u c tiv ity

are

e c o n o m ic m e a n s
in d u s tr ia liz a tio n ,

d e­

h a v e

fu tu re .

th is

ou r
E x p e r ie n c e

n a tu ra l

c o n d itio n s

w ill
p r id e ;

A p p a r e n tly

corresp on d ­

th e

w o n d er

ch an ges

e s ta b lis h m e n ts
b e

la b o r

w ith

as

c o n d itio n s a re g o o d
th e

r is e

b ee n

te c h n o lo g y .
p ressu re

w h a t

h a s

th e
S ta te

jo b

w o u ld

th is

a
te n d e d

la b o r fo r c e

th in k

T e c h n o ­
v e lo p m e n t :

fle x ib ly

c o n d itio n s

b e

a n d

co n ta ct

w ith

fu m e s

an d

d an gerou s

can
m a te r ia ls .

I llu s t r a t iv e is t h e 8 5 -p e r c e n t r e d u c t io n

2

S,ee C. Richard Walmer, Workers' Health in an Era of
Automation, p. 43.
^ Ibid., p. 45.




in

h e r n ia

in s ta lle d

13

cases
in

a

w h ere

F o rd

a u to m a tic

p la n t,

c ite d

b y

m a c h in e r y
W a lm e r .3

w a s

T h e industrial hygienists are n ot altogether com ­
placent. W alm er emphasizes the “ danger o f ca­
tastrophic exposures due to ruptures in the lines
or o f acute exposures where m aintenance w ork is
in v olv ed .” 4 I find also considerable concern for
em otional im pacts on the worker, either because
he m a y fear displacem ent or is su bject to the need
to adapt to new circumstances, or because he is
worried over the responsibility w hich m a y be his
for the operation of costly and com plicated
capital equipment.
B u t the experts leave m e w ith som e apprehen­
sions when th ey detail the risks o f radiation and
the use o f new, dangerous materials connected
with the industrial applications o f atom ic energy.
H ere governm ent labor officials are confronted
w ith new problem s, or variations o f old problem s,
in safety standards and w orkm en’s com pensation.
W e d o n ot k n ow the scope or the im m ediacy o f
large-scale industrial atom ic developm ents. B u t
in the U nited States, we k n ow the traditional
w orkm en’s com pensation systems are ill equipped
to deal with emerging risks and problem s o f ad­
judication and com pensation. T h e second-injury
problem is m ade m ore com plicated; the question
o f causal relationship m ore baffling; and time
lim itations on filing m ore im practicable. S ocalled schedule type o f coverage lim ited to specific
occupational diseases is patently inadequate.
Adequate com pensation m a y be m ore and m ore
costly and never adequate. For, according to
m edical authorities, radiation diseases m a y have
periods o f latency extending up to 30, 40, 50 years.
There m a y be types o f radiation illnesses n o t y e t
known. So little is know n about radiation injury
(and exposure from m an y sources if cum ulative)
that determ ination o f causal connection is even
m ore difficult than in ordinary circumstances.
In the future, labor departm ents will need staff
to aid in cod e drafting in the atom ic energy field,




lU

in training o f radiological safety personnel, and in
preparation o f technical materials for educational
and safety purposes. I t is suggested that it m a y
b e necessary to organize, in cooperation with
governm ental health agencies, a system o f indi­
vidual radiation exposure records covering indus­
trial, m edical, and dental exposure. W ork m en ’s
com pensation will need to be extended to m eet the
new risks and the new problem s o f adm inistration.
Particularized standards will need to be developed
w ith respect to hours o f work, overtim e, perhaps
rotating shifts or sabbaticals, and suitability o f
em ploym ent b y age, for radiation dangers are
aggravated b y con tinuity and length o f exposure
and are m ore serious am ong the you n g than the
old.
Thus, I am sure protective labor legislation is
n ot a passing need in the early stages o f industrial­
ization. B u t it does need reappraisal and adapta­
tion to the needs o f the times if it is to m aintain
its relevancy to the welfare o f workers in a rap id ly
changing society. Our problem s, how ever, are n o t
all in the future. In the U nited States and in
Canada, there are areas w hich have been little
affected b y m od em industrialization. Our w ork­
ing conditions and living conditions still are gen­
erally low , com pared w ith the prom ise o f m odern
technology. W e are at the threshold o f a period
o f great econom ic grow th and change, as indicated
b y the burst o f capital expenditures for expansion
and m odernization o f equipm ent.
I think it im portant to bear in m ind that our
problem s m a y be som ewhat different than in the
past, that old approaches m a y n ot be the m ost
appropriate ones. G overnm ent labor officials
have a personal responsibility to see that lab or
legislation is realistic and its adm inistration effi­
cient for the needs o f w orkers in an industrialized
society.

*Ib id .

Impact of Technological Progress
on Labor and Social Policy
E

d it o r ' s

N

o t e .—

ex c erp ted

The

fr o m

m a te r ia l w h ic h fo llo w s

A u to m a tio n

and

O th er

w as

T ech ­

n o lo g ic a l D e v e lo p m e n ts — L a b o r a n d S o c ia l I m ­
p lic a tio n s,
th e

J fith

fe r e n c e ,

R eport

P a rt

I

O ffic e , 1 9 5 7 ) .
su rvey

(G en eva ,

D ir e c to r -G e n e r a l
Labor

In te r n a tio n a l

o f th e p r o b l e m s

en ergy, and

n o lo g y a p p ea r

to r a i s e

to th e I L O , ”

d isc u ssio n

th e

In te r n a tio n a l

to

C on­
Labor

T h a t r e p o r t, “ a b r ie f p r e lim in a r y

o f som e

tio n , a to m ic

con cern

of

se ssio n ,

in

w h ic h

th e a r e a s

w a s d esig n e d

at

th e

1957

to

d e v e lo p in g

th e

I L O ’s

in

a u to m a ­

o th er c h a n g e s

C o n fe r e n c e

in

tec h ­

o f p rim a ry
to s t im u la t e

th is a r e a .

p o lic ie s

w ith

and

a

v ie w

a c tiv itie s

h e r e i s n o d o u b t that we have entered a new
techn ological era. A u tom ation and atom ic energy,
unfoldin g sim ultaneously, are already causing
drastic changes in the w orld o f industry and labor.
D esp ite substantial differences o f opinion, no one
w ou ld d eny th at th ey p rovide a pow erful lever for
econ om ic grow th. T h e y m ake possible the m ore
rapid developm ent required to keep pace with
population grow th and to raise living standards.

T

The Pace of Progress
T h e k ey to the labor and social im pact o f
autom ation and other technological innovations
is the rate o f speed at w hich th ey are introduced.
A s m a n y have emphasized, if the changes o f the
last 50 years had been com pressed into the space
o f 5 years, there w ould have been econ om ic and
social chaos. I f the changes resulting from auto­
m ation, the use o f atom ic energy, and other
recent innovations were to take place within the
same lim ited period o f 5 years, there w ou ld be
grounds for grave concern.
There have been lon g discussions o f the factors
lim iting the introduction and spread o f autom a­
tion and analogous developm ents. There has
been less discussion o f the forces accelerating the
rate o f [its] introduction. One o f these is the
social dem and fo r higher livin g standards. A n ­
other is the snow balling effect o f technical change:
one thing leads to another, in the same place and

Ju ly 1957



in other places. R elated is the specific force o f
research and developm ent work, the “ fully au to­
m a tic" or “ fully electron ic" or “ fully a to m ic "
solution becom in g the scientific ideal. A further
and m ore specialized fa ctor is intensified industrial
research.
A less general b u t highly im portant fa ctor is
the dwindling labor force o f certain countries in
relation to the trend o f population grow th or the
fact o f labor shortage in relation to m anpow er
requirements for planned econ om ic grow th. In
addition, the v ery size and com plexity o f adm inis­
trative, scientific and technical, and industrial
problem s in the m odern w orld and the rh yth m o f
operations are calling forth new m ethods o f w ork
and produ ction and new sources o f energy.
Finally, autom ation and developm ents grouped
under this head present certain clear-cut ad­
vantages to industry. Som e are financial. O f
these, the m ost im portant is the reduction o f
direct labor costs. Other advantages are tech ­
nical. O f these, the m ost im portant is p rob ab ly
the fact that autom ation makes it possible to
produce better quality good s and to w ork with
constant precision and within narrower specifica­
tions.
M o s t people tend to believe that the new
technologies will spread from one field to another
over a fairly long period; that the weight o f
evidence is in the direction o f gradual evolution
from cou n try to cou n try as well as from one field
o f industry and com m erce to another; and that
this is the m ost reasonable basis on w hich to plan
socially for the absorption o f change.
F ew have challenged these assumptions. N o r
w ould I d o so. Y e t in the interests o f caution, it
m ight be noted that on ly a few years ago autom a­
tion and the developm ent o f a tom ic energy were
b o th com m on ly regarded as practical problem s
for the next decade, n o t for this one. Things
have happened far faster than m ost qualified
observers in b oth fields expected.
T h e accelerating ten dency tow ard increasingly
autom atic m ethods o f produ ction and tow ard the
use o f new sources o f pow er is certain to have a
p rofou nd influence on the pattern and s t r u c t u r e d
industry and on the location o f industrial a ctivity.
T ech n ological advance has generally tended
tow ard concentrating prod u ction in large, highly
capitalized
plants
w ith
com plex
technical
processes.

A g ood m a n y trade unions, as well as small
em ployers, fear that m on op oly will be a con ­
com itan t o f autom ation and th at m an y small
businesses will drop ou t, causing m u ch labor
displacem ent. Leaders o f the A m erican Federa­
tion o f L a b or and the Congress o f Industrial
Organizations have raised this problem and called
fo r stu dy o f its im plications. T h e U nited K in g­
d o m trade unions have urged planning and action
so th at small concerns m a y be able to obtain
a utom atic equipm ent.
On the other hand, a con trary view as to the
im p a ct o f autom ation on the size o f firm is taken
b y other observers. F o r instance, the president
o f the Carnegie In stitution o f W ashington foresees
new opportunities for small business. In his
view , “ if large m anufacturing com panies turn to
autom ation in extrem e form , th ey . . . increase
their ow n rigidity and render it m ore possible for
the small industrial unit to prosper b y reason o f
its inherent flexibility.” 1
On balance, how ever, autom ation seems likely
to lead to a greater concentration o f prod u ction in
large or m iddle-size units. T h e num ber o f workers
em ployed at these plants m ight be sm aller; the
prod u ction m ight be larger.
W ith a tom ic energy and autom ation together,
the fa ctory is no longer tied to a traditional pow er
o r labor supply. Industrial m oves m a y be en­
couraged b y the fa ct that it tends to be m ore
econ om ical and, indeed, in m an y cases necessary,
to install autom ation and atom ic generation in
specially designed new plants than in old ones.
These factors suggest the possibility and probabil­
ity o f industrial decentralization and plant shifts
and the em ergence o f m an y social and com m u nity
problem s arising ou t o f plant abandonm ent.

pational shifts required to adju st to the changes
can b e m ade.
Past experience shows no reason to believe that
technological innovations lead to a decrease in
the global volu m e o f em ploym ent. On the con ­
trary, it suggests that such innovations, while they
m a y cause declines in som e areas o f em ploym ent,
lead in the lon g run to an expansion o f em ploy­
m ent b y creating increases in oth er areas. In
all [industrialized countries] th e m ost significant
characteristic o f the postw ar era has been the
phenom enal grow th o f quite new industries and
service trades and occupations, opening up new
em ploym ent opportunities in m a n y fields.
So far, the fact o f the m atter is this: Postw ar
technological advances have n o t been responsible
for mass displacem ent o f workers in an y cou n try
or industry. F o r one thing, autom ation and
analogous innovations are m aking greatest head­
w a y in industries w ith expanding ou tp u t and
m arkets and in industries where hum an pow er
alone cou ld never perform the operations needed
to produce the goods w e w ant. F o r another,
norm al labor turnover and m ob ility are coping
w ith a go o d part o f the situation. Finally, in the
industrially advanced countries, technological im ­
provem ents have been introduced against a general
postw ar background o f econ om ic recovery, grow th,
and expansion and against less severe business
fluctuations than in the prewar period.
M o st feel that it is im possible to predict the
[im pact o f autom ation] w ith present-day tools
b u t that better m ethods o f analysis and forecast­
ing m ust be foun d. A ll agree that, w hatever the
scale o f the im pact and related prod u ction changes,
the em ploym ent situation needs continuous w atch­
ing and careful analysis and that it is in this area
o f report and inquiry that governm ent services, at
all levels, can m ake a particularly im portan t and
im m ediately practical contribution.
O n the
whole, the trend o f opinion am ong em ployers and
trade unions is optim istic b u t cautious. N ever­
theless, and m ore particularly in trade union cir­
cles, there is an evident fear that things will n ot
go on forever as th ey are; that a saturation point
m a y be reached; that, even w ith decreased hours

The Impact on Employment
W h at is the im pact o f technological im prove­
m ents on em ploym ent? T h e answer depends to a
large extent on h ow fast and h ow generally change
takes place. E ven m ore, perhaps, it depends on
the b u o y a n cy o f the econ om y. So long as im ­
provem ents are introduced against a background
o f high levels o f econ om ic a ctivity and a con ­
tinuing rate o f econ om ic expansion, the m ain­
tenance o f the general level o f em ploym ent is n ot
lik ely to be a serious problem p rovided the occu ­




1 E d it o r ' s N o te .— C ite d in A u to m a tio n an d T e ch n o lo g ica l C h an ge, H ear­
ings before th e S u b co m m itte e o n E c o n o m ic Stabilization o f th e [C ongres­
sional] J o in t C o m m itte e o n th e E c o n o m ic B e p o r t, 84th C o n g ., 1st sess.,
W a sh in g to n , 1055 (p . 615).

16

b y recent technological advances. F o r wom en,
the general ten dency has been tow ard greater
num erical participation in the labor force and
wider em ploym ent opportunities. It m a y be
considered probable that autom ation and other
changes will reinforce this ten dency as well.
B o th handicapped and older workers m a y find
m ore opportunities for useful em ploym ent in the
autom ated factories o f the future, as m ore o f the
physical functions o f p rodu ction are transferred
from hum an beings to machines.
Som e countries anticipate a slow ly grow ing or
static labor force in future decades and, therefore,
lo o k to the higher m an-hour p rod u ctivity o f
autom ation to com pensate for relative labor
shortage in the active age groups. T h e y believe
that this is a m ost im portant factor in the overall
em ploym ent outlook, as well as one affecting the
future com position o f the labor force.
Tech n ological progress holds ou t great savings
in la b o r: let us n ot b e afraid to adm it this. These
savings m a y b e taken in the form o f (1) higher
output, (2) shorter hours, (3) u n em ploym en t; or
a com bination o f the three. T h e problem , to m y
m ind, is to arrive at a satisfactory com bin ation
o f the first tw o and to avoid the third. F o r
some countries, the m ain danger o f un em ploy­
m ent m a y arise n ot from to o rapid b u t from to o
slow progress in autom ation and other tech ­
nological developm ents. A s a result, these cou n ­
tries m a y lose m arkets to m ore efficient c o m ­
petitors. Th is is a real danger in countries
where restrictive business practices are adopted
b y em ployers and restrictive labor practices are
insisted upon b y trade unions. Pressure for
high wages b y trade unions does n ot clog tech ­
nological progress, but, on the contrary, m a y
prom ote it b y d rivin g m anagem ent to install
m ore efficient m ethods and m achines and b y
expanding the dem and for industrial goods and
services. B u t rigid dem arcation lines betw een
changing skills, “ featherbedding,” unrealistic views
on apprenticeship ratios or length— these are
am ong the factors which m a y clog technological
progress. A gain, unwillingness to take risks,
inefficient w ork organization, the absence o f
m anagem ent developm ent policies and training
facilities— these are also factors which b lock
advance. T h e dividing line betw een measures
which are to be regarded as unreasonable reStric-

o f w ork and increased leisure and new and grow ­
ing dem ands, em ploym ent will soon cease to
expan d; that old jo b s will be displaced faster than
n ew jo b s will be created; and that unem ploym ent
on a w ide scale will be the inevitable result. W h a t
is the basis fo r these apprehensions?
In the U nited States, the fear is that em ploy­
m ent opportunities are n ot keeping pace with
rising m an-hour p rod u ctivity. Th e same appre­
hensions are evident in Australia, B elgium , Canada,
France, the Federal R epu b lic o f G erm any, and
the U nited K in gd om . It seems to be the fear
o f creeping unem ploym ent, developing sim ulta­
neously w ith rising produ ction and p rod u ctivity
and spreading from one industry branch to
another, that is at the root o f m isgivings about
the future. T h e on ly w a y in w hich [these appre­
hensions] can be countered is b y concentrating
on the facts, b y giving sustained attention to the
changing em ploym ent situation, and b y careful
planning n ot on ly to prom ote full em ploym ent
and econom ic grow th bu t also to foster the social
policies which must underlie and accom pa n y
such growth.
I t is recognized that large-scale shifts o f workers
from one industry, occupation, or undertaking to
another are an inevitable consequence o f tech ­
nological change and that the necessary adjustm ents
can be m ade sm ooth ly and easily on ly in conditions
o f full em ploym ent. In general, the shifts under
w a y seem to continue and rein force trends already
evident— a general ten dency aw ay from agri­
culture and from certain m anufacturing industries
and tow ard new or developing m anufacturing
and service industries and occupations. I w ould
add, how ever, that according to m an y observers,
the short-run im pact o f autom ation and analogous
developm ents m a y b e greater on w hite-collar
em ploym ent than on m anufacturing em ploym ent.
Outside o f certain m anufacturing industries, the
greatest potential for autom ation lies in office w ork
and it is already being introduced rapidly in
activities in w hich data-processing plays a pre­
dom inant part.
Finally, so far as the com position o f the labor
force is concerned, the tendency is for you n g
workers to enter em ploym ent later and for older
workers to retire from w ork earlier, n ow that o ld age pension schemes are com m on. In general,
it is expected that these trends will be reinforced




17

to strengthen guidance and counseling facilities is
particularly necessary, b o th as a means o f p rov id ­
ing em ploym ent inform ation in terms o f an indi­
vidual w orker's needs and as a means o f givin g
him the personal help and psych ological encourage­
m ent w hich m a y well b e necessary. M o s t em ­
p loym ent services are particularly w eak in this
area and m ost com m u nity counseling facilities
are inadequate.
A b o v e all, perhaps, there is the im portan t ques­
tion o f incom e m aintenance during any period o f
unem ploym ent. In m an y countries, u n em ploy­
m ent insurance n ow provides a first net o f assist­
ance for the m a jority o f workers. B u t h ow far
are benefits adequate in am ount o r in duration?
On w hat conditions are th ey granted? H o w great
a sacrifice is im posed on a w orker w ith continuing
financial obligations? E ven w ith the addition o f
dismissal bonuses and supplem entary un em ploy­
m ent benefits o f various kinds, is n o t the w orker
asked to shoulder to o h eavy a part o f the burden
o f technological readjustm ent? These are the
questions the workers are asking.
There is a clear need to keep the w hole problem
o f u nem ploym ent under review , n o t m erely the
services providin g financial assistance in the event
o f it. M o s t countries have m achinery for review ­
ing the general level o f em ploym ent. F ew have
system atic m ethods for analyzing the con ten t o f
the unem ployed population, for studying the rem e­
dies fo r unem ploym ent. Y e t different kinds o f
u n em ploym ent require different kinds o f action .

tions on technological progress and those which
are to be regarded as affording reasonable safe­
guards for the interests o f em ployers and workers
affected b y technological progress is n ot easy to
draw. T h e question o f where and h ow this line
is to b e drawn is one which has international as
well 'as national im plications.

Dismissal and Reemployment
T h e m ost serious problem s naturally arise for
workers whose em ploym ent is term inated as a
result o f technological changes. T h eir future pros­
pects o f reem ploym ent depend prim arily on the
bu oy a n cy o f the em ploym ent situation.
M u ch depends on the w a y dismissals are handled
b y m anagem ent. A dvan ce n otice— as m u ch as
possible— is one im portan t factor. Such n otice
assures fair treatm ent to all workers, allows the
worker to prepare for the econ om ic adjustm ent he
will have to make. W hile it is com m on to find
provision for advance n otice in m od em collective
agreements, the period o f n otice is still very short
indeed— frequently somewhere betw een a bou t 2
days and 2 weeks— far too short to enable any
worker to do m uch advance planning abou t his
future.2
A second element o f im portance is the provision
o f full inform ation as to the reasons w h y the dis­
missals are u navoidable; the m aintenance and
application o f rules— agreed w ith the w orkers'
representatives— to govern the order and condi­
tions o f dismissal are essential to prom ote under­
standing and to ensure fair treatm ent am ong the
workers affected.3 In general, seniority is the
main determ inant o f the order o f dismissal, and
this seems to w ork ou t in as equitable a m anner as
any other rule that could be devised. So far as
the conditions o f dismissal are concerned, the m ost
im portant factor is financial. W h at will the
w orker have to live on ? I t is m y view that em­
ployers and all others concerned w ith the problem
w ould d o well to give serious consideration to this
question [of dismissal com pensation].
A final im portant element is providin g help in
m aking the contacts necessary to find other work.
Som etim es direct contacts betw een plant personnel
departm ents have had excellent results. T h e em­
p loym ent service, too, can help. M oreover, dur­
ing a period o f rapid technological advance, action




Problems of Labor Mobility
T h e possibility o f lab or displacem ent, com bin ed
w ith the prediction that autom ation, a tom ic en­
ergy, and other technological changes are lik ely
to prom ote flexibility in industrial location and to
m ake fo r rather far-reaching changes in the exist­
ing geographical pattern o f em ploym ent, has fo ­
cused attention on problem s con n ected w ith the
m ob ility o f labor. I t seems generally agreed that
in the long run the em ploym ent m arket will have
to display a higher degree o f geographical m obility.
* E d it o r ' s N o t e .— F o r a descrip tion o f such agreem ent p rovision s in th e
U n ite d States, see L a y o ff, R e ca ll, an d W ork -S h arin g P rocedu res, M o n t h ly
L a b o r R e v ie w , Jan uary 1957 (p p . 1-7).
* E d it o r ' s N o t e .— F or a d escrip tion o f dism issal p a y pro visio n s in 'm a jo r
con tracts in th e U n ite d States, see D ism issal P a y P rovision s in M a jo r B a r­
gain in g A greem ents, M o n t h ly L a b o r R e v ie w .June 1957 (p p . 707-713).

18

T his is a p oin t emphasized b y m an y E uropean
studies. B u t it is also agreed th at there are con ­
siderable lim itations on the m ob ility o f workers
even in C anada and the U nited States.
A g ood m an y recent studies have fou n d that in
practice workers are n ot so m obile as is com m on ly
b elieved : that w hat m ob ility there is, is achieved
on ly at a price o f considerable sacrifice exacted
from the w orker and his fam ily. Thus, it is
b ecom in g m ore w idely accepted that the en­
couragem ent o f labor m obility, so far as it is
needed b y events, is a nationw ide responsibility;
that the workers cannot be expected to bear all
the risks and all the costs o f econ om ic changes
w hich destroy their jo b s ; and that b roa d ly based
cooperative action has to be taken b y governm ent,
industry, and labor, first to confine the need for
m ob ility to a m inim um b y proper stu dy and
planning o f industrial location and o f the introduc­
tion o f technological im provem ents, and second
to share equitably the risks and costs o f the
m ob ility [which] will [still] be required.
T h e trade unions attach a great deal o f im ­
portan ce to the developm ent o f a concrete p ro­
gram o f action to deal w ith these problem s.
Som e com panies have helped to give practical
effect to com panyw ide transfer plans b y arrange­
m ents [designed] to help the w orker m ove to
openings in another plant in the same com pa n y
b u t in a different locality. G overnm ent services
h ave an im portant role to p la y in facilitating
interarea em ploym ent readjustm ents and in p ro­
m oting the kind o f labor m ob ility that is really
necessary and does n ot im pose an un du ly h eavy
burden on the workers affected. T h e em p loy­
m ent service is the m ost directly affected, supply­
ing em ploym ent inform ation and advice and




often financial assistance. M a n y other services
are also directly concerned, e. g., those responsible
for the placing o f governm ent contracts affecting
local em ploym ent opportunities.
There are still further problem s w hich need
attention, problem s w hich are perhaps the m ost
difficult o f solution. These are the hum an
problem s o f lab or m o b ility : workers too old to
envisage a m ove, single w om en reluctant to face
life in a new com m unity, m en and w om en boun d
b y strong ties to the com m u nity in w hich th ey
were born, discouraged workers w ho fear that if
they did m ove th ey w ould n ot find w ork, workers
m oved around so m uch in wartim e that th ey
w ant a settled life, and so forth.
G iven the difficulties o f transferring people to
new areas, cannot m ore be done to take new jo b
openings to the places where people are? T o
w hat extent and in w hat circum stances is this
sound p o licy? T h e need is to look at the problem s
anew and in the fresh terms o f the technological
changes now occurring.
This is really the crux o f the m atter: we need a
p ositive approach to all o f the em ploym ent
problem s accom pan yin g or likely to accom pan y
the technological developm ents w hich are chang­
ing the industrial structure. T h e negative ap­
proach represented b y the paym ent o f u nem ploy­
m ent benefits, while w h olly necessary, is n ot
enough. T h e im portant results must, as always,
be accom plished through a broad and positive
approach to changing em ploym ent op p ortu n ity ;
and such an approach depends on the cooperation,
good will, and practical action o f all concerned,
directed tow ard bringing about the [effective and
necessary] changes in em ploym ent policies and
institutions.

1 9

An Inquiry into
the Effects of
Automation
E dgar W

e in b e r g *

h e m ost intensive stu dy since the 1930's o f the
effects o f technological change was con du cted
last O ctober, when 26 leaders in various fields
testified at congressional hearings on autom ation.1
T h e hearings were aim ed at developing infor­
m ation on the nature and im plications o f auto­
m ation, through studies o f selected industries.
M a jo r areas o f inquiry included the extent o f
potential em ploym ent displacem ent, the need for
training and fo r retraining displaced workers, and
the distribution o f anticipated gains in p ro­
d u ctivity.
These and other related questions
were discussed b y qualified persons in six m a jor
fields selected as illustrative o f problem s w hich
m a y b e faced in the trend tow ard autom ation—
m etalw orking, data processing, and the chem icals,
electronics, railroad, and com m unication indus­
tries. T h e relation o f the technological changes
to the N ation 's progress as a w hole was review ed
b y scientists and econom ists.
Sum m arizing its findings, the subcom m ittee
w hich con du cted the hearings pointed up tw o
conclusions from the evidence: first, that “ all
elements in the A m erican econ om y accept and
w elcom e progress, change, and increasing pro­
d u c tiv it y "; and second, that although “ it is
im portant to n ote that . . . on ly a relatively
small . . . fraction o f the total labor force will
be directly in volved . . . no one dare overlook
or d en y the fa ct that m any individuals will suffer
personal, m ental, and physical hardships as the
adjustm ents go fo r w a r d ."2 T h e subcom m ittee
foun d that “ b oth organized labor and m anagem ent
are apparently aware o f and intent upon seeing

T

J a n u a r y 1956



that the hum an elements are n o t disregarded."
C oncern fo r the workers affected also underlay
the su bcom m ittee's “ best and b y far the m ost
im portant single recom m en d ation "— that “ the
private and public sectors o f the N ation do every­
thing possible to assure the m aintenance o f a good ,
healthy, dynam ic, and prospering econ om y, so
that those w ho lose out at one place as a conse­
quence o f progressive tech n ology will have no
difficulty in finding a dem and fo r their
vices
elsewhere in the e co n o m y ."
Th is article sets forth som e o f the highlights o f
the article hearings.
R epresentative statem ents
b y various witnesses have been grouped around
six topics relating to autom ation: the definition o f
autom ation ; its relation to past developm en ts;
trends in k ey industries; factors affecting the
general o u tlook ; som e im plications; and proposed
policies.

Definition of Automation
F rom a review o f the attem pts b y witnesses to
define autom ation, it is apparent that the term
“ au tom ation ," like “ mass p ro d u ctio n " or “ m ech­
a n ization ," encompasses a com plex o f innovations
and that the definitions tend to v a ry w ith the
experience o f each speaker.
R alph J. Cordiner, president o f the General
E lectric C o., expressing the engineer's view point,
defined autom ation as “ ‘continuous autom atic
p rod u ction ,' largely in the sense o f linking
together o f already highly m echanized individual
operations. A u tom ation is a w a y o f w ork based
on the con cept o f produ ction as a continuous flow ,
rather than processing b y interm ittent batches o f
w o rk ."
L ook in g at current developm ents in perspective,
D r. Vannevar Bush, president o f the C arnegie
Institution o f W ashington, defined autom ation
•Of th e B u rea u’s D iv is io n o f P r o d u c t iv ity a n d T e ch n o lo g ica l D e v e lo p ­
m ents.
A u to m a tio n a n d T ech n ological C h ange. H earings Before the S u b com ­
m ittee o n E c o n o m ic Stabilization o f the C on gressional J oin t C o m m itte e o n
the E c o n o m ic R e p o rt (84th C o n g ., 1st sess.), pursuan t to sec. 5(a) o f P u b lic
L a w 304, 79th C o n g., W a sh in gton , 1955.
Im pressed w ith the “ im p ortan ce o f con tin u a lly increasing industrial p r o ­
d u c t iv it y ,” the Congressional Joint C o m m itte e early in 1955 h a d directed
its s u bcom m ittee (R epresen tative W rig h t P a tm a n o f Texas, chairm an) “ to
s tu d y th e im p a ct o f au tom ation o n lon g-ru n e m p lo y m e n t an d in vestm en t
levels.” T e s tim o n y w as g iven du rin g 9 d ays in O cto b e r b y 14 industrialists,
6 labor leaders, 3 G o vern m en t officials, an d 3 academ ic leaders.
* A u to m a tio n an d T e ch n ological C h ange, R e p o rt o f the S u b com m ittee o n
E c o n o m ic S tabilization to the Joint C o m m itte e o n th e E c o n o m ic R e p o rt,
Congress o f the U n ite d States, W ash in gton , 1955.

1

20

M . A . H ollengreen, president o f the N ational
M ach in e T o o l Builders’ A ssociation. A s a g o o d
example, he cited the progressive autom atization
o f m etal cuttin g lathes from single to m ultiple
spindle tools and thence to autom atic chucking
m achines on which, “ b y the twenties, it was
possible to perform 10 to 15 operations . . .
w ithout m ovin g the w ork b y h an d .” E lectric and
autom atic controls and, m ore recently, autom atic
gaging devices enabling the m achine to correct its
ow n errors have been added.
R alph E . Cross, executive vice president o f the
Cross C o., described the “ sectionized transferm a tic,” one o f the m ost recent developm ents in
machine tool autom ation. First p u t into operation
in m id-1954, this is a line o f m achine tools, 350
feet long, w hich perform s 555 m achining operations
on engine cylinder b lo ck castings. I t is divided
into five sections to m inim ize “ the tim e lost fo r
changing tools and m inor repairs. A n y one o f the
sections can be stopped while the other sections
continue to produce at their norm al rate.”
T h e progress o f autom atic equipm ent in the
telephone industry was described b y C lifton W .
Phalen, president o f the M ichigan B ell Telephone
C o. First introduced in 1920, dial-operated tele­
phones tod a y account for abou t 85 percent o f the
total. “ Operators are n ow dialing directly nearly
60 percent o f long-distance calls. Custom ers n ow
dial directly abou t a quarter o f all calls outside
local areas.”
A u tom atic message accounting
(A M A ), currently being introduced, “ em ploys
punched tapes which register the calling telephone,
the called telephone, the tim e connection was
established, and the time connection ended. A
m achine takes the inform ation off the tape and
assembles it for each custom er.”
A num ber o f innovations leading to m ore auto­
m atic handling o f freight cars in classification yards
were described b y S. R . H ursh, chief engineer o f
the Pennsylvania R ailroad. A new $34-m illion
terminal facility, at C on w ay, Pa. (on the line b e ­
tween Pittsburgh, D etroit, and C h icago), will han­
dle the trem endous traffic load through a system o f
autom atic retarder speed contorts, autom atic
switching, and similar devices.

broadly as covering the “ relegation to a m achine o f
the function o f perform ing operations previously
perform ed m anually.” H e added that “ M an
now has the dream o f m aking m achines w hich are
like himself, and w hich can hence becom e his
slaves. A n d he has progressed a long distance
tow ard this ob jective, and will progress further.”
Secretary o f L a bor James P. M itchell suggested
that, su bjectively, autom ation produces a fear o f
change. In a technical sense, he said, “ the w ord
represents technological change, w hich surely is
nothing new .”

Relation to Past Developments
In relating autom ation to past changes, w it­
nesses differed over the n ov elty o f current de­
velopm ents. D r. C ledo B runetti, director o f
engineering research and developm ent o f General
M ills, In c., said: “ A u tom ation, a new ly coined
w ord to describe an old, old process . . . cannot
be said to have begun on any certain date, nor can
it be said that it will end at any definite time.
A u tom ation is in truth bu t a phase o f our con ­
tinuing technological advan ce.”
D r. E dw in G. N ourse, form er chairman o f the
C ouncil o f E con om ic Advisers, disagreed w ith this
conception. “ [Autom ation] has its roots in m echa­
nization, to be sure, bu t som ething new was added
when electronic devices m ade possible the w ide­
spread application o f the feedback principle. T h e
three earlier phases o f industrialism— m echaniza­
tion, continuous process, and rationalization— all
continue, bu t have been given a new dim ension.”
Secretary M itchell said: “ I t represents a m o v e ­
m ent certainly as old as the industrial revolution
and p rob ab ly older. . . . Its latest m anifesta­
tion, com ing as it has in a favorable setting o f
grow th and prosperity, has appeared with relative
swiftness and in som e w ays spectacularly. I t has
com e with such devices as com plex autom atic
systems, electronic controls and regulators, feed­
back systems, transfer machines, conveyors, and
the like.”

Trends in Key Industries
A utom ation in m etalw orking is m erely a general
term which involves the steady developm ent o f
the accu racy and power, speed and p rod u ctivity
o f m achine tools over the years, according to




T h e progress o f electronic data-processing m a­
chines in scientific and clerical w ork was described
b y tw o officials from G overnm ent agencies which
have done pioneering w ork in these fields. R obert

21

W . Burgess, d irector o f the Bureau o f the Census,
indicated that the U nivac, delivered in 1951, has
been used effectively on the m on th ly population
and business surveys since 1953. C ost o f the
current population survey has been cu t in half
and w ork that cou ld n ot have previously been done
because o f high cost (e. g., adjusting tim e series
fo r seasonal variations) is n ow practicable. D r.
A . V . A stin, director, N ational Bureau o f Stand­
ards, described F O S D IC (film optical sensing
d evice for input to com puters), an autom atic
m achine recently developed b y that B ureau for
translating data on the record sheets o f census
enumerators into a form to be fed directly into
an electronic com puter.
D iscussing the use o f electronic com puters at
General E lectric C o., M r. C ordiner revealed their
extensive use in engineering and p rod u ct develop­
m ent and, m ore recently, in payroll accounting,
m aterial control, and general and cost accounting.
H e also m entioned the com p a n y’s plans for their
application in the near future to billing, inventory
and sales reports, b u d get preparation, and factory
scheduling.
“ I t is our feeling,” M r. Cordiner
stated, “ that the m edium -sized com puters will
have the greatest usefulness for business in the
im m ediate future.”
N um erous plants in the chem ical and petroleum
refining industries already have introduced a
high degree o f continuous or autom atic operation,
according to Professor Th om as J. W alsh, o f the
Case Institute of T ech n ology. Gases, fluids, and
pow dered solids are handled and processed in
pipes or ducts w ith devices to con trol the flow and
measure changes during the operation. O tto Pragan, research director o f the A F L International
Chem ical W orkers U nion, poin ted ou t that one
indicator o f the relatively high degree o f m echani­
zation is the total capital investm ent per p rod u c­
t i o n w orker: $26,665 in the chem ical industry
com pared w ith $12,933 for all m anufacturing.
In electronic-goods m anufacturing, several de­
velopm ents poin t tow ard greater autom ation or
m echanization. D r. B runetti described A u to-fa b,
a m achine for assembling electronic com ponents
on printed circuit boards now being used in largescale p rodu ction o f com puters. D o n G . M itchell,
chairman and president of Sylvania E lectric P rod­
ucts, In c., announced that his com pa n y is devel­
op in g new machines for autom atically applying




hundreds o f thousands o f separate phosphorous
dots on the face o f a color television tube, w ith a
high degree o f precision.

Factors Affecting the Outlook
A lth ou gh there was general agreement concern­
ing the trend tow ard greater autom ation, opinion
varied concerning the rate o f introduction o f
new devices. Som e persons foresaw rapid change
because o f greater expenditures fo r industrial
research.
“ A s a result,” W alter P. R euther,
then president o f the Congress o f Industrial
Organizations, stated, “ the flow o f w hat m a y be
considered routine technological innovations—
new produ ction m ethods, new materials, and
m achines applicable on ly to specific processes o r
industries, and im provem ents in w ork flow — has
been greatly accelerated.”
In railroading, W . P. K en n edy, president o f the
B rotherhood o f R ailroad Trainm en, foresaw a stepup in autom atizing freight yards because o f large
expected savings, excellent financial position o f
the railroads, and new electronic developm ents for
the autom atic handling and dispatching o f freight
cars. “ R ailroad capital spending program s . . .
are expected to total $20 billion, or double the
recent annual rate o f investm ent, in the next
decade.”
T h e dem and for higher living standards and the
anticipated slower rate o f grow th o f the labor
force in relation to population change will be
m a jor factors accelerating m echanization, a ccord ­
ing to D o n G . M itchell. A shortage o f clerical labor
was cited b y H ow ard Coughlin, president o f the
Office E m p loyes, International U nion, as a signifi­
cant force in greater autom ation o f office w ork.
T h e size and com plexity o f scientific and
business problem s, D r. A stin poin ted out, require
greater use o f new m ethods o f data processing.
“ A dvan ces [in science and technology] have n ow
reached a stage where further progress w ould be
im practicable or uneconom ical w ithout th em .”
Som e com plex factors that m ust be considered
when adopting autom ation, were also discussed.
D . J. D avis, vice president o f the F ord M o to r C o.,
in charge o f m anufacturing, poin ted ou t that
autom atic m achinery m ust be highly flexible, so
that it can be m odified w ithout excessive cost to
accom m odate expected changes in design o f parts.
O nly lim ited application o f autom ation is antici-

22

pated in F ord 's assembly plants because o f the
scattered location o f such operations, and con ­
tinual changes in b o d y structure and trim design.
M r. Cordiner emphasized three k ey factors
governing the pace o f technological advance: T h e
difficulty o f designing w orkable autom ation; the
financial risks; and the need for m anagem ent to
assure wider m arkets to ju stify the investm ent.
H ence, “ technological change in industry is a
gradual p rocess."
Professor W alter S. Buckingham , Jr., econom ist
o f the Georgia Institute o f T ech n ology, pointed
ou t that no significant application o f autom ation
seems likely in some im portant industries, such as
agriculture, mining, construction, retailing, and
professional fields, “ because o f the highly indi­
vidualistic nature o f the product, the need for
personal services, the advantages o f small-scale
units, or vast space requirem ents."

to expand, along with the rapid im provem ents in
produ ctive efficien cy."
T h e prospects o f displacem ent o f telephone and
railroad workers were set forth in some detail.
Joseph A . Beirne, president o f the C IO C om ­
m unications W orkers o f A m erica, predicted: “ I f
telephone business continues to expand o n ly at the
m odest 1954 rate, that is, annual increases o f 4.6
percent in telephones and 3.8 percent in telephone
calls, we estim ate conservatively that b y 1965
there will be anywhere from 100,000 to 115,000
fewer people em ployed b y the B ell S ystem ."
M r. K en n edy cited specific instances o f localized
displacem ent o f railroad workers as a result o f
m odernization o f classification yards. “ A t H am ­
let, N . C ., . . . the num ber o f yardm en has been
cu t b y 35 percent. . . . A t the U nion R ailroad
C o., Pittsburgh, approxim ately 250 yard em­
ployees have already been displaced . . .
C on ­
struction o f tw o new yards . . .
at M em phis,
Tenn., and Tulsa, Okla., b oth o f which w ill go into
service early in 1956, will in the opinion o f the local
brotherhood representative affect em ploym ent in
the tw o terminals at least 25 p ercen t."
T h e general expansive im plications o f autom a­
tion for em ploym ent were described b y several
witnesses. Secretary M itchell said, “ I repeat,
there is n o reason to believe that this new phase
o f technology will result in overwhelm ing problem s
o f readjustm ent. Science and invention are con ­
stantly opening up new areas o f industrial expan­
sion. W hile older and declining industries m ay
show reducing opportunity, new and vibrant in­
dustries are pushing out our h orizon s." M r.
C ordiner indicated four factors at work to create
new and increased em ploym ent opportunities. T h e
“ chain rea ction " o f econom ic grow th (due to lower
prices increasing the volum e o f business); the ex­
panding service industries and increased tim e for
educational and recreational activities; expansion
o f industries for designing, selling, building, and
installing new m achinery; and the grow th o f entire
new industries as a result o f autom ation.
“ On the h orizon ," M r. Cordiner saw “ an atom ic
energy industry, a transistor, and sem iconductor
industry, an industry for the production o f the
supermetals like titanium and zirconium , and even
m anm ade diam onds. . . . Based on our experi­
ence w ith these [computing] m achines . . . it m a y
well be that the com puter-derived technologies

Other lim itations cited b y D r. Buckingham , as
“ m ore tem porary, b u t . . . nevertheless signifi­
can t at the present tim e," include: “ (1) the high
initial cost o f the equipm ent w hich for the time
being at least prevents all b u t the larger firms
from using it; (2) the shortage o f h igh ly trained
operators and analyzers; and (3) the tim e required
to analyze the problem s, reduce them to equations,
program the com puters, and translate the answers
into useful d a ta ."

Implications of Automation
There were m ajor differences o f opinion as to
the econom ic and social effects o f autom ation.
View points regarding its im pact on em ploym ent
were o f tw o general types: one emphasizing the
im m ediate possibilities o f displacement, and the
other, stressing autom ation's expansive effects on
em ploym ent.
Expressing the view point o f the form er group,
M r. R euther stated: “ A utom ation, in addition to
the m ore conventional im provem ents in machines
and w ork flow, will be increasing the rate o f the
national econ om y's rising m an-hour ou tput still
further. Instead o f average annual p rod u ctivity
increases o f som e 3 to 4 percent, the annual rate
o f rising m an-hour ou tput in the national econ om y
m ay reach 5 to 6 percent or m ore . . . [a rate]
capable o f displacing about 3% million or m ore
em ployees each year, if the national econ om y fails




23

will be a m a jor source o f new em ploym ent in the
1960's and 1970's.”

operator into the supervisor o f an autom atically
controlled operating system .”
These occupational shifts have already occurred
in a num ber o f industries. A t F ord 's Cleveland
and D earborn engine plants, according to M r.
D avis, fewer em ployees engaged directly in p ro­
duction were em ployed in 1954 than in 1950, but
there was a substantial increase in the num ber o f
skilled maintenance personnel. In the telephone
industry, M r. Beirne pointed out, the num ber o f
professional sales, business office, clerical, and
maintenance workers had increased between 1945
and 1953 considerably faster than the num ber o f
operating em ployees.
A similar story was related b y M r. Pragan for
the chem ical industry: “ In 1954, there were 2
production workers to each nonproduction worker,
while in 1947 the ratio was as high as three-to-one.
. . . T h e predom inance o f autom atic equipm ent
. . . makes m aintenance skills, such as m achin­
ists, pipefitters, electricians, instrumentmen, etc.,
particularly im portan t.”
“ Prelim inary studies m ade b y the D epartm ent
o f L a b o r,” Secretary M itchell said, “ indicate that
we have a shortage o f skilled workers in this
cou n try today. A s industry grows m ore com plex,
this shortage is boun d to increase unless adequate
training program s are set up. W e m ust m ake sure
that we do n ot waste our m anpower, our m ost
valuable resource . . . ”
A u tom ation 's im pact on the position o f small
business was also assessed. M r. R euther b elieved :
“ F or the m ost part it is the large com panies that
will be in the best financial position to scrap old
equipm ent and old plants, and replace them with
new autom ated m achines . . . thus increasing
still m ore the m argin o f efficiency w hich th ey en joy
over their smaller com petitors.”
D r. Bush, however, saw new opportunities for
small units to prosper: “ I f large m anufacturing
com panies turn to autom ation in extreme form
. . . th ey also increase their own rigidity and
render it m ore possible for the small industrial
unit to prosper b y reason o f its inherent flexibil­
ity . . . they can get close to their custom ers
and m eet their needs intelligently and th ey can
change rapidly w ith the times and the trends.”
Finally, the im plications o f autom ation fo r the
stability o f the econ om y were weighed. M r.

M arshall G . M u n ce, a director o f the N ational
A ssociation o f M anufacturers, said that a certain
am ount o f “ reallocation o f jo b opportunities” will
be inevitable, b u t that the rate o f voluntary
quitting b y workers in Am erican industry is suf­
ficiently high— 2 percent per m onth in m anufac­
turing— to avoid any widespread displacem ent o f
individuals. “ B y n ot replacing these people as
rapidly as th ey depart, reallocation occurs b y
attrition alone,” he said.
T h e rapid grow th o f em ploym ent in the elec­
tronic, telephone, and chem ical industries was
cited as illustrative o f the expansive effect o f
autom ation. “ Television to d a y ,” according to D r.
B runetti, “ w ould n ot be a mass m arket were it n ot
for use o f autom atic m achinery in kinescope . . .
and com pon en t tube m anufacturing.”
W hile witnesses differed on the num ber o f job s
that w ould be affected, there was general agree­
m ent on the nature o f changes in skills and o ccu ­
pational requirements. Secretary M itchell, look ­
ing at the historical record, saw a reduction in
unskilled workers, semiskilled workers m ovin g into
skilled areas, and skilled workers approaching the
status o f technicians. “ W e can expect these
trends to continue . . . Im provem ents in in­
dustrial techn ology will reduce the num ber o f
boring, routine, and repetitious jobs. A n d I
believe w e can expect that this will m ove all
workers to a higher level o f attainm ent and self­
developm ent. W e can expect to see increased
dem and for workers with a high sense o f responsi­
b ility and versatility, for m athem aticians, engi­
neers, and technicians o f all sorts, and for scientists
and researchers. T h e w orker o f the future will
require better basic education and better training
than he gets n ow .”
James B . C arey, president o f the C IO In ter­
national U nion o f E lectrical W orkers, believed
that the extent o f the occupational changes that
m a y result from autom ation will be com parable
to that o f the first industrial revolution which
replaced the handicraft worker with the m achine
tender or m achine operator. “ A utom ation . . .
tends to replace the human regulation and control
o f m achines and thereby changes the m achine




2h

C ordiner took a generally optim istic view o f the
consequences o f greater m echanization, saying:
“ W ith high investm ents in m achinery, industry
has one m ore incentive to keep those m achines
running as steadily as possible. T his provides a
great stimulus fo r better planning, m ore profes­
sional m arketing, and all the other techniques for
m aintaining steady dem and and em ploym en t.”
D r. N ourse, on the other hand, was concerned
about the developm ent o f new sources o f in­
stability, particularly fo r the im m ediate future.
“ I strongly suspect that w e h ave already built up
at m an y spots a p rod u ctive ca p acity in excess o f
the absorptive cap acity o f the forth com in g
m arket under city and cou n try incom e patterns
that have been provided, and em ploym ent patterns
that will result from this autom ated opera­
tion. . . . w e have n ot y e t dem onstrated our
ability to adjust the actual m arket o f 1956-57
. . . to the p rod u ctivity of the produ ction lines
w e have already m odernized.”
Secretary M itchell, in releasing the figures on
postw ar trends in m anufacturing prod u ctivity,
pointed ou t that, “ the average postw ar gain in
p rod u ctivity does n ot appear to be extraordinarily
high. O ur current estimates show an average
annual increase from 1947 to 1953, ranging from
3.1 percent b y one measure, to 3.6 percent b y
another.”

Proposed Policies
Perhaps one o f the m ost n otew orth y features o f
the policies proposed b y witnesses to m eet social
problem s raised b y increased m echanization was
the general acceptance o f the desirability o f the
technological changes themselves. N o one p ro­
posed legislation to regulate directly the intro­
duction o f new m achinery. M a n y witnesses,
how ever, agreed on the need for special measures,
whether p ublic or private, to cope w ith the labor
and other econ om ic problem s that m a y be created.
D r. N ourse sum m ed up his point o f view : “ . . .
the econom ic problem s posed b y this technological
advance can be solved on ly b y a com bination o f
com petitive pressure, business statesmanship, and
constructive public p olicy . . . rather than with
the idea that the problem s will take care o f them ­
selves or be disposed o f autom atically b y the
invisible hand o f free enterprise.” M r. M unee




cautioned: “ A utom ation clearly will be a blessing'
to the N ation if it is allowed to grow b y natural
econom ic selection and if it is n ot distorted b y un­
wise and unnecessary efforts to thwart its effects.”
Considerable attention was directed to measures
that m ight b e taken b y com panies and unions.
M r. C ordiner declared: “ G o o d planning for auto­
m ation includes planning fo r the all-im portant
human problem s, as well as m echanical and
financial problem s.” R epresentatives o f the G en­
eral E lectric C o. and other electronic goods co m ­
panies indicated that th ey plan changes so that
norm al attrition absorbs shifts in em ploym ent.
General E lectric provides a w ide range o f training
on -the-job, through training schools, and special
technical courses. General M ills has w orked ou t
a retraining program for its em ployees on new
jobs, in cooperation w ith local schools and unions.
M r. Phalen set forth the B ell System 's plans for
m inim izing the problem s o f individual em ployees
displaced b y dial conversions: setting the date o f
change 3 years in advan ce; inform ing the em ­
ployees; during the preconversion period, filling
vacancies w ith tem porary em ployees on ly, and
postponing retirem ents; and retraining and trans­
ferring displaced operators to other jo b s or
com m unities. “ In m ost cases, as a result o f these
measures, few, if any, regular em ployees m ust be
laid o ff.”
Secretary M itchell cited studies b y the Bureau
o f L a bor Statistics o f tw o com p a n ies8 in w hich,
through advanced planning, new autom atic m a­
chinery was installed w ith a m inim um o f disturb­
ance in industrial relations. “ Personnel planning
is as essential to m odern industry as are the new
m achines.” H e also described som e o f the D e ­
partm ent o f L a bor's program s that touch on the
effects o f autom ation : case studies o f plants;
surveys o f com m unity readjustm ent to reduced
em ploym ent opportunities; a program to expand
the skills o f the labor force; and a stu dy o f the
problem s o f older workers. O f direct im portance
are the increasing activities in the States to im ­
p rove the effectiveness o f the public em ploym ent
offices and their unem ploym ent com pensation
program s.
A djustm ents at the plant and com pan y levels
to the com ing o f autom ation also involve certain
* See p. 79.

collective bargaining issues.
U nion spokesmen
voiced la b o r s traditional dem ands for a share in
the N ation ’s increasing p rod u ctivity in the form
o f higher wages, fringe benefits, and shorter hours.
A 4-day, 32-hour workw eek was a dvocated b y
M r. R euther, as “ an im portant step towards
m inim izing potential social dislocations.” M r.
Beirne poin ted ou t that the need for shorter hours
for telephone operators has been intensified be­
cause “ equipm ent th ey handle requires m ore
numerous simultaneous operations resulting in
increased nervous tension.”
Im p roved transfer and layoff procedures in
collective agreements are also sought. M r. Beirne
revealed that the C om m unications W orkers union
is seeking provision for interdepartm ental and
intercom pany transfers, and com pan y paym ent o f
transfer expenses. A uniform con tract covering
all B ell System workers was believed best suited
to m eet these issues. T h e Office E m p loyes’ In ter­
national U nion, according to M r. C oughlin, is
insisting on “ bum p b ack ” provisions in layoff
clauses.
Som e special collective bargaining issues in
continuous process industries, that m ight be
raised elsewhere as autom ation advances accord ­
ing to M r. Pragan, include special prem ium p a y ­
m ents for rotatin g shifts and split workw eeks, and
revision o f jo b evaluation system s to cop e w ith the
trend tow ard com bining tw o or m ore job s, such as
instrum entm an and electrician.
L a bor leaders generally urged th at greater
attention b e given to protectin g the jo b s o f older
workers, w ho, on ce displaced, m a y find greater
difficulty in finding new job s. M r. Pragan pointed
o u t: “ T h e threat o f elim ination o f entire depart­
m ents or jo b s through autom ation m a y m ake
unw orkable seniority system s w hich are based on
departm ent or jo b seniority system s . . . [the
senior em ployee] m ust n ot be passed over . . .
sim ply because o f age or the disinclination o f the
em ployer to p rovide the training w hich w ould
enable him to qualify for the jo b .”
L ook in g b eyon d collective bargaining, all labor
witnesses favored governm ent action for a lower
retirem ent age and a shorter legal workweek.
“ T o p rovide the expanding m arkets that are the
basis for econom ic grow th ,” M r. R euther, along
with M r. C arey, also recom m ended a program
covering, am ong other things, a m ore adequate
unem ploym ent com pensation system , a Federal




m inim um wage o f $1.25, and G overnm ent aid to
distressed com m unities.
M r. M u n ce favored an alternative to govern­
m ent action. “ The m ost effective w a y to increase
the buyin g pow er o f all consum ers is through
reduction o f the cost o f the good s and services
th ey b u y .” Since autom ation will require large
am ounts o f capital, M r. M u n ce proposed a gradual
reduction in corporate and individual tax rates.
So far as training and education are concerned,
b o th labor and m anagem ent witnesses agreed on
the need for im proved program s, particularly to
m eet the shortage o f engineers and scientists.
M r. R euther favored com pany-financed retraining
for displaced workers and expanded general,
vocation al, and professional education.
In connection w ith the shortage o f skills,
Secretary M itch ell declared, “ w e can n ot afford
discrim ination in the utilization o f the skills o f
any grou p.”
S upport for m ore extensive research on the
progress and problem s o f increasing technological
developm ent cam e from several witnesses. F a c­
tual inform ation on the effects o f autom ation was
considered necessary for planning sound policies
o f b o th industry and governm ent.
M r. R eu th er recom m ended continuing stu dy o f
autom ation, w ith the Join t C om m ittee on the
E con om ic R e p o rt serving as a clearinghouse for
inform ation developed b y governm ent agencies
and universities. A m on g the types o f studies
deem ed essential were case studies o f individual
plants, and analyses o f shifts in em ploym ent,
collective bargaining provisions relating to tech­
nological change, business investm ent plans, and
education facilities.
John I. Snyder, president o f U nited States
Industries, In c., advocated the establishm ent o f a
national labor-m anagem ent council o n jo b o p p or­
tunities to stu dy the progress o f autom ation,
investigate local u n em ploym ent problem s, and
suggest solutions. John D iebold , president o f
John D ieb old & A ssociates, In c., recom m ended
extensive studies b y the B L S to determ ine the
im pact o f autom ation on costs, com petition,
location , etc., in industries using and p rodu cing
equipm ent; on skills, wages, lab or relations; and
on training and educational requirements. D r.
B uckingham felt that a com prehensive stu d y o f
the econ om ic system , like the T em porary N a ­
tional E co n o m ic C om m ittee’s investigations o f

26

16 years ago, was needed to guide the policies o f
private groups.
Speaking m ore broadly, D r. N ourse believed
that autom ation points up the need for m ore
scientific rationalization o f national econom ic
policies. “ This . . . calls for a sim ply stupen­
dous am ount o f grassroots data as to w hat is
actually happening at an infinite num ber o f
spots in the econom ic p rocess." N ew ob jective
analyses— studies o f input-output, consum er ex­
pectations, and m on ey flows— seem to D r. N ourse
destined to have increasingly wide application in
con n ection w ith econom ic problem s created b y
rapid technological advance.

Recommendations of the Subcommittee
A s already indicated, the subcom m ittee re­
garded as its cardinal recom m endation one that
public and private sectors w ork together to m ain­
tain a good , healthy, dynam ic, and prospering
econ om y, to assure displaced workers o f finding a
dem and for their services elsewhere.

A lthough it com m ented on the lack o f need for
broad-gage econom ic legislation, the subcom m ittee
recom m ended that all levels o f governm ent p a y
serious attention to the need for specific and broad
program s to prom ote secondary and higher edu­
cation, and to ease the problem s and eliminate
local p ock ets o f chronic or short-run unem ploy­
m ent, w hatever the cause. I t suggested that the
Federal G overnm ent becom e a m odel em ployer.
Other recom m endations stressed the desira­
b ility o f increasing the effectiveness o f the U nited
States E m ploym ent Service in dealing with the
problem o f the m iddle-aged worker and in placing
skilled workers, and expressed the subcom m ittee's
interest in im proving econom ic statistics, espe­
cially those relating to p rod u ctivity and occu pa­
tional shifts. T h e subcom m ittee pointed ou t that
industry should, b y careful planning and schedul­
ing, attem pt to minimize the adjustm ents o f
workers and the stoppage o f em ploym ent. In
conclusion, the subcom m ittee announced its inten­
tion “ to review regularly the progress o f techno­
logical change and the evidence o f occupational
changes."

“ M a n y o f our neighbors [in L on d on in the 1850's] were descendants o f
French H uguenots w ho fled from France after the revocation o f the E d ict o f
N antes and built their characteristic houses with little leaded w indowpanes
and in that new hom e plied their wonderful skill in silk w eaving that brought
fam e and w ealth to Spitalfields. B u t the passing o f tim e had brought shadows
to the buildings and changes to the industry. One o f m y m ost v ivid early
recollections is the great trouble that cam e to the silk weavers when m achinery
was invented to replace their skill and take their job s. N o thought was given
those m en whose trade was gone. M isery and suspense filled the neighbor­
h ood with a depressing air o f dread. T h e narrow street echoed w ith tJie tramp
o f m en w alking the street in groups w ith no w ork to do. B urned into m y
m ind, was the indescribable effect o f the cry o f these men, ‘ G od, I 'v e no w ork
to do. L ord strike m e dead— m y wife, m y kids w ant bread and I 'v e no w ork
to d o .' Child that I was, that cry taught m e the w orldw ide feeling that has
ever boun d the oppressed together in a struggle against those w ho h old control
over the lives and opportunities o f those who w ork for wages. T h a t feeling
becam e a subconscious guiding impulse that in later years developed into the
dom inating influence in shaping m y life ."




Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor, New York, E. P. Dutton & Co.,
Inc., reissued in 1943 (pp. 4- 5).

27

L a b o r ’s A im s in
to th e

N e w

A d ju s t in g

T e c h n o lo g y

EDITOR’ S N OTE. — The following article is ex­

cerpted from an address presented at the Con­
ference on Labor and Science in a Changing
W orldw hich was held by the Industrial Union
Depa/rtment o f the American Federation o f Labor
and Congress o f Industrial Organizations in
Washington, D.C., on January 7-8, 1959.

F illin g the D em an d for M anpow er
W e a r e t r y i n g to prepare for the future in the
light o f scientific, econom ic, and social forces that
have already been set in m otion. W e know that
these forces will m ake fundam ental changes in our
personal, working, educational, and com m u nity
life.
T h e m ost obviou s o f these forces are atom ic
energy, autom ation, rocketry, the exploration o f
outer space, and the alm ost m iraculous break­
throughs that are being m ade in the N a tio n ’s
chem ical, electronic, m etallurigical, and physics
laboratories.
C ontinued progress in all o f these fields is neces­
sary because in no other w a y will we be able to
m eet the onrushing needs o f a population that is
expanding as our natural resources are diminishing.
I t is on ly because we can anticipate further ad­
vances in industrial and agricultural techn ology
that w e can also face the future w ith confidence.
L et m e state, for the record, that labor does n ot
oppose technological change per se. W h at we do
oppose is the inhuman manner in w hich the new
techn ology is som etim es applied. A n d since the
mission o f the labor m ovem ent is to protect the
econ om ic welfare o f Am erican wage earners, we do
n o t intend to ignore the short run ju st because
everyone m a y be better off in the long run.
T h e first thing to rem em ber is that it takes m an­
pow er to open a frontier. This was true in
A m erica in the past— when our frontiers were
physical— and it will be true in the future— when
our frontiers are scientific.

F e b ru a ry

1959




28

This need for m anpow er will be activated b y
catalytic agents that are already apparent. T h e y
include, first, a grow th m ushroom ing so fantasti­
cally that, within 21 years, A m erica will have to
be able to feed, clothe, house, transport, educate,
and otherwise serve the social, cultural, and
econ om ic needs o f 100 m illion m ore people than
we have right now.
A second factor is the increasing emphasis on
industrial research and developm ent. T h e search
for new m ethods, machines, processes, and m a­
terials affects every phase o f industry. T od a y,
public and private agencies are spending m ore
than $10 billion a year on research. O n ly 6 years
ago, th ey spent about half that am ount.
These research and developm ent program s need
n ot on ly college-trained physicists, chemists, engi­
neers, draftsmen, m athem aticians, astronomers,
and geologists but, for each o f these, a corps o f
skilled craftsmen capable o f translating ideas into
action.
T h e emphasis on research and developm ent
leads, naturally enough, to a third catalytic agent
in the econ om y, nam ely: capital expenditures and
the rise o f new industries based on the new dis­
coveries that are pouring ou t o f the N a tion ’s
laboratories. M illions o f people are em ployed
in job s and in industries tod a y that hardly existed
on ly one generation back. T w en ty-five years
ago, for example, there were fewer than 100 in­
dustrial research laboratories in the U nited States.
T o d a y there are m ore than 4,000— em ploying at
least a half m illion people. T w en ty years ago,
nuclear fission was an abstract theory. T od a y ,
m ore than 120,000 workers— o f all types— are em ­
p loyed in the production and application o f
nuclear products. O n ly 5 years ago, inter­
continental missiles and earth satellites were little
m ore than science fiction. T o d a y , the num ber o f
technicians who are helping to probe the secrets o f
outer space can on ly be guessed at.
A ll o f these factors directly affect the m anpower
needs o f the new scientific era. A n d though it is
apparent that the opening o f the new frontiers o f
space and science will create— rather than
diminish— the need for m anpower, it is ju st as
apparent that future m anpow er requirem ents are
going to be qualitative rather than quantitative.

T h e d a y o f the unskilled and the semiskilled
worker in industry— o f the nut-tightener and the
bolt-fastener— is alm ost over. This process has
already begun.
B u t the new technology will n ot destroy the value
o f hum an skills; it is going to raise skill require­
ments— and dem and m ore o f them. A n d it is at
this p oin t that we can begin to get pessimistic.
For, in addition to the fa ct that we d o n o t have
enough skilled workers to m eet the present require­
ments o f industry, is the even m ore frightening fact
that— at our present rate o f progress— we appear
to be going backw ard instead o f forward. L e t me
pinpoint this problem . R ig h t now, there are
abou t 9 m illion skilled workers in the U nited
States. A n d when I talk about skilled workers,
I mean the journeym en who can read and follow
blueprints— w ho can build, install, control, m ain­
tain, and repair a machine or an electronics system.
I mean tool makers, die sinkers, machinists,
mechanics, repairmen, electronic technicians,
m aintenance men, m achine-tool operators, sheetm etal workers, instrum entation experts, welders,
patternmakers, electricians, and others in similar
journeym an classifications.
T h e 9 m illion workers with these kinds o f profi­
ciencies— along w ith som e 5 m illion professional
and scientific personnel— have been called the
“ k ey ” to A m erica's industrial production.
B ut, 250,000 o f these skilled workers die or
retire, or otherwise leave the labor force every
year— and we are, at this time, replacing on ly
100,000 o f them through apprenticeships, form al
on -th e-job training, and im m igration. This means
that w e are currently running up a skilled m an­
pow er deficit o f 150,000 workers a year. In the
next few years, we are going to com e face to face
with a really serious crisis in m anpower— a crisis
that will have had its origin in the low depression
birthrates o f the 1930's. T h e U .S. D epartm ent o f
L a bor estimates that b y 1965, we are going to
need 137 professional and technical m en, 122
managers and officials, 127 clerical and sales
people, and 122 skilled craftsmen fo r every 100
we have today. A n d here is where w e get hooked
on the horns o f a national dilemma. A lthough our
population will increase b y 18 m illion people b y
1965, the greatest proportion o f this increase will
com e in the age groups that are 45 and over or
under 25 years o f age. A ccord in g to present




29

estimates, we are n ot going to have any increase
in the num ber o f men who are in w hat the D e ­
partm ent o f L a b or calls the “ prim e” w orking ages
between 25 and 44.
This gradual seeping aw ay o f the N ation 's
skilled w ork force— if allowed to continue—
threatens m ore than the living standards o f our
fast-grow ing population. M o re is at stake here
than mere creature com forts. W h at is really
threatened is our security and safety as a free
people.
F or m an y years, w e discounted the possibility
that the Russians could ever m atch us industrially.
W e assumed that because com m unism was in­
herently vicious in its lack o f regard fo r human life
and individual dignity, it m ust also be inherently
incapable o f m obilizing an effective w ork force.
W ell, n ow we kn ow differently. As y o u m a y
recall, the econ om ic schedule o f the Russian G o v ­
ernment provides for the highest rate o f per
capita production in E urope b y 1965— and in the
w orld b y 1970. A lthough som e experts d ou b t
the ability o f the Russian econ om y to reach these
goals, I feel that in view o f past accom plishm ents,
it is safer to overestim ate than to underestimate
future Russian potential.
T h e challenge o f S oviet progress,, when added
to our foreseeable problem s o f internal grow th,
means that we m ust— n ot in 1 year, 3 years, or 5
years, b u t right now — begin to plan and im plem ent
program s that will enlarge and strengthen this
N ation 's corps o f skilled, scientific, professional,
and technical m anpower. This means, first, that
we m ust m ake the fullest possible use o f all our
m anpow er— and that, o f course, includes our
wom anpow er. In fact, as machines continue to
take over the heavier job s in industry, those
rem aining can— in m ost cases— be perform ed as
easily b y wom en as b y men. A n d also while the
su pply o f men in the prim e working ages will, as
w e have seen, remain stationary over the next few
years, the num ber o f wom en in this age group—
and in the labor force— will continue to grow .
Thus, the skills and aptitudes o f wom en m ust be
m ore fu lly developed in the future than th ey have
in the past.
Second, it means th at w e can n o longer afford to
indulge in senseless em otional prejudices— that w e
m ust rem ove all barriers to the training and em­
ploym ent o f m inority groups.

T hird, w e must m ake m ore efficient use o f the
millions o f m en and w om en 45 b u t under 65 years
o f age.
A n d, fourth, w e m ust accent the abilities rather
than the disabilities o f the estim ated 2 m illion men
and w om en w ho have suffered serious physical
handicaps.
T o tap all o f these currently undeveloped reser­
voirs o f skill, w e m a y have to am end and enlarge
m uch o f our State and Federal legislation relating
to w orkm en’s com pensation, rehabilitation, vo­
cational retraining, and discrim ination based on
age and race.
A nd, quite frankly, w e m a y also have to m od ify
pension provisions in collective bargaining con ­
tracts where, and if, th ey discourage the em ploy­
m ent o f older workers. I am not, o f course, sug­
gesting that w e should weaken these provisions.
Quite the con trary; I am advocatin g an extension
o f the funding principle, and the strengthening o f
procedures that allow workers to transfer pension
rights when th ey go from one com pa n y to another.
B u t even if w e are successful in stretching our
available labor supply b y all these m ethods, we
will n ot have solved our basic problem . F or, in
terms o f num bers alone, the C om m unist orb it has
a staggering population advantage that w e can
never h ope to overcom e.
I don ’t w ant to get to o deeply in volved in the
questions that con fron t education tod ay, bu t I do
w ant to state m y opinion that the tim e has com e
when w e m ust reintroduce discipline, hard work,
and high standards o f excellence into all levels o f
the school system.
A s E li G inzberg has pointed out, a large prop or­
tion o f our you n g people are severely handicapped
when th ey leave school and enter industry because
th ey have n ot mastered the w ritten and spoken
w ord— and because th ey have no understanding
o f basic m athem atics. These fundam entals are
im portant because w e can n o longer lim it jo b train­
ing to the requirements o f a specific jo b . A s our
techn ology changes, the con ten t o f industrial jo b
classifications will also change.
This means that workers will have to be in­
creasingly flexible, and that vocation al training
will have to b e grounded m ore firm ly on the funda­
mentals o f m athem atics, physics, engineering, and




30

electronics. F o r it is understanding o f funda­
m entals that gives a wbrker flexibility, that makes
it possible for him to change, and take on new
skills as his jo b changes or as it requires new skills.
T h e sources o f su pply o f skilled labor also need
reevaiuation, and, in som e areas, vast expansion.
O ur standards and program s o f apprenticeship are
good , I think, as far as th ey go, b u t unfortunately
th ey are n ot reaching enough industrial trainees.
Som e people claim this is because our you n g p eo­
ple have a w hite-collar com plex and d on ’t w ant to
enter form al training that prepares them for bluecollar job s, n o m atter h ow skilled or well paid th ey
m a y be. Industry, as a whole, seems to b e aware
o f the value and need for a skilled lab or force, b u t
when we get dow n to the individual em ployer, w e
find that he either depends upon the hiring o f w ork­
ers that som eone else has trained— or, if absolutely
necessary, sets up lim ited program s designed to
m eet his ow n im m ediate requirements.
A ccord in g to the latest figures for 1958, we have
approxim ately 178,000 you n g people in train­
ing that meets the standards o f the Federal
B ureau o f A pprenticeship. B ecause o f the reces­
sion, that is several thousand fewer than we had in
1956 or 1957. A n d it appears to b e far fewer than
the num ber o f workers w h o are being trained in
industrial skills in R ussia tod ay . R ecen tly, for
example, the Soviets claim ed to have trained 7%
m illion you n g workers as skilled hands in 500 nar­
row ly specialized trades during th e past 15 years.
In 1955 alone, th ey turned ou t 92,000 engineering
technicians— w hich is 7 times as m any as w e
trained during the same year.
There is som e question as to the authenticity or
com parability o f these statistics, b u t in the face o f
the realities o f com m unism , here again I think it
is safer to overestim ate than to underestim ate
the caliber o f the S oviet w ork force.
I am n ot suggesting, o f course, that w e wish to
c o p y their system . B u t at the sam e tim e, I think
we cannot ignore the spectacular results th ey have
achieved in their technical schools, the so-called
“ technicum s.” I t is a sad fact that in m an y o f our
ow n urban school systems, the trade schools— the
technical high schools— have b ecom e the dum ping
place for the slow learners, the discipline problem s,
and, in general, the you n g people the other high

schools d on 't want. A s a result, trade schools in
m an y places sym bolize educational failure— rather
than educational achievem ent.
B y w a y o f contrast, Russian you th com petes
strenuously for the privilege o f being selected for
training in the technicum s. A n d n ot on ly are m ost
o f the students paid— on the basis o f grades— while
learning, b u t when the shortages o f m anpow er are
anticipated in any given craft, the m onetary re­
wards for learning th at craft are increased.
N o w whether or n ot we like the Russian system
o f education— and there are certainly m an y ele­
m ents o f rigidity and com pulsion w e do n ot like—
we m ust adm it that th ey have at least taken posi­
tive and affirmative action to m eet their present
and future m anpow er requirements. I t is time
for us to do likewise.
A s a starting point, I w ould suggest that the
D epartm en t o f D efense add apprenticeship train­
ing provisos to every procurem ent contract.
M a n y com panies that subsist alm ost entirely on
defense contracts— and this includes som e o f the
biggest aircraft producers— are tod a y recruiting
(a polite w ord fo r “ pirating” ) the skilled workers
th ey need from other industries and are doing
noth in g to replenish the N ation 's p ool o f skilled
m anpower. W h en the Bureau o f Apprenticeship
surveyed the aircraft industry 2 years ago, it
fou n d that 70 percent o f the com panies studied
had no facilities for training apprentices. A n d
these com panies w ithout apprenticeship program s,
incidentally, em ployed m ore than half o f the
w ork force in the aircraft industry.
T h e International A ssociation o f M achinists
and the U nited A u tom obile W orkers tried to
correct this disgraceful situation during the past
year b y putting the establishment o f join t ap­
prenticeship program s on the list o f n oneconom ic
dem ands that were drawn up fo r the aircraft
negotiations in 1958. T h e results were negative.
N o t one single new apprenticeship clause was
negotiated. A n d — let us face facts— this is n ot
the kind o f an issue for w hich we can expect the
m em bership to go ou t on strike. So we had to
drop it, even though we recognize that the supply
and quality o f skilled workers in this industry
m a y one day m ean the difference betw een v icto ry
o r defeat in our struggle w ith the Soviet Union.




31

T h e lesson o f the 1958 negotiations in the air­
craft industry is that organized labor cannot
proceed unilaterally tow ard a solution o f this p rob ­
lem. I t appears rather that the initiative m ust
rest w ith the agency that controls procurem ent.
A n d if it will seize that initiative, we will m ost
certainly support it every step o f the w ay.
A noth er source o f skilled labor supply that
should be m ore fu lly explored is, o f course, the
technical institutes and jun ior colleges. In recent
years, there has been encouraging grow th in the
num ber o f such institutions equipped to train
technicians for w ork in such fields as m edicine,
electronics, and engineering. B u t this grow th has
n ot com e fast enough to keep pace w ith even our
present needs. Therefore, I w ould also suggest
Federal grants-in-aid— and technical scholar­
ships— to stim ulate further and faster grow th o f
this type o f semiprofessional training. I f we, as a
N ation, can afford to subsidize scores o f private
profit groups, we should also be able to subsidize
our m ost precious national resource: the skill o f
our w ork force.
F ou r years ago, the N ational M anpow er C ouncil
stated that “ T h e N ation cannot afford to w ait
until crises com pel us to consider h ow to im prove
and increase skills. T h e N ation 's welfare requires
that long-range program s for developm ent o f an
adequate supply o f skilled m anpow er b e in­
stituted n o w .”
T h a t statem ent was m ade in a spirit o f urgency.
T o d a y that urgency has been com pounded.
I think the tim e has com e when we m ust try
again to impress on otir political leaders and our
industrial com patriots the fact that strategic
hum an skills— unlike strategic metals— cannot be
stockpiled or taken ou t o f cold storage when th ey
are needed.
T od a y, the organized labor m ovem ent has m any
points in its program fo r the building o f a better
A m erica. Som e ob jectives are long range— som e
are short range— b u t few are m ore im portant than
getting the right range on this problem o f training
and preserving the skills o f the N ation 's w ork
force.
— A . J. H a y e s
International Association of Machinists

L a b o r Im p lic a t io n s
o f P e a c e fu l U s e s
A to m ic

o f

E n e rg y

J o h n I. Sa k s *

T

he

a p p l ic a t io n

of

a t o m ic e n e r g y t e c h n o lo g y

t o in d u s t r y a ffe c t s t h e w o r k f o r c e a t m a n y p o in t s
in r e g a r d t o j o b o p p o r t u n it ie s , e m p lo y m e n t , a n d
t r a in in g ; s a f e t y a n d h e a lt h p r o t e c t i o n ; w o r k m e n 's
c o m p e n s a t io n ;
r e la t io n s .

w o r k in g

c o n d i t io n s ;

and

la b o r

I m p lic a t i o n s in th e s e a r e a s o f in t e r e s t

r e fle c t t h e n e w n e s s o f t h e t e c h n o lo g y ,

th e u n ­

lim ited to research, design, and developm ent.
A to m ic activities fo r the n ext several years will
consequently be dom inated b y the existing
establishm ents producing a tom ic fuels and radio­
a ctive source materials, instrum entation, con ­
trols, and equipm ent. A to m ic fuels produ ction
and basic research and developm en t essentially
for m ilitary purposes are G overnm ent-ow ned, con ­
tractor-operated activities.
T h e p rivately de­
veloped ore extraction and a tom ic com ponents
industries are quite small and substantially
dependent on A to m ic E n ergy C om m ission (A E C )
program expenditures.
T h e short-run effects o f atom ic developm en t on
the N ation 's econ om ic structure and w ork force
should consequently b e m inor. B y the end o f
the next decade, how ever, anticipated technolog­
ical breakthroughs will u n dou btedly advan ce the
developm ent o f nuclear pow er, m aritim e p ro­
pulsion, fo o d preservation and radiation chem ­
istry, and possible other uses, m aking them
com petitive betw een 1970 and 1980.

c e r t a in t y o f it s p la c e in t h e e s t a b lis h e d in d u s tr ia l
o r d e r , a n d t h e u n iq u e c h a r a c t e r is t ic s o f a t o m ic
e n e r g y a p p lie d t o p e a c e fu l p u r p o s e s .

B ackground
T h e fissioning o f the atom makes possible great
advances in the conquest o f disease, increases in
the w orld 's fo o d supply, the provision o f cheap
pow er, and the application o f a tom ic heat and
radiation energy for technical advances in the
industrial arts. T h e greatest potential gain is
in the m anifold increase o f fuel reserves. D u rin g
the past hundred years, rapid industrialization,
trem endous grow th in population, and rises in
living standards have led to the rapid depletion
o f fossil fuel supplies. Fissionable fuels assure
the continuance o f our m odern civilization, w hich
is based essentially on the consum ption o f vast
am ounts o f energy.
T h e m a jor areas o f peaceful nuclear applications
lie in (1) atom ic pow er; (2) atom ic propulsion;
(3) radiation involvin g (a) isotopes in industry,
agriculture, and m edicine, (b) fo o d preservation,
and (c)rplastics; and (4) space and process heating.
E xcep t for the expanding uses o f radioisotopes in
industry, agriculture, and m edicine, and pilot
dem onstrations o f nuclear ship propulsion, the
peaceful applications program s are substantially

A u g u st 1957




Economic Implications.

T h e tim ing and extent
o f expanded peaceful uses w ill largely be deter­
m ined b y the effectiveness o f the atom techn ology's
challenge to current com petitive processes for
which th ey m a y substitute. Large financial
investm ents and years o f developm ental effort will
be required. Success w ill depend on the size
and quality o f the technical research and develop ­
m ent program s through w hich the scientific
breakthroughs (and subsequent econ om ic appli­
cations) m ust com e. Large outlays o f technical
m anpow er and m on ey for this purpose will conse­
quently n ot be as profitable in the short run as
returns from com parable investm ents in established
processes.
In the m eantim e, traditional industries will
grow and continue to advance technologically.
W ith few exceptions, raw and fabricated m aterials
used in atom ic applications are generally identical
w ith those used in conventional industries. H ence,
increased dem ands for atom ic uses, where these
are n ot sim ply replacem ents for conventional
industry requirements, m a y be considered as
norm al grow th for these suppliers. M a n y m anu*0f the Division of Labor M
arket and M
anpower Studies, Bureau of
Employment Security, and m ber of the Atomic Energy Study Group of
em
the U. 8. Department of Labor which was responsible:or the report Labor
f
Im
plications of Atomic Energy, published in July 19 .
56

32

facturers o f h eavy industrial equipm ent and sev­
eral large-scale chem ical producers are actively
in v olv ed in peaceful atom ic research and develop­
m ent and p rototy p e experiments. A significant
volum e o f a tom ic applications should consequently
result on ly in m odified shifts in p rod u ct emphasis
for these organizations.
R adiation Safety Protection
R adiation hazards and safety and health p ro­
tection are am ong the m ost significant im plications
fo r the w ork force in the peaceful uses o f atom ic
energy. These in v olv e com plex and som ew hat
indeterm inate standards for those w orking directly
in exposure areas, for other workers indirectly
exposed at the place o f em ploym ent, and fo r the
general public. R elated also to w orker safety
protection are issues o f w orkm en's com pensation
in the event o f radiation injury.

be no m ore dangerous than w orking in oth er
industrial processes where safety measures m ust
be p rop erly maintained.
A lth ou gh relatively few persons currently w ork
in radioactive or “ h o t” areas in atom ic installa­
tions and research laboratories, radiation exposure
is possible in the course o f routine plant operations.
U nforeseen exposure m a y arise because o f inade­
quate m onitoring or defects in radiation p rotective
measures, through accidents to equipm ent o r
im proper precautions in the storage or transpor­
tation o f containers o f radioactive materials.
R adiation contam ination o f outside areas, som e­
times miles aw ay from the atom ic installation,
can develop through the pollution o f atm ospheric
dusts, w ater supply, or sewage resulting from the
discharge o f industrial waste materials. T h e
developm ent and application o f adequate safety
and health standards are consequently o f m a jor
concern to Federal and State G overnm ents and
to labor and managem ent.

Problems oj Radiation Exposure .

R adiation, in­
visible and undetectable to the senses, is a unique
industrial hazard. R adiation can penetrate m at­
ter in different degrees according to whether
alpha, beta, gam m a, or neutron particles or rays
are absorbed. In som e instances, h eavy lead
shielding or several feet o f concrete are n ot suffi­
cient p rotection against radiation. H ence, spe­
cial instrum entation, controls, and m onitoring,
cou pled w ith basic radiation safety indoctrination
and jo b safety instruction, are necessary to guard
the w orker against this insidious danger.
T h e effects o f radiation exposure are cum ula­
tive. D osages safe at any one tim e m a y prove
extrem ely injurious if repeated sufficiently often.
Diseases such as anemia, leukemia, bone cancer,
m alignant tumors, and genetic damage, thus
induced m a y n ot becom e evident for m an y years
or even decades. A m ong other determ inants o f
the specific degree o f inju ry which an individual
m a y suffer are included the quantities and types
o f radiation absorbed, the length o f time o f absorp­
tion, the relative am ounts o f radiation affecting
different parts o f the b od y , and the radiosensitivity
o f the individual.
U nderstanding the hazards o f radiation expo­
sure and the use o f safety precautions are conse­
q uently basic to the widespread use o f peaceful
atom ic energy. On the other hand, w ith the
proper safeguards, w orking around radiation need




A E G Safety Programs.

T h e A tom ic E n ergy C o m ­
mission has always placed prim ary emphasis on
radiation safety in all atom ic program d evelop ­
m ent phases. These include the evaluation from
the poin t o f safety o f the design o f reactors, equip­
m ent, and com pon en ts; the procedures for chem i­
cal processing o f fuels; the planning and scheduling
o f plant operations; the m edical program s for
em ployees; the selection and training o f w orkers;
the use o f p rotective clothing, including respira­
tory m asks; the m ethods o f washing; and the
location o f eating and sm oking areas.
U nder the 1954 A tom ic E n ergy A ct, the A E C
has responsibility for setting safety standards to
protect workers and the general public from haz­
ards arising ou t o f its operations or products
originating therefrom . I t m a y draw on govern ­
m ental or other resources for carrying ou t this
responsibility. T h e A E C has adopted exposure
standards, established b y the N ational C om m ittee
on R adiation P rotection and M easurem ent, as io
permissible levels o f exposure to external radiation
and also as to concentrations, in w ater or air, o f
radioactive materials w hich m a y be ingested or
inhaled. These standards have been progressively
raised, i. e., to reduce permissible exposure limits,
as m ore advanced data have been accum ulated.
F or workers in atom ic installations, the permissible
exposure dosage is generally less than that received

33

from natural radioactive sources in the earth and
from cosm ic rays. F o r the general public, levels
are set at about one-tenth o f industrial levels.
T h e A E C develops cooperatively w ith its con ­
tractors appropriate procedures and instrumen­
tation to assure continuous con form ity to its
adopted safety standards and to m aintain records
o f radiation safety activity. F ew workers in the
contractor-operated installations are actually al­
low ed to reach the authorized limits, and for
workers as a whole, radiation exposure falls well
below the set standards.
E arly in 1957, the A E C issued its revised
“ Standards for P rotection A gainst R ad ia tion ”
w hich are applicable to the activities o f its licen­
sees. T o assure con form ity to adopted standards,
all licensees for the construction and operation o f
nuclear installations or for the use o f licensed
materials are su bject to periodic G overnm ent
inspection b y the A E C ’s D ivision o f Inspection.
T h e basic responsibility for adherence to the A E C
safety standards, however, rests w ith the licensee
whose operations m ay be suspended or revoked
fo r nonadherence. A b ou t 4,000 licenses had been
issued to users o f radioactive materials as o f
M a rch 1957, and the num ber is increasing b y
abou t 15 percent a year.
M ore than 1,700 o f a total em ploym ent o f
100,000 production and research workers in plants
and laboratories o f the A E C or its contractors
were engaged in radiation protection w ork at the
end o f 1956. Specialized personnel num bered
1,060, including physicists, chemists, engineers,
m eteorologists, radiobiologists, and m onitors, and
supporting technicians and clerical staff num bered
695. I t thus appears that A E C contractors have,
on the average, been detailing between 1 and 2
percent o f their total personnel to carry ou t A E C
protection standards.
T h e results o f the safety measures are reflected
in the excellent record since 1945 o f G overnm entcon tractor operations. B etw een A ugust 1945 and
J u ly 1956, on ly 16 radiation accidents involving
69 individual exposures were reported. These
accidents resulted in 2 deaths, 1 in 1945 and 1 in
1The unit of m
easure of potential dam to m and m m by radia­
age
an
am als
tion and generally equivalent to that produced by 1roentgen of X-ray.
*Report of the Atomic Energy Com ittee of the International Association
m
of Industrial Accident Boards and Com issions, 1956, p. 7; seealso Biological
m
Effects of Atomic Radiation, Sum ary Reports (W
m
ashington, National
Academy of Sciences, 1956), p. 35.
*Atomic Energy Com ission, 21st Sem
m
i-Annual Report, January 1 57
9 ,
p. 1 0
3.




3h

1946, and 19 skin injuries. M o s t o f the other
exposures were com paratively m inor. In 8 o f the
16 cases, on ly 1 person was involved. T h e largest
single accident involved 28 servicem en w ho re­
ceived an unexpected concentration o f fallout
after a 1954 w eapons’ test. A ccord in g to con ­
tractor reports to A E C , m ore than 99 percent o f
nearly 200,000 workers em ployed during the 9year period 1947-55 were exposed to less than 5
rem ,1 or less than one-third o f the present per­
missible exposure lim it o f 15 rem a year.

Atomic Safety Protection in the Private Sector. T h e
outstanding record o f accident prevention in
atom ic installations is attributable to the precau­
tions observed b y the A E C in an uncharted field
and the revision o f safety limits m ade in the light
o f its experience. I t also stems from the fa ct that
A E C con tractors’ safety costs are paid for under
G overnm ent contract. H ow ever, safety-protec­
tion cost becom es a v ery real problem w ith the
prospective large-scale extension o f peaceful
applications to private, com petitive industrial
processes.
T h e character o f safety supervision in the tran­
sition to peacetim e operation m a y suffer because
personnel in private establishments m ay be less
familiar and n ot as alert in dealing with radiation
hazards and because costs in a com petitive situa­
tion m ay b e a controlling factor. T h e conse­
quence o f inadequate protection because o f cost
or carelessness has been indicated b y the history
o f m edical X -r a y uses. A s a result o f inadequate
understanding and lack o f effective protective
measures over a period o f decades, the life expect­
ancy o f roentgenologists has been shown to aver­
age several years less than that o f other m edical
practitioners.2

Federal-State Safety Program Relationships.

The
announced p o licy o f the A E C in regard to the use
o f licensed materials is to “ observe the traditional
relationship betw een the State agencies and private
industry on other types o f safety m atters.” 3 One
o f the m ethods used b y the Com m ission to effec­
tuate this p olicy is to invite the participation o f
officials o f interested local and State agencies in
the inspection o f atom ic installations b y A E C field
inspectors. T h e A E C thus hopes to assist in
training a b o d y o f com petent technical inspection
personnel. T h e States are also notified when new

licenses for the use o f materials are issued to
establishments or institutions within their borders.
In the case o f licensed utilization facilities (cur­
rently lim ited to nuclear reactors), the A E C
inspects all stages o f construction, the testing o f
equipm ent, preoperational test runs, and subse­
quent startup and operations.
In 1955, the A E C established a 12-member
advisory com m ittee of State officials from health,
labor, and legal departm ents. T h e com m ittee
m eets about twice a year to discuss such matters
as the licensing program , regulations prescribing
adequate radiation protection standards, or the
need for training local officials in radiological
health protection.
Since States have the police pow er to regulate
intrastate health and safety matters, the pos­
sibilities o f conflict in approach and application
o f radiation safety standards as com pared to the
A E C program m ay exist. T h e constitutionality
o f State regulation in the atom ic energy area was
left som ewhat in d ou b t under the A tom ic E nergy
A c t o f 1954. Som e types o f State and local
a ction m ay be possible even where the A E C
exercises its authority under the act. Further­
m ore, the States alone have responsibility for
establishing safety standards for radiological
hazards grow ing ou t o f the use o f X -r a y machines,
radium , and radioisotopes produced b y particle
accelerators (as distinct from those obtained
through fission sources).
Th e need for a m ore adequate safety-standards
program is underscored b y the fast expanding
area o f uses,4 the lim ited staff for inspection b y
the A E C , and the present scant technical facilities
o f State agencies. The on ly alternative at this
tim e is the increasing delegation o f safety re­
sponsibility to licensees. T h e review procedures
under the present A E C regulations can lead to
the m odification or suspension o f licenses in the
event o f failure to observe regulations, bu t on ly
after dam age is done.5

Workmen’s Compensation. Special w orkm en’s
com pensation issues grow ou t o f the unique factors
o f nuclear radiation. State laws in this field are
generally inadequate. The m ajor deficiencies in
State w orkm en’s com pensation provisions are the
lack o f full coverage o f occupational diseases,
lim itations on the tim e period allowed for filing
claims for benefits, and the inadequacy o f p ro­




35

visions for m edical treatment.® T h e com plicated
legal question o f fixing liability in the event o f
radiation injuries which m a y appear several years
subsequent to separation from atom ic energy
em ploym ent is still to be resolved.
M anpow er Characteristics and Training
T h e scope and character o f m anpow er and
training problem s in the atom ic field are also o f
significance in considering labor im plications o f
atom ic energy. E m ploym ent in all phases o f
atom ic energy a ctivity in the spring o f 1957
totaled som ething over 150,000. A b o u t 117,000
workers were em ployed b y the A tom ic E n ergy
C om m ission and its operations and construction
contractors— 103,000 in operations and over 14,000
in construction. (See table 1.) R ou gh estim ates
o f the balance were as follow s: uranium mining,
ore reduction, and refining mills, 10,000; research
and developm ent financed b y private industry,
universities, and foundations, 3,000 to 5,000;
design, m anufacture, and installation o f reactors,
vessels, com ponents, and auxiliary equipm ent,
15,000 to 20,000; instrum entation and isotop ic
devices, 4,000 to 6,000; and miscellaneous, 3,000
to 5,000.

AEC-Contraetor Employment.

T ota l em ploym ent
b y the A tom ic E nergy Com m ission and its con ­
tractors increased approxim ately 10 percent
between D ecem ber 1955 and M a rch 1957, b u t
was still m ore than 20 percent below that o f June
1952 when construction a ctivity was at its peak.
In M arch 1957, the bulk o f em ploym ent was con ­
centrated in the production and refinem ent o f
atom ic fuels used predom inantly for m ilitary
purposes and G overnm ent-controlled research
and developm ent operations. T h a t type o f em ­
ploym ent increased 1% times between 1949 and
1957, whereas construction em ploym ent, w hich
increased about 5 times between 1949 and 1952,
was approxim ately the same in 1957 as it was in
1949. These trends are indicative o f the ex­
pansion o f atom ic facilities. W ith the recent
com pletion o f new m ajor A E C production instal­
lations at Savannah R iver, S. C ., Paducah, K y .,
4 1957 H earin gs before th e [Congressional] J oint C o m m itte e on A to m ic
E n ergy, P t. I , Sec. 202, S ta tu to ry H earings, p . 101.
* A to m ic E n e rgy C om m issio n , op . c it., p . 129.
• See W o r k m e n ’ s C om p en satio n and R a d iation H azard s (in M o n t h ly
L ab or R e v ie w , A p ril 1957, p p . 455-459).

and Portsm outh, Ohio, and very large additions
to the O ak R idge, Tenn., and H anford, W ash.,
facihties, it is reasonable to expect that operations
em ploym ent will expand still further.
Based on the general nature o f the processes
and the types o f equipm ent used, the structure and
characteristics o f the A E C -con tractor w ork force
are m ost com parable to those in the inorganic
chem icals and the petroleum and coal products
industries. T h e bulk o f the personnel consist o f
skilled and semiskUled chem ical-process operators,
service and m aintenance m echanics, and a sig­
nificant proportion o f technical and managerial
staff. A tom ic installations, how ever, also em ploy
large num bers o f guards, because o f the relation­
ship of these plants to national security, and
significant num bers o f atom ic health and safety
personnel for p rotection against radiation hazards.
M ost o f an atom ic plan t’s personnel are in­
experienced and loca lly recruited at the tim e o f
hiring. W here no apprenticeable craft skill is
involved, p rodu ction and service workers are
routinely trained on the jo b . T h e norm al largescale m anufacturing a ctiv ity characteristics which
the a tom ic fuels and byprod u cts processing
plants appear to have acquired, are reflected in
the hours, earnings, and turnover statistics o f the
A E C -con tractor operations. A tom ic energy in­
stallations com pare very favorab ly w ith all m an­
ufacturing and with industrial inorganic chemicals
at all points and on ly fall slightly below the p rod ­
ucts o f petroleum and coal where stable and profit­
T

a b l e

able oil refinery activities are a dom inant factor.
(See table 2.)

A E G Installations W ork Force Experience.

The,
routinization o f atom ic produ ction operations is
borne out b y the experience at the four A E C
installations at Oak R id ge, Tenn., and Paducah,
K y . T h e U nion Carbide N uclear C orp., the o p ­
erating contractor, assumed responsibility in 1943
at the Oak R id ge gaseous diffusion plant
(O R G D P ), in 1947 at a second O ak R id ge A
Jant
(Y -1 2 , electrochem ical b yprod u cts), in 1948 at the
Oak R id ge N ational L a boratory (O R N L ), and
in 1950 at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant
(P G D P ).
E m ploym ent at the Oak R id ge plants showed
a consistent dow ntrend from 1947 through 1950,
but increased significantly from 1951 to 1954 as
large additions were m ade to existing facilities.
M odifications in em ploym ent levels in 1955 and
1956 are presum ably a result o f m ore effective
use o f the new facilities. E m ploym ent at Paducah
has continued substantially unchanged since
norm al produ ction a ctivity levels were reached in
1952. (See table 3.)
H ou rly paid craftsmen, production, and m ainte­
nance workers in the 3 produ ction plants m ade up
betw een 57 and 70 percent o f th o payroll in
D ecem ber 1956. (See table 4.) Large numbers
o f security guards and clerical and service per­
sonnel m ade up the w eekly paid group o f workers.
A t the O R N L , the different distribution reflects

1.— E m p lo y m e n t o f A to m ic E n e rg y C o m m issio n a n d contractors , 1 9 4 9 -6 7
[In thousands]

Contractors’ em p loym en t

D a te

A ll e m p lo y ­
m ent

A to m ic
E n e rgy
C om m ission
em p lo y m en t

Operations
Construction

T o ta l
T o ta l

1857: M a r c h ...............................................................
1956: D e ce m b er......................................... .............
Jun e...................................... ............................
1955: D e ce m b er.......................................................
Jun e...................................................................
1954: D e ce m b e r — ............................ .....................
J un e....................... ...........................................
1953: D e ce m b er.......................................................
J u n e _ _ -.............................................................
1952: D e ce m b er_________ ____________________
Jun e____________________________________
1951: D e ce m b er___________ ____ __ _________
J un e____________________________________
1950: D e ce m b er____________ ________________
J un e____________________________________
1949: Oftfiftmhfir

117.0
115.6
110.2
106.1
112.6
130.7
141.9
146.5
148.8
142.8
149.4
124.2
99 .1
73 .3
63 .7
5 6 .6

110.4
109.0
103.5
99 .9
106.5
124.8
135.8
140.2
141.9
136.0
142.7
118.4
93 .5
6 8 .2
5 8 .8
5 1 .8

6 .6
6 .6
6 .6
6 .2
6 .0
5 .9
6 .1
6 .3
6 .9
6 .8
6 .7
5 .8
5 .6
5 .1
4 .9
4 .8

N o t e : Because of rounding, su m s of in divid u al item s do n ot necessarily
eq u al totals.




36

9 6 .2
9 3 .8
9 0 .2
8 5 .7
82 .9
78 .1
73 .3
71 .7
7 1 .8
6 3 .4
58.1
5 2 .4
4 7 .8
42.1
39.1
3 7 .2

P roduction

Research and
d evelop m en t

50 .9
50 .0
49 .7
48 .7
4 8 .0
4 4 .2
39 .5
3 8 .7
37 .1

S o u r c e : A to m ic E n e rg y C om m ission,

3 9 .4
3 7 .9
3 4 .2
3 0 .6
2 8 .8
2 7 .6
2 7 .6
2 6 .9
2 8 .8

O ther

5 .9
5 .9
6 .4
6 .3
6 .1
6 .3
6 .3
6 .1
5 .9

14 .2
15 .2
13 .3
14 .2
2 3 .6
46 .7
6 2 .5
68 .5
70 .1
7 2 .6
8 4 .6
6 6 .0
45 .7
26 .1
19.7
14 .6

T

2 . — H o u r s , gross e a rn in g s , a n d lab o r tu rn o ver rates
o f p ro d u c tio n w orkers i n A to m ic E n e rg y C o m m is s io n a n d
contractor establishm ents a n d selected in d u s trie s , F e b ru a ry
and M a rc h 1957 and M a rc h 1956

m ajor personnel additions were m ade at the Oak
R id ge plants after 1950 and Paducah began oper­
ations on ly in 1951, these average periods o f
service poin t to a very considerable degree o f
stability in em ploym ent.
T h e apparently satisfactory character o f a tom ic
installation w orking conditions is also reflected in
part in the distances a large proportion o f the
workers are willing to com m ute. Fifteen percent
o f the O R G D P personnel, 9 percent o f those a t
the Y -1 2 plant, 11 percent at O R N L , and 21 per­
cent at Paducah travel 20 miles or m ore each w ay.
Fou r percent o f the workers at O R G D P com m u te
40 miles or m ore in each direction daily. A m a jor
factor m a y be that these are b y far the largest
sources o f w ell-paying jo b opportunities in the
area and thus attract rural jo b seekers within a
wide radius.
A ccord in g to records o f exit interviews, volu n ­
tary quits because o f transportation, housing dif­
ficulties, health problem s, or dissatisfaction with
earnings, hours, or w orking conditions were
negligible.
T h e accident records at these atom ic installa­
tions are likewise illum inating in regard to safety
as a consideration in expanding future atom ic in­
dustry em ploym ent. D uring 1956, there were n o
fatalities or perm anent tota l disabilities in 3 o f the
plants and on ly 2 such occurrences in the fourth.
T otal accident frequency rates per m illion hours
worked for the calendar year 1956 were: O R G D P ,
1.72; Y -1 2 , 2.27; O R N L , 0.55; and Paducah, 1.87.

a b l e

In d u str y and date

A E G an d contractors:
M arch 1QS7
F ebru ary 1957
___ _
M arch 195fl
___ _
A ll m anufacturing:
M arc h 1957
....
T_
F ebru ary 1957
_
M a rc h 1956..........................................
In dustrial inorganic chem icals:
M a rc h 1957_______________________
F c h m a r y 1957
M a rc h 1956.— ..................................
P rod ucts of petroleum and coal:
M a rc h 1957................................... ..
F ebru ary 1957___________________
M a rc h 1955

A ver­
age
w eekly
hours

Gross
aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings

Gross A cces­ Sepa­
aver­
sion
ration
age
rate— rate—
w eekly
earn­
P er 100 e m ­
ings
ployees

4 0 .5
4 0 .8
41 .1

$ 2 .52
2 .5 2
2 .4 2

$102.22
102.73
99.54

1 .6
1 .6
1 .6

1 .3
1 .2
1 .5

40.1
4 0 .2
4 0 .0

2.0 5
2.0 5
1.9 5

82.21
82.41
78 .78

2 .8
2 .8
3 .1

3 .3
3 .0
3 .6

4 0 .9
4 0 .9
41 .0

2 .3 9
2 .3 7
2 .2 8

97.75
96.93
93.48

1 .6
1 .5
1 .5

1 .9
1 .5
1 .6

4 0 .6
4 0 .8
4 1 .2

2 .5 8
2 .5 6
2 .5 2

104.75
104.45
103.82

.9
.9
.9

1 .1
.8
.7

S o u b c e : A to m ic E n e rg y C om m issio n an d B ureau of L ab or Statistics.

the m uch larger emphasis on research and de­
velopm ent, with correspondingly increased p ro­
portions o f professional and technical staff.
T h e num ber o f wom en em ployed was not
significant. O f the 1,887 w om en em ployed, on ly
217 were p rodu ction workers.
H ow ever, the
lim ited em ploym ent o f w om en in basic atom ic
p rodu ction and research activities— 12 percent
o f the total job s in these 4 plants— com pared
favorab ly with fem ale em ploym ent participation
in industrial inorganic chemicals (8 percent) or
products o f petroleum and coal (7 percent).
Generally, w ork at basic atom ic installations
does n ot appear to call for special aptitudes or
unique industrial backgrounds except in research
and developm ent and in som e limited specialized
operations. This is indicated b y the recruitm ent
experience and the worker educational achieve­
m ent level at the A E C -U n ion C arbide N uclear
plants. N o difficulties were reported in obtaining
local labor for basic produ ction operations at these
semirural plant sites, nor in training them effec­
tively on the jo b despite a lack o f previous fa ctory
experience. A t Paducah, 15 percent o f all em ­
ployees had less than a high school education;
at O R N L , 20 percent, at O R G D P , 40 percent,
and at Y -1 2 , 42 percent. A t these latter 2 plants,
over 20 percent had had on ly a grade school
education or less.
T h e weighted average length o f service at the
end o f 1956 was 8.2 years at O R G D P , 6.7 at
O R N L , 6.0 at Y -1 2 , and 4.5 at Paducah. Since




New Atom ic Occupations.

T h e character o f the
m anpower requirem ents involved in atom ic reac­
tor construction and operations, in the reprocessT

a b l e

3 .—

E m p lo y m e n t trends at A E C - U n i o n
N u c le a r contractor p la n ts , 1 9 4 7 -5 6

C a rb id e

O ak R id ge plants
D a te
T o ta l

D ecem b er 1 9 5 6 ..
D ecem b er 1955. .
D ecem b er 1 9 5 4 ..
D ece m b er 1 9 5 3 ..
D ecem b er 1 9 5 2 ..
June 1952................
June 1951................
June 1950................
June 1949................
June 1948................
June 1947................

14,068
14,282
14,959
13,729
12,770
12,572
10,850
8,078
8 ,2 30
9,7 69
10,266

Gaseous
diffusion

E lectro­
chemical
b yp rodu cts

5,382
5,4 66
6,128
6,206
6,0 84
5,594
4,700
3,9 32
4,4 12
5,201
5,5 79

4,950
5,3 48
5,520
4,3 89
3,5 22
3,7 32
3,125
1,806
1,784
2,223
2,4 04

N a tio n a l
L ab oratory

3,7 36
3,468
3,311
3,1 34
3,164
3,246
3,025
2,340
2,0 34
2,3 45
2,2 83

P ad ucah
gaseous
diffusion
p lan t

1,761
1 ,7 55
1,6 8 0
1,7 92
1 ,5 63
»771

* E m p lo y m e n t as o f D ece m b er 1951.
S o u b c e : U n io n C arbide N u clear C o r p .,
tion^ R e p o rt, 1956.

37

E ig h th A n n u a l In d ustrial R e la ­

ing o f fuels, in the uses o f radioactive isotopes, and
in the m anufacture o f atom ic instrum entation,
calls essentially for m odifications in existing skills.
There are relatively few new occupational titles
and these are associated predom inantly with
technical research, design, and developm ent, as
the nuclear physicist, and with radiation health
protection where health physicist, radiation ana­
lyst, radiation m onitor, and decontam ination
technician are identifiable. A t the operating
level, there are the coolant tester, heliarc welder,
and reactor operator.
In-plant radiation safety measures are under
the control o f specially trained health physicists
w ho generally are also responsible for worker
safety training and m onitoring o f the environm ent
to assure adequate protection for the outside
public. W ork er safety training includes indoc­
trination and education program s including health
physics lectures, pam phlets, etc. T h e health
physicist, an occupational specialty grow ing di­
rectly out o f atom ic safety requirements, has usu­
ally had postgraduate w ork in theoretical and
applied physics.
T h e radiation analyst, a subprofessional w ho
works under th e health p h y sicists direction, is
qualified to evaluate hazards and m ake rem edial
recom m endations. H e in turn m a y supervise the
radiation m onitor w ho perform s a m ore routine
fun ction o f operating devices to measure the
am ounts o f radioactivity which m ight be present
in areas o f possible exposure. T h e m onitor m ay
also function as part o f a decontam ination crew
or com bine the m onitoring function w ith routine
nonradiation protection activities. T h e decon ­
tam ination technicians act to clean up an area
after radiation leakage has raised the radiation
level to a poin t where corrective safety measures
m ust be taken to protect personnel and equip­
m ent.
C oolan t testers are very few in num ber and are
engaged solely on testing the effectiveness of
liquid m etal coolants for use in certain typ es o f
reactors. These workers are readily trained on
the jo b . H eliarc welders, using an inert gas weld­
ing process on metals, are essential in the con ­
struction o f reactors and auxiliary facilities. A l­
though large numbers m ay be needed on m ajor
atom ic projects, ordinary welders with several days'
instruction, and other workers w ith a very few
weeks o f special training, can usually m eet nuclear




T

4 . — D is tr ib u tio n
o f e m p lo ym en t in A E C - U n io n
C a rb id e N u c le a r contractor p la n ts , by tim e basis o f com ­
p e n s a tio n a n d sex, D ecem ber 1 9 5 6

a b l e

O ak R id ge p lants
Ite m

A ll
p lan ts

Gaseous
diffusion

E lectro­
chem ical
byp ro du cts

P ad ucah
gaseous
N a tio n a l
diffusion
L ab oratory
p lant

A ll w orkers...........

15,829

5,382

4,9 50

3,7 36

1,761

M e n ......................
Percent of
to ta l.............
W o m e n ...............
P ercent of
to ta l.............

13,942

4,6 93

4,4 54

3,1 84

1,611

88
1,887

87
689

90
496

85
552

91
150

12

13

10

15

9

8 ,5 90

3,0 59

3,425

1,0 30

1,0 76

54

57

70

27

61

3,2 69

1,164

662

1,147

296

21

22

13

31

17

3,9 70

1,1 59

863

1,559

389

25

21

17

42

22

H o u r ly p aid
w orkers...............
Percent of
to ta l.............
W e e k ly paid
w orkers...............
Percent o f
to ta l.............
M o n th ly paid
w orkers...............
Percent of
to ta l.............

S o u r c e : U n io n C arb ide N u clear C o r p ., E ig h th A n n u a l In d ustrial R e la ­
tions R e p o rt, 1956.

construction specifications. R e a cto r operators
are licensed to operate the controls o f a reactor
panel. This function, originally perform ed b y
graduate engineers or scientists, has been progres­
sively downgraded so that high school graduates
can be trained on the jo b and can qualify for
A E C licenses. R ead ily trainable service or p ro­
duction occupations in atom ic activities which
m a y take on greater significance, depending on
the numbers and typ es o f reactors in use, are the
reactor assembler and fuel-elem ent assembler.

Graft Training Requirements. In general, prod u c­
tion and craft skill characteristics are identical w ith
those foun d in related chem ical, m etalw orking, or
the construction industries. C raft specifications
are, how ever, far m ore exacting in the m anu­
facture, installation, and m aintenance o f m aterial
and equipm ent su bject to possible radiation con ­
tam ination, requiring far m ore precision w ork and
the developm ent o f special m ethods for handling
and w orking with atom ic materials and equipm ent.
This is im perative to provide adequate shielding
and leak-proof fittings and joints. E xisting craft
practices consequently need reexam ination in the
light o f these new circumstances.
Plum bers, pipefitters, machinists, millwrights,
boilerm akers, m achine-tool operators, electricians,
and welders are especially affected b y this consider­
ation in atom ic reactor construction and operating

38

m aintenance. Such skill m odifications and their
extension into new areas o f a ctiv ity call fo r certain
changes in existing craft training. In the short
run, m uch o f this training will be in-plant adapta­
tion o f the existing p ool o f skills to the m ore exact­
ing requirements. In the longer run, changes will
be m ade in organized training program s, including
expanded apprenticeship or com bined vocation al
instruction and on -th e-job training under the
supervision o f experienced craftsmen.
Som e unions are reorganizing their apprentice­
ship training program s to take cognizance o f the
types o f perform ance standards and w ork specifi­
cations required in the atom ic field. M illw right,
pipefitter, and boilerm aker unions h ave obtained
A E C access perm its to classified inform ation so as
to stu dy the im pacts o f the new techn ology on
their craft activities.

Professional M anpower Problems. T h e principal
m anpow er problem in atom ic energy developm ent
is clearly the shortage o f professional skills.7
Trained engineers and scientists are needed in pure
and applied atom ic research and developm ent and,
to a lesser degree, in nuclear applications. T ech ­
nical progress in peaceful applications is directly
tied to the expansion in numbers of professionally
trained personnel devoted to further research and
developm ent.
A ccordin g to the A E C , in Septem ber 1956,
19,000 engineers and scientists were em ployed
am ong the 113,300 workers engaged in its a ctivi­
ties. E xcluding the 14,800 workers in contract
construction, th ey represented approxim ately 19
percent o f operations, research, and developm ent
em ploym ent o f the A E C contractors. In the spe­
cialized national atom ic research laboratories
where the bulk o f the technical developm ental
a ctivity is concentrated, about 30 percent o f the
em ploym ent consisted o f professionally trained
specialists.
M ore than half o f all the technicians em ployed
in the A E C program are chem ical or m echanical
engineers.
One-third are physical scientists,
m ostly physicists and chemists. T h e rem aining
one-sixth are biological, m edical, and other m iscel­
laneous scientists.
This group o f professional
workers is supported b y at least an equal num ber
o f technical aids, research and laboratory assist­
ants', and other subprofessional personnel.




39

T h e atom ic energy industry needs a large, con ­
tinuing su pply o f engineering and scientific grad­
uates w ho w ould custom arily acquire nuclear com ­
petence on the jo b or through supplem entary
graduate training courses. In the face o f national
shortages and the keen com petition from all other
areas in the econ om y which seek com parable types
o f professionally trained personnel, satisfying this
need constitutes a m ajor problem .

Labor Needs o f Atom ic Peacetime Uses.

Since
pow er is prospectively the largest single peaceful
application o f atom ic energy, its m anpow er
requirements are o f particular interest. T h e
A E C roughly estimates that 44,000 workers,
including 2,300 engineers, w ould be needed to
operate atom ic plants o f 175 m illion kilow atts
cap acity.8 This figure is lim ited to the nuclear
heat produ ction function. Th e m anpow er for the
electricity generation and distribution operations
w ould rem ain the same for both atom ic and con ­
ventional typ e pow er plants.
This estimate is generally regarded b y private
pow er and equipm ent industry experts as being
at least one-third too high, principally because it
is based on a m anpow er staffing pattern used at
an A E C reactor, designed and operated for
entirely different (nonpow er) purposes. Further­
m ore, tl^ey m aintain that the introduction within
the next 25 years o f the largest conceivable
nuclear pow er program will n ot require the net
addition o f even such m odified m anpow er esti­
mates. Regardless o f source, these estimates
need to be offset b y the staff which w ould other­
wise have been em ployed in m odern, efficient, con ­
ventional typ e plants for which atom ic produced
heat will substitute. It is conceivable that with
advanced nuclear design, m anpow er requirem ents
m a y even be reduced further to some, lim ited
degree.
Isotopes in industry have n ot created any
identifiable change in m anpow er requirements.
Users o f isotop ic control and measuring devices in
continuous process industries such as rubber,
paper, and cigarette m anufacturing claim that
th ey produce large dollar savings brought abou t b y
increased efficiency o f operation through quality
controls, and reduction o f wastage, b u t such
7 H earin gs, op . c it., p p . 1 2 ,1 3 , and 97.
8 R e p ort of th e M c K in n y P anel to th e [Congressional] Joint C o m m ittee on
A to m ic E n e r g y , F ebru ary 1956, V o l. I I , p . 545.

devices have n ot resulted in the technological dis­
placem ent o f currently em ployed workers. On
the other hand, their use has n ot created additional
m anpow er needs.
T h e m anufacture, assem bly, and installation o f
the essential atom ic instrum ents, gages, and
other devices will create lim ited dem ands for
additional scientific instrum ent makers, calibra­
tion technicians, lens and gage grinders, etc.
T h e largest increase in this relatively small
industry’s demands, how ever, will b e in the num ­
ber o f semiskilled assemblers, w ho can be readily
trained on the jo b .
A tom ic E nergy and O rganized Labor
Organized la b or’s oth er interests in atom ic
energy in volve (1) conditions o f collective bargain­
ing, (2) interunion jurisdictional m atters, and (3)
developm ent o f w orker and public understanding
and acceptance o f industrial atom ic applications.

Collective Bargaining . Certain aspects o f atom ic
lab or relations are unique. N uclear industrial
tech n ology em erged as a wartim e crash program
com pletely dom inated b y national defense and
security considerations w hich led the Federal
G overnm ent to request the unions to refrain
from organizing a ctivity and introducing collec­
tive bargaining procedures. O nly in 1946 did
unions win representation rights at G overnm entow ned, contractor-operated atom ic installations.
T h e threat o f a strike in 1948 at O ak R idge,
Ten n ., led to the establishment b y the President
o f the U nited States o f a lab or relations panel for
the a tom ic energy installations.9 This panel w ith
som e m odifications m ade in Septem ber 1953, and
som e additional m inor changes in January 1957,
m ay, w ith the consent o f the parties involved,
exercise.jurisdiction over disputes w hich threaten
to disrupt essential aspects o f the atom ic energy
program . U nder the present operational p roce­
dures, unions and contractors at A E C installa­
tions are expected to negotiate on norm al aspects
o f w orking relationships (that is, exclusive o f
* See P an e l to

H a n d le A to m ic E n e r g y

P la n t D isp u te s

(In

M o n th ly

L a b o r R e v ie w , Jun e 1949, p p . 661-662).
w G eneral P o lic y S tatem en t of th e U . S . A to m ic E n e rg y C om m issio n
R e la tiv e to C ontractor Personnel M a n a g em en t an d L a b o r R elation s, 1955.
11 P resid en t’s R e p ort, Proceedings to th e 46th A n n u a l C o n ve n tion of the
M e ta l T rad es D e p a rtm e n t of th e A m erican Federation of L a b o r, N o v e m b e r
28,195 5, p p . 6 -7 .




ko

security m atters) and to m ake every effort at
peaceful settlem ent o f disputes through collective
bargaining and full use o f the Federal M ed ia ­
tion and C onciliation Service.
T h e panel’s special role is to aid in volu n tary
settlem ent on ly after it is felt that all other p ro­
cedures have been exhausted and the A E C has
determ ined that a stoppage w ould have v ery
serious consequences on the program . W hile the
panel has jurisdiction and for 30 days thereafter
if it issues recom m endations fo r settlem ent, the
parties to the dispute are to continue existing terms
and conditions o f em ploym ent. I f the panel fails
to issue recom m endations, or if either p arty rejects
the recom m endations w hich m a y be issued, the
parties are free to take further action. F rom
J uly 1953 to M arch 1957, 32 cases were heard b y
the “ C hing” panel as com pared w ith 61 cases
handled b y the earlier “ D a v is” panel (nam ed after
their respective chairmen, C yrus C hing and W il­
liam H . D a vis).
T h e A E C has a v ery im m ediate interest in all
labor-m anagem ent negotiations at atom ic installa­
tions because o f the special factors o f G overn m en t
ownership o f plant and m aterials and the necessity
fo r con tin u ity o f p rod u ction at certain vital
installations. I t reserves to itself absolute and
final authority on questions o f security— an issue
o f considerable contention in the process o f de­
velopin g effective collective bargaining. T h e A E C
also is in the peculiar position o f being a silent
third partner to labor-m anagem ent negotiations
since it “ reviews labor expenses under co st-ty p e
contracts as a part o f its responsibility for assuring
ju diciou s expenditure o f public fun ds.” 1
0
One difficulty, suggested b y the president o f the
A F L -C I O M e ta l Trades D epartm en t and other
observers, is the lack o f econom ic pressure felt
b y the m anagem ent side.1 T h e contractors have
1
no capital investm ent in the installations, do n ot
com pete for custom ers, and lack the m otive o f
profits or the fear o f loss as the basis for settlem ent
since th ey operate on a cost-plus-fixed-fee A E C
contract. Thus the strike as the ultim ate eco­
n om ic w eapon lacks m uch of its private industry
effectiveness.
T h e history o f labor relations in A E C installa­
tions has been reasonably sm ooth p artly because
o f organized lab or’s recognition o f the special
national interest in these activities and, according
to managem ent, partly because o f a certain degree

installations, w ith necessary safeguards w ritten
into the agreements to p rotect p rop erty and
processes and to carry on certain essential m ainte­
nance functions in the event o f failure to reach
satisfactory settlements.
In the widening area o f peaceful applications in
the civilian econ om y, there is no basis fo r any
m odification in norm al collective bargaining p ro­
cedures other than the assurance that basic safety
procedures will be m aintained at points affected
b y w ork stoppages.

o f pressure exercised b y G overnm ent on con trac­
tors to reach settlem ents w hich in their private
operations m ight n ot be so readily acceptable.
L en g th y w ork stoppages at a H anford, W ash.,
construction p roject and at an A E C contractor
operation in B uffalo, N . Y ., nevertheless did
occu r in the sum m er o f 1956— basically over wage
and
other paym ent differentials. [E d i t o r ’ s
N o t e .— A P ortsm outh, O hio, facility dispute
ended a d a y before an 80-day injunction, obtained
under the national em ergency provisions o f the
T a ft-H a rtley A ct, expired on A ugust 3, 1957.]
Agreem ents betw een operating unions and A E C
contractors generally do n ot contain detailed
clauses w hich are uniquely concerned w ith con d i­
tions o f w ork at atom ic installations, although
reference is frequently m ade to the establishment
and adm inistration o f plant safety program s.
Som e o f these program s emphasize join t laborm anagem ent participation on plant safety com ­
m ittees; others require the em ployer to m aintain
an adequate safety program including appropriate
clothing, devices, and equipm ent, and the workers,
under penalty o f caution or discharge for n on com pliance, to adhere to the safety regulations;
m ore com m on ly, clauses state that workers are to
be available for m edical checkups as determ ined
b y m anagem ent. In general, these safety and
health provisions are n ot so different from those
fou n d in labor-m anagem ent agreements in h eavy
industry. Clauses w hich require security clear­
ance as a condition o f em ploym ent are com parable
to those in other defense connected activities.
Som e o f the A E C con tractor operations, being
intim ately associated with basic national defense
interests, are substantially similar in that regard
to other m ilitary end-products activities such as
ordnance and aircraft p roduction. H ence, con d i­
tions o f collective bargaining w hich app ly in
these defense-related industries m ight b e con ­
sidered as largely applicable to som e G overnm ent
a tom ic activities. U nder such conditions, the
essentiality o f con tin u ity o f operations w ould
b e determ ined on the basis o f the particular
a ctiv ity in volved and current defense needs.
Thus, though strikes h ave occurred in A E C
construction and com pon en t installations during
the past decade, th ey have n ot resulted in the
consequences w hich were on ce thought inevitable.
I t m ight be con clu ded that norm al collective
bargaining processes should be perm itted in these




Interunion Jurisdictional Problems. M a n y o f the
labor relations issues in volve interunion w ork
jurisdictions. Jurisdictional problem s w ill con ­
tinue to grow as a result o f the v ery fluid nature o f
the evolvin g atom ic technology. T h e changing
craft requirements due to the greater precision
specifications in atom ic activities will tend to
narrow the established divisions between organized
crafts. T h e y m a y lead to possible overlap as,
for exam ple, between boilermakers and pipefitters,
or betw een m illwrights and m achinists.1 Satis­
2
fa cto ry and lasting settlements o f such issues will
be slow in com ing because o f the dyn am ic char­
acter o f the technology. A s additional advances
are m ade and new materials, tools, equipm ent, and
operating m ethods are brought into use, jurisdic­
tional conflicts m a y b ecom e acute. Som e o f the
established interunion jurisdictional agreements
are presently being revised. A d d ed fam iliariza­
tion w ith the techn ology and standardization o f
nom enclature in atom ic applications m a y help
m inim ize the num ber o f potential disputes.
W orker and Public Acceptance o f Atom ic Energy.
Organized lab or’s leaders w ho are concerned with
the possible im pact o f peaceful atom ic develop­
m ents on the civilian econ om y are facing, along
w ith industry and governm ent, the basic problem
of securing widespread w orker and public a ccept­
ance o f atom ic energy as a characteristic of norm al,
everyday life. Som e feel that the problem s o f
general public education and w orker acceptance
o f the hazards o f atom ic plants are separate
m atters. In the latter situation, it is argued,
conditions differ on ly in degree from other types
o f industrial a ctivity risks, fo r example, in mining,
explosives m anufacture, and oilfield operations.
u C harles F . M a c G o w a n , In ternation al B rotherhood of Boilerm akers, b e
fore th e A to m ic In d ustrial F o ru m , S an Francisco, A p r il 5 ,1 9 5 5 .

Ui

A d e q u a t e r a d ia t io n s a fe t y p r o t e c t io n in a ll s itu a ­

w o r k e r e d u c a t io n , th e A F L - C I O

t io n s in v o l v in g a t o m ic a p p lic a t io n s a r e n a t u r a l ^

h a s r e c o m m e n d e d t h e e s t a b lis h m e n t o f a s t a t u t o r y

a s s u m e d t o b e a p r io r c o n d i t io n f o r th e ir in t r o d u c ­

L a b o r - M a n a g e m e n t A d v i s o r y C o m m it t e e t o th e

t i o n in t o th e c iv ilia n e c o n o m y .

A t o m ic

E n ergy

C o m m is s io n

to

t o p le a d e r s h ip

a d v is e

on

th e

T h e e lim in a t io n o f m a n y p u b li c m is c o n c e p t io n s

d e v e lo p m e n t o f s o u n d a t o m ic la b o r r e la t io n s a n d

a b o u t a t o m ic e n e r g y c a n b e a c c o m p lis h e d th r o u g h

t o a s sist in b r in g in g a b o u t p u b li c u n d e r s t a n d in g

w id e s p r e a d d is s e m in a tio n o f a d e q u a t e a n d a c c u r a t e

o f p e a c e fu l a t o m ic u se s t h r o u g h l a b o r ’ s o r g a n iz a ­

in fo r m a t io n .

t io n a l a n d r e la t e d m e d ia .

On

th e

general

is su e

of

p u b li c -

[T h e a re a s o f A E C in flu e n c e o n a t o m ic e n e r g y in s t a lla t io n p o lic ie s a r e th e
f o llo w in g :]
F ir s t , w e [th e A E C ] r e c o g n iz e t h a t i t is a r o le o f g o v e r n m e n t t o a s su re t h a t
w a g e s , h o u r s , s a f e t y r e g u la t io n s a n d w o r k in g c o n d i t io n s a r e a d e q u a t e in
te r m s o f th e g e n e r a l w e lfa r e , a n d n o t s u b s t a n d a r d in r e la t io n
in d u s tr ia l p r a c t ic e s .
th e r e is n o
a s su re

p r o fit in c e n t iv e

t h a t p u b li c

to n orm al

S e c o n d , w it h a ll c o s t s r e im b u r s e d b y t h e g o v e r n m e n t ,
fu n d s

are

to

e c o n o m ic a l o p e r a t io n .

expended

ju d ic io u s l y .

G overn m en t m u st
C le a r ly

w e w ill n o t

s u b s t it u t e o u r ju d g m e n t f o r t h a t o f th e c o n t r a c t o r a s t o a p a r t ic u la r w a g e
r a t e o r w o r k in g c o n d i t io n .

B u t w e d o see t h a t th e g e n e r a l le v e l o f w a g e s is

n o t s t r a t o s p h e r ic , a n d t h a t c o n d it io n s in o u r p la n t s a r e n o t u n s t a b iliz in g in
r e la t io n t o o t h e r p la n t s .
T h ir d , w e r e c o g n iz e a s p e c ific r o le in e n fo r c e m e n t
o f c e r t a in la b o r la w s — m o r e s p e c ific a lly , th e D a v i s - B a c o n a n d E i g h t H o u r
la w s , as w e ll a s th e e x e c u t iv e o r d e r o n n o n d is c r im in a t io n in e m p lo y m e n t .
F o u r t h , w e a c c e p t a r a t h e r s p e c ific a n d p a r a m o u n t r o le in r e la t io n t o s e c u r it y
o f in fo r m a t io n a n d o f p la n t .
A fift h a r e a r e la t e s t o d is p u t e s s e t t le m e n t .

W i t h w e ll o v e r 9 0 p e r c e n t o f

o u r e ffo r t , in te r m s o f b o t h d o lla r s a n d p e o p le , d ir e c t e d a t d e fe n s e n e e d s ,
c o n t in u it y o f p r o d u c t i o n is im p o r t a n t .




— Oscar S. Smith, Obligations of Government as Owner, Financier and Consumer
in Relation to Collective Bargaining (in Labor Law Journal, Chicago, November
1956, pp. 684-685).

k 2

A n t i c ip a t i o n o f th e s e p r o b le m s is as e ss e n tia l

Workers’ Health in

t o a d v a n c e p la n n in g f o r a u t o m a t io n b y in d u s tr ie s
as a re th e e n g in e e r in g b lu e p r in t s a n d th e m a n a g e ­

an Era of Automation

m e n t s t u d ie s t o d e t e r m in e th e e c o n o m ic fe a s ib ilit y
o f su ch a m o v e .

E

d it o r ’ s

N

o t e .—

The

ex c erp ted

fro m

R ic h a r d

W a im e r,

In d u str ia l
d u stria l

a

a rtic le
paper

w h ic h

p r e se n te d

M a n a g in g

H y g ie n e

“ Im p a ct

of

F o u n d a tio n

”

A u to m a tio n

R e la tio n s

and

by

,

w as

D r.

C.

of

th e

D ir e c to r

R e la tio n s -P r o d u c tio n

In d u str ia l

fo llo w s

at

th e

In ­

m a t io n is n o t g o in g t o c h a n g e th is.

1956.

S u sp en sio n

h e r e t o fo r e .

to

th e

m a c h in e r y a n d m o n it o r in g o f a u t o m a t ic e q u ip ­
m e n t , w ill c a ll f o r g r e a te r s k ills a n d m o r e t r a in in g

by

,

and

d en o te

peared

in

th e

M a y

1956

issu e

of

E r r o r s in

I n a d d it io n , e a ch e m p lo y e e w ill r e p r e s e n t a m u c h

th e i n t e r e s t

co m p lete

M a n a g e m e n t p e r s o n n e l w ill b e

ju d g m e n t [w ill] b e e x t r e m e ly c o s t ly .

u n u sed

pa per

The

e d u c a t io n .

c a lle d u p o n t o m a k e m a jo r d e c is io n s .

on A p r il

of

r e a d in g .

la r g e r n u m b e r o f te c h n ic a l jo b s ,

C o m m it­

p o r tio n s o f tex t h a ve b e e n o m itte d i n
e a sier

A

in c lu d in g m a in t e n a n c e a n d r e p a ir o f th e c o m p le x

sp on sored

P r o d u c tio n

m arks

I n fa c t , m o r e

r e s p o n s ib ilit y w ill b e v e s t e d in e m p lo y e e s th a n

t e e s o f th e I n d u s t r i a l D e p a r t m e n t o f th e C h a m b e r

4-j

c o m p a n y ’ s e m p lo y e e s h a v e

on

C o n fere n c e

o f C o m m e r c e o f G rea te r P h ila d e lp h ia

A

a lw a y s b e e n its m o s t v a lu a b le a ssets, a n d a u t o ­

la r g e r

In d u str ia l

h e r e t o fo r e .

In

19 54 , th e c a p it a l in v e s t m e n t p e r w o r k e r in

ap­

c a p it a l

in v e s t m e n t

th e

c h e m ic a l in d u s t r y ,

M e d ic in e a n d S u rg ery.

w h ic h

th a n

is h ig h ly

a u to m a te d ,

w a s t w ic e t h a t o f in d u s t r y as a w h o le , o r $ 2 6 ,0 0 0 ;
a n d in s o m e p la n t s i t is c o n s id e r a b ly m o r e . 1

The

p r e s e n t in v e s t m e n t p e r e m p lo y e e in th e e le c t r ic
A

u t o m a t io n

n ew

p o w e r g e n e r a t io n in d u s t r y , w h ic h is a lm o s t c o m ­

is m o r e th a n ju s t a w p r d t o d e s c r ib e

t e c h n iq u e s f o r m e c h a n ic a lly

w o r k in o u r p la n t s a n d o ffic e s .

p le t e ly a u t o m a t iz e d , is in e x ce s s o f $ 1 0 6 ,0 0 0 .2

a c c o m p lis h in g

T h u s , a u t o m a t e d in d u s t r y w ill h a v e a n e v e n

A u t o m a t i o n s ig n i­

h ig h e r

fie s a w h o le n e w w a y o f life , i n v o l v in g b i o s o c ia l
v a lu e s

as

w e ll

as

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

on es.

It

w ill

of

liv in g

to

new

h e ig h ts .

m a in t a in in g
not

o n ly

th e

h e a lt h

d is r u p t s

of

it s

p r o d u c tio n

e ffic ie n c y d u r in g th e p e r io d s w h e n t h e w o r k e r is

a lt e r e d u c a t io n a l p a t t e r n s in o u r s c h o o ls , a n d r a is e
stan d ard

in

Illn e s s

w h ile w o r k e r s a re a b s e n t b u t r e s u lts in a lo s s o f

c h a n g e th e liv in g a n d w o r k in g h a b it s o f p e o p le ,
ou r

sta k e

w ork ers.

o n th e j o b b u t is n o t fe e lin g w e ll.

T h is

p a p e r is c o n c e r n e d w it h th e e ffe c t s o f th e s e d e v e l­

The Preventive Medicine Approach

o p m e n t s [in t h e fie ld o f in d u s tr ia l h e a lt h ].

R e g a r d le s s

Industry’s Stake in Health Maintenance

of

th e

m eth od

o f m a n u fa c t u r in g ,

th e r e is o n e a p p r o a c h t o h e a lt h m a in t e n a n c e w h ic h
is g o o d m a n a g e m e n t p o li c y , a n d t h a t is p r e v e n t iv e

T h e s t a t e o f h e a lt h o f a n in d iv id u a l is d e t e r ­
m in e d b y a c o m p le x c o m b i n a t io n o f f a c t o r s in ­

m e d ic in e .

v o l v e d in h is a d ju s t m e n t t o h is t o t a l e n v ir o n m e n t .

th e t o t a l p h y s ic a l a n d m e n t a l w e ll-b e in g o f th e

W hen

w o r k e r , b o t h o n th e j o b a n d a t h o m e .

t h a t e n v ir o n m e n t fa c e s

h u m a n n a tu r e t o fe e l u n e a s y .

a lte r a tio n ,

it

is

P r e v e n t iv e m e d ic in e is c o n c e r n e d w it h
M od ern

m e t h o d s o f e n v ir o n m e n t a l c o n t r o l h a v e g r e a t ly

I n th e e r a o f a u t o ­

m a t io n , th e a n x ie t y o f e m p lo y e e s is o n e o f th e

reduced

h u m a n r e la t io n s p r o b le m s w h ic h w ill a rise, a n d

a n d in ju r y .

th e s e a re c lo s e ly a llie d t o

th e h e a lt h a n d w e ll­

d a t io n ’ s m e m b e r c o m p a n ie s h a s r e p o r t e d a r e d u c ­

O th e r a s p e c ts o f a u t o m a t io n

t io n in o n - t h e - jo b in ju r ie s o f 63 p e r c e n t in th e

b e in g o f th e w o r k e r .

th e

p o s s ib ilit y

of

o c c u p a t io n a l

d is e a s e

O n e o f th e I n d u s t r ia l H y g ie n e F o u n ­

w ill b e a r m o r e d ir e c t ly o n th e p h y s io lo g ic a l s t a t u s
1 Automation: Feedback to a Better Economy.
(In Chemical and Engi­
neering News, October 31,1955, p. 4648.)
* Clyde Williams, Trends in Industrial Research. (In Battelle Technical
Review, September 1955.)

o f th e w o r k e r , b u t i t is th e s u m t o t a l o f all p r o b ­
le m s , b o t h p h y s ic a l a n d e m o t io n a l, w h ic h d e t e r ­
m in e s th e t o t a l h e a lt h p ic t u r e o f a n in d iv id u a l.

Ju ly

1956




h3

p a s t 5 y e a r s , a n d th is is n o t a n e x c e p t io n a l c a s e .

[to th e m ].

A u to m a tio n

c o n t r o l m e a s u r e s in t h e d e s ig n o f m a c h in e r y a n d in

w ill fu r t h e r

e lim in a t e

o c c u p a t io n a l

E n g in e e r s h a v e e m p lo y e d [a t m o s p h e r ic ]

h a z a r d s ; b u t n o n o c c u p a t io n a l in ju r ie s a n d d is e a s e s

v e n t ila t io n

a c c o u n t f o r 9 0 p e r c e n t o f a b s e n te e is m .

sam e

E v e n th e . m o s t c o m p r e h e n s iv e m e d ic a l p r o g r a m

h aza rd s

th e

te c tiv e

o f s u b s t it u t io n

h ig h e r

o p e r a t in g

co sts

a ir -c o n d it io n in g
is

g iv e n

to

sy stem s.

r id d in g

becau se

o f p e r h a p s u n t r a in e d p e r s o n n e l,

can not be
c lo t h in g

c o m p le t e ly

and

The

th e

e n v ir o n m e n t o f r a d ia n t h e a t a n d o f n o is e .

w ill b e less c o s t l y t h a n w o r k e r a b s e n te e is m , [w ith
r e s u lta n t]

and

a t t e n t io n

w ork
W h ere

e lim in a t e d ,

e q u ip m e n t

a re

pro­

stan d ard

r e q u ir e m e n t s f o r e a c h w o r k e r .

s p o ile d p r o d u c t s , h ig h e r d is a b ilit y [c o m p e n s a tio n ],

A u t o m a t i o n w ill p r o v i d e th e s o lu t io n t o m a n y

in c r e a s e d g r o u p h o s p it a l a n d s u r g ic a l in s u r a n c e

su ch

p a y m e n t s , a n d m a n y in t a n g ib le lo s se s .

Su ch a

w ill n o lo n g e r b e e x p o s e d t o a ir c o n t a m in a n t s s in c e

program

general

m a n u fa c t u r in g o p e r a t io n s w ill b e

in

no

w ay

p r a c t ic e o f m e d ic in e .

in fr in g e s

on

th e

I n d u s t r y a n d it s p h y s ic ia n s

e n v ir o n m e n t a l h e a lt h

p r o b le m s .

W ork ers

e n c lo s e d .

In

m a n y c a se s , w o r k e r s s t a t io n e d a t c o n t r o l p a n e ls

h a v e th e o p p o r t u n i t y t o d is c o v e r p h y s ic a l c o n d i­

[w ill b e ] c o m p le t e ly is o la t e d f r o m th e a c t u a l p r o c ­

t io n s w h ic h m ig h t h a v e g o n e u n n o t ic e d a n d u n ­

e s s in g

tr e a t e d , iand s u c h ca se s a re r e fe r r e d t o th e w o r k e r ’ s

te m p e r a tu r e , h u m id it y , a n d n o is e [w ill] n o lo n g e r

p e r s o n a l p h y s ic ia n .

A ls o , t h r o u g h h e a lt h c o u n s e l­

area

[an d]

su ch

fa c t o r s

a ffe c t h is p e r fo r m a n c e .

as

v e n t ila t io n ,

I n f a c t , c o n t r o l c r it e r ia

in g a n d e d u c a t io n , th e w o r k e r c a n le a r n t o ta k e

in

b e t t e r c a r e o f h is h e a lt h

in ju r y .

s t a n d a r d s o f a ir c le a n lin e s s w it h r e s p e c t t o d u s t f o r

T h e s o u r c e o f n in e -t e n t h s o f th e a c c id e n t s a re t o

s u c c e s s fu l o p e r a t io n o f th e e q u ip m e n t a re fa r m o r e

b e f o u n d in m a n ’ s c o n s t it u t io n a n d b e h a v io r w h e n

c r it ic a l

and

to

a v o id

fu lly

a u t o m a t e d fa c t o r ie s

th a n

th o s e

fo r

a re s u c h

h um an s.

t h a t th e

A u to m a tio n

T h u s , p r o t e c t in g th e

e lim in a te s m u c h o f t h e a c t u a l c o n t a c t b e t w e e n

o v e r a ll h e a lt h o f t h e e m p lo y e e s e r v e s t h e d o u b le

w o r k e r s a n d m a te r ia ls , m a k in g p o s s ib le [th e] u se

c o n fr o n t in g t h e m a c h in e .3

p u r p o s e o f k e e p in g h im o n th e j o b a n d m a k in g h im

o f in g r e d ie n ts fo r m e r l y t o o t o x ic t o [b e h a n d le d ]

a s a fe r, m o r e e ffic ie n t w o r k e r as w e ll.

s a fe ly .

Implications of Automation for Health Programs

m a te r ia ls p r o c e e d f r o m

In

th e

rubber

in d u s t r y ,

[fo r

e x a m p le ], r a w

b in s t h r o u g h s c a le s a n d

in t o th e m ix e r w it h o u t m a n u a l h a n d lin g .
L et

us

[c o n s id e r ]

th e

[T h e

in d u s t r y h o p e s ] t o d e v is e a u t o m a t ic m a c h in e r y t o

id e a l in d u s tr ia l h e a lt h

p r o g r a m as m a n y le a d in g c o m p a n ie s h a v e i t t o d a y

r e d u c e a ll m ix e d s t o c k s in t o p e lle t o r

a n d se e h o w i t fits th e r e q u ir e m e n t s o f th e a u t o ­

c o n d i t io n s o [th e y ] c a n b e c o n v e y e d t o b in s o v e r

m a t e d in d u s t r y , w h a t a d a p t a t io n s w ill h a v e t o b e

a u t o m a t ic m ills f o r fe e d in g e x tr u d e r s o r c a le n d e r s .4

m a d e , a n d h o w t h e y c a n b e a c c o m p lis h e d .

[v isc o u s ]

[I t

[ T o c it e a n o t h e r e x a m p le ] in o n e p la n t m a n u ­

s h o u ld b e n o t e d , h o w e v e r , th a t] w e h a v e v e r y

f a c t u r in g la r g e m e t a l c o n t a in e r s w h i c h r e q u ir e d

lim it e d e x p e r ie n c e o n w h ic h t o b a s e a n e v a lu a t io n

m a n u a l s o ld e r in g o f s id e a n d e n d s e a m s , r e s u lt in g

o f th e m e d ic a l n e e d s c o n n e c t e d w it h c o n t in u o u s

in a n e x p o s u r e t o le a d a n d s o lv e n t s , a u t o m a t ic

p r o c e s s in g m e t h o d s o f m a n u fa c t u r in g .

e q u ip m e n t w a s in s t a lle d w h ic h p e r m it t e d b e t t e r
v e n t ila t io n a n d c o m p le t e ly e lim in a t e d e x p o s u r e t o

E n v ir o n m e n ta l

a t m o s p h e r ic

C o n d itio n s.

c o n t a m in a n t s

In
a re

th e
w e ll

id e a l

th e t o x ic m a te r ia ls .

p la n t ,

c o n t r o lle d .

h e a lt h

p ro te cte d ,

N o t o n ly w a s t h e w o r k e r s ’

but

a

s u p e r io r

product

w as

a c h ie v e d .5

I n d u s t r ia l h y g ie n is t s k e e p a c o n s t a n t c h e c k a t all
o p e r a t io n s w h e r e in d u s tr ia l d u s t s o r t o x ic fu m e s o r
g a se s a re a t h r e a t.

T h e h a r m fu l p r o p e r t ie s o f all

r a w m a te r ia ls u s e d in t h e m a n u fa c t u r in g p r o c e s s
have been

d e t e r m in e d

th ro u g h

* G. Friedmann, The Emergence of the Human Problems of Automation
The Free Press, 1955.
*
*Automation In Rubber Manufacturing, Report of a Symposium spon*
sored by the Akron Rubber Group, October 28, 1955. (/» Rubber Age,
December 1955.)
* O. Richard Walmer, Worker Welfare in the Era of Automation, Special
Report No. 7, American Management Association, New York, 1956.

b i o lo g i c a l te s ts .

T h e in d u s tr ia l p h y s ic ia n is a ls o w e ll a c q u a in t e d
w it h t h e s p e c ific h a z a r d s e n c o u n t e r e d in h is c o m ­
p a n y a n d w it h th e p h y s io lo g ic a l e ffe c t s o f exposure*




UU

Effect on the Medical Department

W h ile a u t o m a t io n w ill r e lie v e th e [d a n g e rs o f]
d a y - t o - d a y c h r o n ic e x p o s u r e s t o t o x ic m a te r ia ls ,

W h a t e ffe c t w ill [a u to m a t io n ] h a v e o n t h e fu n c ­

th e r e s t ill e x is ts t h e d a n g e r o f c a t a s t r o p h ic e x p o ­
su r e s d u e t o

t io n s o f th e [in d u str ia l] m e d ic a l d e p a r t m e n t ?

r u p t u r e s in t h e lin e s o r o f a c u t e

in d u s tr ia l h e a lt h

s p e c ia lis ts

H ow

e x p o s u r e s w h e r e m a in t e n a n c e w o r k is in v o l v e d .

can

a n t ic ip a t e

W o r k e r s a c c id e n t a lly a n d d r a s t ic a lly e x p o s e d t o

h e a lt h p r o b le m s t h a t m a y b e c a u s e d b y a u t o m a ­

th e

t o x ic m a te r ia ls w ill r e q u ir e s p e c ia l a n d p r o m p t

t io n in in d u s t r y ?

trea tm en t.

w ill b e r e q u ir e d f o r th e t r e a t m e n t o f in ju r ie s a n d

N or

w ill

a u t o m a t io n

in v e s t ig a t in g

to x ic

e lim in a t e

p r o p e r t ie s

th e

of

new

need

C e r t a in ly e v e n le s s s t a ff t im e

f o r t r a u m a t ic s u r g e r y in v ie w o f t h e r e d u c t i o n in

fo r

s a fe t y h a z a r d s .

p rod u cts

b e f o r e in t r o d u c in g t h e m o n th e m a r k e t o r , b e t t e r

in d u s tr ia l

y e t , in t h e d e v e lo p m e n t s ta g e s .

th a n

W h e r e h a r m fu l

B u t th e m o d e r n c o n c e p t o f [th e]

h e a lt h

[p r o g r a m ]— p r e v e n t io n

c u r e — w ill b e

m ore

im p o r t a n t

r a th e r

th a n

ev er.

p r o p e r t ie s c a n n o t b e e lim in a t e d , c o d e s m u s t b e

I n d u s t r ia l p s y c h ia t r y , h e a lt h c o u n s e lin g , s e le c t iv e

s e t u p f o r t h e s a fe h a n d lin g a n d u s e o f th e p r o d u c t

p la c e m e n t th r o u g h e v a lu a t io n o f th e a p p lic a n t ’ s

b y t h e p u b lic .

p h y s ic a l a n d m e n t a l c o n d i t io n — a ll b e c o m e im ­
p o r t a n t r e s p o n s ib ilit ie s o f th e in d u s tr ia l m e d ic a l
A u t o m a t i o n w ill a ls o m a t e ­

A c c id e n t P r e v e n tio n .

program .

r ia lly lig h t e n t h e s a fe t y d e p a r t m e n t ’ s t a s k [w ith
r e s p e c t t o th e ] p r e v e n t io n o f p h y s ic a l in ju r y .

It

P re p la c e m en t P h y s ic a l E x a m in a tio n .

T h e k e y sto n e

w ill r e le a s e m e n fr o m d a n g e r o u s jo b s , a n d c o n s e ­

o f a g o o d h e a lt h -m a in t e n a n c e p r o g r a m in in d u s t r y

q u e n t ly

w ill

t r a u m a t ic

is th e p h y s ic a l e x a m in a tio n , b e g in n in g w it h th e

in j u ries.

W it h tr u e a u t o m a t io n th e w o r k e r s e ld o m ,

p r e p la c e m e n t e x a m in a t io n , f o llo w e d u p b y p e r io d ic

if ev er,

e lim in a t e

c o m e s in

m ost

of

c o n t a c t w it h

th e

th e m a c h in e r y .

a n d s p e c ia l s tu d ie s .

N o t o n ly d o e s [th e p r e p la c e ­

M a n u a l h a n d lin g o f h e a v y s t o c k in th e lo a d in g

m e n t e x a m in a tio n ] u n c o v e r p h y s ic a l d e fe c t s w h ic h

a n d u n lo a d in g o f m a c h in e s a n d in th e t r a n s fe r o f

o ft e n c a n b e c o r r e c t e d i f c a u g h t in tim e , b u t i t

s t o c k s w it h in t h e p la n t is a ls o e lim in a t e d s o t h a t

a ssu res t h a t a n e m p lo y e e w ill b e p la c e d o n a j o b

th e r e is n o d a n g e r o f p h y s ic a l str a in , o r in ju r ie s

com m en su ra te

su ch

a b ilit y .

as

cru sh ed

fe e t .

The

F ord

M o to r

C o .’s

w ith

h is

p h y s ic a l

and

m en ta l

W h e r e e m p lo y e e a n d j o b a re ill m a t c h e d ,

e x p e r ie n c e in d ic a t e s a n 8 5 .5 -p e r c e n t r e d u c t io n in

th e w o r k w ill n o t b e a s o u r c e o f s a t is fa c t io n a n d

th e

w ill c r e a te te n s io n a n d s tre s s in

num ber

of

h e r n ia

cases

w h ere

a u t o m a t ic

e q u ip m e n t h a s b e e n in s t a lle d .6

th e e m p lo y e e .

T h e p r e p la c e m e n t e x a m in a t io n is a ls o im p o r t a n t ,

A u t o m a t i o n , w h ile n o t e lim in a t in g t h e n e e d f o r

f o r r e c o r d p u r p o s e s , in e s t a b lis h in g th e d e g r e e o f

d e c is io n s b y h u m a n b e in g s , r e p la c e s s o m e o f m a n ’ s

in ju r y o r d is e a s e p r e s e n t a t th e t im e o f [h irin g ],

s e n s o r y a p p a r a t u s in c o n n e c t io n w it h th e o p e r a t in g

s in c e 4 2 S t a t e s h a v e “ s e c o n d i n j u r y ” [p r o v is io n s in

fu n c t io n s o f th e m a c h in e a n d th u s r e lie v e s th e

w o r k m e n ’ s c o m p e n s a t io n la w s ] w h ic h m a k e th e

c h a n c e o f e r r o r in h u m a n p e r c e p t io n , w h ic h is t o o

e m p lo y e r

o f t e n a ffe c t e d b y s u c h fa c t o r s a s m e n t a l stre s s a n d

w o r k e r ’ s d is a b ilit y t h a t is a t t r ib u t a b le to ] n e w ly

p h y s ic a l fa t ig u e .

a c q u ir e d d a m a g e a n d n o t f o r th e t o t a l d is a b ilit y .

M a n n o lo n g e r n e e d s t o p a c e

h im s e lf t o th e r h y t h m o f th e m a c h in e , a r h y t h m

lia b le

o n ly

fo r

th e

[p r o p o r t io n

of

a

A n a t o m ic a l o r p h y s io lo g ic a l r e q u ir e m e n t s f o r

w h ic h m a y b e a n u n n a t u r a l o n e a n d r e s u lt in t e n ­

w ork

s io n a n d p o s s ib le a c c id e n t s .

C e r t a in ly p h y s ic a l s t r e n g th w ill p la y a le s s e r r o le

need

to

e x a m p le ,

s tr a in
in

to

t e x tile

ca tch

H e does n o t even

fa u lt y

w e a v in g

p r o d u c tio n ; fo r

o p e r a t io n s ,

in

a u to m a te d

th e p r o d u c t i o n

in d u s tr ie s

can

be

r e v is e d .

s c h e m e , m a k in g p o s s ib le th e

s a fe t y

d e v ic e s o n a u t o m a t ic lo o m s d is c o n n e c t th e m a ­

6
John B. Stirling, Automation, Safety’s New Ally, National Safety News,
February 1955.

c h in e a t th e le a s t a c c id e n t .




in

U5

e m p lo y m e n t

of

w ork ers.

is

It

m any

h a n d ic a p p e d

im p o r t a n t

th a t

or

[th e se

a g in g

in t o th e m ix e r w it h o u t m a n u a l h a n d lin g .

g rou p s]

[T h e

in d u s t r y h o p e s ] t o d e v is e a u t o m a t ic m a c h in e r y t o

b e p r o v i d e d f o r in o u r e c o n o m ic s t r u c tu r e .

r e d u c e a ll m ix e d s t o c k s in t o p e lle t o r

[v is c o u s ]

tim e c a n a ffe c t h is h e a lt h p ic t u r e .
P e r io d ic E x a m in a tio n s .

in

T h e r e la t io n s h ip o f w o r k

S u c h in te r e s t
need

th e

w e lfa r e

of

th e

in d iv id u a l

not

be

t o th e stre s s d is o r d e r s w ill m o s t c o n c e r n in d u s tr ia l

p a te r n a lis t ic a n d c a n b e a n in s t r u m e n t f o r g o o d

p h y s ic ia n s

in d u s tr ia l r e la t io n s .

h e n c e fo r t h .

Up

to

now

in d u s tr ia l

e ffe c t iv e in
ju s t m e n ts .

p h y s ic ia n s h a v e lo o k e d f o r th e g r e a t e s t s y m p t o m s
o f stress d is o r d e r s [e. g .,] h e a r t tr o u b le , h ig h b l o o d
p r e ss u r e , a n d u lce r s , a m o n g th e e x e c u t iv e g r o u p .

T h is

W i t h a u t o m a t io n th e n u m b e r o f s k ille d a n d p r o ­

s t r u c t iv e

fe s s io n a l w o r k e r s w ill g r e a t ly in c r e a s e .

by

T h e pe­

in c r e a s in g

a u t o m a t io n

p h y s ic ia n s w it h

can

p r o v id e

m o r a le c a n b e m o s t

e m p h a s is

m e d ic in e

on

p r e v e n t iv e

c a lls f o r

o u r m e d ic a l s c h o o ls t o

in c r e a s e d

m a la d ­

and

con ­

a t t e n t io n

th e h e a lt h p r o b le m s

N o t n e a r ly e n o u g h a t t e n t io n is

b e in g d e v o t e d t o p r e p a r in g p h y s ic ia n s t o a d m in ­

in d u s tr ia l

v a lu a b le in fo r m a t io n a s t o

new

f a c in g in d u s t r y .

r io d ic p h y s ic a l e x a m in a t io n in th e s e e a r lv d a y s o f

G ood

p r e v e n t in g fr u s t r a t io n s a n d

is te r h e a lt h m a in t e n a n c e p r o g r a m s in in d u s t r y .

th e

d e g r e e o f o c c u p a t io n a l stress a u t o m a t io n is h a v in g
o n it s w o r k e r s .
e x c e lle n t

H u m an

T h is t y p e o f e x a m in a t io n is a n

to o l fo r

k e e p in g

a b rea st

of

c h a n g in g

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

T h e w o r k e r w ill b e r e lie v e d o f th e d ir t y , b a c k ­
[an d] u n p le a s a n t w o r k in g

c o n d i­

D e s p it e th e f a c t t h a t m a n w ill b e

r e q u ir e d le s s a n d le s s t o w o r k jo i n t l y w it h a m a ­

t io n s ; h e w ill b e ta k e n a w a y f r o m th e r e p e t it iv e ,

c h in e in th e p r o d u c t i o n o f g o o d s ,

m o n o to n o u s,

as

a t t e n t io n

to

H e m u st, o n

p la n n in g

th e

s p e c ia liz e d

ta s k s

th o s e fo u n d o n th e a s s e m b ly lin e .

r e q u ir e

th e to le r a n c e o f th e h u m a n o r g a m s m t o th e stresses

fu r t h e r e x te n s io n o f p r e v e n t iv e m e d ic in e .

h ig h ly

w ill

th o s e in in d u s t r y a n d

th o s e in p r iv a t e p r a c t ic e , k n o w m u c h m o r e a b o u t

in d u s tr ia l h e a lt h p r o b le m s a n d m a k e s p o s s ib le th e

b r e a k in g jo b s ,

A u to m a tio n

E n g in e e r in g .

t h a t a ll p h y s ic ia n s , b o t h

su ch

[h u m a n ]
w ork

str e s s -s tr a in

fa c ilit ie s

and

th e n e e d f o r
p r o b le m s
th e

in

w o r k in g

th e o t h e r h a n d , b e p r e p a r e d t o fill th e r e q u ir e m e n t

e n v ir o n m e n t is n o t e lim in a t e d .

fo r

a n d o t h e r c o n t r o l p a n e l c o m p o n e n t s a t w h ic h th e

u p g r a d in g

to

se m i te c h n ic a l

jo b s ,

su ch

as

I n s t r u m e n t d ia ls

[m a ch in e ry ] m a in te n a n c e a n d r e p a ir , a n d s u p e r ­

(em p loy ee in

v is o r y p o s ts .

m u s t b e d e s ig n e d w it h th e p h y s io lo g ic a l c a p a c it ie s
o f m a n in m in d .

T h e c h a lle n g e m a y p r o v e [to b e ]

a s tra in , a lt h o u g h f o r m a n y e m p lo y e e s , r e tr a in in g

th e a u t o m a t e d in d u s t r y w ill w o r k

w ill s o lv e th e p r o b le m .
T h e in d u s tr ia l p h y s ic ia n m u s t c a r e fu lly w e ig h
th e stresses o f th e j o b a g a in s t th e h u m a n c a p a c it y
o f th e in d iv id u a l.

Summary

T h e p e r io d ic e x a m in a t io n is

A u t o m a t i o n w ill, m a k e p o s s ib le a g r e a t e r h u m a n ­

th e b e s t m e a n s f o r k e e p in g th e t w o in b a la n c e a n d

iz a t io n o f in d u s t r y .

T h e w o r k in g e n v ir o n m e n t

a v o id i n g a b r e a k d o w n in th e h e a lt h o f th e w o r k e r .

w ill u n d o u b t e d ly

s a fe r

be

[a n d ]

h e a lt h ie r ,

and

m a n y o f th e h a z a r d s w ill b e c o m p le t e ly e lim in a t e d .
m a k in g

A n y n e w m e d ic a l p r o b le m s w h ic h a ris e c a n b e

a v a ila b le t o e m p lo y e e s h e a lt h e d u c a t io n a l a d v ic e

c o p e d w it h b y a d h e r in g t o th e p r in c ip le s o f p r e ­

a n d [lite ra tu re ] o n s u c h s u b je c t s a s h o m e s a fe t y ,

v e n t iv e

n u t r it io n , a n d s a n ita tio n , in d u s t r y s e r v e s t o c u t

t e c h n iq u e s o f in d u s tr ia l h e a lt h s p e c ia lis ts in a ll
th e p r o fe s s io n a l fie ld s.

H e a lth

dow n

C o u n selin g

and

E d u c a tio n .

By

o n n o n o c c u p a t io n a l illn e s se s a n d in ju rie s .




U6

m e d ic in e ,

u t iliz in g

th e

k n o w le d g e

and

Part IL

Effects of Automation on Industrial Relations in
General and on Specific Collective Bargaining
Relationships.




U7




i n d u s t r ie s

T h e E ffe c t o f A u to m a t io n

at

d if f e r e n t

d if f e r e n t i m p a c t s .

o n I n d u s tr ia l R e la tio n s

p r o b a b ly h a v e

t im e s

and

w it h

q u it e

M o s t a f f e c t e d i n d u s t r ie s w i l l

q u it e

a b it o f tim e in

w h ic h

to

t h i n k t h r o u g h t h e l a b o r p r o b le m s a u t o m a t i o n w i l l

B

y

it s e l f ,

ro m an ce
b e h in d

th e

th a n

“ a u t o m a tio n ”
W hen

t h e w o r d i t s e lf a n d

t e c h n o lo g ic a l
co m e

w o rd

m e a n in g .

up

ch an g e

a g a in s t

it

we

d e s c r ib e

we

and

c r e a t e a n d to p l a n w h a t e v e r a d j u s t m e n t s m a y b e

m o re
to

n ecessary.

go

th e k in d

re p re se n ts,

c o m p l e x it y

has
try

h a d to b e d o n e o v e r n ig h t , s u c h a s l e t t i n g a t t r i t i o n

q u ic k ly

w o rk

vag u en ess.

o ff

th e

s u r p lu s

la b o r

or

r e t r a in in g

key

e m p lo y e e s .

N o n e t h e l e s s , t h e r e s e e m to b e t h r e e q u it e d i s t i n c t
n e a r ly

T h e r e a r e a ls o l i k e l y to b e s o m e e ff e c ts o n l a b o r

th a t c a n b e b ro u g h t u n d e r th e a u to ­

r e l a t i o n s w h i c h a r e i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e s p e e d w it h

d e v e lo p m e n t s
e v e r y t h in g

w h ic h

to g e th e r

e m b race

w h ic h

m a tio n r u b r ic .

1.

I t i s o f t e n p o s s ib le to d o t h in g s o v e r a

p e r io d o f t im e t h a t c o u ld n o t b e m a n a g e d i f t h e y

of

T h e lin k in g

a u t o m a tio n

co m e s; fo r

e x a m p le ,

th e

up­

g r a d in g o f t h e l e v e l o f s k i l l s r e q u i r e d i n t h e l a b o r

to g e th e r o f c o n v e n t io n a lly se p ­

a r a t e m a n u f a c t u r i n g o p e r a t io n s in t o l i n e s o f c o n ­

fo rce a n d

tin u o u s

m o r e s p e c ia liz e d , m o r e r o u t i n e , a n d le s s i n t e r e s t i n g

p r o d u c tio n

th ro u g h

w h ic h

th e

m o v e s “ u n to u c h e d b y h u m a n h a n d s .”

p ro d u ct

jo b s .

T h i s f ir s t

th e r e v e r s a l o f th e p a s t tre n d

T h ese

tw o

e x a m p le s

su g g est

to w a rd

th a t

a u to ­

m a t i o n w i l l n o t c o n f r o n t u s s o l e ly w i t h “ p r o b le m s ”

d e v e lo p m e n t , w h i c h d e p e n d s p r i m a r i l y o n m e c h a n ­
i c a l e n g in e e r in g f o r i t s a d o p t io n , w e s h a l l r e f e r to

in

s i m p l y a s i n t e g r a t i o n , a t e r m a l r e a d y i n w id e u s e i n

o n la b o r d ir e c t ly , a s p ro d u c e rs , a n d in d ir e c t ly , a s
co n su m e rs.

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

2.

The

u se

of

“ fe e d b a ck ”

s e r v o m e c h a n is m s , w h ic h

t h e l a b o r f ie ld , b u t w i l l c o n f e r s o m e b e n e f it s

or

I t i s i m p o r t a n t to s t a t e q u it e e x p l i c i t l y t h a t , a t

in d iv id u a l o p e ra ­

th is e a r ly d a te , p r o b a b ly n o o n e c a n p r e d ic t w it h

c o n t r o l d e v ic e s ,

a llo w

t i o n s to b e p e r f o r m e d w i t h o u t a n y n e c e s s i t y f o r

c o n f id e n c e t h e o u t c o m e o f s p e c if ic d e v e lo p m e n t s o r

h u m a n c o n t r o l.

re c o m m e n d

W it h fe e d b a c k , th e re is a lw a y s

s p e c if ic

s o lu t io n s

to

h y p o t h e t ic a l

s o m e b u il t - i n a u t o m a t i c d e v i c e f o r c o m p a r in g t h e

p r o b le m s .

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

p o s s ib le

w a y i n w h i c h i t i s s u p p o s e d to b e d o n e a n d f o r

a w a r e n e s s o f t h e l a n d s o f c h a n g e s a n d p r o b le m s

m a k in g ,

a u t o m a t ic a lly ,

any

a d ju s t m e n t s

w o rk p ro ce ss th a t m a y b e n e c e s s a ry .

in

it

is

dependent

not

is

th e

is lik e ly

d e v e lo p m e n t
to

b r in g .

of

a

H e re,

g en e ral

th e n ,

are

s o m e g e n e r a l a r e a s t h a t s e e m l i k e l y to b e a f f e c t e d

T h is second

p r im a r ily

now ,

a u t o m a tio n

th e

b y a u t o m a tio n :

d e v e lo p m e n t w e s h a l l r e f e r to s i m p l y a s f e e d b a c k
te c h n o lo g y ;

W h a t i s n e e d e d , a n d w h a t a lo n e s e e m s

1.

on

A u t o m a tio n

is

lik e ly

to

m e c h a n i c a l b u t o n e l e c t r ic a l e n g in e e r in g k n o w le d g e

im p ro v e d

a n d t e c h n iq u e s .

p e r m it

g r e a t ly

i n c lu d i n g

g re a te r

s a f e t y a n d e a s ie r h o u s e k e e p in g .

3.

The

d e v e lo p m e n t

o f g e n e r a l-

and

2.

s p e c ia l-

c o n d it io n s ,

w o r k in g

M u c h t h i n k i n g a b o u t in c e n t iv e s y s te m s , p a r ­

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

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

and

to b e r e v i s e d o r d is c a r d e d .

s t o r in g i n f o r m a t io n

n u m b e rs),

and

of

( u s u a lly in

p e r f o r m in g

th e fo rm

b o th

s im p l e

of

3.

and

As

so m e

tr a d it io n a l

c o m p le x m a t h e m a t i c a l o p e r a t io n s o n s u c h i n f o r ­

la y o u ts

m a tio n .

m a n a g e r ia l r e s p o n s ib ility

W e s h a l l r e f e r to t h i s a s p e c t o f a u t o m a ­

tio n a s c o m p u te r te c h n o lo g y ; i t r e s t s p r im a r ily on

s p e c if ic

n e w d e v e lo p m e n t s i n e l e c t r ic a l e n g in e e r in g .

are

ch an g ed ,

m a n u f a c t u r in g

e a s ie r ; b u c k p a s s i n g
m o re

d if f ic u lt

to

p ro ce sse s a n d

th e

jo b

of

fo r th e p e rfo rm a n c e
o p e r a t io n s

m ay

a m o n g d e p a rtm

"et

a w a r,

w it h ,

o th e r h a n d ,

th e re

m ay

w e ll b e

ts r w y

so m e

of

becom e

fo re m e n

H K e iy to t a k e o n in c r e a s e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .

Areas of Industrial Relations Affected

fa cto ry

p i n p o in t in g

be
are

O n th e
fo rm s

of

a u t o m a tio n t h a t w ill w o r k th e o th e r w a y , t h a t i s ,

S o m e o f th e w a y s in w h ic h a u t o m a tio n w ill a ffe c t
in d u s t r ia l r e la tio n s w ill o b v io u s ly d e p e n d o n th e

t h e y m a y b l u r t h e b o u n d a r ie s o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s

sp e e d a n d m a s s w it h w h ic h i t s tr ik e s th e e c o n o m y .

t h a t a r e n o w c le a r .

4.

I t i s le s s l i k e l y to c o m e a s a t i d a l w a v e t h a n a s a

F e b ru a ry 1955



T r a in in g

(o r

p e rh a p s

w ill p r o b a b ly r e q u ir e m o re

s u c c e s s io n o f g r o u n d s w e lls t h a t w i l l r e a c h d if f e r e n t

h9

r e t r a in in g )
a t te n tio n

p r o b le m s
th a n

th e y

h a v e s in c e W o r l d W a r I I .

T h e t r a in i n g p r o b le m s

c h a n g e .”

a r e l i k e l y to c e n t e r o n t h e d e v e lo p m e n t o f n e w a n d

p r o b le m s

c o m p le x

s k ills

fo r

hew

g ra d e s

of

B u t,

w h i le

a s s o c ia t e d

b r o a d ly

w it h

f a m ilia r ,

a u t o m a tio n

do

th e
b r in g

m a in t e n a n c e

s o m e n e w t w i s t s , s o m e n e w d im e n s io n s f o r c o n ­

t e c h n i c i a n s , w i t h s h i f t s i n o p e r a t o r s ’ s k i l l s b e in g

s id e r a t i o n . . W e p r o p o s e t o l o o k b r ie f l y a t t h r e e

r e l a t i v e l y m in o r .

5.

a r e a s , u s in g a s a b a s i s f o r t h e d is c u s s io n w h a t w e

A m a r k e d c h a n g e i n t h e w o r k - c o n t e n t o f jo b s

h a v e g le a n e d f r o m t h e l i m i t e d p u b l i s h e d i n f o r m a ­

r e s u l t i n g f r o m a u t o m a t i o n m a y f in d e x p r e s s io n i n

tio n

th re e

fa m ilia r

fo rm s:

a r e a s w e h a v e s e le c t e d a r e t h e s e :

o fte n

re q u ire

a d ju s t m e n t ;

(a )

W age

s tr u c t u r e s

(b )

th e

m ay

a v a ila b le

and

e ff e c ts o n r i g i d l y

e x a m p le ,

by

e le c t r ic a l

s k ills

need

in

o b s e r v a t io n s .

d e f in e d j o b

to

u n if y

m e c h a n ic a l a n d

The

( 1) t h e e ff e c t s

c la s s

o f m a in t e n a n c e

c la s s if ic a t io n s a n d

( 3) t h e p r o b le m

s e n io r ity u n it s , a n d

new

a

own

o n t h e a b i l i t i e s r e q u i r e d o f t h e l a b o r f o r c e , ( 2) t h e

t r a d itio n a l

j u r i s d i c t i o n s o f s o m e u n io n s m a y b e d i s t u r b e d ; f o r

th e

our

m e n t.

o f d is p l a c e ­

w o r k e r s ; ( c ) t h e i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e o f s o m e u n io n s i s

Abilities Required of the Labor Force

l i k e l y to u n d e r g o c h a n g e s ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , i t m a y b e
i m p o r t a n t f o r s o m e u n io n s t o g iv e s p e c i a l r e c o g n i­
t i o n to n e w , s m a l l g r o u p s o f h i g h l y s k i ll e d w o r k e r s .

6.

M an ag e m e n ts

and

u n io n s ,

a c cu sto m e d

W h a t w ill b e th e im p a c t o f a u t o m a tio n o n th e

to

a b i l i t i e s r e q u ir e d o f t h e l a b o r f o r c e ?

W il l i t le a v e

t h i n k i n g i n t e r m s o f n a r r o w a n d r ig i d j o b c la s s i­

u s w i t h a p r e d o m in a n c e o f d u l l , r o u t i n i z e d j o b s ,

f ic a t io n s , m a y n e e d to b r o a d e n t h e s c o p e o f t h o s e

in

c l a s s if ic a t io n s s o m e w h a t .

d ic t a t e s o f t h e m a c h i n e ?

T h e s a m e t h i n g a p p lie s

t o t h i n k in g a b o u t s e n i o r i t y u n i t s .

7.

F in a lly ,

th e re

is

th e

p e o p le

open up
e ff e c t.

e m p lo y m e n t

are

fo rce d

to

co n fo rm

to

th e

O r i s i t m o r e l i k e l y to

jo b s w i t h g r e a t e r i n t e l l e c t u a l c h a lle n g e

a n d to r a i s e t h e s k i l l c o m p o s it io n o f t h e l a b o r f o r c e ?

T h e a n x ie t y a n d f e a r w h ic h s te m fro m u n c e r t a in t y
c o n c e r n in g h o w

w h ic h

A n y d is c u s s io n o f j o b m i x i s , o f c o u r s e , a d is ­

e m p lo y m e n t w i l l b e a f f e c t e d b y

c u s s io n o f p r o p o r t io n s , o f t h e r e l a t i v e w e ig h t s o f

a u t o m a t i o n g iv e r is e t o t h e m o s t d if f ic u lt p r o b le m s

m a n a g e r i a l , p r o f e s s io n a l, s k i ll e d , s e m is k i l l e d , a n d

o f a ll.

la b o rin g

I t i s h a r d l y s u r p r is i n g t h a t u n i o n n e w s ­

jo b s .

G e n e r a lly ,

a u t o m a tio n

a p p e a rs

p a p e r s a n d c u r r e n t c o n t r a c t d e m a n d s o f t e n r e f le c t

t o b r in g a b o u t a c h a n g e i n t h e m i x , so t h a t t h e

t h e s e f e a r s , t h o u g h i t i s w o r t h n o t in g t h a t m o s t

r e s u l t i n g w e ig h t s t e n d

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

m o re

o u t h y s t e r i a a n d w i t h a d e s ir e t o p l a n i n t e l l i g e n t l y

s k i ll e d t y p e s o f o c c u p a t io n s .

fo r w h a t m a y

he ahead.

W e

ca n n o t sh ru g

o ff

h ig h ly

s k i ll e d

to e m p h a s iz e t h e f o r m e r ,

ra th e r

th a n

th e

la t t e r ,

le s s

W e h a v e o b se rv e d

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

p e o p l e d f e a r s o f b e in g l e f t s t r a n d e d , o f h a v i n g n o

but

a l t e r n a t i v e j o b o r t h e t i m e a n d m o n e y t o f in d o n e

r e a s o n in g t h a n o n s t a t i s t i c a l g r o u n d s .

in th e e v e n t o f la y o f f; w e c a n n o t d o w n th e se fe a rs

r e a s o n a b le t o e x p e c t t h a t t h e r a t io o f m a n a g e r s t o

by

c itin g

th e

v ir t u e s

la b o r m o b ilit y ,
seem s su re

and

of

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

in d iv id u a lis m .

t o b r in g w i t h

it

p ro g re ss,

c o n c lu s io n

m u s t re s t m o re

on

a

p r io r i

It

seem s

e m p lo y e e s w i l l in c r e a s e , i n v i e w o f t h e in c r e a s e d
v a l u e o f t h e e q u ip m e n t f o r w h i c h

A u t o m a tio n

in c r e a s e d

th e

m a n a g e r w o u ld

e m p h a s is

becom e

a n in d iv id u a l

r e s p o n s ib le ,

and

of th e

o n m e a n s o f c u s h io n in g t h e s h o c k t o t h e w o r k e r

in c r e a s e d p r o p o r t io n

w h o i s d is p la c e d , a n d o f r e t r a i n i n g h i m t o a u s e f u l

in e v it a b ly b r o u g h t u n d e r th e s u p e r v is io n o f o n e

a n d s a t i s f y i n g r o le i n o u r s o c ie t y .

m an.

E a c h of th e a re a s n o te d a b o v e d e se rv e s c a re fu l
c o n s id e r a t io n b y m a n a g e m e n t s a n d
each

is

w o rth y

of

c o n s id e r a b ly

O f co u rse ,

and

th e re

is

and

w o r k in g

a lr e a d y

th e m

le a d e r

at

e x p e r ie n c e
o u t.

re m a rk e d ,

As

hand
fo r
one

a

u se

la r g e

body
g u id e

e x p e r ie n c e d

in

th e

co m p u te r

case

of

th e

t e c h n o lo g ie s ,

In
m o st

u n io n

t h e f a c t o r y , t h e n e w t e c h n o lo g y t a k e s o v e r
r e a d ily

th e

m a t e r ia ls - h a n d li n g

and

co m ­

p l e t e l y r o u t i n i z e d m a c h i n e o p e r a t io n s a n d t e n d s
to e m p h a s iz e , a s f a r a s t h e a v e r a g e p l a n t w o r k m a n
i s c o n c e r n e d , jo b s d ir e c t e d a t “ k e e p in g t h e p r o c e s s

B ack

g o in g b e c a u s e w e j u s t c a n ’t s t a n d d o w n t i m e .”

th ir t ie s




we

c a lle d

it

m ay

and

lo o k

th e

It

e s p e c ia lly

n e w t o t h e e n g in e e r s b u t , to m e , i t ’s a n o ld s t o r y .
in

“ A u t o m a tio n ?

fee d b ack

g iv e r is e to w h a t a m o u n t s t o a n e w o c c u p a t i o n i n

in

a

p ro ce ss

m o s t c o n c e rn s, t h a t o f e le c t r o n ic t e c h n ic ia n .

of

as

and,

e l e c t r o n ic

i n m a n y r e s p e c t s t h e p r o b le m s a r e e n t i r e l y f a m i l i a r
re se a rch

to ta l w o rk

T h e v a l u e a n d c o m p l e x it y o f t h e e q u i p m e n t

e n g in e e r s

a c a d e m ic

r e s e a r c h t h a n h a s b e e n d o n e u p to n o w .

th e

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

u n io n s ; a n d

m o re

of

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

50

As

o n e p l a n t m a n a g e r e x p la in e d , “ Y o u c a n ’t a f f o r d t o

m e d ic a l

c h a s e a l l o v e r t h e f a c t o r y f o r a m a in t e n a n c e m a n

d u r in g th e n e x t

w h e n s o m e t h in g g o e s w r o n g .

t h e h ig h e r s t a n d a r d s o f l i v i n g m a d e p o s s ib le b y

H e ’s g o t t o b e r i g h t

and

t h e r e a n d h e ’s g o t to k n o w s o m e t h in g a b o u t e le c ­

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

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

m ade

ic a l.”

to w a rd

e d u c a t i o n a l,

S o t h e p r o p o r t io n o f m a in t e n a n c e p e o p le

i s l i k e l y t o in c r e a s e a s w e ll a s t h e s k i l l r e q u i r e d o f
th e m .

10

ad van ce,

th ro u g h
lo n g e r

a

th e

in c r e a s e

v a c a tio n s ,

sh o rte r w o rk w e ek .

In

r a p id ly

A n d , w it h

a d ju s t m e n t

c o n t in u a t io n

s e e a n o t h e r lo n g - t e r m

T h i s is n o t to s a y t h a t a ll r o u tin e o r h e a v y

w ill

y e a rs and b eyon d .

m ay

of p re se n t

m o re

be

tre n d s

h o lid a y s ,

and

a

t h a t e v e n t , w e m a y w e ll
tr e n d c o n t in u e d : a f u r t h e r

j o b s w i l l b e e l im in a t e d o r to o v e r lo o k t h e f a c t t h a t

r e d u c t io n i n t h e n u m b e r o f u n s k i l l e d j o b s a n d a n

m a n y s k i ll e d jo b s m a y d is a p p e a r o r b e c o m e le s s

in c r e a s e in e m p h a s is o n t h e m o r e s k i ll e d a n d p r o ­

im p o r t a n t q u a n t it a t iv e ly .

f e s s io n a l o c c u p a t io n s .

B u t in t e r m s o f o v e r a ll

p r o p o r t io n s , i t s e e m s l i k e l y t h a t a u t o m a t i o n w i l l

I n s h o r t , o u r g u e s s i s t h a t b o t h t h e d ir e c t s h o r t -

h a v e a n u p g r a d in g e ff e c t o n t h e j o b m i x i n t h o s e

r u n a n d th e in d ir e c t lo n g e r-ru n e ffe ct o f a u t o m a ­

a r e a s o f t h e e c o n o m y w h e r e i t i s e m p lo y e d .

T h is

t io n o n e m p l o y m e n t w i l l c a l l f o r m o r e a n d n o t le s s

c o n c lu s io n m a y b e f u r t h e r b o ls t e r e d b y r e f e r e n c e

s k ill o n th e p a r t of o u r la b o r fo rce .

t o t h e o il a n d c h e m i c a l i n d u s t r ie s , w h e r e a u t o m a ­

tit le d

t i o n h a s h a d a r e l a t i v e l y lo n g h i s t o r y a l r e a d y .

a f f o r d a p a r t i a l a n s w e r to t h o s e w h o l o o k a t t h e

T h e q u a n t it a t iv e im p a c t o f a u t o m a tio n o n e m ­

to

a c a u t io u s h o p e

th a t

W e are e n ­

a u t o m a tio n

m ay

r is i n g e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s i n t h e c o u n t r y a n d a s k ,

p lo y m e n t in th o se a re a s o f o u r e c o n o m y w h e re i t is

“ W h a t a r e p e o p le g o in g to d o w i t h a l l t h a t e d u c a ­

u se d

t io n w h e n t h e y f in d t h e m s e lv e s o n t h e d u l l a n d

is

a lm o s t

im p o s s ib le

to

e s t im a t e .

O b v i­

o u s l y , f ir m s i n s t a l l t h e n e w e q u ip m e n t b e c a u s e i t

ro u tin e jo b s o f A m e r ic a n in d u s t r y ? ”

h e lp s th e m re d u c e c o sts.

tio n

W h ile la b o r c o sts a re n o t

m ay

in d e e d

have

c re a te d

M e c h a n iz a ­

m any

d u ll

and

th e o n ly a re a o f s a v in g s in v o lv e d , t h e y a re t y p ic a lly

r o u tin e jo b s ; a u to m a tio n , h o w e v e r, is n o t a n e x te n ­

a

s io n b u t a r e v e r s a l o f t h i s t r e n d : i t p r o m is e s t o c u t

m a jo r

c o n s id e r a t io n ,

so ,

on

th e

fa ce

of

th e

q u e s t io n , w e w o u ld e x p e c t a r e d u c t io n i n e m p l o y ­

o u t j u s t t h a t k i n d o f j o b a n d to c r e a t e o t h e r s o f

m e n t o p p o r t u n i t ie s , g iv e n s o m e f r a m e w o r k o f t o t a l

h ig h e r s k i l l .

e f f e c t iv e d e m a n d .

B u t i t i s m u c h e a s ie r to i d e n ­

T h e t r a i n i n g — o r t h e e d u c a t i o n a l j o b i m p l ie d —

t i f y j o b s t h a t a r e b e in g l o s t to t e c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e

w ill

th a n

im p o r t a n t

t h o s e i t i s c r e a t in g .

N e g l e c t i n g t h e p o s s i­

o b v io u s ly

b ecom e

m o re

as th e sp eed

d if f ic u lt

and

m o re

o f i n n o v a t i o n in c r e a s e s .

b i l i t y t h a t g r e a t e r d e m a n d m a y r e s u l t f r o m lo w e r

S t u d i e s o f t h e s k i ll e d l a b o r f o r c e a n d i t s r e c r u i t ­

p r o d u c t p r ic e s , t h e r e i s t h e v i r t u a l c e r t a i n t y t h a t

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

n e w p ro d u c ts w ill b e m a d e t e c h n ic a lly o r e co n o m ­

e le c t r o n i c t e c h n i c i a n s r e c e n t l y m a d e b y t h e B u r e a u

as th a t on

i c a l l y f e a s ib le , p a r t i c u l a r l y b y t h e f e e d b a c k c o n t r o l

o f L a b o r S t a t i s t i c s ,1 a r e g iv e n a d d e d s ig n if ic a n c e

d e v ic e s n o w b e in g d e v e lo p e d .

by

is

a t le a s t a n

open one.

T h e q u e s t io n , t h e n ,

N e it h e r o p t im is t s n o r

th e

c u s s in g .

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

d e v e lo p m e n t s

we

a re

d is ­

T h e s a m e m a y b e s a id fo r th e w o r k o f

p e s s im is t s c a n a f f o r d t o b e to o d o g m a t ic a b o u t t h e

th e B u r e a u

lo n g -ru n

o p p o r t u n it ie s f o r a d u lt e d u c a t io n i n a w id e v a r i e t y

q u a n t ita t iv e

e ffe cts

of

a u t o m a tio n

on

e m p lo y m e n t .

o f f ie ld s .

B u t s u p p o s e w e a s s u m e t h a t t h e i n d u s t r ie s w h e r e
a u t o m a tio n is u se d e m p lo y a s m a lle r a n d s m a lle r
p r o p o r t io n

o f th e la b o r fo rce .

D e s p it e

a d ir e c t

e f f e c t o f u p g r a d in g o n t h e j o b m i x , t h e r e m i g h t b e ,

o f A p p r e n t ic e s h i p , a n d o f t h e m a n y

W e c a n e x p e c t m a n y o f th e m o re a le r t

e n g in e e r in g

c o lle g e s

and

c o m m u n it y

v o c a tio n a l

s c h o o ls to r e v i s e t h e ir c u r r i c u l u m s to t a k e a c c o u n t
of

a u t o m a tio n .

M any

co m p an y

a p p r e n t ic e s h ip

p r o g r a m s m a y b e s im ila r ly a ffe c te d .

i n t h e o v e r a l l p i c t u r e , a d o w n g r a d in g e ff e c t i f t h e
a d j u s t m e n t s t h a t t a k e p la c e a r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y i n

Job Classifications and Seniority Units

u n s k i l l e d o c c u p a t io n s o r i n s u c h a r e a s a s p e r s o n a l
It

A f re q u e n tly n o te d c h a r a c t e r is t ic o f o u r e c o n o m y

s e e m s a s c e r t a in a s a n y s o c ia l tre n d c a n b e t h a t

s e r v ic e s .

T h a t s e e m s to u s u n l i k e l y , h o w e v e r .

is th e te n d e n c y to w a r d g re a t e r a n d g re a te r s p e c ia l­

th e

iz a t io n

dem and

f o r p r o f e s s io n a l

s e r v ic e s ,

e s p e c ia lly

o f k n o w le d g e

and

of

ta sk s.

W o rk

has

t y p i c a l l y b e e n o r g a n iz e d i n t o t h e s m a l l e s t p o s s ib le

i The Mobility of Electronic Technicians, 1940-52, Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics’ Bull. 1 5 , 19 ; for sum ary, see Monthly Labor Review, M
1 0 54
m
arch
1 5 (p. 263).
94




51

u n it s , e a c h o n e o f w h ic h is a r e p e tit iv e p a r t o f a
t o t a l p r o c e s s a n d i s so s m a l l i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e w h o le

t h a t a s e n s e o f i d e n t i f i c a t io n w i t h t h e t o t a l p r o c e s s

p r o v i d e f o r in c r e a s e d j o b c h a n g e s a n d t r a n s f e r s X)f

o n t h e p a r t o f t h e p e r s o n p e r f o r m in g t h e j o b i s

p e r s o n n e l.

a l m o s t o u t o f t h e q u e s t io n .

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

h a s been

I n p a r t , th is te n d e n c y

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

B u t i t i s a ls o a r e s u l t , a s w e a l l r e c o g n iz e , o f t h e
p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h s a y s , ( 1) b r e a k t h e w o r k p r o c e s s
d o w n i n t o t h e s m a l l e s t p o s s ib le c o m p o n e n t s ,

( 2)

F o r e x a m p le , s e n i o r i t y r u l e s t h a t w o r k

h e a t - t r e a tin g ,

g r in d in g ,

and

a s s e m b ly

d e p a rt­

m e n ts m a y n o t m a k e se n se w it h in a n e w d e p a rt­
m e n t t h a t c o m b in e s a l l t h e s e o p e r a t io n s i n

one

i n t e g r a t e d f in e ; e x is t in g r u l e s m a y a ls o m a k e i t

f it j o b s i n t o a r ig i d s t r u c t u r e t h a t e m p h a s iz e s t h e

d if f ic u lt t o s t a f f a n e w in t e g r a t e d d e p a r t m e n t w i t h

d u t i e s a n d t h e b o u n d a r ie s o f t h e j o b r a t h e r t h a n

th o s e in d iv id u a ls b o t h p a r t ie s a g re e o u g h t to g e t

it s

p art

in

th e

p ro ce ss,

and

( 3)

put

e v eryo n e

t h e n e w jo b s .

O n e m a n a g e m e n t g ro u p e v e n su g ­

p o s s ib le o n a n i n d i v i d u a l o r s m a ll- g r o u p i n c e n t i v e

g e s t e d t h a t s e n i o r i t y s t a n d a r d s w o u ld u n d e :

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

e v o l u t i o n s t e m m in g d i r e c t l y f r o m

jo b .

m o r e f le x ib le w o r k f o r c e .

T h is

p h ilo s o p h y in e v it a b ly

has

te n d e d

to

In

5*0 a n

th e n eed lo r a

t h is v ie w , th e d e ­

id e n t if y th e in d iv id u a l w it h a n e v e r m o re n a r ro w

v e lo p m e n t o f a

t a s k , g iv i n g h i m p o s i t i v e i n c e n t iv e s t o r e s t r i c t h i s

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

in t e r e s t s a n d n o in c e n t iv e a t a ll to t h in k b e y o n d

w o r k p r o c e s s w o u ld m e a n m o r e t h a n m e r e a p p l i c a ­

w o rk

fo rce

w illin g

and

a b le

to

h i s i m m e d ia t e w o r k e n v i r o n m e n t o r t o p la c e h i s

tio n o f s e n io r it y p ro t e c tio n s to b r o a d e r u n it s o f

o w n p e rfo rm a n c e in th e c o n te x t o f a to ta l o p e ra ­

w o rk .

t io n .

“ a b i l i t y t o l e a r n ” w o u ld g r a d u a l l y r e p la c e “ a b i l i t y

T h i s p h i l o s o p h y a ls o b r in g s w i t h i t a t e n d ­

A s a s t a n d a r d fo r c o n t in u e d e m p lo y m e n t ,

to d o ” th e jo b .

e n c y t o t h i n k i n t e r m s o f s e n i o r i t y u n i t s a s r ig i d
a n d n a r r o w a s th e jo b c la s s if ic a t io n s in m a n y c a se s.

The Problem of Displacement

A u t o m a t i o n i s l i k e l y t o c h a lle n g e t h e s e h a b i t s
o f t h o u g h t f o s t e r e d b y d is c o n t in u o u s a n d h i g h l y
s p e c ia liz e d

m e th o d s

of

p ro d u c tio n .

Fro m

I t w o u ld b e s i l l y t o p r e t e n d t h a t t h e r e w i l l n o t

th e

t e c h n i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w , a u t o m a t i o n t ie s o p e r a t io n s

be

t o g e t h e r p h y s i c a l l y ; i n t e r m s o f s y s t e m s , e n g in e e r ­

W h e t h e r o r n o t i t c re a te s , d ir e c t ly o r in d ir e c t ly ,

i n g a n d e c o n o m ic s a l i k e , a u t o m a t i o n r e q u i r e s a n e w

a s m a n y j o b s a s i t w ip e s o u t , n o o n e c a n k n o w .

w ay

D e s p i t e t h e i n e v i t a b le u n c e r t a i n t y a s t o t h e s p e e d

o f th in k in g

a b o u t t h e f lo w

and

co n tro l of

m any

jo b s

w h ic h

a u t o m a tio n

w ill

a b o l is h .

co n ­

a n d s c o p e o f a u t o m a t i o n ’s i m p a c t , t h i s m u c h a t

t in u o u s m o v e m e n t o f w o r k th ro u g h a t o t a l p ro c e s s

le a s t se e m s c e r ta in : T h e r e is b o u n d to b e a n e w

r a t h e r t h a n th e sto p -a n d -g o p ro g re ss w h ic h is th e

i n f lu e n c e a t w o r k w h i c h w i l l s t r e n g t h e n t h e a r g u ­

w o rk — a w a y

o f t h in k in g

th a t

e m p h a s iz e s

m e n t s o f p e o p le w h o f e e l t h a t w a g e e a r n e r s o u g h t

s u m o f i n d e p e n d e n t o p e r a t io n s .

n o t t o b e a r t h e m a i n b r u n t o f t e c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e .

A l m o s t a s a c o r o l l a r y o f t h e r e a s o n in g a b o u t t h e
e f f e c t s o n s k i l l s o f a u t o m a t io n , i t a p p e a r s t h a t a u t o ­

S o c ia l s h o c k a b s o rb e rs , s u c h a s s e v e re n c e p a y ,

m a t i o n w i l l n e c e s s it a t e b r o a d e r t h i n k i n g a b o u t j o b

th e g u a ra n te e d a n n u a l w a g e , u n e m p lo y m e n t b e n e ­

c la s s if ic a t io n s a n d s e n io r it y u n it s .

f it s , c a r e f u l t i m in g o f l a b o r s a v i n g i n n o v a t i o n s t o

w hen

3

or

4 d if f e r e n t

F o r e x a m p le ,

c o in c id e

t y p e s o f g r i n d in g o p e r a t io n s ,

w it h

b u s in e s s

u p s w in g s ,

in c re a s e d

i n f o r m a t io n - s h a r i n g

a r e t ie d t o g e t h e r b y a u t o m a t i o n , o n e m a n w i l l b e

u n i o n s , s e e m l i k e l y to r e c e i v e i n c r e a s e d a t t e n t i o n ,

a b le t o o p e r a t e t h e in t e g r a t e d g r i n d in g l i n e .

b e tw e e n

and

e a c h n o w r e p r e s e n t in g a s e p a r a t e j o b c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ,

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

T h is

m a n a g e m e n ts

and

I f so m e o f th e se m o b ilit y

b e n e f it s a d d t o t h e e m p l o y e r ’s c o s t o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l

m a n m u s t h a v e a g e n e r a liz e d k n o w le d g e o f g r i n d ­
i n g ; a n d h i s c h a n g e d , b r o a d e r j o b c la s s i f i c a t i o n i s

c h a n g e , t h a t a lo n e w o u l d n o t d is t u r b u s g r e a t l y .

l i k e l y to c a r r y m o r e p a y t h a n a n y o f t h e o ld g r i n d ­

I n d e e d , i t i s i m p o r t a n t to r e c o g n iz e c l e a r l y a t l e a s t
tw o

in g o c c u p a tio n s .

ty p es

w o rk e r:

A s f o r s e n i o r i t y , e x i s t i n g c o n t r a c t c la u s e s a n d

of

co sts

( 1) lo s s

in c u r r e d

o f in c o m e

by

w h i le

th e

d is p l a c e d

l o o k in g

fo r

a

p la n t c u s to m s m a y b e fo u n d u n s a t is f a c t o r y in th e

n e w j o b ; a n d ( 2 ) lo s s o f e q u it ie s b u i l t u p o n t h e

lig h t

o ld j o b i n t h e f o r m o f s e n i o r i t y , p e n s io n r ig h t s , v a ­

of

new

needs

p re se n te d

by

a u t o m a tio n .

W h e r e s e n io r it y p r o v is io n s h a v e a r is e n fro m e r e la ­

c a t i o n r ig h t s , a n d so o n .

t i v e l y s t a b l e o p e r a t io n w i t h lo n g e s t a b lis h e d a n d

b e n e f it s o f o n e k i n d o r a n o t h e r a r e c l e a r l y a w a y

W h ile u n e m p lo y m e n t

su sp ect

o f a p p r o a c h i n g t h e f ir s t t y p e o f lo s s , t h e m o r e g e n ­

t h a t th e p a r tie s w ill w a n t to c h a n g e th e r u le s to

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

c le a r ly

d e f in e d




o c c u p a tio n a l g ro u p s ,

we

52

p e o p le w i t h

s u b s t a n t i a l e q u it ie s i n

u se

e x is t in g j o b s

to

good

a d v a n ta g e .

S o c ia l

r e s p o n s ib ility

m a y b e o n e a p p r o p r ia te w a y to s h a r e so m e o f th e

w o u ld m e a n t e l l i n g n e w e m p lo y e e s t h a t t h e ir j o b s

in it ia l

w ere

g a in s

in v o lv e d .

In

a d d it i o n , s u c h

g a in -

te m p o ra ry ,

r e t r a in in g

o ld

e m p lo y e e s

w ho

s h a r i n g s h o u ld s t r e n g t h e n t h e h a n d s o f b o t h m a n ­

h a v e t h e r e q u i s i t e a b i l i t y , p e r m it t i n g t h o s e n e a r

a g e m e n t a n d u n i o n o f f ic ia ls a s t h e y c o n f r o n t t h e

r e t i r e m e n t to c l a i m p e n s io n b e n e f it s , a n d s o o n .

i n e v i t a b le s h o r t - r u n p r e s s u r e s t h a t d e v e lo p w h e n ­

A u t o m a t i o n i s l i k e l y t o h a v e i t s g r e a t e s t im m e ­

e v e r j o b s a r e e lim in a t e d .

d ia t e i m p a c t o n o ffic e o c c u p a t io n s .

I n d e v e lo p in g p o lic ie s t o c u s h io n t h e i m p a c t o f
a u t o m a tio n ,

as

w it h

any

m a jo r

In

a sen se,

t h a t i s f o r t u n a t e , s in c e i t w i l l a f f e c t a c l a s s o f w o r k ­

t e c h n o lo g ic a l

e r s f o r w h o m t h e b lo w c a n b e s o f t e n e d m o s t e a s il y ,

c h a n g e , t h e t o u g h e s t s it u a t i o n s a r e n o t l i k e l y to

n a m e l y f e m a le e m p lo y e e s w o r k i n g i n l a r g e o ffic e s .

b e t h o s e i n w h i c h s o m e n e w m a c h i n e s a n d e q u ip ­

N o t o n l y i s t u r n o v e r m a r k e d l y h ig h e r a m o n g fe ­

m e n t a r e i n s t a l le d i n a g iv e n p l a n t ; t h e t o u g h e s t

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

s it u a t i o n s a r e l i k e l y to a r is e f r o m c o m p e t it io n b e ­

in

tw e e n n e w

m a rk e ts.

p la n ts

d e s ig n e d

o ld e r o n e s t h a t a r e n o t .

fo r a u t o m a tio n

and

S o m e t im e s t h e t w o p l a n t s

One

w i l l b e lo n g t o t h e s a m e c o m p a n y , s o m e t im e s n o t .
I n c a se s w h e re a u t o m a tio n e x p re sse s it s e lf a s c o m ­

B u t w h e n a u t o m a tio n ta k e s th e fo rm o f c h a n g e s
u n i o n s h a v e m u c h g r e a t e r c o n t r o l o v e r t h e e ff e c t s

has been

if

of

T h i s b r in g s t o t h e f o r e t h e e d u c a t i o n a l a n d

not

r e v o lu t io n a r y

change,

th e

B u t even

im p o r t a n c e

m a in t e n a n c e o f “ f u l l e m p l o y m e n t .”

Even

of

C h a n g e th e

le v e l o f u n e m p lo y m e n t b y a fe w p e rc e n ta g e p o in ts ,

c o m p le t e d ,

a n d t h e p r o b le m o f d is p l a c e m e n t c h a n g e s f r o m a
r e l a t i v e l y m a n a g e a b le q u e s t io n o f a d j u s t m e n t t o a

m e n m u s t b e h ir e d o r t r a in e d f o r n e w o c c u p a t io n s ,

s o c ia l

p h y s i c a l i n s t a l l a t i o n a n d t r a n s i t i o n p r o b le m s m u s t
b e fa ce d .

h e re is b o th

g o v e r n m e n t e c o n o m ic p o l i c y d ir e c t e d t o w a r d t h e

e q u ip m e n t m u s t b e d e s ig n e d a n d m a n u f a c t u r e d ,

ca ta stro p h e

of

a la r m in g

p r o p o r t io n s ,

in

w h i c h o r d e r l y t e c h n o lo g ic a l p r o g r e s s b e c o m e s i m ­

A l l t h is t a k e s tim e — n o t d a y s o r w e e k s ,

b u t m a n y m o n th s o r y e a rs.

la b o r

m o r e , i t s e r v e s t o e m p h a s iz e , f o r a n e r a o f m a r k e d

i t w ill h a v e a n d th e w a y s in w h ic h th e se w ill b e

e x p lo r a t o r y sta g e

m ade

m o st

r e t r a i n i n g p r o b le m s a l r e a d y m e n t io n e d .

w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r f ir m , t h e n m a n a g e m e n t s a n d

a fte r a n

be

in

g e t t in g a n e w o n e , a n d w h a t k i n d o f n e w o n e h e
g ets.

c h a r a c t e r is t ic

to

h ig h

e m p lo y e d w o r k e r , i t i s n o t so i m p o r t a n t t o a s k w h y

c o m p e t i t i v e s it u a t i o n .

o n e o u t s t a n d in g

p o in t

been

h e l o s t h i s o ld j o b a s h o w m u c h t r o u b le h e h a s i n

n o d if f e r e n t f r o m t h o s e w e w o u ld l i k e t o s e e i n a n y

For

fu rth e r

has

I n c o n s id e r in g t h e p r o b le m o f t h e d is p la c e d a n d u n ­

m o n o w n e r s h ip , t h e p o lic ie s a p p r o p r i a t e t o i t s e e m

a u t o m a t i o n is t h a t i t t a k e s t i m e to i n s t a l l .

y e a rs

o b v io u s a n d o b v i o u s l y to o i m p o r t a n t n o t t o m e n t io n .

p e t i t i o n a m o n g t w o o r m o r e f ir m s n o t u n d e r c o m ­

h a n d le d .

re ce n t

p o s s ib le .

A n d w i t h p r o b le m s

l i k e d is p la c e m e n t a n d p e r s o n a l a d j u s t m e n t , t i m e ,

— G eorge B . B a l d w in and G eorge P . S h ultz

o f c o u rs e , p r e s e n t s a m a jo r o p p o r t u n it y t h a t a le r t

Industrial Relations Section,
Massachusetts Institute o f Technology

a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s ib le c o m p a n ie s a n d u n io n s c a n




53

Paper

b e c a m e e ven m o re a cu te .

F ro m th e F a ll A M A

t u rn e d

to

e v e n t u a lly

P e r s o n n e l C o n fe r e n c e

w ere

1957,

B y

e n c o u r a g in g

e a r ly

c o m p e lle d

to

w e re lu c t a n tly

r e t ir e m e n t
re so rt

to

and

la y o f f s .

P e r h a p s t h i s w a s o n e o f t h e b ig g e s t c h a n g e s o f a l l .
I n a c o m p a n y w i t h a r e p u t a t i o n f o r s t a b l e e m p lo y ­
m e n t , f o r c e d r e d u c t io n i t s e lf w a s a r a d i c a l d e p a r ­

E

d i t o r

’s

fro m

N
a

o t e

.—

T h is

a r tic le

p a p e r p re s e n te d

P e rs o n n e l C o n fe re n c e
a g e m e n t A s s o c ia tio n
ber

21- 23, 1959.

have

been

d e n o te

m ade

d e le tio n s

at

is

th e

e x c e rp te d

ann ual F a ll

o f th e A m e r ic a n
in

N ew

Y o rk ,

M in o r c h a n g e s
and

As

t h e r e d u c t io n

in

th e w o rk fo rce b e g a n

t a k e e ff e c t, a n e w p r o b le m

to

a ro se in v o lv in g n e w

S e p te m ­

w a y s o f h a n d l i n g w o r k a s s ig n m e n t s w i t h a s t r e a m ­

w o r d in g

in

s u s p e n s io n

M an­

tu re fro m w h a t h a d b een th e n o rm .

l i n e d o r g a n iz a t io n .

m a rk s

to

h a v e n o t b ee n in d ic a te d in

th e in t e r e s t o f r e a d a b ilit y .

our

o p e r a t in g

W e h a v e h a d to r e s t r u c t u r e

o r g a n iz a t io n ,

and

m any

w o rk e rs

w e r e e x p o s e d to r e t r a i n i n g i n o r d e r to f it i n t o t h e
n e w w o rk a rra n g e m e n ts.
I t is n o w o n d e r, th e n , t h a t th e se c h a n g e s h a v e
h a d a p r o f o u n d e ff e c t o n t h e u n io n s .

I n g e n e ra l

w e d e a l w i t h l o c a l in d e p e n d e n t u n i o n s . H i s t o r i c a l ­
l y , f o r u s a n d f o r o u r e m p lo y e e s , t h e s e i n d e p e n d e n t

S o m e P r o b le m s o f C h a n g e

u n io n s

have

been

q u it e

s u c c e s s f u l,

b o th

w it h

r e s p e c t to g a in in g g o o d w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s a n d i n

C h a n g e is a n im p o r t a n t p a r t o f A m e r ic a n in d u s ­

t h e ir a b i l i t y t o h e lp m a i n t a i n

a n a tm o sp h e re of

try .

m u t u a l r e s p e c t a n d c o o p e r a t io n .

C e r t a i n l y t h e y ’v e

succeed ed

But

P e r h a p s th is is n o w h e re m o re a p p a r e n t th a n

i n t h e o il i n d u s t r y .

C h a n g e h a s b e e n a c e a s e le s s

p r o c e s s t h r o u g h o u t t h e o n e h u n d r e d y e a r s s in c e
t h e d r i l l i n g o f t h e f ir s t o il w e ll.

in

a v o id in g

s tr ife .

W h ile ch a n g e h a s

im p a c t o n o u r r e la tio n s w it h

c e n tu r y , it s p a c e in re c e n t y e a r s h a s b e e n fa s te r

u n io n s .

th a n

re sp e cts,

th e re

has

been

a

f re q u e n t s h ift in g in th e p a s t
p r e c e d in g

b ro ad e r

10

y e a rs

of

c o u p le d w i t h a n e w w a y o f w o r k i n g h a v e h a d a n

b e e n c h a r a c t e r is t ic o f o u r in d u s t r y fo r th e p a s t

a n y o f u s h a s e v e r e x p e r ie n c e d .

6

r e s t r i c t e d e m p lo y m e n t , f o llo w e d b y j o b r e d u c t io n s ,

Our

o b j e c t iv e

has

t h e s e in d e p e n d e n t
been

to

w o rk

out

In

so m e

s o lu t io n s to t h e s e p r o b le m s b u t i t i s o n l y n a t u r a l

and

m o re

to e x p e c t t h a t t h e r e w o u ld b e s o m e s t r a i n .

y e a r s t h a n in th e

25.

Labor Relations During Change

T h i s a c c e le r a t io n h a s h a d a n i m p a c t o n l a b o r
r e la tio n s .

I t h a s c h a lle n g e d t r a d i t i o n a l e m p lo y e e

r e la t io n s c o n c e p ts.

As

I t h a s c a u s e d u n io n s to r e a c t

have

a r e s u l t o f o u r e x p e r ie n c e , w e b e lie v e
le a r n e d

s o m e t h in g

about

h a n d lin g

d if f e r e n t l y b e c a u s e o f n e w s t r a i n s — b y p r o d u c t s o f

r e l a t i o n s p r o b le m s a s s o c ia t e d w i t h c h a n g e .

c h a n g e it s e lf .

a b ly

t h e s e le s s o n s

c o u ld

be su m m ed

P ro b ­
up

by

s a y i n g t h a t w e h a v e le a r n e d t h a t i t i s n e c e s s a r y

I n o u r c o m p a n y , c h a n g e h a s b e e n m o s t d r a m a t ic
i n o u r r e f in in g o p e r a t io n s .

a ll

we

la b o r

T e c h n o lo g ic a l i m p r o v e ­

t o a p p r e c ia t e t h e p o i n t s o f v i e w

m e n t s h a v e e n a b le d m a n y o f o u r o p e r a t in g u n i t s

can

to in c r e a s e p r o d u c t v o lu m e w it h o u t a c o r r e s p o n d ­

of o th e rs.

We

r e la te d a re a s .

in g g r o w t h i n e m p lo y m e n t .
of

u n it s ,

sto p p e d

h ir in g
in

1952

of

w age

and

a

In d e e d , in a n u m b e r
e arn e rs

w as
of

th re e s e p a ra te b u t

F i r s t , w e h a v e c o m e to r e a l iz e t h a t i n i n t r o d u c ­
in g a n d im p l e m e n t in g c h a n g e , a n a l l - o u t e ff o r t f o r

v ir t u a lly

p ro g ram

c o n s id e r t h e s e le s s o n s i n

p e rso n n e l

a c h ie v in g

g re a te r

p a r tic ip a t io n

and

p e rso n a l

a t t r i t i o n w a s u n d e r t a k e n a s a m e a n s o f r e d u c in g

in v o lv e m e n t o f s u p e r v is o r s is im p o r t a n t .

th e s u r p lu s .

to s a y t h a t in th o se a c t iv it ie s w h e re w e in v o lv e d

S u b s e q u e n t ly , h o w e v e r , w e f o u n d t h a t a t t r i t i o n

s u p e r v is o r s a t a ll le v e ls in

w a s to o s lo w a m e a n s o f r e s o lv i n g t h e p r o b le m .

in t r o d u c tio n

Ju st w hen

accep tan ce .

o u r p r e d ic tio n s fo r a n

e f f ic ie n t f o r c e

of

change,

T h i s is

t h e d e v e lo p m e n t a n d

we

had

th e

g re a te st

A c o n v ic t io n o n th e s u p e r v is o r s ’ p a r t

s e e m e d t o b e w o r k i n g o u t , a n o t h e r c h a n g e w o u ld

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

d e s c e n d u p o n u s , o n e w e h a d to a c c e p t in o rd e r

can

to

g e n e ra l a c c e p ta n c e .

sta y

c o m p e titiv e .

N o v e m b e r 1959



Any

o v e r m a n n in g

th u s

su

stre n g th e n

m a n a g e m e n t ’s

hand

in

g a in in g

But

I n o n e o f o u r p la n ts , w e h a d a g o o d o p p o r tu n it y
to

t e s t t h i s p r in c i p l e .

Seven

y e a rs

c o m p e t it iv e

p r o g r a m w a s d e v e lo p e d b y a v e r y s m a l l n u m b e r

th e

o f t o p l e v e l m a n a g e m e n t p e o p le .

w e do

e n c o u n te re d
ye ars

a t th e sa m e p la n t.
o f th e p la n

V e r y e a r ly , it

s u p e r v is o r re s is t a n c e .

ago, a n o th e r n e w

p ro g ra m

Less

th a n

2

s ta b ility
to

needed

to p m a n a g e m e n t

to

s u p e r v is o r s

of

tim e ,

d e t e r m in e

e m p lo y e e

a d m in is t e r in g

it .

They

la t e r

have

w o rk e d

th e

ta sk

o u t th e

250

W h a t,

and

keep

th e n ,

can

p r o d u c tiv ity

p o s s ib le .
a t t it u d e
can

be

as

to

as

change— even

O n ce
is

S p e c ia l e ffo rts a re

o b je c t iv e ly
an

of

gage

of

a ccu ra te

se cu re d ,

d is p e lle d

p o s s ib le

ahead

fe a rs

and

w h ic h

th e

are

p ro p o sed

c h a n g e p u t in a lig h t w h ic h m in im iz e s b a s ic — a n d

c o n s id e r a b le n u m b e r o f c h a n g e s r e s u lt e d f r o m

th e se co m m e n ts.

if

g r o u n d le s s

s u p e r v i s o r s f o r t h e ir c o m m e n t s a n d s u g g e s t io n s .
A

r e a c tio n

e m p lo y e e

d e t a ils

o f t h e p l a n w h i c h w a s t h e n s u b m i t t e d to a l l

m anage­

C e r t a i n l y , w e m u s t r e d o u b le o u r e f f o r t s to k n o w

25

w o u ld

o f e m p lo y m e n t .

b o ls te r m o r a le

w h a t e m p lo y e e s a r e t h i n k i n g .

w h o p a s s e d t h e id e a d o w n to a c o m m it t e e o f
w ho

a llo w

h ig h ?

w a s c o n c e iv e d

T h i s t im e , t h e b r o a d c o n c e p t

w a s d e v e lo p e d b y

f o r c e s s e ld o m

m e n t to s lo w t h e p a c e o f c h a n g e f o r t h e s a k e o f

ago, a n e w

t h o r o u g h l y u n d e r s t a n d a b l e — e m p lo y e e r e s i s t a n c e .
T h i s d o e s n o t g e t r id o f th e u n p le a s a n t f a c t s t h a t

W e fe e l s u re t h a t th is m e th o d

w a s l a r g e l y r e s p o n s ib le f o r t h e s u c c e s s f u l a c c e p t ­

e x is t a n d m u s t b e fa c e d .

a n c e of th e ch a n g e .

h o w e v e r r o u g h , c a n b e le s s e n e d b y h a n d l i n g i n a

T h i s c o n c e p t d o e s n o t i m p l y t h a t i t i s p o s s ib le

w a y t h a t -is d i r e c t , f a i r , a n d h o n e s t .
T h e b e s t c o m m u n ic a t i o n e f f o r t s a r e d e m a n d e d

to a c c e p t a l l t h e id e a s a n d s u g g e s t io n s r e c e iv e d .
But

i t is

p o s s ib le

to

in a u g u r a te

to d e s c r ib e a n d e x p l a i n a n e w p r o g r a m o n c e i t h a s

p ro g ra m s w it h

g r e a t e r p r o b a b i l it i e s f o r s u c c e s s i f

B u t e v e n th e se ch o re s,

t h e f ir s t li n e

been

fo re m a n is in v o lv e d fro m th e o u tse t.

d e c id e d

u p o n , f ir s t

in

b ro a d

co ncep t

I c a n n o t t a lk o n t h is s u b je c t o f c h a n g e w it h o u t

I t h a s [a lso ] b e c o m e c l e a r to u s t h a t t h e p r o b a ­
b i li t y o f s u c c e s s is g re a te r if u n io n p a r t ic ip a t io n ,

c o m m e n t in g o n t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f u p w a r d

in it s t r u e se n se , c a n b e a c h ie v e d .

m u n ic a t i o n .

P e r h a p s th e

P r o v is io n

n e e d f o r s e e in g t h e o t h e r f e l l o w ’s p o i n t o f v i e w i s

t io n i s v i t a l i n

g re a te st w h e n

ch an g e.

we

t a lk

a b o u t th e

and

l a t e r i n s p e c if ic d e t a i l .

u n io n s .

T h is

fo r u p w a rd

t h e w h o le

co m ­

c o m m u n ic a ­

a p p ro a ch

to

e f f e c t in g

H e r e w e c a n n o t o v e r lo o k t h e s u p e r v i s o r

p o i n t s u p t h e n e e d f o r p a t ie n c e a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g .

a s a m a in c h a n n e l.

W e h a v e f a ile d i n t h o s e i n s t a n c e s w h e r e w e h a v e

u p w a rd

n o t p e r m it t e d s u f f ic ie n t d is c u s s i o n a n d w h e r e w e

S p e e d i n g e t t in g t h e f e e d b a c k f r o m e m p lo y e e s m a y

F o r o n e th in g , t h is k in d o f

c o m m u n ic a t i o n

is

p r o b a b ly

th e

fa ste st.

h a v e b e c o m e i m p a t i e n t w i t h o t h e r s ’ u n w i l li n g n e s s

a llo w t h e e a r l y i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f w o r t h w h i l e id e a s

to a c c e p t o u r p o i n t o f v i e w .

a n d s u g g e s t io n s w h i c h c a n h e l p g a i n a c c e p t a n c e
of th e p ro g ra m .

W e a r e c o n v i n c e d t h a t w e m u s t m a k e e f f o r t s to

I t i s im p o s s ib le to o v e r s t r e s s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f

c o n v i n c e t h e u n i o n t h a t a g iv e n p r o p o s a l m a k e s
sen se,

and

th a t,

co m p are d

w it h

a lt e r n a t iv e s , it p ro m o te s r a t h e r
e m p lo y e e

s e c u r ity .

In

th e

th a n

n e g o t ia t in g

u n i o n s , w e f o u n d i t h e l p f u l to

a v o id

b e in g s e n s it i v e t o e m p lo y e e v i e w s .

a v a ila b le

A n d w e m u st

e n d a n g e rs

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

w it h

r e s u lt .

th e

le a r n e d

a c tio n s o r

p o s it io n s w h i c h c a u s e t h e u n i o n to c o m m i t i t s e l f

g u a rd

p u b lic ly a g a in s t th e p ro g ra m

P e r h a p s th e m o s t im p o r t a n t t h in g w e h a v e
is

th a t

a ll le v e ls

of m an ag em en t m u st

h e a r.

a s a w h o le .

Tem ­

p o r a r y c o m p r o m is e o n s o m e p o i n t s c a n b e p r e f e r ­

o n ly w h a t th e y

w ant

to

W e in E s s o a re s t a k in g m u c h u p o n th e in v e s t ­

a b le t o f u l l - s c a le u n i o n o p p o s it io n .

m e n t s i n s u p e r v i s o r y t r a i n i n g i n t h e s e d ir e c t io n s .
W e have

M a n y p e o p le l i k e to p h ilo s o p h iz e t h a t c h a n g e i s
good.

a g a in s t h e a r in g

t h e c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h r o u g h im p r o v e d

s u p e r v is o r y s k ills a n d b e tt e r c o n c e p ts o f p a r t ic i­

O v e r a p e r io d o f t i m e , i t e n la r g e s o p p o r ­

t u n i t y a n d in c r e a s e s t h e t o t a l n u m b e r o f j o b s i n

p a t i v e le a d e r s h i p , w e w i l l b e a b le t o c o n t i n u e to

th e e c o n o m y .

m ake

B u t t h is is n o t a lw a y s tr u e in th e

p ro g re ss,

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

and

C o n s e q u e n t ly ,

s tim u la te

g re a te r

p r o d u c tiv ity ,

o r g a n i z a t io n .

it

is

not

v e ry

r e a s s u r in g

to

th e

e m p lo y e e s i n i n d u s t r i e s w h e r e s e v e r e d is l o c a t i o n s
are

ta k in g

p la c e

or

e m p lo y m e n t

cu ts

— Jam es N . G

a re

o r r in g e

Em ployee Relations Manager
Esso Standard Oil C o.

a n t ic i p a t e d .




a t th e s a m e t im e , k e e p th e s u p p o r t o f o u r

55

IV D C o n fe r e n ce

T h e G o o d r ic h I n c e n t iv e -P a y S y s t e m

W a g e - R a t e D e t e r m in a t io n
a n

A u to m a te d

U n d er the Goodrich modified B ed eau x incen tive-

in

p a y system , there is a base rate which represents

60

R u b b e r P la n t

units o f work.

the unit value.

O ne-sixtieth o f the base rate is
So it is possible, at the end of the

shift, to m u ltip ly the total n um ber o f units o f work
for which the em ployee has received credit b y the
J o s e p h W . C h il d s

and

unit value to determ ine his incentive earnings.
W e h ave no quarrel w ith the co m p an y on the

R alph H . B er g m an n *

definition o f “ n orm al.”

B o th co m p an y and union

tim e-stu d y engineers w ork from the basic assum p­
tion th at a m an w alking on level ground a t the
rate o f
T

he

r u b b e r

in d u s t r y

,

p a ce.”

as m o st other industries,

3

m iles per hour is w alking at a “ norm al

A person who is observed to w alk at this

has witnessed trem endous technological advances

pace for a full hour has therefore worked for

in^the past few years.

m inutes at a “ n orm al.”

E v e n m ore autom atic m a ­

chinery will be introduced in com in g years.

60

the parties

h ave agreed th at such w alking m u st be adjusted

B e­

10 percent

cause m o st workers in our indu stry are paid accord­

b y an effort rating o f

in g to an incentive program , it has long been clear

and for personal tim e.

th a t som e special attention w ould h ave to be paid

66

to the rate and w ork load problem s which accom ­

other words, a w alk o f

p a n y m a jor technological change.

H ow ever,

66

A n agreem ent

to allow for fatigue

T h u s he m u st be allowed

m inutes in which to w alk th at distance.
units o f w ork.

3

T h is m eans th at an em ployee

6 m inutes

w ith B . F . G oodrich C o ., negotiated abou t a year

m a y take approxim ately

ago, represented a substantial first step tow ard

reasons and for fatigue, and still earn

dealing w ith these m atters.

w ork in an hour if he w alks at a pace of
per hour during the other

W h ile it is com m on to think o f an incentive

In

miles earns the operator
off for personal

60

units o f

3

m iles

54 m inutes.

sy ste m providing unlim ited earnings opportu n ity,
this generalization does n o t a p p ly to rubber plants.

Provisions jor New Standards.

F o r each jo b

visions o f the m aster agreem ent w ith G oodrich,

classification and

each standard,

there has developed a general understanding on

th e

the part o f m an agem en t and on the part o f em ­

standards when

ployees as to the q u a n tity o f production which can

product, tools, m aterial, design, or other produc­

be expected during the shift.

co m p an y

tion conditions.

T h is level o f produc­

has

the

there

right

U n d er the pro­
to

establish

new

are changes in m eth od ,

A n y revision resulting from such

A n d m en

changes m u st be confined to the elem ent or ele­

w ho h ave the sam e jo b classification, though their

m en ts o f w ork in which the w ork requirem ents

tion yields a certain level o f earnings.

specific jo b m a y be som ew hat different, will tend

or occurrences h ave changed since the prior labor

to h ave sim ilar earnings for each horn* worked.

stan dard w as established.

In som e contracts, the parties h ave specifically

w ork for th a t elem ent rem ains unchanged.

provided th at earnings are n o t perm itted to exceed
a certain level.

U n d erstan d a bly,

T h ese “ caps” are in effect in other

each

new

m achine

in

our

in du stry has brough t w ith it substan tial changes

plan ts w ith ou t contract language.

in som e portions o f the jo b requirem ent.

T h e R u b b er W orkers contracts provide also for
special w age pa ym en ts for unusual conditions.

T h a t clause, in other

w ords, guarantees elem ental tim e as lon g as the

other portions are often unchanged.

If

But

T h e issue

then becom es: w h at shall be the allowed units o f

a m achine breaks dow n, if there is a stock delay,
or if the stock is n ot up to standard, the em ployee
receives a rate guarantee.
guarantee is

100 percent

♦General V ice President an d R esearch D ire cto r, respectively, U n ite d R u b
ber, C ork , L in oleu m a n d P lastic W orkers o f A m erica, A F L - C I O .
E d it o r ’ s N o t h .— 1 h is and the follow in g article, Im p a ct o f A u to m a tion
T
o n F o r d - U A W R elationships, are excerpts from papers given at the C on fer­
ence o n A u to m a tio n an d M a jo r T ech n ological C h ange h eld in W ash in gton ,
A p ril 26, und er auspices o f the Industrial U n io n D e p a rtm e n t, A F L - C I O .
Selected from am o n g several papers heard at th e m eeting, these tw o deal
w ith p ractical solu tion s t o problem s in specific plants.

In som e contracts, the

o f past average earnings;

in others, depending on the condition, the guar­
antee is som e percentage o f past earnings— usually

90

to

95 percent.

Ju n e 1958



56

w ork

(and, therefore, the p a y ) for the new or

changed elem ents?
If

those

th a t it is im possible under the B ed eau x sy ste m ,
for an average em ployee to w ork a t a consistent

elem ents

are m a n u ally

95

pace o f

controlled—

units per hour.

B u t the incentive

in the sense th a t the em ployee has an op p ortu n ity

sy ste m in the G oodrich plants has been so altered

to w ork as rap idly as his skill and effort perm it

over

h im — then cu stom ary tim e-stu d y techniques are

em ployees regularly earning far in excess o f

applied.

units per hour.

T h ere

m ay

be

som e

opinion on the proposed

tim e

differences

allowances,

of
and

there m a y h av e to be negotiation over the new

the years

th a t w e fou n d

cases o f

95

T ire builders— and their jo b is

one o f the hardest in the plan t— were earning

110

abou t

units per hour, w eek after w eek.

Since the new

standard, b u t the problem s can u sually be w orked

agreem ent provided

95 units

m a x im u m shall be

o u t betw een the parties.

m any

95

th a t

the

per hour, all efficiencies

above
priate

th a t

standard so th at the em p loyee’s earnings were

and

an

em ployee’s w ork

m ore,

The B .
provides

to
F.

the

pace

is being

of

the

tied,

m ore

a special m eth o d

“ restricted”

trolled”

o f determ ining

the

elem ents

elem ents.

or

“ m achine

con­

F o r each such elem ent, the

97.2

units o f

T h is is calculated from a form u la which

provides th a t the actual m achine tim e shall be
m ultiplied b y
a b ov e

in

the

w ith an appro­

base rate

and

w ork

m aintain ed for the particular level o f production .

m achine.

em ployee will be paid at the rate o f
w ork.

a d ju stm en t

G oodrich agreem ent o f last year

rate of p a y for these elem ents, w hich m ig h t be
called

were rolled b a ck to

95,

H ow ever, technological developm en ts and au to­
m a tic m achines in the rubber indu stry h av e m ean t

90

60

over

n orm al pace)

(in effect,

and

50

percent

then increased

by

8

Machine-Controlled Operations.

agreem ent

to those job s where the new m achines restrict the
em ployees’

earnings

opportu n ity

over

stan tial portion o f the w ork cycle.
operations,

instead

payin g

restricted

for

of

providing
tim e

on

a

an

a

su b­

F o r those
m eth od

of

elem en t-b y ­

elem ent basis, the agreem ent provides for a new
m eth od o f calculating incentive earnings.
In this new m eth o d , the first step is to deter­

percent to determ ine the allow ed units o f w ork

8

The

also provided for a som ew hat different approach

percent

m ine the true physical w ork required o f the opera­

represents an allowance to provide for personal

tor— the am ou n t o f w ork which he can perform in

for th a t part o f the w ork cycle.

The

tim e including lunch.

an

I t is clear then th a t as m ore and m ore elem ents

h ou r’s

tim e,

su b ject

to

m achine-controlled tim e.

the

lim itation s

of

Secon dly, it is neces­

becom e m achine-controlled elem ents, and when

sary to determ ine the h ourly capacity o f the m a ­

the tim e arrives w hen w e h ave fu lly a u tom atic

chine.

operations w ith the workers required solely for

a t w hich it operates and from the tim e in each hour

observation and a d ju stm en t purposes, the am ou n t

during which it is n o t operating because the em ­

97.2

o f p a y w ill be based u pon

units o f w ork

T h a t capacity is com p uted from the rate

ployee is perform ing som e physical w ork.
capacity is reduced b y

applied against the u n it value.
W h y did the parties decide u pon

97.2

units?

8

T h is

percent to com pensate

for personal tim e, including lunch.

W hen

the

I t cam e p a rtly from

em ployee perform s his w ork so th a t the m achine

th e fa ct th a t the sam e agreem ent established a

achieves this “ adju sted ca p a city ,” he receives an

I t w as a negotiated figure.
m a x im u m

on

earnings.

T h a t m a x im u m

units of w ork per hour.

is

95

In our opinion, the unit

h ou r which should be established for m achine
controlled tim e is th e full

95

units per hour before

allowance for personal and lunch tim e.
an allowance o f

10

I f then,

percent were paid, the em ­

“ allow ance” to be added to the units o f w ork w hich
he has actu ally perform ed.
bring h im up to
Tw o

90

T h a t allow ance is to

units o f w ork for the hour.

alternate m eth od s

for handling m ach in e-

controlled operations are also spelled o u t in the
agreem ent.

O ne

the

m achine

tion takes place.

H ow ever, it w as a result o f

T h e other will be used w hen circum stances require

led

8

percent.

accurately

if

negotiations
units plus

be

a pply

capacity

th a t

can n ot

w ould

p loy ee’s earnings w ould be protected as a u to m a ­

predeterm ined.

90

a variable, rather th a n a fixed process allowance.

P erhaps it w ould be well

B o th m eth ods p rovide for adding to the em ployee’s

to

an

agreem ent

on

to m ention the fa ct th a t the parties recognize

earned u n it hour, to com pensate for the m ach in e-

w h at a n y tim e-stu d y engineer will sa y , n am ely,

controlled tim e.




57

IU D C o n fe r e n c e

(2)

operations;

changing

skills;

( 3)

retraining;

(4 ) seniority a d ju stm en ts; and ( 5) the effect on

I m p a c t o f A u t o m a t io n
F o rd -U A W

h igh ly skilled trades classifications.

on

R a t e s a n d C la s s ific a tio n s

R e la t io n s h ip s

At

and B uffalo plan ts ,1 which

the D earborn

were in existence when F ord began installing au­
K

en

Bannon

and

N

elso n

Sa m p *

tom ated

m achinery

on

a

piecem eal

basis,

the

U A W found it difficult to pin dow n the kind o f
changes which required action and the n egotia­
tion o f the necessary new classifications and rates.
I t w as also faced w ith the technical question re­
garding the im partial um pire's a u th o rity under
the contract to determ ine (a) th at these were an
Shortly

after

W

orld

W

ar

I I , F ord M o to r C o .

expansion o f existing rates and classifications (and

em barked upon an unprecedented expansion pro­

su bject

gram .

whether these were new classifications w ith new

N o t o n ly did this program include the

to

the

um pire's

final ruling),

and

(b)

rates (a strikeable issue).

erection o f n ew buildings and the enlarging of

T h e C leveland facility w as co m p letely n ew , and

others, b u t wherever possible, the co m p an y elim­
inated the old m eth od o f m anufacturing and as­

the

sem bling and in its place instituted new m eth ods

bargaining agent.

union

had

which em ployed autom ated devices in their then

and classification agreem ent.

m o st h igh ly developed stage.

the U A W

Ford

been

certified

as

the

collective

T h ere w as no negotiated rate
T h e first m o v e o f

D e p a rtm en t w as to prepare a

w age su rvey o f the then-existing stam pin g plan ts.

T o d a y , autom ation in these new or enlarged
facilities includes: ( 1) T h e m o v em en t o f m aterials

T h a t su rvey disclosed th at average h ou rly rates

and parts from one operation to the n ext auto­

for production workers at the C leveland p lan t were

11

m a tic a lly ; (2) replacem ent o f m en in the opera­

abou t

tion o f m achines b y devices called “ m ech an ism s”

T h ere were three reasons for th is:

(servo-m echan ism s); (3) replacem ent o f inspectors

1.

b y control devices which inspect products auto­

were

m a tic a lly ; (4 ) the use o f m echanism s which count,

cents an hour less than a t D earb orn .

C leveland.

2.

fill orders, m aintain inventories, reorder, give in­

R a tes for sim ilar classifications, generally,

4% cents

an hour lower, for the m o st part, a t

W h ere there w as a rate range for a jo b ,

structions, and are designed with m em ories th at

C leveland plan t workers were at the b o tto m o f the

n ever fail (so lon g as the m achine is in repair);

range, D earborn em ployees at the top.

3.

and ( 5) au tom atic preventive m aintenance (like

Similar

w ork

was

classified

differently

at

au tom atic lubricating system s which n o t on ly oil

b o th plants.

W h ere a jo b was on the borderline

and grease au tom atically wherever oil and grease

betw een tw o classifications at the C levelan d p lan t,
the co m p an y had classified the worker in the low er

are needed b u t also signal the need for repairs).

payin g classification.

T h e new m eth ods w ith the high ly developed

A t D earborn , the worker

a u tom ated devices were a far cry from the crude

in a similar situation w as placed in the higher paid

transfer m achines and the in-line m achine process

classification.

o f ju st a few years previous.
T h e changes in m anpow er requirem ents, and

‘ D ire cto r an d Assistant D ire cto r, resp ectively, F o r d D e p a rtm e n t, U n ited
A u to m o b ile , A ircraft a n d A gricultu ra l Im p le m e n t W ork ers o f A m erica,
A F L -C IO .

those y e t to com e, required that the U n ited A u to ­
m obile W o rk ers union give careful attention to

1 A s a case s tu d y an d for illustrative purposes, w e h ave selected o u r experi­
ences in the F o rd stam pin g d iv isio n . P rior to F o r d ’s expan sion program ,
stam pings had been p rod u ced in the c o m p a n y ’s R o u g e plan t, Pressed Steel
D iv is io n in D earborn , M ic h ., and also b y suppliers such as M u r r a y B o d y
O orp . o f D e tro it. A s part o f its expan sion program , F o rd erected n e w s ta m p ­
in g facilities at B u ffalo, N . Y ., C levelan d, an d C h icago H eigh ts, HI.

m anpow er problem s and related issues, which for
the purposes o f this paper included the follow in g:
( 1) rates and classifications for a u tom ated job s or

Ju n e 1958




58

T o the union’s representatives m aking the sur­

stick to its previous position.

B asically, it insisted

v e y , it w as apparent th at autom ation and dow n­

th at, even th ou gh a series o f technological changes

grading as a result of job dilution had gone h an d -

in stam pin g processes had taken place in the last

in-h and at the C leveland stam pin g plant (where

10

there w as a new w ork force generally inexperi­

enough to ju stify a sharp classification structure

enced in factory operations).

revision.

T h e difficulties in

years,

actual

jo b

duties

had

n ot

changed

correcting this within the w age and classification

A d d ition a lly , the co m p an y claim ed the D ea r­

sy stem fram ew ork, as unilaterally installed b y the

born p la n t’s classification setup could be applied

co m p an y prior to our recognition as the collective

to the C levelan d unit and th at the union did n o t

bargaining agent, were extrem e.

have the right to strike.

Therefore, the

I t said th at after accept­

union decided to form ulate an entirely new wage

ing

and classification structure, and bargain for it.

problem s concerning changes could be worked out

T h is intention was m ade clear to the com p an y
in the first bargaining session.

the

D earborn

classification

structure,

any

through negotiations and, if necessary, arbitration.

D u rin g this m eet­

N egotiation s continued for another

ing and those which follow ed, the union discussed

3

m on ths,

w ith m eetings approxim ately once a w eek w ith

th at part of our international union’s policy state­

the co m p an y m aking m inor concessions, b u t n ot

m en t on autom ation which concerned classifica­

conceding the principle.

tions and rates to fit an autom ated factory.

tion and a strike vote (2,240 to

N e x t,

A fte r a strike authoriza­

159)

were taken

it took up statem ents various Ford officials had

b y the m em bership, progress becam e rapid.

m ade abou t autom ation.

F or exam ple, the com ­

few days later, the negotiators reached an agree­

p a n y ’s vice president in charge o f m anufacturing,

m en t which contained a new classification struc­

1954,

said in A u gu st

ture and the higher wage rates.

th at autom ation “ would act

as a prod to our econ om y” in several w ays, one of
w hich, he em phasized, would be
labor to increase its earning power.

“ by

A

T h e agreem ent w as a com prom ise.

B u t, for the

first tim e on such a broad scale in a n y la b o r-

enabling

. . . produc­

m a n agem en t contract, it recognized autom ation

tion processes have becom e m uch m ore com pli­

in jo b classifications it covered.

cated

in

agreem ent, while it did n o t a pply the classification

tion.

. . . O ur production people m u st be more

the

departm ents

which

use

a u to m a ­

T h e com prom ise

of “ a u tom ation atten d an t or controller”

to all

job s sought b y the union, did, how ever, pin dow n

h igh ly trained.”

the basic principle sought b y the union.

A d d ition ally, the union negotiators stressed the

O ne other m a jor gain w as m ad e b y the union.

sim ilarity betw een statem ents b y the union and
those o f the com p an y.

T h e y did this in an effort

A lth o u g h

an um pire previou sly h ad ruled th at

to gain an agreem ent in principle th at autom ated

“ creeping changes”

plants require the negotiation of an “ autom ated

enough to call th em “ new jo b s ,” the new contract

wage classification structure.”

recognized

W h e n this phase of the negotiations w as con­

the

do n o t m a k e jo b s different

changed

w ork

done

by

press

operators on the m a jor lines and b y workers in
other classifications.

cluded, the union asked the co m p an y to draw up
a new job classification structure shaped specifi­

T h is

recognition

em phasized

the

need

for

T h is

barring arbitrators and um pires from lay in g the

request was based on the union’s belief th at the

basis for the w age and classification structure for

com p an y knew the extent of forthcom ing engineer­

the fa cto ry o f the future.

ing changes at the plant far better than the union.

trators should h av e no role in the determ ination of

Y e t the proposal was rejected b y the co m p an y

new classifications and w age rates resulting from

which insisted th at the union su bm it a plan.

auto m a tio n because there are no o b jective criteria.

cally for an

autom ated

stam pin g plant.

U m pires

and

arbi­

M eetin gs were held betw een the union’s nego­

In subsequent negotiations at F o r d ’s C hicago

tiators, and workers in the plan t were interview ed.

stam pin g plan t, the principle established w as given

O u t o f these sessions cam e a proposal, w ith new

wider application so th at m ore workers were co v ­
ered.

was presented to the com p an y.

A greem en t it w as given application a t the B uffalo

bargaining

sessions,




H ow ever, in the

m an agem en t

continued

A n d in negotiations on the

1955

classification titles b u t w ith ou t wage rates, which

stam p in g plan t.

to

$9

M a ste r

C h a n g in g S k ills a n d R e tr a in in g

tronic devices w hich h av e been developed since
th ey acquired their training in their trades.

A u to m a tio n in m a n y cases changes the nature
o f the skill and training needed o n individual jo b s.

S e n io r ity A d ju s t m e n t s

T h e form er single spindle-drill operator or press
operator n ow tends a b a tte r y o f m achines which

B ecause operations in m a n y older plan ts h ave

perform boring, ream ing, drilling, m illing opera­

been discontinued b y the co m p an y , the U A W has

tions or blankin g, form ing, piercing, and flanging

h ad to be alert to the effects o f such action on its

operations.

m em bers.

A

top F o rd spokesm an has stated

I t has concluded transfer agreem ents

to guarantee the right o f workers to transfer w ith

th a t there are considerable changes in the kinds
o f jo b th a t m en will do in th e fa cto ry o f the fu tu r e :

their operations to a new plan t or an already exist­

“ T h e h an d trucker o f to d a y , replaced b y a con­

ing fa cility .

v ey o r b elt, m ig h t becom e tom orrow 's electronics

to provide the greatest possible protection in the

engineer . . *

exercise o f seniority rights.

D rill press operators replaced b y

as future to o lm a k e r s."

T h is is m u ch easier

to do in a new p lan t than an old one.

a u to m a tic m u ltiple drill m achines could be trained
C han ges such as these

pose serious retraining problem s.

I t has broadened seniority groupings

I n June

1956,

for exam ple, F o rd opened a new

stam p in g p lan t in C hicago.

T h e co m p an y

In negotiations o f

m u st provide opportunities fo r such training and

N o v e m b e r o f th a t year, the U A W

guarantee th a t our m em bers receive a livin g w age

concluded negotiations on a w age and classifica­

during such period.

tions agreem ent.

T h rou gh negotiations w ith th e co m p an y , the
UAW

tiated

has am ended its apprenticeship training

successfully

In con trast to the

classifications o f w ork a t th e

315

nego­

D earborn

plan t, which is the oldest stam pin g p lan t, as part

program to provide an op p ortu n ity for the older

o f a program for a broader exercise o f seniority, it

seniority em ployees to obtain training through

negotiated ju st

such program s.

C hicago plan t, even though b o th plan ts are com ­

T h e applicants for such training

were previously lim ited to those betw een

26

18

101

classifications o f w ork in the

parable w ith respect to m eth ods and processes o f

and

m anufacturing.

years o f age, b u t th a t has n ow been am ended

I t has further provided for hiring

to provide th a t a seniority em ployee, w ho can

preference for laid -o ff F o rd workers o f other F ord

pass

plan ts before new hiring takes place.

the

necessary

m ental

and

aptitu de

tests

satisfactorily, can m ak e application and will be
eligible

for

such

training,

regardless

of

F o r the

further protection o f m em bers in the m etropolitan

age.

D e tr o it area, the union has an areawide seniority

A p p lican ts in this category are further protected

agreem ent.

b y being placed on a different w aiting list for entry
in to such training.

T h is rem oved the possibility

E ffe c t o n H ig h ly S k ille d C la ssific a tio n s

o f such high seniority applicants com p etin g for
available training opportunities w ith the younger
applicant fresh o u t o f school.

W it h the introduction o f a u tom ation into the

A d d ition a l points

B uffalo stam pin g p lan t, the m an agem en t insisted

based on len gth o f service are also awarded to

th a t the com p lexity o f the equ ipm en t m a d e it

such seniority em ployees, increasing the ratings

m a n d ato ry, in view o f the needs o f the services o f

w hich determ ine their standing on the w aiting list

m a n y o f the trades, to break dow n the lines o f de­

for such training program s.

m arcation betw een the skilled trades.

A ccord ­

I t is also necessary to provide for extended ad­

ingly, before the U A W w as recognized as the col­

van ced training program s for our workers who are

lective bargaining agen t for this p lan t, the co m ­

already w orking in the h igh ly skilled trades classi­

pany

fications.

equ ipm en t m a k er and m aintenance— wfcich ac­

M any

UAW

tradesm en
as

ju d ged

are
by

h igh ly

established

a

classification— au tom ation

com p etent

m echanics

previous

tu ally crossed seven recognized trades: diem aker,

standards.

T h e y becam e so as a result o f serving

m achine repairer, m illw right, welder, hydraulic,

a bo n a fide apprenticeship or b y a ctiv ely w orking
on the jo b .

pipefitter, and tinsm ith.

T h e y need, how ever, to h av e further

W hen

the U A W

obtained recognition,

there

training on the n ew ly developed m echanical, h y ­

were already m a n y workers so classified and re­

draulic,

ceiving the sam e rate as diem akers, w hich is the

pn eu m atic,




chem ical,

electric,

or

elec­

60

highest rate o f a n y o f the seven trades in volved.

jou rn eym an standards becom es an increasingly

In

at­

im p ortan t union task in the face o f a u tom ation .

tem p ted to get the support o f the m em bers to

Success in the perform ance o f this task will require

the subsequent negotiations,

the union

elim inate such classification and return the w ork

the fullest cooperation o f the skilled trades workers

to the basic skills b u t w as unsuccessful in view o f

them selves, w ho m u st vigorou sly resist m an age­

the rate o f p a y th ey were enjoying.

m e n t pressure to do w ork n o t properly a p art of
their actual respective trades.

A t C levelan d, the union faced an identical situ­
ation

a t tim e o f recognition.

ceived som e su pport fro m

H ow ever, it re­

M a n a g e m e n t in F o rd insisted in the

the m em bership af­

M a ste r

A greem en t

n egotiations

1955 U A W

th a t

the

new

fected and was able to elim inate th e classification

classification

as such.

plants w ou ld n o t be effective a t the D ea rborn

In

this C levelan d p lan t,

there is an

structure

and

rates fo r stam p in g

a u to m a tio n m aintenance d epartm en t w ith each

plan t unless,

worker classified w ithin his trade, alth ough the

agreed th a t the au tom ation equ ipm en t m aker and

rate is established for the departm en t as such.

m aintenance

A g a in , efforts to convince the affected workers o f

T h e skilled tradesm en refused and were supported

the deterioration o f skilled trades standards fell on

b y the production workers,

deaf ears.

w ould h ave been eligible for an increase o f

and

the skilled

classification

I n the Chicago stam pin g p lan t, the U A W again

cents an hour.

faced the sam e problem a t tim e o f recognition.

correct this in

H ere, how ever, the m em bers affected were willing

until,

covered

50

tradesm en
their

jo b s.

percent o f w h o m

5 to 15

T h e y will h ave an o p p ortu n ity to

1958

negotiations.

I f successful, a drive to reduce the n u m ber of

to fight to m aintain the standards o f the skilled

jou rn eym en

trades.

skilled-trades classifications, w ould in ev ita b ly un ­

T h e workers a t th at location are classified

in accordance w ith skilled trades standards.

by

overlapping

in

the

dermine the basic skills so th a t our econ om y w ould

T h e defense o f the integrity o f the apprentice-

be le ft o n ly w ith m en w ho are jack s-of-all-trad es
and m asters o f none.

a ble trades against overlapping and dilution o f




em ployed,

6

1

In tern ation al

L o n g s h o r in g a n d M e a t p a c k in g

Lon gsh orem en ’s

and

W a reh o u se­

m en ’s U n io n th a t no addition al paym en t is due

A u to m a t io n S e t t le m e n t s

fo r changes m ade or to be m ade p rio r to June* 15,

1960.

T h is p aym en t shall constitute a p a rt o f the

consideration fo r renewal o f the contract, and
E

N o t e .— Two recent union-management
agreements have contained clauses providing for
a unique {though by no means identical) han­
dling of an old problem: the introduction of
laborsaving equipment. One contract is between
the International Longshoremen's and Ware­
housemen's Union ( Ind.) and the Pacific Mari­
time Association.
The other involved two
unions—the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and
Butcher Workmen and the United Packinghouse
Workers—and Armour and Co. The relevant
clauses from these agreements are reproduced
below.

d it o r ’ s

sh all be distributed to the fu lly registered w ork
force in a m anner to be determ ined.
B.

period, to achieve and m eet the fo llo w in g aim s
and o bjectives:

1.

m achinery,

of

of

operation,

or

resulting in reduced m an pow er w ith the sam e or
T o m aintain the

1958

fu lly registered w ork

force, w ith allow ance fo r norm al attrition.
T o create a coastwise fu n d fo r th at w ork

force th rou gh

fo r the parties to fu rth er study and
( 1)

m ethods

greater prod u ctivity fo r an operation.

3.

fa ctu a l experience

changed

changes in w orkin g rules and contract restrictions

T o allow a certain am ount o f tim e (n o t more
g ain

T o guarantee the fu lly registered w ork force

a share in the savings effected b y lab orsavin g

2.

1 y e a r)

I t is the purpose and intent o f the parties,

d u rin g the course, and as the result o f this study

P M A - L o n g s h o r e m e n ’ s U n io n P r o v isio n

th an

(T a x and

legal problem s to be resolved.)

contributions b y

the em ployers,

such contributions to come fr o m savings described

actual changes

in p a rag rap h

4.

m ade b y lab orsavin g m achinery, changed m eth­

1

hereof.

T o p ro vid e th a t th is fu n d w ill be separate

ods o f operation, or proposed changes in w orkin g

fr o m

rules and contract restrictions, resulting in re­

vacations.

5.

duced m an pow er w ith the sam e or greater p ro ­
du ctivity fo r an o p era tio n ; ( 2 ) o f savin gs to the
em ployer

because

of

such

ch a n g es;

( 3)

of

contractual w ages, pensions, w elfare, and
T o guarantee the P M A the rig h t to m ake

changes and rem ove restrictions, alon g w ith p r o ­

a

tection again st reprisals fo r m a k in g such changes

proper share o f such savin gs to be fu n d ed as

and

h erein after p r o v id e d ; and ( 4 ) o f the m anner o f

changes i f and w hen m ade.
D u r in g the ensuing year, in addition to m a k in g

distribu tin g

such fu n d to th e fu lly

registered

w ork fo r c e :
A.

the

contract

of

such

in effect:
(a )

tered w ork force, th rou gh contributions by the

P M A w ill accum ulate th e $ 1. 5-m illio n fu n d

as p rovided in A hereof.
(b ) P M A sh all be free to m ake such changes

em ployers to be accum ulated d u rin g the first en­
$ 1.5

as are deem ed necessary under section

T h is am ount, in addition to “ bu yin g

present longshore contract and section

contract

m illio n .

under

o f such stu d y, the fo llo w in g agreem ents sh all be

P acific M a ritim e A ssocia tio n ( P M A ) p ro­

poses to create a coastwise fu n d fo r the fu lly regis­

su in g

enforcem ent

year,

in

the

am oun t

of

14
25

o f the
o f the

tim e” fo r necessary stu dy and experience, repre­

present C lerk s’ contract, restricted how ever, by

sents a recognition b y the em ployers th a t savings

the observance o f rules p ro h ib itin g individu al

accrue as a result o f m echanization an d changed

speedup and u n safe operations.

m eth ods o f operation, and a recognition b y the

m ent sh all continue.

O c to b e r

1959




6 2

T h e loa d agree­

E x ce p t f o r changes in operations m ade here­
a fter b y in trod u cin g laborsavin g devices in addi­
tion to those already used and practiced b y h im
in the past, the em ployer shall n ot invoke the p ro ­
visions o f section 14 o f the L on gsh ore A greem ent
o r section 25 o f the C lerks’ M aster A greem ent
d u rin g the ensuing year. N or shall the em ployer
seek a reduction o f ga n g sizes or num ber o f clerks,
elim ination o f m u ltiple h andling, o r other exist­
in g contract o r w ork in g rule restrictions w ith re­
lation to operations now existing, except d u rin g
future annual review negotiations o r b y mutual
agreement.
( c ) T h e parties w ill continue negotiations on
the matters outlined in this prop osal f o r a p eriod
o f n ot to exceed 1 year f o r the purpose o f deter­
m in in g a basis f o r con vertin g the above fun d
and em ployer contributions thereto to a continu­
in g basis w hich w ill meet the aims and objectives
set fo rth herein. Such negotiations shall n ot ex­
clude tonnage taxes, m an-hour assessments, o r
any other basis o f conversion, n or exclude con ­
version o f present contributions f o r w elfare, pen­
sions, and vacations.
( d ) T h e parties shall continue to operate in
accordance w ith the terms o f the contract and
w ork in g rules, w ith m utual agreement against
reprisals and f o r enforcem ent o f the contract,
w ork in g rules, and the provisions o f this proposal.
*

*

vested in the enterprise and providin g the assur­
ance o f continued em ploym ent fo r the em ployees
under fair standards o f wages, benefits, and w ork­
ing conditions. Jobs are directly dependent upon
m aking A rm ou r produ cts desirable to present and
future custom ers from the view poin t o f quality
and price.
M echanization and new m ethods to prom ote
operating and distributing efficiencies affect the
num ber o f em ployees required and the m anner in
w hich th ey perform their w ork. T echnological
im provem ent m a y result in the need fo r developing
new skills and the acquiring o f new know ledge b y
the em ployees. In addition, problem s are created
for em ployees affected b y these changes that
require the jo in t consideration o f the com pan y
and the unions.
T h e com pany and the unions have in past agree­
m ents p rovided benefits to soften the effect o f som e
o f these changes where em ployees are laid o ff or
term inated. H ow ever, it is recognized that these
problem s require continued stu dy to p rom ote
em ploym ent opportunities for em ployees affected
b y the introduction o f m ore efficient m ethods and
technological changes.
T h e com pan y, therefore, agrees w ith the unions
to establish a fund to be administered b y a com ­
m ittee o f nine, com posed o f four representatives
o f m anagem ent and tw o representatives selected
b y each o f the tw o unions and an im partial chair­
m an selected b y m utual agreement o f the parties.
T h e m anagem ent and the unions shall each p ay
for the expenses o f their respective representatives
on the com m ittee, and the fees and expenses o f the
im partial chairman shall be paid b y the fund.
This com m ittee is authorized to utilize the co m ­
pan y contributions to the fund for the purpose o f
studying the problem s resulting from the m od ­
ernization program and m aking recom m endations
fo r their solution, including training em ployees to
perform new and changed job s and prom otin g
em ploym ent opportunities within the com pan y
for those affected.
T b e com m ittee should consider for appropriate
action a program o f training qualified em ployees
in the know ledge and skill required to perform
new and changed jo b s so that the present em p loy­
ees m a y be utilized for this purpose to the greatest
extent possible. T h e expenditures fo r such a
training and retraining program m a y be author­
ized b y the com m ittee from the jo in t fund. T h e

*

I t is recognized that the em ployer has the righ t
to select com petent men f o r all operations. W h en
new types o f equipm ent are introduced in connec­
tion w ith the h an d lin g o f ca rgo covered b y the
contractual definitions o f w ork, such new equip­
ment shall be operated b y em ployees under the
I L W U contracts, w ith the understanding that
com petent men shall be m ade available b y the
I L W U , w ith adequate experience o r training.
T h is p rop osal shall n ot change the status quo as
to assignment o f other than I L W U men on exist­
in g equipment.

Armour-Meatpacking Unions Provision
I t is recognized that the m eatpacking industry
is undergoing significant changes in m ethods o f
produ ction , processing, m arketing, and distri­
bution. A rm ou r’s m odernization program is vital
to its ability to com pete and grow successfully,
thus providin g a reasonable return on capital in­




63

com m ittee should also consider other program s
such as transfer rights to plants covered b y the
m aster agreements where jo b opportunities remain
or are increasing, and should consider any other
m ethods that m ight be em ployed to prom ote
continued em ploym ent opportunities for those
affected. I t is agreed, how ever, that the fund
shall n ot be used to increase present severance p ay
benefits.
T h e findings and recom m endations o f the co m ­
m ittee shall n ot be binding b y the parties, b u t
shall be m ade to the com pan y and to the unions
for their further consideration. T h e final report
and recom m endations b y the com m ittee are to be
m ade no later than 6 m onths prior to the term ina­
tion o f the contract.
T h e fund to be utilized for the purposes set
forth above shall be created b y com pa n y con tri­




6U

butions m ade in accordance w ith the follow ing
form u la: T h e contributions shall be in an am ount
equal to 1 cent fo r each hundredweight o f total
tonnage shipped from slaughtering and m eat­
packing plants covered b y the m aster agreements.
Such tonnage figures shall be based upon the
periodical F o o d D ivision financial statem ents, and
a m on th ly list o f such tonnage for the covered
plants shall be presented to the jo in t com m ittee.
T h e com p a n y’s tonnage figures shall be final and
binding upon the parties. C ontributions shall
term inate upon the total o f the co m p a n y ’s con tri­
butions reaching $500,000. (Procedure m ust be
established for the disposition o f the balance o f
m on ey rem aining in the fund.)
A letter shall be exchanged betw een the parties
setting forth the m ethod and the time for the
m aking o f the aforem entioned contributions.

Maintenance of Way Employment
E

N o t e .— This article is the first o f -two based on a study o f the problems
o f insecurity and instability in maintenance o f way employment undertaken
at the request o f the Brotherhood o f M aintenance o f W ay Em ployes} In
the foreword to the complete work, Professor Sumner H . Slichter o f Harvard
University states, “ The two most important things about this study are ( 1)
that the Brotherhood insisted that it be the independent work o f the economists
and that it represent their analysis o f problems and their evaluation o f pro­
posed policies, and (j that the study is being made available to all in the
?)
industry by being published” The union, he said, had “ provided an
admirable example o f how to approach the problem o f policymaking when
the issues are difficult and controversial”
Part I I o f the study w ill deal with the seasonal and cyclical instability o f
maintenance o f way employment.

d it o r ’ s

I — T e c h n o lo g ic a l D is p la c e m e n t in E m p lo y m e n t
a n d P o s s ib le M o d e ra tin g M e a s u r e s
W il l ia m H a b e r

and

M ark L. K ahn*

clear that hundreds o f regular m aintenance o f w a y
men face long-term or perm anent displacem ent
every year fo r the foreseeable future. T h e in­
security caused b y this g loom y ou tlook is aggra­
vated b y the existence o f severe cyclical and
seasonal em ploym ent fluctuations w hich greatly
exceed the actual short-run variations in physical
maintenance o f w a y requirements.

T r a n s p o r t a t io n a c t iv it y in the U nited States
has m ultiplied severalfold during the last few
decades. T h e railroad industry has n ot shared
proportionately in the resulting opportunities,
however, because o f increasing com petition from
passenger cars, buses, trucks, aircraft, and pipe­
lines. Gross ton-m iles carried b y rail have in­
creased b y on ly abou t one-fourth since the 1920’s.
(See chart.) M eanwhile, technological progress
has tripled the p rod u ctivity o f m aintenance o f
w ay em ployees. A s a result, m aintenance o f w a y
em ploym ent has fallen b y m ore than 50 percent
since the 1920’s to its present level o f 170,000,
com pared with a decline o f approxim ately 39
percent in total railw ay em ploym ent.
Since W orld W ar I I , the num ber o f m aintenance
o f w a y job s has dropped an average o f 680 per
m onth. W e are n o t aware o f any other m ajor
category o f workers— even in som e acknow ledgedly “ sick” industries— in which em ploym ent cu t­
backs have been so persistent and so drastic.
T h e prospective rate o f decline is less severe
than during the recent past. Nevertheless, it is

O c to b e r 1957



S om e E ffects o f T echnological Progress
Aggregate industry data tend to conceal the
fact that the degree and rate o f technological
change varies greatly am ong the different railroads.
M a n y aspects o f the adjustm ent to changes in
equipm ent and m ethods m ust be dealt with on the
p roperty at the tim e innovations are being effected.
♦Professor of Economics, University of Michigan, and Associate Professor
of Economics, Wayne State University, respectively.
1 William Haber; John J. Carroll, Associate Professor of Economics, St.
Lawrence University; Mark L. Kahn; and Merton J. Peck, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University, Maintenance of
Way Employment on U. S. Railroads—An Analysis of the Sources of Insta­
bility and Remedial Measures (Detroit, Brotherhood of Maintenance of
Way Employes, 1057).

65

Traditionally, m ost m aintenance o f w a y opera­
tions were perform ed b y section gangs, w ith each
section gang responsible for a specified portion o f
the right o f w ay. M echanization encourages the
perform ance o f h eavy m aintenance b y specialized,
m obile w ork gangs capable o f using the expensive
new equipm ent efficiently and econom ically. T h e
territory to be covered m ust be divisional or even
system wide before the use o f som e kinds o f
equipm ent can be econom ically justified.
T h e use o f specialized gangs for h eavy m ainte­
nance often leads, in turn, to a reduction in the
num ber o f section gangs, to an increase in the
length o f sections, and to the use o f section gangs
largely for policing and inspection purposes only.
E m ployees w ho are assigned to the m echanized
gangs are characteristically required to spend con ­
siderable periods o f tim e livin g aw ay from hom e
in trailers or cam p cars.

Gross Ton-Miles per Maintenance of W ay Employee,
Class I Railroads in the United States, Selected
Years, 1922-56
Gross
Ton-Miles

Number of
Maintenance of
Way Employees

Shorter Hours of Work
C an a shorter workw eek m ake a helpful contri­
bution to maintaining em ploym ent in m aintenance
o f w a y departm ents? T h e 40-hour week has
prevailed in the U nited States for abou t tw o
decades. On the railroads, how ever, the 40-hour
w eek was n ot established until 1949, when the
standard workw eek was reduced from 48 hours
w ithout loss o f w eekly pay. This achievem ent
m eant an increase o f 20 percent in the hou rly rate
o f pay.
E arly efforts to obtain shorter hours em pha­
sized the desirability o f greater leisure to offset
the physical strains o f w ork and to perm it selfim provem ent and better fam ily life. T od a y,
because there has been a substantial relative
increase in nonw ork time, additional leisure is no
longer the m ajor consideration. A ctually, there
is evidence that where sufficient w ork op por­
tunities are present, workers and unions usually
prefer additional incom e to additional leisure.2
O nly when technological or econ om ic d evelop ­
m ents threaten to displace substantial num bers o f
regular em ployees are unions likely to press
vigorously for shorter hours (provided there is
no loss in w eekly p ay) as a countermeasure.
E xcep t am ong office workers (who are pre­
dom inantly fem ale and unorganized) on ly nom i-

A lthough a strong case can be m ade for nation­
wide rules o f procedure, and for the developm ent of
general principles o f adjustm ent, it is essential to
retain flexibility in substantive m atters at the
level o f the individual railroad and the cor­
responding (system ) organization o f the B rother­
h ood o f M aintenance o f W a y E m ployes.
Tech n ological progress has a qualitative as well
as a quantitative im pact on m aintenance of w ay
em ploym ent. M echanization o f operations pre­
viou sly perform ed b y laborers with simple handtools creates new occupations associated with the
operation and the m aintenance o f the m achinery
and raises the average skill level.




2 See History of Union Efforts to Reduce Working Hours (in Monthly
Labor Review, November 1956, pp. 1271-1273).

66

nal progress has been m ade in the U nited States
tow ard a w orkw eek o f less than 40 hours. A
recent Bureau o f L a b or Statistics survey o f 17
areas 3 foun d 46 percent o f office workers bu t on ly
7 percent o f plant workers on regular schedules o f
below 40 hours per week.
T h ose significant examples w hich can be found
o f standard workweeks below 40 hours are am ong
h igh ly paid and cohesive skilled groups (printing
and building trades); in fields where fem ale em ­
ployees predom inate (office workers, ladies’ gar­
m ent w orkers); and in response to im m inent or
actual technological displacem ent (m echanized
bakeries, brewing industry).
I f w eekly p a y is m aintained while hours are cut,
there is an increase in the hou rly w age rate. Pre­
sum ably, a similar increase m ight have been
granted w ithout a n y reduction in hours, thus
increasing w eekly p a y for those w ho remained
em ployed. H ence, to offset technological dis­
placem ent b y shortening the w orkw eek w ould, in
these circumstances, be a device b y which the
m a n y are m ade to suffer losses in earnings in order
to benefit the few whose job s are saved. P rom a
com m u n ity poin t o f view, as well as from the poin t
o f view o f the em ployee m ajority, the use o f shorter
hours to counteract perm anent reductions in
em ploym en t is particularly undesirable during
periods o f prosperity, when nonrailroad alterna­
tives are m ore readily available.

“Freezing” Employment
A n y com m itm ent b y a carrier to guarantee a
m inim um proportion o f total em ploym ent for
m aintenance o f w a y jobs, or a m inim um absolute
num ber o f m aintenance o f w a y jobs, if obtainable,
w ould in our ju dgm ent p rove to be largely super­
fluous or futile. A specific exam ple o f this “ freeze”
approach was contained in Proposal I o f the 1950
E m p loym en t Stabilization Program o f the B rother­
h o o d : that, on each carrier, the average em ploy­
m ent in each m aintenance o f w a y class should n ot
fall below the num ber required to m aintain the
same ratio to total carrier em ploym ent as the
average ratio during the 1940-49 decade.
Such a guarantee, if given, m ight lead to some
enlargem ent o f w ork opportunities in light o f the
tendency o f m aintenance o f w a y em ploym ent to
decline as a proportion o f total railroad em p loy­
m ent.
I t could, for example, encourage the
m akeup o f deferred m aintenance and the post­
p onem ent o f laborsaving innovations.
m ight
discourage contracting ou t. On the other hand,
it m ight sim ply com pel the carrier to em ploy (or
p a y) m ore m en than it can econom ically use.
This kind o f guarantee w ould, in our judgm ent,
unwisely im pede technological progress. Further­
m ore, any particular base period w ould give the
already highly m echanized carrier a perm anent
advantage and w ould tend to discriminate against
those carriers that have encountered m ore difficult

W hile it is likely that shorter hours w ould m ean
the retention o f a som ewhat larger num ber o f
individuals on the payroll, the extra em ploym ent
m a y in the long rim fall well short o f the theo­
retical m axim um because o f offsetting econom ies.
Th is was the case am ong m aintenance o f w ay
em ployees after th ey obtained the 40-hour week
in 1949. T h e change from the 48-hour to 40-hour
w eek in 1949 led to a small increase in m aintenance
o f w a y em ploym ent in 1950 and 1951. In a
short time, however, em ploym ent declined sharply,
falling from 256,000 in 1948 to 184,000 in 1954.
This steep decline suggests that the adven t o f the
40-hour week, with its higher hou rly lab or costs,
m a y have provided an additional stimulus to
m echanization.

* See Wages and Related Benefits, 17 Labor Markets, 1955-66, BLS Bull.
1188 (1956), table B-3, p. 54; see also Scheduled Workweeks and Shift Dif­
ferentials in 17 Labor Markets (in Monthly Labor Review, November 1956,
pp. 1295-1299).




T h e econ om ic characteristics o f the railroad
industry and the personal characteristics o f
m aintenance o f w ay em ployees suggest that it is
n ot advisable or practical fo r the B rotherhood to
“ lead the parade” to shorter hours, n or is it likely
that the railroad brotherhoods as a w hole will
w ant to establish a shorter w orkw eek before it has
becom e a prevailing practice in the com m u nity
at large.
O ver a period o f ye$rs, the m aintenance o f w ay
em ployees, in com m on with all workers, will
naturally participate in and benefit from a con ­
tinuation o f the historical trend to shorter hours.
Leisure is part o f the A m erican standard o f living
and is an appropriate end in itself. W e should
n ot confuse shorter hours as a means to leisure
w ith shorter hours as a means to lim it u n em ploy­
m ent. B oth objectives can be borne in m ind as
p o licy is shaped.

67

econ om ic circum stances. I f applied on the basis
o f each o f the 16 m a jor jo b categories, as proposed,
it w ou ld serve to bar m an y o f the unavoidable
(and largely desirable) occupational changes that
m ust accom pan y m echanization. I f it m aintained
jo b s b y postpon in g innovations, it w ould likewise
delay the benefits o f progress for m an y em ployees,
such as a higher general level o f wages and a larger
proportion o f better and safer job s.
W e recognize the appeal o f such a direct ap­
proach, as well as the rationale that m aintenance
o f w a y em ploym ent ought n ot to suffer relatively
m ore than other classes o f railroad em ploym ent.
N evertheless, w e cannot believe that agreements
to freeze the status quo, in either absolute or
proportional terms, offer a realistic device for
achieving stabilization objectives.
Such agree­
m ents are unacceptable to the em ployer because
o f the arbitrary restrictions thereby placed upon
managerial decisionm aking.
T h e y are n o t in the
p u blic interest because th ey m ight retard desirable
reductions in the cost o f railroad transportation.
There is little likelihood th at a public appraisal
(for example, b y an E m ergen cy B oard created
under the R ailw ay L a b or A ct) w ould elicit the
kind o f response needed for their obtainm ent.
Finally, such agreements are likely to b e selfdefeating, given the elastic dem and for rail trans­
portation, since keeping costs up w ould cause a
further loss o f business to com peting form s o f
transport and an accom panying loss o f em ploy­
m ent.
R ather, b y the use o f measures such as those
exam ined b elow , carriers cou ld m ake decisions
concerning the nature and tim ing o f innovations
in light o f the full costs and on a basis that w ould
m axim ize the equities w hich em ployees have in
their railroad job s. F or those w h o rem ain em­
p loyed , job s will becom e, on the average, m ore
skilled, better paid, and less unstable.

sure (2) that the proper individuals are chosen fo r
the opportunities created b y the innovation and
have access to the necessary training; (3) that
appropriate adjustm ents are m ade in jo b classifi­
cations and in the rates o f p a y for new jo b s ; (4)
that workers are adequately com pensated for any
deterioration in jo b conditions, such as service
aw ay from h om e; (5) that m aintenance o f
w ay men be considered for any available em ploy­
m en t in other railroad departm ents; and (6) that the
m en w ho are displaced have adequate com pen­
sation.”
L e t us examine each o f these m atters in turn.

P rior Notice and Joint Consultation .

G o o d con ­
tract adm inistration is essential for effective
adjustm ent to new m achines and m ethods. In
general, the existing collective bargaining agree­
m ents betw een the B roth erh ood and the carriers
already m ake the rates for new positions a m atter
for negotiation. E ffective negotiation ordinarily
requires adequate notice o f contem plated changes
and the holding o f conferences before the changes
are instituted. W h en decisions cannot be m ade in
advance, their ultim ate application should be
fully retroactive.
M a n y roads already practice prior n otice, either
form ally or inform ally, and on som e carriers there
is thorough consultation w ith the general chair­
m an o f the B roth erh ood. U nfortunately, our
investigations also indicate that on m an y carriers
it is n o t unusual for new equipm ent to be intro­
duced w ith ou t any notice, and fo r protracted
delays to ensue before p a y rates and other con di­
tions are determ ined.
A collectively bargained national rule governing
prior n otice and jo in t consultation on changes in
m achines and m ethods m ight p rove an effective
w a y to raise the average practice tow ard the level
o f the best w ith ou t interfering w ith system -level
decisions on m atters o f substance.

A Positive Approach to Technological Change
A ccess to New Occupations.

M aintenance o f w ay
em ployees should have a preferential op portu n ity
to qualify for new types o f jo b s in m aintenance o f
w a y departm ents. Training fo r em ployees w h o
can qualify in a “ reasonable” period should b e a t
com pa n y expense. T his principle has am ple
precedent in industrial relations practice.
T h e definition o f “ reasonable” m ust evolve
from negotiations, often on a case-by-case basis.

F rom the point o f view o f the B rotherhood,
effective im plem entation o f its stabilization o b je c­
tives requires an approach to technological change
that m ight be outlined in this fashion: “ B efore a
new m achine or m ethod is introduced, we w ant (1)
n otice that som ething is going to happen that m ay
affect our people, and an op portu n ity to confer
w ith m anagem ent abou t it. W e also w ant to m ake




68

I t w ould b e affected b y the qualifications o f cur­
rent em ployees in relation to the new jo b require­
m en ts; b y the am ount o f training outsiders w ould
require; b y the full costs o f displacing regular
em ployees; and b y the costs and length o f train­
ing. In general, the underlying value o f a
railroading background should n ot be under­
estim ated.
E xperience to date suggests that m ost carriers
have had n o difficulty in recruiting com peten t
operators for even the m ost com plex m echanical
equipm ent from the m aintenance o f w a y ranks.
E xtensive training is n ot generally required for
“ operator” classifications. H ow ever, the m ainte­
nance o f com plex equipm ent m a y often require a
longer period o f specialized training.

Job Reclassification.

O rderly wage administra­
tion requires the p rom pt reclassification and
rerating o f changed job s or new types o f jobs.
Our investigations indicate that on m an y carriers
these actions are n ot taking place or occu r on ly
after lon g delays. M a n y “ laborers” appear to be
operating machines.
In addition to new operating and m aintenance
classifications, special attention should b e given to
forem an and assistant forem an positions. (These
tw o classifications are represented b y the B rother­
h o od .) T h e forem an o f a specialized and m echa­
nized gang that operates on a district, divisional,
o r system w ide basis holds a jo b that is m arkedly
m ore responsible, and dem ands m ore breadth and
skills, than the traditional track forem an position.
M oreover, the structure and operations o f m any
o f the specialized gangs warrant in m an y cases the
creation o f an assistant forem an position. This
has already taken place on som e carriers.

Compensation fo r Deterioration in W orking Condi­
tions. T his is too obviou s a p oin t to be belabored.
I f m en have to spend substantial periods aw ay
from hom e, livin g in trailers or cam p cars, as a
result o f their em ploym ent in specialized gangs,
the associated discom forts are in the carrier's
interest. A ppropriate com pensation, perhaps in
the form o f per diem travel allowances, should be
p rovided where it does n ot already exist. Such
allowances, like the other costs o f innovation dis­
cussed in this section, should b e system atically
anticipated b y the carrier when innovations are
being planned.




69

Preferential H iring . E m ployees w h o m ust be
separated from their regular m aintenance o f w ay
jo b s should be given preferential access, on an
orderly basis, to any opening in other departm ents
o f the same carrier or in any departm ents o f other
carriers. Such opportunities are n ot often avail­
able because o f the general dow ntrend in railroad
em ploym ent and because furloughed men from
other departm ents naturally have the priority on
openings in those departm ents. W e are aware,
how ever, o f specific instances in w hich preferential
em ploym ent has served to keep m aintenance o f
w a y men in railroading while reducing the cost o f
unem ploym ent insurance.
W hen a jo b op portu n ity in another departm ent
represents an advancem ent, arrangements should
be encouraged w hich w ould perm it qualified
m aintenance o f w a y m en to b id fo r the position
on a seniority basis and w ith appropriate safe­
guards. W hen any m aintenance o f w a y m an takes
a position in another departm ent he creates an
op portu n ity fo r a laid-off em ployee to return to
w ork.
Dismissal Compensation.

M o s t o f the N ation 's
railroads and the 21 m a jor railroad unions entered
in to the W ashington J o b P rotection Agreem ent in
1936. Th is agreem ent provides dismissal allow ­
ances to em ployees w h o are term inated as the
result o f a coordination (consolidation). These
allowances continue for periods o f up to 5 years,
depending on length o f past service, and equal 60
percent o f previous regular m on th ly com pensation.
A lso, em ployees w ho are shifted to low er paying
job s, as the result o f a coordination, are paid the
full difference fo r 5 years, while em ployees w ho
incur m ovin g expenses o r residence p rop erty losses
are reim bursed b y the railroad.
In 1940, Congress am ended the Interstate C om ­
m erce A c t so as to require the Interstate C o m ­
m erce Com m ission to im pose em ployee p rotective
conditions in con nection w ith mergers so th at
em ployees w ould n o t be left in a “ worse con d i­
tion ” for 4 years (or a period equal to the indi­
vidu al's previous service, if less). Similar co n ­
ditions were im posed b y the IC C in 1944 fo r the
benefit o f em ployees adversely affected b y an
abandonm ent.
Thus, as the result o f collective bargaining and
public p olicy, p rotection o f em ployees w ho are
adversely affected b y consolidations and abandon-

men ts has becom e a firm ly established practice in
the railroad industry. Is it reasonable that when
a regular em ployee loses his jo b for other reasons
beyon d
his control— such
as
technological
change— he should n ot be eligible fo r similar
p rotection ?
D u rin g the 1930’s, consolidations were the m a jor
source o f jo b loss fo r long-service em ployees. I t
was natural that special remedies should have
been devised to m eet that problem .
T oday,
technological displacem ent takes first position and
dem ands rem edial action. A ctu ally, a consistent
and equitable scheme o f dismissal com pensation
requires the same benefits for any given class o f
em ployees, regardless o f the cause o f their perm a­
nent separation, provided on ly that the jo b loss
is n ot the fault o f the em ployee.4
R ecogn ition o f this principle is contained in a
recent agreem ent between the Chesapeake & Ohio
R ailroad and the B rotherhood o f R ailw ay Clerks
dealing w ith the establishment o f a new U nivac
com pu ter center:
It is hereby agreed to adopt and apply the beneficial
provisions of the so-called Washington Agreement of May
1936 to all employees adversely affected as a result of
their work being placed in the Computer Center from
time to time so as to provide similar treatment and bene­
fits to those which would have been provided or accorded
had the work gone into the Computer Center from two or
more carriers and thus constituted a coordination as that
term is used and defined in the so-called Washington
Agreement.
T h e specific provisions o f the W ashington A gree­
m ent, the 1940 am endm ent to the Interstate
C om m erce A ct, and other established precedents,
are certainly n ot sacred. T h e y do provide, h ow ­
ever, a useful basis for the developm ent o f a
m utually acceptable form ula.
T h e alternative to a privately established solu­
tion is p rob a b ly one that is legislatively im posed.
T h e H arris bill (H. R . 4353, 85th C on g., 1st sess.,
introduced February 5, 1957) represents an effort
in the latter direction b y w ay o f an extension o f
benefits p rovided under the R ailroad U n em ploy­
m ent Insurance A ct.5 T h e collective bargaining
route is preferable if m utually satisfactory agree­
m ents can be reached.




70

Summary
T h e follow ing measures, then, constitute in our
ju dgm ent the avenues along w hich a practical p ro­
gram can be developed to deal with the perm a­
nent jo b displacements arising ou t o f changes in
m achinery and m ethods and the econom ic status
o f the industry: (1) N otice b y the carrier and
union-m anagem ent consultation prior to the intro­
duction o f new m ethods or m achines; (2) prefer­
ential status for current m aintenance o f w ay
em ployees for access to new positions in m ainte­
nance o f w ay departm ents and in other depart­
ments and for necessary training on com pa n y
time and at com pan y expense; (3) effective and
prom p t reclassification and rerating o f new job s,
b y join t n egotiation; (4) com pensation for any
deterioration in jo b conditions; (5) preferential
reem ploym ent rights and training in other crafts
and classes and also on other carriers for regular
m aintenance o f w ay men who have been displaced;
and (6) displacem ent com pensation or severance
p ay— extending the precedents that have been
established in connection with consolidations and
abandonm ents— for all regular m aintenance o f
w a y em ployees whose perm anent separation
(through no fault o f their own) cannot be avoided.
B asic to this approach is an acceptance o f tech­
nological progress and a recognition o f its values
for the com m unity, the industry, and the em p loy­
ees themselves. In the long run, such acceptance
requires an adjustm ent process that is accepted
and understood b y all parties and equitable p ro­
tection or com pensation for those individuals w ho
becom e the casualties o f progress.
*For further discussion, see Dism
issal Pay Provisions in M Bargaining
ajor
Agreem
ents (in Monthly Labor Review, June 19 7 pp. 707-712).
5,
*In addition to the (roughly) 26w
eeks of benefits currently provided under
railroad unem
ploym insurance, the H
ent
arris bill would give long-servioe
em
ployees who had exhausted regular benefits and who did not voluntarily
leave work without good cause or voluntarily retire the following extended
benefits:

Years of service

5and less than 10_....................................................
1 and less than 15.....................................................
0
1 and less than 20.....................................................
5
20and over........................ -....................................

Number of 14day periods of
extended benefits

39
65
9
1
17
1

Maintenance of Way Employment
E d it o r ’ s N o te .— This article concludes a two-part summary o f a study 1 under­

taken at the request o f the Brotherhood o f M aintenance o f W ay Employes
and covering problems o f insecurity and instability in maintenance o f way
employment. Part / , which dealt with the long-run employment decline and
possible moderating measures, appeared in the October 1957 issue.

I I —Cyclical and Seasonal Instability
and Possible Remedial Measures
W

i l l ia m

H aber

and

M

ark

L. K ahn*

S e v e r e cyclical and seasonal fluctuations in main­
tenance o f w ay em ploym ent aggravate the uncer­
tain ty and insecurity generated b y the continuing
long-run decline.

Cyclical and Seasonal Variations
A substantial proportion o f physical m ain­
tenance o f w a y requirements is independent o f
variations in railroad traffic. One m ight therefore
presume that m aintenance o f w a y em ploym ent
w ould exhibit less cyclical instability than railroad
em ploym ent as a whole. A ctu ally, how ever, in
com parison to other railroad em ploym ent, m ain­
tenance o f w ay em ploym ent has been abou t 50
percent m ore sensitive to cyclical fluctuations. In
fact, it is n ot unusual for the am plitude o f these
cyclical fluctuations in the num ber o f m aintenance
o f w ay job s to exceed the concurrent relative
changes in railroad traffic.
U nlike m ost other aspect o f railroad operations,
deferral o f m any types o f m aintenance is feasible
within wide lim its w ith ou t im m ediately endanger­
ing safety. M oreover, under present accounting
procedures prescribed b y the Interstate C om m erce
C om m ission, deferral o f m aintenance im proves the
apparent econ om ic position o f the carrier. C on ­
sequently, deterioration in the cash position o f a
carrier can be offset, accountingwise, b y a dow n­
ward revision o f m aintenance schedules.

November 1957



A managerial p olicy o f using m aintenance o f
w a y outlays as a balancing item in annual railroad
budgets does appear to be responsible for som e o f
the cyclical sensitivity in m aintenance o f w ay
em ploym ent. In effect, short-run accounting and
financial considerations often take priority over
stability in m aintenance o f w ay operations.
O ver the long run, haphazard tim ing o f m ain­
tenance involves real costs. T h e prospects for
cyclical stabilization are brightened b y the fact
the railroad managem ents are giving increasing
recognition to this fact. Som e railroads, to
achieve m axim um efficiency and econ om y on a
long-run basis, are already—
. . . performing renewals (on given sections of track) at
fixed intervals of time according to the probable life of
existing materials in track and working toward a track
condition in which most material will reach the end of its
probable useful life at the end of a cycle.2
This typ e o f farsighted practice based on cycles o f
presum ptive physical depreciation is inconsistent
♦Professor of Econom University of M
ics,
ichigan, and Associate Professor
of Economics, W
ayne State University, respectively.
iW
illiam Haber; John J. Carroll, Associate Professor of Economics, St.
Lawrence University; M L. Kahn; and Merton J. Peck, Assistant Pro­
ark
fessorof Business Adm
inistration, H
arvard University, M
aintenanceof Way
Employment on U. S. Railroads— Analysis of the Sources of Instability
An
and Rem
edial M
easures (Detroit, Brotherhood of M
aintenance of Way
Employes, 1957).
*Lloyd J. Kiernan, Application of Modem Scientific Research on Rail­
roads of the United States (in Transport and Com unications Review,
m
Vol. VII, No. 3,1954, p. 29).

71

Employment of Maintenance of W ay Workers a s
Percentage of 12-Month Moving Average, 1950-55

cyclical fluctuations, there seems to b e a com m on
managerial practice o f adjusting m aintenance
outlays to changes in operating revenues. On
m an y carriers, operating revenues exhibit con ­
siderable seasonal variation. I t is n ot unusual
for an annually con ceived m aintenance budget to
give w ay before a tightening cash position and
deteriorate to a m on th ly or even w eekly level o f
com m itm ent.
E fforts to reduce seasonality m a y involve
certain types o f cost increases, such as the loss o f
som e w orktim e because o f inclem ent weather or
the use o f additional m an-hours when som e kinds
o f w ork are perform ed under unfavorable condi­
tions. On the other hand, greater stability holds
ou t the prom ise o f substantial offsetting economies.

Prospects for Stabilization
w ith fluctuating m aintenance activities based on
short-run accounting m otivations.
A b o u t one-fifth o f the m aintenance o f w a y jo b s
that are present during the m idsum m er peak
disappear b y the m idw inter low . (See chart.)
Aggregate data conceal the fa ct that for m an y
m aintenance o f w a y em ployees the seasonality
p roblem is even m ore serious because seasonal
variation is m uch greater on som e carriers than
on others, and the brunt o f the instability is borne
b y the section and extra gang trackm en— about
60 percent o f all m aintenance o f w a y em ployees—
fo r w hom a full one-third o f sum m er peak jo b s
are lost b y m idwinter.
Since m aintenance o f w ay w ork takes place
alm ost entirely ou t o f doors, weather conditions
are certainly a factor in its seasonality. Tradi­
tionally, adverse weather has been regarded as the
m ajor culprit because o f the difficulties (real or
assumed) o f perform ing som e kinds o f operations
in winter. C old and snow y weather is n ot a
significant problem on southern carriers, how ever,
while officials o f northern carriers have expressed
w idely divergent views abou t the feasibility o f
winter track m aintenance. T h a t some authorities
have found th at m any types o f m aintenance are
practical under northern winter conditions suggests
that custom and inertia m ay accou n t for the extent
to w hich winter layoff practices persist.
Our analysis suggests, in fact, that on m any
carriers the m ajor source o f seasonality is other
than clim atic. A s noted in connection with




72

There are grounds for optim ism abou t the design
and adoption o f practical measures fo r coping
effectively w ith the cyclical and seasonal sources o f
instability. G iven the fa ct that the underlying
m aintenance needs, in “ real” terms, are fairly
stable, the carriers could realize significant ad­
vantages from stabilization which should largely
offset a n y costs associated directly w ith the
im plem entation o f a stabilization program .
These advantages m a y b e outlined as follow s:
(1) stabilization will mean reduced labor turnover,
less reliance on inexperienced workers, a higher
average quality o f personnel, and im proved
em ployee m orale; (2) long-range scheduling o f
m aintenance based on the presum ptive physical
life o f materials is m ore econom ical than the
traditional practice o f repair or replacem ent on ly
as testing shows the individual item to be d efective;
(3) the gains derived from stabilization are en­
hanced b y the continuing increase in m echaniza­
tion, since stabilization facilitates full utilization
o f expensive capital equipm ent; (4) m aintenance o f
w ay w ork is cheapest when traffic is lightest,
although current practice tends in the opposite
direction because o f the correlation betw een
m aintenance and operating revenues; and (5)
stabilization will reduce the cost o f railroad
unem ploym ent insurance.
R em edial measures m a y be classified under tw o
headings: (1) positive steps to stabilize the avail­
ability o f w ork and (2) protective measures for
em ployees.

Positive Stabilization Measures

In connection w ith b oth m aintenance budgetin g
and the functional rescheduling o f specific opera­
tions, it is worth emphasizing that the v ery defer­
m ent o f m any kinds o f m aintenance o f w a y w ork
w hich has been a m ajor source o f instability can
be redirected so as to m ake a positive contribution
to stable em ploym ent b y scheduling such w ork
during slack periods.

E ffective annual m aintenance budgets, firm ly
com m itted and based on long-term physical
maintenance program s, w ould certainly m ake a
m ajor contribution tow ard stabilization and w ould
appear to m ake good sense from a carrier point o f
view. A few railroads have already dem onstrated
this in practice. O f course, m aintenance budget­
ing per se is a m anagem ent function, and it m a y
n ot be the business o f the B rotherhood o f M ainte­
nance o f W a y E m ployes to negotiate with carriers
abou t such matters. On the other hand, it is
w h olly appropriate for the B rotherhood to advise
the carriers that the personal budgets o f its
m em bers are being upset b y the consequences o f
their prevailing m aintenance budget practices.
A part from the econ om ic sources o f short-term
instability, there is the problem of subfreezing or
inclem ent weather. This appears to b e a sig­
nificant obstacle to seasonal stabilization, chiefly
on northern carriers. On the basis o f w hat some
carriers have achieved, it seems likely that addi­
tional progress can be m ade b y rescheduling
specific m aintenance activities so as to leave for
cold or bad weather as m uch as possible of the
particular kinds o f w ork that can be econom ically
perform ed under such conditions, and shift workers
to locations where other available w ork can be
carried out.
Ballast cleaning, for example, generally becom es
im possible after a week o f subfreezing weather,
b u t such activities as laying new rail, rail m ainte­
nance, and burning brush on the right o f w ay can
be con du cted efficiently in v ery cold temperatures.
W hen carriers have a significant north-south
spread in their route patterns, then specialized
gangs m ight concentrate on the southerly segments
during the winter m onths. In this w ay, clim atic
variation can be a source o f jo b stability, although
at some real cost in altered w orking conditions.
A tten tion should also be given to possibilities o f
tim ing small-scale capital renewal or new capital
p rojects so that they m ight function in a counterseasonal and even a countercyclical manner.
Joint (union-m anagem ent) stu dy o f short-term
instability problem s, carried ou t at the system
level, should p rove helpful on m any carriers in
developing specific solutions that fit the particular
conditions involved.

Protective Measures
T h e p rotective measures which are adopted
should enhance the established railroad unem ­
ploym en t insurance program so as to p rovide
m axim um com bined protection fo r any given addi­
tional cost, and they should also encourage m an­
agements to take effective positive steps tow ard
em ploym ent stabilization.

M inim um M onthly Employment Quotas or Ratios.
Th is typ e o f measure was advocated b y the
B rotherhood o f M aintenance o f W a y E m p loyes
as Proposal I I o f its 1950 E m p loym en t Stabiliza­
tion Program .
Specifically, the B roth erh ood
asked th at:
The ratio of employees in each major [maintenance of
way] class . . . to the total number of railway employees
employed by the carrier for each calendar month after the
effective date of this rule shall not be less than the average
ratio between such forces for the same calendar month of
the 10 years 1940- 49, inclusive.
This proposal raises questions analogous to those
suggested in our evaluation o f Proposal I o f the
B M W E 1950 E m p loym en t Stabilization Plan.3
I t w ould obstru ct technological change b y pre­
venting occupational realinement within m ainte­
nance o f w a y departm ents and b y im posing m ini­
m um em ploym ent requirements unrelated to
changing needs. I t w ould freeze, on each carrier,
the particular average seasonal pattern which the
carrier happened to experience during the base
period chosen. I t im plicitly accepts as satis­
fa cto ry the base period seasonal variation. B y
requiring high em ploym ent during the (base
period) seasonal peak, it w ould render im possible
a program for stable annual em ploym ent even at
a level corresponding to the base period annual
average.

M inim um Individual W ork Guarantees.

A differ­
ent line o f attack on seasonal instability is to
give a guarantee o f em ploym ent or p a y to the

1See Part I of this article, p. 67.




73

I I n oted earlier, it w ould b e quite im practical to
com bine Proposal I I and Proposal I I I as p ro­
posed in 1950 b y the B rotherhood.

individual worker. T h e third and last proposal
p u t forw ard in the 1950 B M W E Stabilization
Plan was o f this ty p e:
Each employee who holds employment within the first
pay period in January of any year after 1950 shall be
guaranteed full employment for the 12 months of that
year; each additional employee employed at any time after
the end of the first pay period to and including March 15
shall be guaranteed full employment for 8 consecutive
months; each additional employee employed after March
15th to and including April 15th shall be guaranteed full
employment for 6 consecutive months; and each additional
employee employed after April 15th of any year shall be
guaranteed not less than 4 consecutive months of full
employment . . ,
T h e guarantees proposed above w ould n ot apply
in cases in volvin g volu n tary leaving o f em ploy­
m ent, requested leaves o f absence, retirem ent,
disability, or death.
This is the “ call-in p a y ” app roach : “ Y o u d o n 't
have to em p loy m e, b u t if y o u do, I h ave som e
m inim um w ork o r p a y com ing to m e.” T his typ e
o f provision im poses n o particular em ploym ent
m inim um on a carrier. I t does create a substantial
potential liability w hich m aterializes on ly w hen a
carrier fails to provid e an individual w ith the
duration o f steady em ploym ent w hich is pre­
scribed. I t costs a carrier nothing, at least directly,
if em ploym ent is stabilized within the specified
individual m inim um s.
W hile n ot necessarily
endorsing the specific guarantee schedule o f
Proposal I I I , w e suggest that this kind o f measure
merits serious consideration as a means o f p rovid ­
ing som e assurances to em ployees and som e new
em ploym ent stabilization incentives to carriers.
T h e im pa ct o f Proposal I I I , in con ju n ction with
Proposal I I , could be intolerably expensive.
U nder Proposal II, som e given num ber o f em ­
p loyees w ould h ave to be on the payroll as o f the
seasonal peak. O nce hired, the individual guar­
antee o f at least 4 m onths o f em ploym ent w ould
go in to force. Since large proportions o f m ainte­
nance o f w a y m en h ave characteristically w orked
in on ly 1, 2, or 3 m onths during the sum m er peak,
Proposal I I I w ould require carriers to give such
men m ore w ork or p a y than during the base period
experience. A pa rt from the criticisms o f Proposal

Railroad Unemployment Insurance.

*For further discussion of work-sharing under collective bargaining agree­
m
ents, see Layoff, Recall, and W
ork-Sharing Procedures (in Monthly Labor
Review, Part I, Decem 1966, pp. 1385-1393, and Part IV, M
ber
arch 1 57
9 ,
pp. 329-335).
8This is a sim
plified generalization, of course. Any'individual’s benefit
rights are subject to all of the eligibility and disqualification conditions in
the RRUI Act.




Short-Run Work-Sharing. T his measure in volves a
tem porary reduction in the w orkw eek so as to
spread a given quantity o f em ploym ent am ong a
larger num ber o f individuals. I t is com m on ly
utilized in industries characterized b y sharp
fluctuations o f a seasonal character, such as the
needle trades and shoe m anufacturing. M a n y
collective bargaining agreements p rovide fo r tem ­
p orary w ork-sharing (within specified lim its o r b y
jo in t agreement) before regular em ployees are laid
off.4 F rom the em ployer's p oin t o f view , w ork ­
sharing keeps a p rod u ctive team together, keeps
m en from getting rusty, and tends to reduce
turnover. I f carried too far, how ever, it can b e­
com e a share-the-unem ploym ent plan and m a y
run counter to established seniority practices.
A unique feature o f railroad u n em ploym ent
insurance (R R U I) is that its benefits are deter­
m ined on a daily basis. M aintenance o f w a y m en
w ho are p artly em ployed during the course o f a
w eek m a y collect benefits (equal to at least on ehalf o f their regular daily rate) on the other days.6
Thus, the incom e loss w hich work-sharing ordi­
narily im poses m igh t be partially offset b y a w ork ­
sharing plan integrated w ith railroad u n em ploy­
m ent insurance.
W ith proper safeguards, and
designed to carry groups o f regular m aintenance o f
w a y m en through som e brief seasonal lull in de­
m and w hich can n ot b e otherw ise avoided, w ork ­
sharing m ight serve a useful lim ited purpose.

7k

R ailroad em ­
ployees are covered b y the on ly single-industry
p ublic system o f unem ploym ent com pensation in
the U nited States. I t is a Federal system , ad­
ministered b y the R ailroad R etirem ent B oard
and financed b y em ployer contributions. In each
calendar year, the uniform rate o f em ployer
con tribution depends u pon the balance in the
R R U I accou n t (trust fund) as o f the preceding
Septem ber 30. F rom 1948, when the present
schedule was enacted b y Congress, until 1956,
carriers paid the m inim um 0.5-percent rate. T h e
1956 contribu tion rate was 1.5 percent, while the
1957 rate is 2.0 percent. E m p loyer con tribu tions
are levied on “ taxable com pensation,” i. e., the
first $350 per m on th earned b y each em ployee.

A n em ployee's eligibility for benefits is based on
his “ taxable com pen sation " during the calendar
year (base year) preceding the fiscal year (benefit
year) in which be becom es unem ployed and applies
fo r benefits. T o be “ qualified," the em ployee
m ust have earned at least $400 in taxable com ­
pensation during the base year. T h e am ount o f
the daily R R U I benefit is related to total base
year taxable earnings, b u t cannot be less than
one-half o f the em ployee's regular daily rate o f
p a y. T h e m axim um daily benefit, how ever, is
$8.50. Benefits m a y continue for approxim ately
6 m onths, except that total benefits paid m a y n ot
exceed total base year taxable earnings in railroad
em ploym ent. D isqualifying conditions are gen­
erally less restrictive than under State laws, and
postpone rather than cancel benefit rights.®
T here is, how ever, a fortuitous relationship o f
potential benefits to the dates o f em ploym ent and
o f layoff because o f the 6-m onth gap betw een the
calendar base year and the fiscal benefit year. F or
exam ple, a m an who is n ew ly em ployed on
O ctober 1, 1957, and w ho works 9 m onths until
he is laid o ff on June 30, 1958, m a y start to collect
benefits im m ediately. On the other hand, if a
m an is new ly hired on January 1, 1957, and w orks
a full year before being laid o ff D ecem ber 31,
1957, he m ust w ait for 6 m onths before he is
eligible for a n y benefits.
Tw o-fifth s o f the extra gangm en and one-fifth
o f the section m en, helpers, and apprentices failed
to earn the qualifying $400 in 1954. H a lf o f the
section and extra gang trackm en w ho collected
benefits in 1954-55 collected m inim um (half-rateo f-p a y ) benefits, indicating considerable base year
unem ploym ent. R egular em ployees w ho w ork at
least 6 m onths a year, how ever, can generally
cou n t on R R U I benefits to cover their weeks or
m onths o f unem ploym ent.
T h e R R U I system does n ot provide the indi­
vidual carrier w ith a significant econ om ic incentive
to stabilize. W hether or n ot individual carrier
experience rating, such as exists under State un­
em ploym ent com pensation systems, w ould provide
such an incentive, the present uniform industry­
w ide rate prevents any single carrier from having
*Lim
itations of space preclude a fuller description of railroad unemploy­
ment insurance. For further details, see The Railroad Unem
ploym
ent
Insurance Act as am
ended to Septem 1, 1 5 (Chicago, Railroad Retire­
ber 9 4
m Board, 1954), ch. 6, on which this discussionisbased; seealso Domenico
ent
Gagliardo, Am
erican Social Insurance (New York, Harper, 1955), ch. 13
.
fSee Part I, p. 70.




75

a significant effect on its ow n level o f contribu­
tions. T h e higher contribution rates in 1956 and
1957 are, how ever, m aking the railroads as a
whole m ore conscious o f the current cost o f un­
em ploym ent benefits. One result m a y be that
when jo b openings are available, carriers will ad­
minister m ore carefully than in the past the
preferential hiring o f R R U I beneficiaries.
Im provem en t and extension o f the R R U I ben­
efits is an alternative to the developm ent o f sup­
plem ental unem ploym ent benefit plans at the
bargaining table. T h e Harris b i l l 7 was a recent
effort along these lines. In addition to proposing
extended periods o f benefits fo r long-service em ­
ployees, it w ould have increased the schedule o f
daily benefits to a new m axim um o f $10.20 per
d ay and prescribed a m inim um daily benefit o f at
least 60 percent o f the em ployee's regular daily
wage* (instead o f 50 percent as at present).
So far as the problem o f short-term instability
is concerned, the kind o f legislative approach em ­
bodied in the Harris bill w ould ob viou sly provide
laid-off em ployees w ith additional protection.
On the oth er hand, because o f the uniform con ­
tribution rate paid b y em ployers under R R U I,
privately negotiated SU B plans m a y p rove m ore
effective in focusing attention on short-term in­
stability at the system level, where positive
program s need to be designed.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans . T h e
railroad industry's first supplem ental u nem ploy­
m ent benefit (SU B ) plan was established on D e ­
cem ber 27, 1956, b y an agreem ent betw een the
C hicago & N orth W estern R ailw ay C o. (C N W )
and 12 unions, including the B M W E , representing
the nonoperating em ployees o f that carrier. Th is
plan, possibly a pattern fo r industryw ide n egoti­
ations, warrants a brief description here.
T h e C N W SU B plan provides tw o kinds o f
benefits:
(a) E m ployees w ith 2 or m ore years o f service
will have their public R R U I benefit supplem ented
so as to yield a com bined benefit equal to 60
percent o f gross regular p a y (or about 75 percent
o f “ take h o m e " p a y ), su bject to a com bined
m axim um o f $10.20 a day. D isqualifying con di­
tions are stricter than under R R U I , and include
discharge for cause (which R R U I does n ot inclu d e).
(b) E m ployees with 15 or m ore years o f service
are also eligible for so-called “ interim ” benefits,

equal to 60 percent o f gross regular p ay. These
benefits are p rovided b y the com pa n y after an
em ployee has exhausted his R R U I benefits fo r
the current benefit year, provid ed the em ployee
will again b e eligible for additional R R U I benefits
in the succeeding benefit year. D u ration o f these
“ interim ” benefits depends u pon the tim e o f year
in w hich the la y off takes place, and m a y range
from 0 to 6 m onths.
T h e plan contains no financing provisions, and
its costs are presum ably being m et b y the co m ­
p an y on a p ay-as-you -go basis. Since such costs
can be reduced b y stabilizing em ploym ent, th ey
can generate a significant additional incentive to
stabilize. Other consequences m ight include the
tighter adm inistration o f disqualifications and the
concentration o f instability on low er service em ­
ployees n ot y e t eligible for supplem ental benefits*
T h e C N W plan specifically excludes “ seasonal
track forces” laid off betw een O ctober 1 and the
follow in g M a y 1, and will, therefore, m ake no
direct contribu tion as it stands to the greatest
instability problem in the m aintenance o f w a y
group. There is, how ever, a provision that redu c­
tion in track-force em ploym ent below the O ctober
1 95 5-M a rch 1956 (inclusive) average will n o t b e
regarded as seasonal. A s p rod u ctivity rises, this
clause will increase the stabilization incentive on
the com pa n y in relation to this group.
A n y SU B plan that m akes instability m ore ex­
pensive encourages stabilization, p rovid ed the
carrier has effective alternative courses o f action.
Such alternatives appear to be clearly available
in connection with m aintenance of w a y w ork, b e ­
cause o f its deferability. Apart from the actual
costs, adm inistration o f a private SU B plan serves
to focu s managerial attention on the instability
problem in a system atic w ay.
T h e m eth od o f financing is also pertinent. A
plan in w hich all benefits were paid from a fund,
and in which the em ployer’s total obligation was
to deposit m on ey at a specified rate into that fund
would seem to im pose little direct stabilization
incentive. A t the other extreme— represented b y
the C N W plan— is a pure pay-as-you -go approach,
in w hich every supplem ental benefit is an ou t-o fp ock et cost to the carrier.
A n exceedingly strong case exists fo r the de­
velopm ent o f a system of private supplem entary
unem ploym ent benefits. SU B plans on individual
carriers will com pel serious attention to layoffs,




76

and create a clear relationship betw een layoff
avoidance and SU B costs. T h e railroad com ­
panies w ould thus be establishing a private experi­
ence rating system w ith ou t the disadvantages
w hich n ow characterize m an y State unem ploym ent
insurance plans. Since the tim ing o f m aintenance
w ork is largely within m anagerial control, SU B
plans should n o t p rove to be costly in practice.

Summary
In light o f the preceding observations, the
follow ing measures appear to warrant sym pathetic
exam ination b y the carriers and the B rotherhood
as possible approaches to the problem o f short­
term (cyclical and seasonal) instability: (1) effec­
tive annually determ ined m aintenance budgetin g
based on long-term m aintenance needs; (2) fu n c­
tional rescheduling o f w ork, perhaps guided b y
the results o f jo in t stu d y at the system level, so
as to m axim ize available w ork during seasonal
low s; (3) m inim um individual w ork guarantees;
and (4) supplem ental u n em ploym ent benefit plans
or (in lieu thereof) extension o f the p u b lic railroad
unem ploym ent insurance program . L im ited shortrun work-sharing, integrated w ith R R U I benefits,
m a y also be a useful m eth od on som e carriers for
cushioning the im pact o f tem porary drops in
em ploym ent dem and.
*

*

*

*

*

I f incom e and em ploym ent stability for m ain­
tenance o f w a y em ployees is given sufficient
p riority at the bargaining table b y the carriers
as well as b y the B roth erh ood o f M aintenance o f
W a y E m ployes, it is our ju dgm en t that effective
steps can readily b e taken, w ithin practical
econ om ic lim its, tow ard this ob jective. W e b e ­
lieve that it will be in the long-run interest o f all
parties to evolve a w orkable program ou t o f their
ow n negotiations, and to emphasize the collective
bargaining rather than the legislative route.
T h e general problem of em ploym en t instability
is one that has becom e the focu s o f m uch attention
in our society. There is little d ou b t that Congress
could, in the case o f the railroads, be persuaded
to enact additional legislation to cop e w ith the
problem . I f collective bargaining bogs dow n, then
congressional action m a y be the on ly rou te along
w hich progress can be achieved.
•The authors have not yet had an opportunity to study the ONW SUB
plan in operation.

PartlH.

Adjustments to Automation. Summaries of Case
Studies and Articles on Office Automation.




77




Adjustments
to Automation
in Two Firm s

d v a n c e p l a n n in g w ith respect to personnel
and techniques involved and proper tim ing with
respect to business conditions apparently achieved
for tw o firms an orderly and generally harm onious
transition to autom atic techn ology. H ow the
tw o firms accom plished thi§ transition is described
b y the D epartm ent o f L a bor's Bureau o f L a bor
Statistics in separate case studies of, first, a
large m anufacturer o f radio and television sets
w hich adopted printed circuitry and autom atic
inserting m achines in producing its 1955 T V
receivers; and second, the hom e office o f a large
insurance com pan y w hich installed a digital
electronic com puter to reduce punchcard opera­
tions in the preparation o f business operating
statistics.1 T h e cases are illustrative, rather
than representative, o f the industries concerned;
also, th ey are n ot intended to indicate the im pact
o f autom atic produ ction m ethods on em ploym ent
generally.
Laborw ise, the experience w ith the autom atic
techniques at b o th com panies had significant
im plications. On the one side, new job s were
created for w hich, w ith som e exceptions, brief
on -th e-job training sufficed. N ew branches o f
w ork were developed to plan for, install, and
service new autom atic equipm ent. Som e new
skills were required. In neither firm did the
machines replace workers perform ing w ork re­
quiring a high degree o f judgm ent. N or did their
introduction eliminate all hand labor. T h e elec­
tronics m anufacturer foun d hand labor im perative
in tasks requiring fine hand m ovem ents and in­
volvin g the use o f fragile materials. A t that
firm, increased responsibility and som e differences
in w ork conditions (not described) that follow ed
the introduction o f autom ation, led to higher p a y
on autom ated jo b s ; expanded ou tput, through

A

January 1956



increased prod u ctivity, was expected to offset
any reduction in plant em ploym ent. A fter the
installation o f the digital com pu ter at the in­
surance firm 's hom e office, em ployees perform ing
the new functions averaged higher annual salaries
than those w ho w orked w ith the old setup.
Som e w ork using unskilled labor was reduced,
how ever. O f all the workers, w om en, w h o form ed
a high proportion o f the w o r k force at b oth
com panies and w h o were com m on ly engaged in
tasks to w hich the autom atic techniques were
adaptable, appeared to b e m ost adversely affected.
Certain circum stances were com m on to b oth
firms. B o th had a volum e o f routine, repetitive
w ork, w hich was perform ed chiefly b y wom en.
T h e new devices were installed over a period o f
years, under long-term program s designed to
im prove com petitive perform ance (produ ct and
efficiency), keep pace w ith an expanding volum e
o f business, and eliminate high labor turnover
am ong the firm s' w om en workers. B o th firms
planned further autom ation, su bject to analysis
and experim entation. T h e com panies used differ­
ent m ethods to advise their em ployees about the
changeover prior to actual m echanical rearrange­
ments. T h e advance com m unication b y the in­
surance com pan y, however, was relatively m ore
extensive than that b y the electronics m anufac­
turer. T h e insurance com pan y inform ed all em ­
ployees in extensive detail concerning its plans to
install the com puter. T h e electronics com pa n y
inform ed on ly its p rodu ction forem en and union
officers o f the proposed installation o f the new
autom atic equipm ent; other nonsupervisory w ork ­
ers learned o f the plans via the “ grap evin e." A
p o licy o f no layoffs or dow ngrading because o f
technical changes was already established in the
insurance com pany.
A t the insurance com pan y, affected em ployees
were n ot represented b y a union. A t the elec­
tronics plant, the union officials appeared to be

1 A Case Study of a Company Manufacturing Electronic Equipment, and
The Introduction of an Electronic Computer in a Large Insurance Company,
both issued in October 1955. The case studies were based largely on inter­
views with company officials, information in company publications, and,
at the electronics company where a collective bargaining agreement was in
force, with union officials also. The studies describe the nature of the changes,
some effects on employment, productivity, and working conditions, and
some of the problems and adjustments reported by management and labor.
Case study No. 2 provided relatively more detailed data on the effects on
plant personnel of the changeover to automatic technology.

79

concerned m ain ly w ith obtaining fo r their m em ­
bers a share in p rodu ction gains through increased
wages and related benefits.

Case No. 1
T h e “ Y ” C om p an y is one o f the largest m anu­
facturers o f radio, T V , and phonograph sets. Its
plant w ork has consisted largely o f engineering
and assembling various m odels o f these products
and som e m ilitary electronics w ork. T h e co m ­
p a n y purchases standard com pon en ts from sup­
pliers, and installs the com pleted chassis into
com panym ade cabinets. T h e conventional m eth­
ods o f assem bly had previously involved handling
several hundred parts and soldered connections.
A ssem bly-line m ethods, w ith considerable jo b
specialization, had been the dom inant features o f
the com p a n y's television m anufacturing opera­
tions. C om p on en t parts, after inspection, w ent
to bins alongside assem bly lines. T h e riveting
departm ent had previously attached m etal parts,
such as tube sockets, to the chassis, and other
plant divisions had done the intricate wiring on
subassemblies. On each side o f a 300-foot table,
the workers, nearly all w om en, using handtools,
perform ed one or m ore repetitive operations—
wiring, soldering, or lacing on each set, or inserting
com ponents in predeterm ined sequence. T h e
com pletely wired chassis then was m oved b y con ­
veyors to the line where television tubes were in­
serted. These chassis were tested electrically
and those accepted were con veyed to the next
departm ent, where th ey were b olted into cabinets,
and the entire set tested and packed for shipping.
On sets m ade several years ago, nearly 60 percent
o f the direct labor tim e was expended on wiring,
lacing, and assembling.
T h e “ Y ” C om p an y first substituted printed
(ph otoetch ed) circu itry for m a n y handwiring o p ­
erations on 5-tube p ortable radios in 1952. C om ­
ponents were inserted b y hand on the board and the
underside was hand-dipped in m olten solder to com ­
plete the subassem bly. T h e com pa n y decided in
1954 to use photoetch ed circuit boards in its 1955
television receivers; in the 1956 m odels, abou t 75
to 80 percent o f the wire circuits were photoetch ed
on the board. D evelop m en t o f a m echanism to
attach com ponents autom atically began in 1953
and within a year a m achine was inserting com ­




80

ponents on abou t 6 boards a m inute. A m echa­
nism n ow in use handles 12 boards a m inute and
since 1953 other im provem ents perm it the handling
o f com ponents o f various sizes. These advances
m ade possible significant increases in efficiency and
im provem ents in quality.
A fte r the circuit boards are processed and com ­
ponents attached, under the new m ethods, th ey are
shipped to a central plant fo r handwiring o f the
rem aining 20 to 25 percent o f the circu itry and
inserting o f the rem aining com ponents, attach­
m ent o f the printed boards to the chassis, and
installation o f picture tubes, all on an assem bly
line. T h e use o f printed circuitry has simplified
the testing operation.
In trodu ction o f the new m ethods reduced b u t
did n ot do aw ay w ith hand assem bly operations.
R ivetin g, tube inserting, installing, testing, ad­
justing, and packing were o n ly indirectly affected
and continue to be largely m anual activities.
R eorganization o f assem bly lines reduced overall
requirem ents for handwirers, lacers, and assem­
blers, jo b s held chiefly b y w om en.
T h e new techn ology created som e new m achine­
tending job s, for w hich no greater skill or training
seemed required; o n ly 2 w eeks' training was given.
Certain new m achine operations, utilizing som e­
w hat higher paid labor and som e additional skilled
occupations, were created. F o r example, em p loy­
m ent o f skilled jig and fixture m en in d evelop ­
m ental, repair, and m aintenance w ork doubled as
did the industrial engineering staff; the num ber o f
m echanical and electrical engineers m ore than
doubled and the ratio o f engineers to produ ction
workers increased.
Som e unskilled jo b opportunities were elim­
inated, b u t no worker, according to com pan y
officials, was laid o ff as a result o f the changes.
Som e workers were reassigned to final assem bly,
inspecting, packing, and related operations, as
well as to the new ly created autom ated job s. A s
printed circuits usually result in lighter T V sets,
w om en could be assigned to som e packing job s.
P a y for the autom ated jo b s was set at 5 to 15
percent a bove the straight-tim e rates fo r unskilled
assemblers because o f som e differences in w orking
conditions and increased responsibility. A n in­
dividual incentive p a y basis was inaugurated for
em ployees w ho process the printed circuit boards
up to the stage where they are fed into the a u to-

Installation o f a large electronic com puter in
the classification sections o f division “ X ” began
in early 1954. There were 198 em ployees in
these sections, 800 in the division. A s a result
o f the m ach ined operation, it was expected that a
large num ber o f the sections’ em ployees w ould be
available for reassignment. These sections m ain­
tain running inventories o f all policies in force
and in an average m onth process abou t 850,000
p olicy transactions. T h e em ployees in these
sections use data from other operating sections—
reported on punchcards— and their w ork involves
sorting, classifying, and calculating. T h e y per­
form ed this w ork using 125 separate punchcard
machines (not including incidental k e y punch
m achines), at a $235,000 annual rental. These
em ployees, w ho had an average annual salary
o f $3,700 (table) handled abou t 3% m illion
punchcards m onthly. T h e w ork required fre­
quent shifting o f card decks and m aintenance o f
paper controls.
Installing the com pu ter resulted in an estim ated
50-percent net reduction in the budget for the
classification sections, 9 percent in division “ X . ”
W ork in these sections could n ow b e handled b y 21
punchcard m achines and 85 em ployees averaging

m a tic inserting m achines and also fo r som e o f the
w orkers on the final assem bly line. T h e others
received incentive p ay on a group basis. W orkers
w h o operated the autom atic inserting equipm ent
were n ot under the incentive p a y program .
A b ou t 2 weeks before the new m ethods were
applied, the vice president in charge o f production
inform ed the prod u ction forem en concerning the
changes. T h e union officers were also told in
advan ce that the com pa n y was trying to im prove
produ ction procedures. Other workers learned o f
the changes via the “ grapevine.”
T h e experience o f the com pa n y suggests the
possibility o f an orderly transition to autom atic
technology, w ithin the fram ew ork o f am icable
union-m anagem ent relations. T h e current collec­
tive bargaining agreement, w hich becam e effective
3 m onths after the new procedures were installed
in m id-1954, does n ot include provisions concern­
ing the introduction o f new autom atic equipm ent.
U nder present and predecessor lab or agreements,
jo b changes resulting from technological d evelop ­
m ents are governed b y w ork rules covering tech­
nological changes in general. N ew jo b vacancies
were posted and workers were selected b y forem en
accordin g to seniority and ability to perform the
duties required. Som e preference was expressed
fo r m ale workers.
T h e changeover was successful largely because
the new techniques were introduced at a tim e o f
m odel changeover and em ploym ent expansion.
T h e com pan y plans to install 2 autom atic units in
addition to the 4 n ow in use.

W age structu re i n cla s s ific a tio n sections i n A B C c o m p a n y ,
before a n d a fte r com puter in s ta lla tio n

Approximate
annual salary

Employees
released or Employees Employees
ass&ied to expected in
to be re­
new classifi­
the
leased for putercom­
opera­ cation sec­
other as­
tions 1
tions
signments

Men Women Men Women Men Women Men Women

Case No. 2
$2,500..................
$2,800........ .........
$3,000..................
$3,200..................
$3,400..................
$3,600 > ...............
$3,700..................
$4,000.......— .......
$4,300..................
$4,600..................
$6,000..................
$5,400..................
$5,800..................
$6,700 ..... ..........
$7,200 ...........__
$7,600
_____
$8,100 ......... —
$8,500..................
$9,000and over___

T h e “ A B C ” L ife Insurance C om p an y is a
large com pan y selling diversified form s o f insur­
ance. Its operations require the rapid and
accurate processing o f constantly increasing rou ­
tine paperwork. F or the past 15 years, the
com pan y has been plagued with a labor shortage.
A high proportion o f the workers in its hom e office
were recent high school girl graduates, whose
brief stay with the com pan y resulted in com plete
turnover every 5 years. M a n y o f the operating
divisions hired high school students on a part-tim e
basis. In the early postw ar years, conventional
office m achinery was used extensively.




Employees
originally
in classifica­
tion sec­
tions

Total..........

4

4

3

9

3

1

30
28
34
3

1

3

1
1
1

1
1

1
1

2

189

7

1
2

18
5

9
5
2
2

3

2
2
2

1
12

8

5

2
1

2

126

3
1

2
1

1

1

1

1
1

3

1

3

1

1

11

7

1
9

1
1

4

9

16
8
12

5
5

1

6

36
36
52

2
8

14

71

i Includes, in addition to the 2 em
0 ployees working in com
puter opera­
tions, 6 classification sections em
6
ployees who w retainedonnonoom
ere
puter
duties, and9em
ployeesin theproceduredevelopm
enfrgroup.
>
Nonclerical labor.

81

$4,200 annually. A nnual punchcard m achine
rentals declined to a total o f $19,000. T h e
changeover freed 15,000 square feet o f floor space.
Principal supply savings were the 2% m illion
m on th ly punchcards required; the inform ation on
the 850,000 policies could be put on 71 reels o f
m agnetic tape and the 1,000 reels purchased at the
ou tset could be erased and reused. T h e need for
paper controls o f interm ediate totals practically
disappeared. Savings are partially offset b y
am ortization charges against the com pu ter; regu­
lar m aintenance fees to the m anufacturer; and
costs incident to the “ dow ntim e” (abou t 4 per­
cent) o f the com puter from m echanical failure.
T h e com pan y found that actual investm ent
w ould be returned in abou t 4 years.
Job reductions as a result o f the com puter in­
stallation w ould take place v ery largely am ong
clerks perform ing the large volum e o f simple re­
p etitive operations in w ork areas to which auto­
m ation is suited. T h e other em ployees were
generally engaged in w ork requiring experience
and exercise o f judgm ent. C om p an y officials
pointed ou t that reduction in clerical job s w ould
enable it to set up m an y positions calling for those
qualifications. Outside division “ X , ” likewise,
the electronic com puter was n ot expected to affect
the “ substantial num ber” o f positions requiring
judgm en t and experience.
T h e com pan y planned m ost carefully b oth
personnel adjustm ents and the m echanical aspects
o f the changeover. E m ployees affected were ad­
vised in advance o f the im pending installation
and n o attem pt was m ade to gloss over the im ­
plications for em ploym ent in the classification
sections. Individual em ployees were interviewed
w ith m eticulous concern for jo b preferences in
other operations o f the com pany. E xcep t for
cases o f norm al turnover, the em ployees were, or
will be, successfully placed in other com pan y jo b s ;
the hom e office had 15 other punchcard sections
utilizing personnel o f approxim ately equal skill.
J ob reassignments had n ot been com pleted at the
tim e o f the study. T h e com pan y has m aintained
a consistent p olicy o f n ot discharging or dow n­
grading workers because o f technological change.
A n officer o f division “ X ” m et regularly with
personnel officers in advance, to discuss the m an y
personnel m atters, particularly em ployee trans­
fers. In A pril 1954, ju st before space rearrange­
m ent com m enced, the division chief held an in­




form al m eeting o f the sections1 m embers, at w hich
he told them the com puter was to be installed,
gave reasons for the decision, and reiterated the
com pa n y p o licy o f no jo b loss or dow ngrading
because o f the new w ork techniques. T h e pros­
p ect o f new assignments aroused a natural am ount
o f concern am ong em ployees; at the same tim e,
the general reaction was one o f interest and
understanding.
D u rin g the form al trial period, J u n e-O ctob er
1954, when the com puter was tested in the critical
w orkload area o f data sorting, articles appeared
in com pan y publications, directed at hom e office
and field staffs. T h e articles described the possi­
bilities and lim itations o f the com pu ter; announced
directly that som e em ployees in the classification
sections w ould be transferred; and reiterated that
even this newest technique w ould n o t mean any
personnel separations.
T o provide a nucleus o f com puter operators, 8
keym en received from 1 to 6 m onths’ training
from the com puter m anufacturer. Otherwise, the
com puter staff was trained on the jo b , a step based
upon experience obtained from training the k eymen. E v e ry effort was m ade to use persons
already in the classification sections. Som e o f the
new positions in volved skills and know ledge n o t
available in the group, however. Criteria for se­
lection o f the com puter staff w ere: experience,
proficiency in m athem atics, and college training
(considered desirable, b u t n ot essential). Thus,
o f the 20 com puter em ployees, 9 were from the
classification sections, 5 from other sections o f
division “ X , ” 5 from other divisions, and an
electronics engineer, hired from outside the
com pany.
T h e com puter w ork force consisted o f the fo l­
low ing em ployees:
1 supervisor (engineer, man)
2 computer operators and 2 assistant computer operators
(men) set up for 2 shifts
1 tape librarian (woman)
1 auxiliary equipment section head (man)
1 converter team head (woman)
1 converter clerk (woman)
1 assistant converter clerk (man)
3 junior converter clerks (men)
1 key punch operator (woman)
1 card and tape file clerk (man)
1 machine room distributor (man)
1 control captain (woman)
1 assistant control captain (woman)
2 control clerks (women)

82

T h e em ployees n ot selected for com puter opera­
tion were released to other assignments gradually,
after a personal interview and careful review o f
their record. A t the interview, each em ployee
was requested to specify a jo b preference in trans­
fer. In n o case was anyone offered a low er payin g
jo b . T h ose released were transferred to jo b s
w hich th ey could handle w ith on ly brief on -th e-job
training. T heir new supervisors were uniform ly
consulted before the transfers were m ade; they
interviewed the transferees, and are currently
satisfied w ith the new arrangements.
W ith in the classification sections, six super­
visors had developed considerable skill in handling
people. T h e 4 m ost interested in the com puter
installation are n ow perm anently assigned to its
w ork force (3 to operation and 1 to developm ental
w o rk ); 1 preferred to transfer to an equivalent
staff jo b in another division ; and the rem aining
supervisor accepted a higher payin g nonsupervisory jo b .
T h e procedure developm ent group, which
studied problem s w ithin the com pu ter's range and
translated their findings into operations, began
w ith 14 persons; b y June 1956, all b u t 4 will have
transferred to a new ly created electronics installa­
tions division.
T h e electronics installations division was form ed
on January 1,19 55 , to expand the use o f electronic
com puters in the firm and to provid e a p ool o f
skilled m anpower. Its chief had piloted the
initial studies which led to the recom m endation
that a com puter be installed. T h e 8 m en selected
initially for this division had had som e prior ex­
perience in the field; 21 were added, o f w hom 13
were selected because o f prior experience with




specific phases o f the com pa n y's business; the
other 8 were clerical assistants.
In June 1955, hom e office personnel records
were culled to develop a list o f individuals w ho
had the experience and educational background
required in this highly specialized division.
T h ose listed were invited to take three examina­
tions which w ould indicate their aptitudes for the
w ork. M o re than 250 responded, representing
practically every division in the firm. B y Sep­
tem ber 1955, 30 persons had been selected, from
as m an y different divisions as possible. T h e cri­
teria fo r this selection, in order o f im portance,
w ere: com p a n y experience, seniority, and aptitude
ranking. T h e 60 n ow com prising the electronics
installations division are heavily w eighted w ith
those having skilli or aptitudes in program m ing,
p roject analysis, and other related processes.
Som e will b e trained to operate a large com puter.
B y the end o f 1954, the suitability o f the elec­
tronic com pu ter to office w ork had been substan­
tially established and the com pu ter officially
accepted. Certain factors contributed m aterially
to the success and ease o f the adjustm ent to the
ch an geover: the com pa n y's grow th to m eet an
expanding volu m e o f business; relatively high
labor turnover w ith an accom panying shortage o f
w om en clerks in its hom e office; and the basic
sim ilarity o f jo b s am ong m a n y com pa n y divi­
sions, perm itting easy transfer o f em ployees.
T h e com pa n y is carefully studying 22 activities
under a 3- to 5-year program fo r possible future
installations. I t estim ated that it w ou ld take
1 to 1% years to develop plans fo r a specific com ­
puter a ctiv ity and from 1 to 5 additional years to
attain problem -free installation.

83

M a jo r T echnological Changes

A d ju s t m e n t to A u to m a tio n
in a L a r g e B a k e r y
W o r k i n g within the fram ew ork o f a long estab­
lished collective bargaining relationship, the m an­
agem ent o f a large bakery introduced in 1953 m ore
h ighly autom atic production techniques w ith a
minim um o f hardship to its em ployees. C on tract
provisions greatly reduced the num ber o f workers
w h o m ight have been displaced, established rates
o f p ay fo r new jobs, and guaranteed workers, w ho
m ight be shifted to job s o f lesser skills, the reten­
tion o f wage rates at their higher skill levels.
H ow this transition to increased autom atization
was effected is described in a case study b y the
U . S. D epartm ent o f L a bor's B ureau o f L a b o r
Statistics.1 Im plications fo r labor suggested b y
the stu d y are based on facts developed at the
plant and reflect on ly the experience o f the bakery
studied. There is n o intention to assess the im ­
p act o f autom atic produ ction m ethods on em p loy­
m ent in the industry as a whole. This description,
how ever, should be useful in suggesting the gen­
eral character o f developm ents that m a y occu r at
the plant level as the new m ethods are adopted
elsewhere.
T h e bakery studied (Z C om p an y B akery) em­
p loys approxim ately 575 workers. T h e bakery's
entire ou tp u t o f a variety o f bread and cake
produ cts is sold to a chain o f retail grocery stores.
In 1948, the demands o f the retail outlets had so
increased that the bakery officials felt an urgent
need fo r increasing their produ ction facilities.
A fter 2 years o f study, the m anagem ent decided
to relocate the com pan y's separate facilities in a
single, m odernized unit.
C onstruction o f the
building was begun in 1950; b y 1953, the bakery
was operating at its new location.

1A Case Study of a Large Mechanized Bakery, BLS Report 109, September
1966. This study, based on interviews with company and union
Is the third In a series of case studies on automatic technology.

S e p te m b e r 1956




T h e changes in techn ology introduced at the Z
C om p an y B ak ery were prim arily directed tow ard
bringing abou t a greater degree o f m echanization
o f the bak ery's m aterial-handling m ethods. T h e
bulk m aterial-handling practices and the bread­
m aking process have been so integrated m echani­
cally in the new bakery that, except fo r one stage
in the breadm ixing operation, there is n o manual
handling o f the p rod u ct from the receipt o f the
d ry bulk ingredients to the d eliv e iy o f the finished
loaf o f bread at the shipping platform .
L ocation o f the new plant on a railroad siding
m ade it possible to replace the form er m anual
bulk m aterial-handling m ethods w ith a pneum atic
con v ey or system especially designed fo r the bak ­
ery. Seven workers are now em ployed in the
entire m aterial-handling departm ent, com pared
w ith 24 workers before the change.
F lou r and sugar, w hich form erly cam e in bags,
are n ow delivered in bu lk b y special railw ay cars
and trucks. T h e cars are unloaded through tubes
and hoses b y a w orker w h o operates the new sys­
tem from his position at the con trol panel. B y
m anipulation o f the buttons and switches on the
panel, the operator channels d ry bulk ingredients
to storage bins on the to p floor. M an u al m o v e ­
m ent is entirely eliminated.
F lou r m oves from railw ay cars into bins at the
rate o f 20 tons an h ou r w ith one m an operating
the system . Previously, it to o k 24 m en, 5 to 6
hours, to m ove 50 tons into the plant. O utput per
m an-hour fo r this task under the autom atic sys­
tem is n ow at least 40 times greater than it was
b efore the change.
N ew m echanical m ethods adopted fo r handling
oils and lard in bulk have also substantially re­
duced lab or requirements. T h e oils and fats are
pum ped into the plant through steam -heated pipe­
lines w hich keep them liquid and are stored in
special insulated tanks and m etered directly into
the m ixing machines.

8U

Displacem ent o f W orkers.

In th e bread departm ent, w hich is the m ost
im portant in terms o f em ploym ent and volum e o f
produ ct, 1 o f 2 previously existing sem iautom atic
breadm aking lines has been replaced b y an auto­
m atic line. T h e processes required in the m ixing
o f the ingredients, the m akeup o f the dough
(including shaping and bakin g), and the w rapping
and slicing o f the bread, rem ain unchanged.
H ow ever, m anual handling o f the m aterials has
been virtually eliminated, and the speed and
ca p acity o f m achines have been increased. F or­
m erly, ingredients were weighed b y hand, and
certain steps in each operation required m anual
loading and unloading. N ow , ingredients are
autom atically weighed b y scales located below
the storage bins and fed into the m ixing m achines;
the m ovem ent o f the dough in the m ixing oper­
ation is entirely m echanical except at one point—
the rem oval b y hand o f the sponge dough from
the mixers when the operator judges it to b e o f
the right consistency. In trodu ction o f the auto­
m atic line has resulted in substantial increases in
ou tp u t per m an-hour in breadm aking operations
(based on ca p acity operations), as show n in the
follow ing tabulation:
Percent

Mixing_____________________________________________
Makeup_ _________________________________________
_
Wrapping (including slicing)_______________________

240
250
512

Personnel Changes
T h rou gh collective bargaining, m anagem ent
and union officials resolved problem s o f displace­
m ent, downgrading, and changes in skill levels and
earnings w hich resulted from the technological
advances established in the new bakery. On
reaching the decision to m odernize, com pan y
officials inform ed the business agent o f the bakery
w orkers' union o f its plan to m ove. F rom then
until the new plant was in full operation, 5 years
later, m anagem ent officials and union represent­
atives conferred frequently on the changes and
their possible effects on the workers. Full infor­
m ation was supplied to the union's business agent
so that he cou ld review contem plated jo b or
equipm ent changes, new jo b s proposed, and wage
changes, and could m ake suggestions for cushion­
ing the im pact o f the changes on workers.




85

E arly in the planning
stages, the com pa n y estim ated th at the new plant
w ould require 25 percent few er prod u ction w ork­
ers. T h e business agent was to ld o f this estim ate.
H e inform ed th e workers that som e displacem ent
was anticipated b u t did n ot divulge the exact
extent, believing the estim ate w ould b e revised
dow nw ard in the course o f negotiations before the
actual change.
In 1952, as the building neared com pletion ,
a new union con tract p rovided fo r changes in the
daily schedule o f hours that had the effect o f
substantially reducing the estim ated reduction in
em ploym ent. T h e provision, one which was bein g
adopted b y the industry generally, provid ed fo r a
guaranteed m inim um 8-hour d a y as contrasted
w ith the previou sly existing 6-hour guaranteed
m inim um day. U nder the 6-hour day, the b ak ery
scheduled its workers so th at th ey w orked a 40hour w eek over a 6-d ay period. W ith the adop­
tion o f the 8-hour day, the workers were paid fo r
40 hours within a 5 -day workw eek. I t was
necessary, therefore, to establish a rotatin g w ork­
w eek requiring an extra relief w orker fo r every
5 p rodu ction workers. A s a result, the estim ated
25-percent drop in em ploym ent was reduced to
abou t 5 percent.

Reassignment o f W orkers.

T h e change to m ore
autom atic m ethods m eant som e shifting o f workers
from jo b s in reduced activities to jo b s in expand­
ing activities. In som e cases, the shift m eant a
dow ngrading in skill level; in others, upgrading
to o k place. W orkers m ost affected were m aterial
handlers, bread-m ixer helpers, and the bread­
w rapping personnel.
W h en the m anagem ent inform ed the union
business agent o f its estim ated em ployee displace­
m ent, it also gave assurance that any em ployees
shifted to low er paying jo b s w ould be paid at the
rate th ey had been receiving fo r their higher
skilled job s. T his news rem oved som e o f the
anxiety arising from the announcem ent o f possible
jo b loss. T h e 1952 union con tract form alized the
com pa n y's pledge.
Som e workers w ith higher skills were shifted
to jo b s as sanitors in the expanding sanitation
departm ent. W hile this represented a dow ngrad­
ing to a low er rated jo b , there was apparently little

cal m aterial-handling techniques, which substan­
tially reduced the physically exhausting part o f
the task, apparently com pensated fo r the need to
adapt to equipm ent w ith faster speeds and in­
creased capacity.
N ow , the operator o f the autom atic bread p roof,
oven, and cooler system n ot on ly has responsi­
b ility fo r the oven b u t he also controls the auto­
m atic equipm ent w hich rem oves baked loaves from
pans and cools them after th ey leave the oven.
These steps in the process in volved manual load ­
ing and unloading chores on the sem iautom atic
line and were part o f the w rapping departm ent’s
operation.
Operators o f the slicing and wrapping m achines
on the autom atic line have also had an increase in
responsibility because o f the increased num ber o f
slicer-wrapper m achine units under their control.
T h e operational pace has been stepped up con ­
siderably, and the operators are required to observe
schedules so that their operation is com pletely
synchronized with the rest o f the autom atic line.
In recognition o f the greater skill required b y
the bulk m aterial-handling equipm ent m en and
the increased responsibilities o f the operators o f
the autom atic bread p roof, oven , and cooler
system , and o f the slicing and w rapping m achine
operators, the 1952 union con tract established a
new top skill level classification o f “ specialists” for
these three job s. T h e com pan y and union officials
agreed that the duties o f the new jo b s in the
m ixing operation and o f the divider operator and
the m older operator were n ot sufficiently different
from their counterparts on the sem iautom atic line
to ju stify a change in skill level classification.

discontent over the shift, since these workers
retained the higher p a y rates o f their form er job s.
W orkers unable to adapt themselves to the m ore
efficient and faster machines were given the
op portu n ity o f w orking in job s to which they could
adjust. T heir rates o f p a y were continued at the
levels pf the jo b s from which th ey were m oved.
Em ploym ent Trends
D uring 1953, total em ploym ent in the Z C om ­
p an y B ak ery declined 4.4 percent; the num ber o f
produ ction workers fell 8.4 percent. In 1953, the
first full year of operation in the new plant,
m anagem ent had to la y off som e workers while it
becam e fam iliar w ith the new produ ction m ethods
and equipm ent. W hen the produ ction problem s
were resolved, ou tput expanded w ith increased
sales, and em ploym ent increased. B y 1955, the
total num ber o f produ ction workers slightly ex­
ceeded the num ber em ployed before the change.
Occupational Changes
A d op tion o f m ore highly autom atic produ ction
techniques resulted in the creation o f som e new jo b
classifications and skill levels. T h e new jo b o f
bulk material-handling equipm ent m an was estab­
lished in connection w ith the operation o f the
pneum atic m aterial-handling system . A t first, a
licensed engineer was brought in to operate the
system since it was thought that there were no
workers in the plant qualified to operate it. W h en
som e dissatisfaction w ith the engineer’s perform ­
ance arose, a w orker in the m aintenance depart­
m ent was given several weeks o f on -th e-job
training at the control b oard after w hich he p roved
quite capable. T h e second operator— also trained
on the jo b — was form erly a dough m ixer in the
plant. F or b oth men, the shift m eant an up­
grading.
M ach in e operators on the sem iautom atic bread
line apparently had sufficient flexibility to m eet
the dem ands o f m achine operation on the auto­
m atic line. W ith few exceptions, where a w orker
was required to operate equipm ent som ewhat m ore
m echanized than previously, on -th e-job training
for 1 or 2 weeks was sufficient. T h e training was
necessary to adjust to the pace o f the new line
rather than to acquire new skills. N ew m echani­




W age Changes
T h e 1952 union con tract p rovided for an acrossthe-board wage increase o f 17K cents per hour for
the b ak ery’s p rodu ction workers, all o f w hom are
on an hourly rated p a y basis. This was in line
with raises granted b y other firms in the industry
at the time. A rate o f 18 cents per hour a bove
that paid the previously existing top rated jo b s
(including m achine operators) was established for
the new “ specialists” classification. Since the
change to new m ethods, in addition to wage
increases granted annually, fringe benefits have
been expanded.

86

Im plications for Supervisory P ersonn el
W ith the change, a new plan t superintendent
and assistant were brou gh t into the plant. These
college trained m en were fam iliar w ith the p rod u c­
tion m ethods o f the industry and cou ld a pp ly other
industrial produ ction techniques as well as their
general theoretical know ledge for use in the
industry.
O f the 20 nonw orking forem en em ployed before
the change, 10 were successfully retrained on the
jo b to m eet the requirem ents o f the new plant.
T h e rem aining 10 were replaced b y m en especially
trained for their job s as forem en. Som e were
p rom oted from the ranks and som e were hired
from the outside. R eplaced forem en were laid
o ff if th ey were relatively new m en in the plant.
T h ose w ith years o f service were given other job s
at the rate o f p a y th ey received as forem en.
Attitudes Tow ard Increased M echanization
F rom the standpoint o f the com pan y, the effort
to m odernize, on the whole, has been successful.
C ap acity has been enlarged. Increased ou tp u t
n ow m eets the dem ands o f the chain o f r e ta il,




stores. U nit labor costs have been reduced,
although wages have risen steadily. Losses due
to wastage and spoilage have been reduced. N ew
and faster m aterial-handling m ethods have m ade
it possible to deliver a fresher p rod u ct to the
consum er.
T h e consensus o f the workers, as expressed b y
the local union president, was that the results o f
the changes on the w hole were advantageous to
them. T h e union, as well as the com pan y, takes
pride in the orderly transition that well-established
collective bargaining m ade possible. In the union
view, an im portant aspect was the com p a n y's
early announcem ent o f its plans and its willingness,
prior to the change, to consult on issues affecting
em ploym ent. T h e change in w ork schedules
which m inim ized displacem ent and the decision to
maintain wage rates o f dow ngraded em ployees
were particularly satisfactory aspects o f the change.
T h e local union president believed the workers
have shared in the greater p rod u ctivity o f the
plant through the wage increases and fringe
benefits obtained in the past few years.
— H

erm an

J. R

othberg

Division of Productivity and Technological Developments

87

L a b o r A d ju s t m e n t s f o r C h a n g e s in
T e c h n o lo g y a t a n O i l R e f in e r y

N o r e g u l a r e m p l o y e e s were laid off when the
m anagem ent o f a m edium -size oil refinery re­
placed form er processes w ith m ore autom atic
processes betw een 1948 and 1956. A small
num ber o f workers were upgraded, nearly half
retained their grade, and a sizable group were
dow ngraded.
Through collective bargaining,
m anagem ent and labor agreed on seniority and
m aintenance-of-w age-rate provisions to govern
the reassignment o f workers and to m inim ize the
im pact o f the adjustm ents.
T o learn h ow these adjustm ents were effected
was the m ain ob jectiv e o f a case stu dy b y the
U . S. D epartm en t o f L a b o r s B ureau o f L a bor
Statistics.1 T h e stu dy also yielded inform ation
on w orking conditions and lab or relations at a
plant w ith a higher degree o f autom atic operation
than is present in m ost industries.
T h e stu dy was intended to be illustrative o f
the effect o f technological change on the w ork
force in the petroleum refining industry. Im ­
plications for lab or suggested b y the stu dy reflect
o n ly the experience o f the refinery studied, al­
though it also presented som e industry b ack ­
ground.
T h e oil refinery studied em ployed approxim ately
660 em ployees in 1956. I t is a part o f an inte­
grated m ultiplant com pan y with producing,
processing, and m arketing facilities located at
various points in the U nited States. Since its
construction in 1930, the refinery has undergone
a num ber o f changes in plant and equipm ent
leading to greater diversification o f ou tp u t and
m ore autom atic control o f processing. H ow ever,
this sum m ary discusses those changes since 1948,
as these held the m ost im portan t im plications
fo r the workers.

additional gas, oil, gasoline, and gas and coke
from heavier residual oil after crude distillation).
These units replaced a num ber o f batch -ty p e
therm al pressure stills in use since the refinery
started. T h e new units were introduced prim arily
to upgrade the quality o f the gasoline produced
rather than to increase substantially the crude
oil charging capacity.
One result o f the installation o f these tw o units
was m ore autom atic and continuous operation o f
the plant.
Changes in temperature, pressure,
flow, and level are controlled autom atically on the
new units which operate on a continuous 24-hour
basis, shutting dow n on ly abou t twice a year for
cleaning and necessary repairs. T h e old pressure
stills were shut dow n 22 hours ou t o f every 72hour operating cycle for cleaning ou t accum ulated
coke.
Planning began in 1951 for a $14-m illion p ro­
gram for increasing crude oil charging ca p acity
and further raising the yield o f quality gasoline per
barrel o f crude oil. T his program p rovided for
building an additional crude distillation unit and
a new catalytic reform ing unit (which replaced a
thermal reform ing unit) and further instrum enta­
tion o f existing equipm ent. T h e new crude dis­
tillation unit was ready for operation b y A pril
1954, and the catalytic reform er started operating
in January 1955. B o th o f these new units are
highly instrum ented and highly autom atic.
A s a result o f these changes in technology, the
quality o f gasoline produ ced was upgraded from
an octan e rating o f 87 in 1948 to 97 in 1956. W ith
virtually the same num ber o f plant produ ction
and related workers, crude oil charged per day
rose 57 percent— from 35,000 barrels in 1948 to
55,000 barrels in 1956. D irect labor requirem ents
on the new units were abou t one-third less than on
the old pressure stills. H ow ever, labor require­
m ents on auxiliary operating and m echanical
functions had expanded during the same period.
Planning the W ork ers’ A djustm ents

M a jo r Tech n ological Changes
T h e m a jor changes resulting from the $20m illion m odernization program com pleted in
1949 were the installation o f a fluid catalytic
cracking unit (a unit in w hich a catalyst is em ­
p loyed to bring abou t a desired chem ical reaction)
and a delayed coking unit (a unit for producing

S e p te m b e r 1957



Tech n ological changes in 1949 resulted in the
reassignment o f 164 workers— abou t one-fourth o f
all personnel. Changes in 1954 were less extensive.

1 A Case Study of a Modernized Petroleum Refinery, BLS Report 120.
This study, based on interviews with company and union ofllda]& is th«
fourth in a series of case studies on automatic technology.

88

N o regular em ployee was laid off as a result o f the
changes in either year. Fifteen m on th s’ advance
planning preceded each o f these personnel changes.
M anagem ent and union representatives join tly
discussed the num ber o f workers required on the
new units and their qualifications. T h e y also
w orked ou t union con tract provisions governing
layoff, transfer, and prom otion in the reassignment
o f personnel.
N egotiations leading to the 1949 union contract
helped to crystallize tw o basic principles concern­
ing displacem ent and reassignment o f the plant
workers. First, length o f service was established
as the basis for retention o f workers in the event
o f projected layoffs and also as a factor in regulat­
ing dem otions. T h e ob jective was to m inimize
displacem ent o f older men w ith years o f service
at the refinery. Second, the placem ent o f m en in
new ly created or reorganized departm ents and
a ny proposed change in the application o f the
dem otion or p rom otion procedures were m ade the
su bject o f m anagem ent and union conferences.
Changes in assignment necessarily were m ade
in reference to the lines o f progression from one
jo b to another that the techn ology o f the plant
required. A lthough the progression system had
existed at the refinery from its very beginning, the
negotiations led to setting up o f a m ore form al
system . A basic feature o f the progression system
is that virtually all workers are hired at the plant
as probationary laborers and advance to higher
paid job s when available on the basis o f their
length o f service. A t each jo b level, the worker
is trained on the jo b to m eet the dem ands o f the
next highest classification. A fter a trial period, a
probation ary laborer has a choice betw een 2
routes o f advancem ent, 1 covering operating job s
and the other, m aintenance jobs. H e is then
assigned as a regular laborer to the labor p ool o f
the route he has chosen and his plant seniority is
effective from the date o f his em ploym ent. W hen
a jo b opening or a chance fo r “ breaking in ” at a
specific departm ent arises in the chosen route,
eligible workers m a y app ly for the assignment and
selection is m ade on the basis o f plant seniority.
Once a worker is assigned to such a jo b , he a c­
cumulates seniority in the departm ent. T here­
after, he advances in the departm ent on the basis
o f departm ental seniority, irrespective o f plant
seniority.




89

T o assure operating workers that their seniority
rights w ould b e fully protected during the plan­
ning and construction period preceding the startup
o f the new units in 1949, m anagem ent and union
officials agreed that jo b vacancies in the various
departm ents w ould be filled on a tem porary basis
fo r that period. W orkers hired during the period
to fill any jo b s were told that they m ight have to
step b ack to lesser paying jo b s when the new units
were started and senior em ployees exercised their
rights.
R eassignm ent and Retraining
P rodu ction workers whose jo b s were directly
affected b y the introduction o f the ca ta lytic
cracking unit and other changes were reassigned
to other jo b s on the basis o f their position on
special seniority registers established during the
bargaining negotiations. O f the 164 workers
affected in 1949, approxim ately 102, or 62 percent,
were placed in jo b s paying at least the same wage
rate they had previou sly; the remaining 62 w ork ­
ers were dow ngraded to job s at low er rates. U nder
the seniority provisions o f the union contract,
som e o f these latter workers were n ot dow ngraded
in p a y im m ediately. T h e y were p rotected b y a
m aintenance-of-w age-rate provision which guaran­
teed affected workers with 5 or m ore years o f
service against a reduction in their rate o f p a y fo r
6 m onths after being reassigned.
A m on g the 102 workers w ho retained or bettered
their jo b rates were 81 direct operating em ployees,
that is, stillmen, operators, and helpers. There
was n ot m uch difficulty in reassigning these
workers, because the new units used the same jo b
classifications and required all the direct operating
em ployees displaced from the old pressure stills.
T h e rem aining 21 em ployees were cok e cleanout
workers on the pressure stills.
T h e 62 workers w ho were dow ngraded were the
balance o f the crew o f 83 coke cleanout workers.
T h e y were displaced because the new equipm ent
required on ly 21 men fo r the cleanout. C oke
cleanout workers received relatively high w age
rates for perform ing physically onerous w ork
under unpleasant conditions. W ith the applica­
tion o f the seniority system, the on ly jo b s open to
these 62 workers were as helpers or laborers,
which m eant their downgrading.

A pproxim ately half o f those dow ngraded had
sufficient seniority to be guaranteed against a
decrease in their h ourly rate o f p a y for 6 m onths
after their transfer. T h e rem ainder, while having
placem ent rights, started w ith the low er jo b rate
at the tim e o f their transfer.
M o s t o f these 62 workers were still em ployed b y
the refinery at the tim e o f the study. N o one
o f this group had obtained a position w ith a wage
rate as high as that for the coke cleanout job .
T h e 1954 changes involved the reassignment o f
12 em ployees w ith ou t any downgrading. These
em ployees were transferred from the old thermal
reform ing unit to the new catalytic reform ing unit,
on w hich the same jo b classifications were used.
A dvan ce training to operate the new equipm ent
was given to b oth operating em ployees and super­
visors during w orking hours. This training in­
cluded in-plant classroom instruction and direct
observation o f new equipm ent. Since, as already
indicated, continuous catalytic cracking repre­
sented a significant departure from previous p roc­
essing, training for w ork in this unit was relatively
lon g and extensive.
Training for supervisors
started 6 m onths before the new unit began
operating. Stillmen received training for 3 m onths
before the startup, and operators and helpers
w orkin g in the same process unit as stillmen, for
a som ew hat lesser period. Training for operating
the catalytic reform er, another new and unfam iliar
process, was also quite extensive.
D u rin g the

training periods, all workers received their regular
wage rates and substitute workers were em ployed
to fill their regular jobs.
Em ploym ent and Occupational Structure
T o ta l em ploym ent at the refinery over the 8
years rem ained relatively stable (663 em ployees
in 1948, 661 in 1956), with fluctuations resulting
m ainly from greater construction a ctivity rather
than from any significant changes in operating
requirements. Produ ction workers m ade up 84
percent o f the total em ployees in 1949 and 83
percent in 1956.
O f the 4 departm ents to w hich produ ction
(hourly rated) workers are assigned— operations,
m aintenance, laboratory and testing, and m iscel­
laneous— the first 2 em ploy approxim ately 90
percent o f the h ourly rated workers. A b o u t 50
percent are in operations and 40 percent in
maintenance.
A lthough the overall num bers em ployed in the
tw o m ajor departm ents have n ot changed greatly,
there have been several n otew orth y shifts in the
num ber o f workers required in individual jo b
classifications. In the operations departm ent, the
num ber o f em ployees required for direct process­
ing jo b s increased substantially. T h e num ber o f
stillmen increased b y 17 percent, operators b y
abou t 6 percent, and helpers b y 69 percent. T h e
large increase in the helper classification was

P ercen tage d is trib u tio n , a t 1 9 5 6 wage rates , o f re q u ire d h o u rly ra ted w orkers 1 in a n o il re fin e ry , by 1 9 4 8 a n d 1 9 6 6 o c c u p a tio n a l
d is trib u tio n
1948 occupational distribution
1956 hourly wage rate

$3 and over____ __ ____________
$2.90-$2.99.......... ...... .............. .........
$2.80-$2.89..................................... .
$2.70-$2.79........................... .............
$2.60-$2.69............... ........................
$2.50-$2.59____ __________________
$2.40-$2.49_____ _________________
$2.30-$2.39.........................................
$2.20-$2.29.......... ...............................
Total........ .......................... .
Number of workers3_____________
Average (weighted)3 hourly rate.—

All hourly
rated em­
ployees
0.4
7.9
33.9
24.6
4.2
3.3
15.3

Opera­
tions

13.3
58.7
15.4
5.6
.5
6.5

10.4

Mainte­
nance

Laboratory
and testing

Miscella­
neous

0.9
25.6
12.8
21.5
17.9
17.9
4.3

8.1
37.7
1.3
5.8
23.3
22.9

16.3
55.3
28.4

All hourly
rated em­
ployees
0.2
8.9
24.5
33.3
5.3
3.3
19.1
.2
5.2

Opera­
tions

14.9
42.8
25.1
6.6
0.5
10.1

Mainte­
nance

0.1
5.7
47.9
1.4
5.7
29.6
9.6

Laboratory
and testing

24.2
12.1
18.2
25.5
12.7
3.0
4.3

Miscella­
neous

58.3
41.7

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

556.0
$2,686

285.0
$2,796

223.0
$2,568

23.4
$2,742

24.6
$2,442

561.0
$2,691

281.2
$2,764

230.0
$2,620

33.0
$2,732

16.8
$2,362

i Workers required by the staffing pattern for a 168-hour week.
3 Excludes supervisors and administrative personnel; the number of hourly
rated workers shown does not necessarily represent the actual number of
such workers on the payroll.




1956 occupational distribution

* The rate for each job classification was weighted by the number of jobs
in that classification,

90

a t t r ib u t a b le p r in c ip a lly t o a n e ffo r t t o d e v e lo p a

h a v e r e c e iv e d t h e ir t r a in in g o n t h e j o b , t h e ir sk ills

la r g e r n u m b e r o f w o r k e r s q u a lifie d t o s t a ff th e

a n d k n o w le d g e o f t h e

s e p a r a te p r o c e s s u n its .

d ir e c t ly r e la t e d t o t h e p la n t ’s n e e d s.

T h e s e in c r e a s e s w e r e o f f ­

s e t b y a la r g e r e d u c t io n in t h e n u m b e r o f c o k e
c le a n o u t w o r k e r s .

S h u t t in g d o w n t h e p r e ss u r e

tra d e are

m ore

or

less

T h e d u t ie s o f t h e la b o r a t o r y a n d t e s t in g jo b s
r e q u ir e p r o fe s s io n a lly t r a in e d c h e m is t s t o m a k e

stills r e d u c e d th e r e q u ir e d n u m b e r o f w o r k e r s in

r o u t in e c h e m ic a l te s ts t o

th is j o b c la s s ific a tio n b y 8 5 p e r c e n t , a s p r e v io u s ly

r a t in g

in d ic a t e d .

A b a c h e lo r ’s d e g r e e in c h e m is t r y is a r e q u ir e m e n t

D u r in g

1 9 4 9 -5 6 ,

th e

m a in t e n a n c e

and

d e t e r m in e t h e o c t a n e

o th e r m ea su res

of

p rod u ct

q u a lit y .

d e p a r t m e n t e x p e r ie n c e d in c r e a s e s in th e in s t r u ­

f o r th e s e w o r k e r s .

m ent

ers, la b o r a t o r y e m p lo y e e s a r e p a id o n a n h o u r ly

r e p a ir m a n

and

p ip e fit t e r

c la s s ific a tio n s .

I n c r e a s e d in s t r u m e n t a t io n m a d e it n e c e s s a r y t o
a d d s e v e n m e n t o th e in s t r u m e n t r e p a ir m a n g r o u p
w hen

th e

b a s is a n d a r e c o v e r e d b y t h e u n io n c o n t r a c t .
O n e o f t h e m o s t im p o r t a n t p e r s o n n e l d e v e lo p ­

coker

m e n t s a t t h e r e fin e r y d u r in g t h e p o s t w a r p e r io d

A n in c r e a s e in p ip e fit t e r a n d

h a s b e e n t h e r a is in g o f e d u c a t io n a l s t a n d a r d s f o r

c a t a ly t ic

w e r e in t r o d u c e d .

L ik e o t h e r p r o d u c t i o n w o r k ­

cra ck er

and

d e la y e d

p ip e fit t e r ’s h e lp e r j o b s w a s th e r e s u lt o f a n a g r e e ­

b oth

m e n t b e t w e e n m a n a g e m e n t a n d u n io n t o m a in ta in

19 48 , th e m a n a g e m e n t a d o p t e d th e r e q u ir e m e n t

p r o d u c tio n

and

s u p e r v is o r y

w ork ers.

a b a la n c e o f o n e p ip e fit t e r ’ s h e lp e r f o r e a c h p ip e ­

o f a h ig h s c h o o l e d u c a t io n f o r e m p lo y m e n t .

fit te r , as w e ll as t h e g r e a te r n e e d f o r th e ir s e r v ic e s

1953,

in m a in ta in in g th e p la n t .

a p p lic a n t s f o r p r o d u c t i o n jo b s .

In

T h e la b o r a t o r y

and

t e s t in g g r o u p a lso s h o w e d s o m e in cr e a s e .
On

th e

a d m in is t r a t iv e

s ta ff,

th e

a

p r e e m p lo y m e n t

te s t

w as

In

d e s ig n e d

fo r

T h e te s t a t t e m p t s

t o d e t e r m in e a n in d iv id u a l’s a b ili t y t o m e m o r iz e ,

m ost

n ote­

c o n c e n t r a t e , o b s e r v e , a n d fo llo w in s t r u c t io n s .

w o r t h y c h a n g e w a s a r e o r g a n iz a t io n o f fu n c t io n s

covers

m a t h e m a t ic a l

k n o w le d g e

th rou g h

It
th e

a n d th e c r e a t io n o f th r e e a s s is ta n t p la n t m a n a g e r

s e c o n d -y e a r h ig h s c h o o l le v e l, i. e ., a lg e b r a a n d

p o s it io n s w h ic h g a v e g r e a te r r e c o g n it io n t o th e

g e o m e try .

e n g in e e r in g a n d p e r s o n n e l fu n c t io n s .

fic a t io n s o u g h t in s e le c t in g s u p e r v is o r s .

A n e n g in e e r in g d e g r e e is n o w a q u a li­

T h e q u e s t io n o f m o r e s t r in g e n t p e r s o n a l q u a lifi­
c a t io n s fig u r e d in a d is p u te b e t w e e n m a n a g e m e n t
J o b C o n te n t a n d C h a n g in g R e q u ir e m e n ts

a n d u n io n in 1 9 5 4 o v e r a s e n io r it y p r o v is io n in
th e

M o r e a u t o m a t ic p r o c e s s in g m o d ifie d s o m e d e ­

a g r e e m e n t.

The

p r o v is io n

read,

in

p a rt,

“ S e n io r e m p lo y e e s e lig ib le u n d e r th is a r tic le sh all

ta ils o f p r o d u c t i o n j o b s in t h e o p e r a t io n s d e p a r t ­

b e g iv e n p r e fe r e n c e o n

m e n t b u t d id n o t r e q u ir e n e w j o b c la s s ific a tio n s .

th e ir c h o ic e o f w o r k r o u t e a d v a n c e m e n t .”

T h e d u tie s o f s tillm e n , o p e r a t o r s , a n d h e lp e r s —

com pan y

fe lt

th a t

(s u c h ) jo b s in lin e w it h

th e w o r d

“ e lig ib le ”

The

im p lie d

th e p r in c ip a l o p e r a t in g jo b s — n o w in v o l v e m o r e

t h a t fa c t o r s o t h e r th a n s e n io r it y c o u ld b e c o n ­

m o n it o r in g

less

s id e r e d in fillin g p o s t e d jo b s .

The

w as

d ir e c t

by

m eans

m anual

of

in s t r u m e n ts

m a n ip u la t io n

of

and

c o n t r o ls .

th a t

th e

w ord

T h e u n io n ’s p o s it io n

r e fe r r e d

o n ly

to

s e n io r it y

m o s t d r a s t ic c h a n g e o c c u r r e d o n t h e c o k e c le a n o u t

e lig ib ilit y .

j o b , w h e r e m e c h a n ic a l e q u ip m e n t w a s s u b s t it u t e d
f o r h a n d la b o r .

t io n , w h ic h r e s u lte d in a d e c is io n s u p p o r t in g th e

The

w ork

e x te n s iv e

of

m a in ta in in g

e q u ip m e n t

r e p a ir in g

t h e r e fin e r y

th e

engages

com p a n y .

T h is s a m e p r o b le m

issu es in a 19 56 w o r k s t o p p a g e .

w as

one

o f th e

T h e con tra ct end­

a

in g t h e s t r ik e p r o v i d e d t h a t w h e n a j o b v a c a n c y is

la r g e g r o u p o f c r a fts m e n in t h e m e t a l a n d o t h e r

a n n o u n c e d , it m u s t b e g iv e n t o t h e s e n io r p la n t

tr a d e s : p ip e fitte r s , w e ld e r s , m a c h in is ts , p a in te r s ,

a p p lic a n t in lin e f o r th e j o b f o r a t r ia l p e r io d o f

e le c tr ic ia n s .

at

and

T h e is su e w a s s u b m it t e d t o a r b itr a ­

T h e s e c r a ft s m e n p e r fo r m jo b s s im i­

30 d a y s .

S in c e th is a g r e e m e n t, a p p r o x im a t e ly 4 0

la r t o w o r k e r s in th e ir tr a d e s in in d u s t r y a n d

j o b s h a v e b e e n p o s t e d a n d fille d b y

c o n s t r u c t io n .

person .

O n ly

c a r p e n t e r s , m a c h in is ts , a n d

t h e s e n io r

I n e a c h c a s e , t h e e m p lo y e e h a s fin is h e d

b r ic k m a s o n s a r e h ir e d d ir e c t ly as f u lly q u a lifie d

h is tr ia l p e r io d w it h o u t a n y q u e s t io n s r a is e d a b o u t

jo u r n e y m e n .

h is q u a lific a t io n s .

S in c e m o s t o f th e o t h e r c r a fts m e n




91

A ttitu d e s o f C o m p a n y a n d I t s W o r k e r s

W a g e S tru c tu re a n d C h a n g e s

P r o d u c t i o n w o r k e r s in th is c o n t in u o u s p r o c e s s
p la n t r e c e iv e r e la t iv e ly h ig h w a g e r a te s , c o m p a r e d
w it h f a c t o r y w o r k e r s g e n e r a lly .

I n 1956, a m o n g

th e o p e r a t in g w o r k e r s , s t illm e n r e c e iv e d $ 2 .9 9 a n

The

com pany

e m p h a s iz e s

th e

a d va n ta g es

of

g r e a te r o u t p u t , im p r o v e d q u a lit y , a n d lo w e r c o s t s
o f p r o d u c t i o n in m e e t in g c o m p e t i t io n .

B ecau se

r e fin e r y p r o c e s s e s a re c o n s t a n t l y c h a n g in g , o ffic ia ls

h o u r , o p e r a t o r s , $ 2 .8 0 a n h o u r , a n d h e lp e r s , $ 2 .7 1

b e lie v e t h a t i t is im p o r t a n t t o h a v e a w o r k f o r c e

an h our.

w h ic h is a d a p t a b le a n d w h ic h c a n b e e a s ily r e ­

I n th e m a in t e n a n c e d e p a r t m e n t , e x c e p t

f o r a b r ic k m a s o n a t $ 3 .0 5 a n h o u r , all o t h e r c r a ft s ­
m e n r e c e iv e d $ 2 .7 7 a n h o u r a n d c r a ft s m a n h e lp e r s

tr a in e d .
T h e u n io n s p o k e s m e n c it e b e n e fit s in le s s se a ­
s o n a l flu c t u a t io n in e m p lo y m e n t , a n d s a fe r a n d

w e r e p a id $ 2 .4 7 a n h o u r .
C h a n g e s in j o b r e q u ir e m e n t s o v e r th e 1 9 4 8 -5 6

l ess o n e r o u s w o r k in g c o n d it io n s , as a r e s u lt o f th e

p e r io d le f t th e o v e r a ll a v e r a g e g r a d e o f p r o d u c t i o n

new

w o r k e r s v ir t u a lly u n c h a n g e d .

im p o r t a n c e

T h u s , th e a v e r a g e

w a g e r a te in 19 56 w a s a b o u t th e s a m e as th e c o m ­

p r o c e s s in g m e t h o d s .
of

th e

T hey

s e n io r it y ,

e m p h a s iz e

th e

m a in t e n a n c e -o f-

w a g e s , a n d t r a in in g m e a s u r e s in t h e ir c o lle c t iv e

p a r a b le a v e r a g e f o r 19 4 8 — i f th e e ffe c t o f g e n e r a l

b a r g a in in g a g r e e m e n t in m e e t in g th e p r o b le m s o f

w age

w o r k e r a d ju s t m e n t .

in c r e a s e s

is

e lim in a t e d .

In

m a k in g

th e

c o m p a r is o n , th e r a t e f o r e a c h j o b c la s s ific a tio n w a s

L o o k i n g fo r w a r d , th e u n io n o ffic ia ls fe e l p a r ­

w e ig h t e d b y t h e n u m b e r o f p e r s o n s s h o w n o n th e

t ic u la r ly c o n c e r n e d a b o u t th e im p a c t o n j o b o p p o r ­

s t a ffin g p a t t e r n f o r e a c h y e a r in t h a t c la s s ific a tio n .
(S e e ta b le .)

in d u s t r y t o tu r n o v e r t o s p e c ia l c o n t r a c t o r s c e r t a in

W age

r a te s

ad va n ced

each

th ro u g h 1956, e x ce p t fo r 1954.

year

fr o m

19 4 8

T h e w a ge ch a n ges

tu n itie s o f th e g r o w in g t e n d e n c y e ls e w h e r e in th e
ty p e s o f m a in t e n a n c e w o r k a t r e fin e r ie s .

I n th e ir

v ie w , th is t r e n d m a y m e a n a g r e a te r lo s s o f j o b s

n e g o t ia t e d d u r in g th e p e r io d w e r e a ll a c r o s s -t h e -

th a n

b o a r d g e n e r a l in cr e a s e s .

cha nge.

N o s p e c ia l r a t e s h a v e

b e e n e s t a b lis h e d a s a r e s u lt o f th e m o d e r n iz a t io n
program .




92

th e

g ra d u a l

in t r o d u c t io n
— H

of

erm an

t e c h n o lo g ic a l
J. R

othberg

D ivision o f Productivity and Technological Developm ents

P rio r R e se r v a tio n S y s te m

A d ju s t m e n t to a n A u to m a t ic
A ir lin e R e s e r v a t io n S y s t e m

T h e in t r o d u c t io n o f th e e le c t r o n ic r e s e r v a t io n
s y s t e m a t A ir lin e X , in J u ly 1 9 5 2 , w a s in t e n d e d t o

I n s t a l l a t i o n o f a n a u t o m a t ic r e s e r v a t io n s y s t e m

f a c ilit a t e th e h a n d lin g o f a g r o w in g v o lu m e o f

a t a la r g e a irlin e r e s e r v a t io n o ffic e m a r k e d th e

r e q u e s t s a n d t o s e c u r e a g r e a te r d e g r e e o f c o n t r o l

b e g in n in g o f a m a jo r d e v e lo p m e n t in th e a p p lic a ­

over

t io n o f e le c t r o n ic s t o a irlin e o ffic e w o r k .

A t th is

m e t h o d , t ic k e t sa les o r c a n c e lla t io n s w e r e p o s t e d

m a jo r te r m in a l, s o m e o ffic e jo b s w e r e u p g r a d e d as

m a n u a lly t o a le d g e r w h ic h r e c o r d e d th e s p e c ific

flig h t

sp ace

in v e n t o r y .

U nder

th e

o ld

a r e s u lt o f a d o p t in g t h e n e w s y s t e m , a n d n e w

t r ip ,

t e c h n ic a l

crea ted .

r e s u lt e d in th e s e llo u t o f a flig h t, th is in fo r m a t io n

S im u lta n e o u s e x p a n s io n o f o ffic e fu n c t io n s , c o u p le d

w a s p r o v i d e d t o t h e o p e r a t o r o f t h e v is u a l q u o t a ­

w it h

and

p r o fe s s io n a l

jo b s

p la n n e d w o r k e r e d u c a t io n

w ere

a n d r e tr a in in g ,

t io n

d a te ,

and

d e s t in a t io n .

W hen

an

e n try

(a v a ila b ilit y ) b o a r d a n d u lt im a t e ly t o o t h e r

p r e v e n t e d p e r s o n n e l d is lo c a t io n , e v e n t h o u g h th e

r e s e r v a t io n

la b o r s a v in g s w e r e s u b s ta n t ia l.

e r r o r s in h e r e n t in th is s y s t e m , b u t it w a s a n t i c i­

W it h

th e

num ber

of

pa ssen gers

c a r r ie d

by

o ffic e s .

N ot

o n ly

w ere

d e la y s

and

p a t e d t h a t m a n u a l in v e n t o r y in g m e t h o d s w o u ld

s c h e d u le d a irlin e s in c r e a s in g t o 50 m illio n in 19 57 ,

becom e

m o r e t h a n 3 t im e s as m a n y as in 19 47 , m a n u a l

p a n d e d , w it h e x p e n s e r is in g o u t o f p r o p o r t io n t o

o ffic e

th e in c r e a s e in w o r k lo a d .

m eth od s

had

becom e

a

b o t t le n e c k

h a n d lin g flig h t s p a c e r e s e r v a tio n s .

in

in c r e a s in g ly c u m b e r s o m e

as

t r a ffic

ex­

A u to m a tio n

w a s fir s t in t r o d u c e d b y th e s e lin e s in 19 52 a n d b y

D e v e lo p m e n t o f th e E le c tr o n ic S y s te m

1 9 5 9 , v ir t u a lly a ll o f th e 12 la r g e d o m e s t i c tr u n k ­
P la n n in g f o r a n e w s y s t e m o f r e s e r v a t io n c o n t r o l

lin e s w ill h a v e in s ta lle d a n a u t o m a t ic r e s e r v a t io n
sy stem .

T o g e t h e r , th e 12 a irlin e s c a r r y m o s t o f

w a s s t a r t e d d u r in g W o r l d W a r I I .

A sy stem w as

1 6 ,0 0 0

b u il t b y a n o u t s id e fir m t o th e a ir lin e 's s p e c ific a ­

t i c k e t a n d r e s e r v a t io n e m p lo y e e s — a b o u t 16 p e r ­

t io n s , s u b s e q u e n t t o e x p e r im e n t a t io n b y a c o m ­

c e n t o f a ll p e r s o n s e m p lo y e d b y th e s e lin e s .

p a n y e n g in e e r .
U n d e r t h e p r e s e n t e le c t r o n ic r e s e r v a t io n s y s t e m ,

th e

a irlin e

pa ssen gers

A u to m a tic

d a ta

and

have

p r o c e s s in g

n e a r ly

is o n e

of

a w id e

v a r ie t y o f t e c h n o lo g ic a l c h a n g e s t a k in g p la c e in
th e

a irlin e

in d u s t r y .

O th e r

im p o r t a n t

in n o v a ­

t io n s in th is fa s t e x p a n d in g in d u s t r y in c lu d e th e
in t r o d u c t io n

of

h ig h -s p e e d ,

je t

a ir c r a ft ,

th e

g r o w t h o f h e lic o p t e r t a x i s e r v ic e , m e c h a n iz a t io n
o f b a g g a g e a n d fr e ig h t h a n d lin g , a n d t h e im p r o v e ­
m e n t o f a ir n a v ig a t io n a n d tr a ffic c o n t r o ls t h r o u g h
T h e p la n n in g a n d d e v e lo p m e n t o f o n e o f th e
a u t o m a t ic r e s e r v a t io n

a irlin e ,

and

sa le s

agent

som e

of

th e

sy stem s

by

im p lic a t io n s

a la r g e
fo r

th e

w o r k e r s a ffe c t e d , a r e d e s c r ib e d in a c a s e s t u d y
b y th e U . S. D e p a r tm e n t o f L a b o r s B u re a u o f
L a b o r S t a t is t ic s .1

The

d e s c r ip t io n ,

th o u g h

not

in t e n d e d t o b e t y p ic a l o f c h a n g e s a t o t h e r c o m ­

ch eck s

a v a i la b ilit y

of

sp ace

by

in s e r tin g a d e s t in a t io n p la t e in t o h is h a n d s e t (a
m e t a l b o x lik e

d e v ic e o n

h is d e s k ) a n d p r e s s in g

b u t t o n s c o r r e s p o n d in g t o t h e d a t e o f t h e flig h t
and

th e

num ber

of

s e a ts

d e s ir e d .

If

sp ace

a v a ila b le , a lig h t is illu m in a t e d o n t h e s e t .

is
At

t h e s a m e tim e , a v a i la b ilit y o f a lt e r n a t e flig h ts is
in d ic a t e d .

e le c tr o n ic s .
fir s t

a

e le c t r o n ic

In

essen ce,

s ig n a ls

th e

in s t e a d

c o m m u n ic a t in g r e s e r v a t io n

new

of

oral

sy stem

u se s

m essa ges

in

d a t a , a n d e le c t r o n ic

in s t e a d o f m a n u a l m e t h o d s in filin g a n d s e a r c h in g
in fo r m a t io n .
P ro d u c tiv ity a n d D isp la c e m e n t

T h e e x p e r ie n c e o f A ir lin e X

s u g g e s ts t h a t th e

p a n ie s , s h o u ld b e u s e fu l in in d ic a t in g t h e g e n e r a l

s ig n ific a n t la b o r s a v in g s in c e r t a in r e c o r d k e e p in g

n a tu r e o f th e d e v e lo p m e n t s t h a t m a y o c c u r a t th e

fu n c t io n s c a n b e h a n d le d w it h o u t d is lo c a t io n o f

o ffic e

o ffic e p e r s o n n e l, e s p e c ia lly if in t r o d u c e d d u r in g a

le v e l

as

s im ila r

e le c t r o n ic

sy stem s

are

in t r o d u c e d .

p e r io d o f r a p id a n d e x te n s iv e g r o w t h in th e r e s e r ­

» A Case Study of an Automatic Airline Reservation System, BLS Report
137. This study, based on interviews with management officials, observation
of employees at work (the office employees were not organized), and analysis
of occupational and other records, is the fifth in a series of case studies on
automatic technology.

v a t i o n o ffic e 's a c t iv it ie s .

S e p te m b e r 1958




93

th e

new

sy stem

w as

O n e ta n g ib le r e s u lt o f

a r e d u c t io n

of

about

85

p e r c e n t in th e u n it m a n -y e a r s r e q u ir e d f o r th e

in v e n t o r y

fu n c t io n .

A

tota l

of

32

m a n -y e a r s ,

p o s t in g e a c h sa le o n a sa les c o n t r o l c h a r t a n d th e

a b o u t 11 p e r c e n t o f th e t o t a l m a n -y e a r s u t iliz e d

cu m bersom e

in

b o a r d t o d e n o t e a v a ila b ilit y o f flig h t s p a c e w e r e

th is r e s e r v a tio n

o ffic e

in

1952,

w ere

saved.

m eth od

of

u s in g

a

v is u a l d is p la y

H o w e v e r , s in c e m a n p o w e r r e q u ir e m e n t s in o ffic e

b oth

fu n c t io n s n o t d ir e c t ly a ffe c t e d b y th e n e w s y s t e m

la r g e m e n t o f

w e r e r a p id ly e x p a n d in g a t th e a irlin e s t u d ie d , it

o f “ c le r k ” w a s r e p la c e d b y “ s a le s ” o r “ s e r v ic e ”

e lim in a t e d .

O ne

w a s p o s s ib le t o a b s o r b th e se la b o r s a v in g s w it h o u t

a g e n t.

d is p la c e m e n t o f a n y in d iv id u a l e m p lo y e e .

p lo y e e s w h o p e r fo r m

M ore­

An

o v e r , s in c e in v e n t o r y in g flig h t s p a c e a n d p o s t in g

u p g r a d in g

(R e s e r v is o r

flig h t s t a t u s w e r e

S p e c ia lis t.

o n ly

p a rt o f several

c le r ic a l

o u tco m e

w as

t h e sa le s fu n c t io n .
to o k

p la c e

fo r

en ­
title

tw o

em ­

th e f u n c t io n s o f S p e c ia lis t

In fo rm a tio n )
T h ese

som e

T h e jo b

tw o

and

new

A s s is t a n t

jo b s ,

to

d ir e c t ly

th e
con ­

d u tie s p e r fo r m e d b y e a c h r e s e r v a tio n

a g e n t, n o

s p e c ific in d iv id u a l j o b w a s e lim in a t e d .

A c t u a l ly ,

p r e p a r a t io n o f d a t a o n s e a tin g c a p a c it y a n d o n

th e n u m b e r o f e m p lo y e e s a t th e o ffic e s t u d ie d

f lig h t s c h e d u lin g a n d th e a p p lic a t io n o f c o m p le x

in c r e a s e d f r o m 2 9 5 , a t th e tim e o f in s t a lla tio n o f

r e s e r v a t io n p r o c e d u r e s .

n ected

th e c o m p u t e r in J u n e 1 9 5 2 , t o 5 2 9 in J u n e 19 56 .
The

m a n a g e m e n t o f A ir lin e

X

w it h

th e a u t o m a t ic s y s t e m , in v o l v e

th e

T h e c o m p a n y in it ia t e d a s p e c ia l t r a in in g p r o ­

m a d e s p e c ia l

g ra m

f o r s u p e r v is o r s , w h o s u b s e q u e n t ly t r a in e d

e ffo r t s t o d is p e l a n y fe a r s o f d is p la c e m e n t a n d to

r e s e r v a t io n

tr a in its e m p lo y e e s in th e o p e r a t io n o f th e n e w

s t r u c t o r s b e g a n w h ile th e e q u ip m e n t w a s b e in g

e q u ip m e n t .

The

p erson n el

o ffic e

in fo r m e d

all

in s t a lle d .

e m p lo y e e s .

C la s s e s f o r

t r a in in g in ­

A b o u t 4 0 s u p e r v is o r s a n d le a d a g e n ts

e m p lo y e e s t h a t n o o n e w o u ld b e la id o f f o r d o w n ­

r e c e iv e d a w e e k ’s in s t r u c t io n fr o m th e c o m p a n y ’s

g r a d e d as a r e s u lt o f th e c h a n g e s .

S t o r ie s p u b ­

r e s e a r c h e n g in e e r o n th e o p e r a t io n o f th e a g e n t ’s

lis h e d in th e c o m p a n y ’s h o u s e o r g a n d e s c r ib e d th e

h a n d s e t a n d th e b r o a d e r a s p e c ts o f th e r e s e r v a t io n

s y s t e m , e m p h a s iz in g it s v a lu e t o th e sa les a g e n t in

sy stem .

m in im iz in g t e le p h o n e ca lls a n d fa c ilit a t in g s a le s .2

f o r u se in tr a in in g sa les e m p lo y e e s o n t h e j o b .

T r a in in g a n d J o b C h a n g e s

c a r r ie d o n as a r e g u la r p a r t o f th e b a s ic c la s s r o o m

An

in s t r u c t o r ’s

I n s t r u c t io n o n

m anual

w as

prepared

th e r e s e r v a t io n s y s t e m

is n o w

p r o g r a m f o r in d o c t r in a t in g n e w sa les p e r s o n n e l.
O ffic e

J obs.

In

g e n e r a l, o ffic e

e m p lo y e e s

in

R e c e n t l y , th e a irlin e le n g t h e n e d th is in d o c t r in a ­

X

a ir lin e ’s r e s e r v a t io n w o r k w e r e y o u n g p e r s o n s , a

tio n tr a in in g — w h ic h h a d c o v e r e d f r o m 5 t o 7 d a y s —

la r g e p r o p o r t io n o f w h o m w e r e g irls.

A c c o r d in g

t o 8 t o 10 d a y s .

to

c o n s id e r e d

t h e - jo b

w ere

p lo y e e

com p a n y

th e m s e lv e s
age 40.

o ffic ia ls ,
career

r e la t iv e ly

e m p lo y e e s .

T h e p o lic y o f

fe w
Few

over

A fte r a w eek o f su b se q u e n t o n -

tr a in in g , u n d e r h is s u p e r v is o r ,
r e c e iv e s

an

a d d it io n a l

2 6 -3 3

th e
h ours

em ­
of

a d v a n c e d c la s s r o o m in s t r u c t io n .

th e a irlin e w a s t o h ir e

c le r ic a l a n d sa le s e m p lo y e e s a t th e lo w e s t g r a d e
a n d to p r o m o te th em
w hen

a v a ila b le ,

a b ilit y .

on

t o h ig h e r p a id p o s it io n s ,

th e

b a s is

of

s e n io r it y

T e c h n ic ia n J o b s

and

.

S e v e n n e w te c h n ic ia n j o b s w e r e

s e t u p in c o n n e c t io n w it h m a in t a in in g th e n e w

A ll e m p lo y e e s w e r e p a id o n a m o n t h ly

sy stem .

The

t e c h n ic ia n s , w h o

w e r e p r e v i o u s ly

s a la r y b a s is ; c o m m is s io n s o r o t h e r in c e n t iv e p a y ­

e m p lo y e d as r e p a ir m e n in th e a ir lin e ’ s r a d io s h o p ,

m e n t s w e r e n o t p a id to r e s e r v a t io n e m p lo y e e s .

had

T h e ch an geover to

th e a u t o m a t ic r e s e r v a t io n

w ork ed

m e n t.

d ir e c t ly

and

co n s ta n tly

on

e q u ip ­

I n c o n t r a s t , th e te c h n ic ia n n o w w o r k s a lo n e

s y s t e m b r o u g h t a b o u t m o d ific a t io n s in th e c o n -

in a n a ir -c o n d it io n e d , n o is e le s s c o n t r o l r o o m .

ten t o f o f f ic e jo b s .

w o r k s in h is s t r e e t c lo t h e s , a n d th e o n ly tim e h e h a s

T h e s t r i c t ly r o u t in e ta s k s o f

1
The attitude of reservation employees, so far as it could be ascertained,
appeared to be one of acceptance of the new techniques as a tool of their job.
This viewpoint was particularly emphasized in responses of agents in an
opinion poll conducted by the airline at the office where a first experimental
system was installed in 1946. These agents unanimously agreed that the
new system was a convenience to them on their job and helped them to serve
the passengers. The favorable reactions of these employees weie cited in
persuading top officials to extend the experimental system, in 1962, to the
major terminal.




9h

He

d ir e c t c o n t a c t w it h th e a u t o m a t ic e q u ip m e n t is
d u r in g p r e v e n t i v e

m a in t e n a n c e

te s ts o r o n

c a s io n s w h e n th e e q u ip m e n t is o u t o f o r d e r .

oc­
The

t e c h n ic ia n s w e r e g iv e n s p e c ia liz e d tr a in in g b y th e
m a n u fa c t u r e r o f th e s y s t e m , a n d a t t e n d e d c la s se s 1
d a y a w eek fo r a b o u t 6 m on th s.

T h o u g h th e a c t u a l le v e l o f k n o w le d g e r e q u ir e d
to

m a in ta in

th e

r e s e r v a t io n

e q u ip m e n t

is

O u tlo o k

not

g r e a t e r th a n t h a t r e q u ir e d f o r ta s k s p r e v i o u s ly

C o m p a n y o ffic ia ls v ie w t h e a u t o m a t ic r e s e r v a ­

p e r fo r m e d in th e r a d io m a in t e n a n c e s h o p , i t h a s

t io n s y s t e m a s a m a jo r fir s t s t e p in in t r o d u c in g

now

a u t o m a t io n in t o th e a ir lin e ’ s c o m p le x d a t a - p r o c ­

becom e

assu m e
m ent

n ecessa ry

fo r

th e

in d iv id u a l r e s p o n s ib ilit y

and

to

w ork

under

t e c h n ic ia n s
fo r

to

th e
and

pressu re

e q u ip ­
o fte n

e ss in g a c t iv it ie s .

M o r e o v e r , it is a n t ic ip a t e d t h a t

a ll th e la r g e r e s e r v a t io n o ffic e s m i g h t e v e n t u a lly

w it h o u t s u p e r v is io n , w h e n e v e r th e e q u ip m e n t is

be

out

s e r v ic e s

am ong

n ected .

S u c h d e v e lo p m e n t s m i g h t h a v e a m o r e

of

ord er.

The

t e c h n ic ia n ’ s

fu n c t io n

ch a n g e d fr o m

th a t o f a

“ p r o d u c t io n

p a ir m a n

w ork ed o n

a v a r ie t y

w ho

e q u ip m e n t

to

th a t

of

a

s k ille d

ty p e”
of

has
re­

c o m p le x

jo i n e d

to g e th e r

in

th e

one

vast

d iffe r e n t

n e tw o rk ,

and

a irlin e s in t e r c o n ­

m a r k e d im p a c t o n a irlin e o ffic e e m p lo y m e n t t h a n
th e u se o f e le c t r o n ic d a t a p r o c e s s in g in r e s e r v a t io n

“ w a tch m a n ”

w h o s e ta s k is t o m a in t a in o n e p ie c e o f e q u ip m e n t

w ork

v i t a l to th e c o m p a n y ’ s sa les o p e r a t io n s .

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

so

fa r .

O th e r

a re a s

of

e le c t r o n ic

d a ta

a re b e in g e x p lo r e d .
P r o fe s s io n a l

J obs.

A g r o u p o f p r o fe s s io n a l jo b s

A n t i c ip a t i n g t r a n s it io n t o th e “ j e t a g e ,” s o m e

c o n c e r n e d w it h e le c t r o n ic d a t a -p r o c e s s in g r e s e a r c h

a irlin e

w as

c u p a t io n s w ill b e

a ls o

cre a te d ,

fo llo w in g

n e w r ° jr v a t i o n s y s t e m .
tr a in e d

person s

p e r fo r m

sy stem s

advent

of

th e

T h is g r o u p is c o m p r is e d

o f fiv e “ s y s t e m s e n g in e e r s .”
p la n n in g

th e

T h e s e p r o fe s s io n a lly
d u t ie s

d e v e lo p m e n t

w h ic h
and

in v o lv e

e x t e n d in g

o ffic ia ls

b e lie v e

th a t

w h ereas

som e

oc­

e lim in a t e d , w h o le s a le d is lo c a ­

t io n s n e e d n o t o c c u r p r o v i d e d th e c h a n g e s a r e g r a d ­
u a l a n d w o r k e r s a re r e tr a in e d f o r n e w p o s it io n s
c o n n e c t e d w ith th e p la n n in g , p r o g r a m m in g , a n d
o p e r a t io n

of

th e

e le c t r o n ic

sy stem s.

T h ese

e le c t r o n ic m e t h o d s t o a ll c le r ic a l a c t iv it ie s o f th e

o ffic ia ls a r e o f th e o p in io n t h a t t h e y m a y n e e d a

com pan y.

m o r e c o m p le t e a n d s p e c ific in v e n t o r y o f th e s k ills

T h e ir a n n u a l s a la rie s s t a r t a t $ 7 ,0 0 0 .

T h e q u a lific a t io n s f o r s y s t e m s e n g in e e r s in c lu d e

a n d e d u c a t io n a l a t t a in m e n t s o f

e d u c a t io n a t c o lle g e le v e l a n d c o v e r a v a r ie t y o f

t h a n is a v a ila b le a t p r e s e n t, t o fa c ilit a t e r e t r a in in g

a ir lin e e x p e r ie n c e .

a n d r e a s s ig n m e n t .

I t is in te r e s t in g t o n o t e t h a t

th e ir e m p lo y e e s

4 o f th e 5 m e n in th e g r o u p h a v e c o lle g e d e g r e e s
in b u s in e s s a d m in is t r a t io n a n d th e s o c ia l s c ie n c e s .
A l l h a v e h a d c o n s id e r a b le a n d v a r ie d w o r k e x ­
p e r ie n c e w it h th e c o m p a n y .




9$

— E

dw ard

B . J aku batjsk as

D ivision o f P roductivity and
Technological D evelopm ents

E x p e r ie n c e s W it h t h e In t r o d u c t io n

tu rn o v e r.

S in c e t h e i n t r o d u c t io n is a lo n g c o n ­

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

o f O f f ic e A u to m a tio n

s t e p b y s t e p , th e fu ll im p a c t w a s n o t f e lt a t th e
t im e t h e n e w e q u ip m e n t b e g a n t o o p e r a t e .

T he

W h ile

o f e le c t r o n ic d a t a p r o c e s s in g

in t r o d u c t io n

th e

in t r o d u c t io n

of

e le c t r o n ic

d a ta

im p o r t a n t

p r o c e s s in g r e d u c e d t h e d e m a n d f o r e m p lo y e e s in

c h a n g e s in e m p lo y m e n t f o r a b r o a d c la s s o f w o r k e r s

r o u t in e p o s it io n s , i t o p e n e d u p a r e la t iv e l y s m a ll

a n d h a s b r o u g h t c o n c e r n o v e r t h e p r o b le m s o f

n u m b e r o f b e t t e r p a id p o s it io n s f o r p r o g r a m m in g

a d ju s t m e n t t o th is in n o v a t io n .

a n d o p e r a t in g t h e n e w s y s t e m s .

in

b u s in e s s

o ffic e s

seem s

to

i m p ly

In an a tte m p t to

A d m in is t e r in g

fin d o u t w h a t p r o b le m s a r e i n v o l v e d w it h in a n

a p t it u d e t e s ts f o r th e s e n e w j o b s , s e le c t in g a s t a ff,

o ffic e a n d h o w t h e y a re b e in g s o lv e d , t h e B u r e a u

d e t e r m in in g s a la rie s a n d p r o v i d in g t h e e x t e n s iv e

o f L a b o r S t a t is t ic s u n d e r t o o k a s t u d y o f 2 0 o ffic e s

tr a in in g n e c e s s a r y , b o t h in t h e c la s s r o o m a n d o n

w h ic h h a d in s t a lle d la r g e -s c a le e le c t r o n ic c o m p u t ­

th e jo b ,

e rs

a t t e n t io n .

fo r

p r o c e s s in g

b u s in e s s d a t a .1

T h is a r tic le

w e r e c r it ic a l m a t t e r s r e q u ir in g t i m e ly
W h e r e t h e o ffic e s w e r e o r g a n iz e d b y

s u m m a r iz e s th e p r in c ip a l fin d in g s o f t h e s t u d y ,

u n io n s ,

one

w h ic h c o v e r e d a v a r ie t y o f s u b j e c t s : T h e o b j e c ­

w h e t h e r t h e n e w p o s it io n s w o u l d b e w it h in t h e

of

th e

key

is su e s

th a t

arose

w as

t iv e s a n d r e s u lts o f e le c t r o n ic d a t a p r o c e s s in g ;

c o lle c t iv e b a r g a in in g u n it .

th e e x t e n t o f d is p la c e m e n t a n d r e a s s ig n m e n t o f

T h e o ffic e s in th is s t u d y — t h e s m a lle s t e m p lo y e d

o ffic e e m p lo y e e s ; t h e p r a c t ic e s r e g a r d in g tr a n s ­

7 0 0 w o r k e r s — w e r e a b le t o s t a ff th e ir e le c t r o n ic

fe r r in g , r e tr a in in g ,

u n it s

and

s e le c t in g e m p lo y e e s f o r

p r im a r ily

th rou g h

p r o m o t io n s .

T h ose

n e w o c c u p a t io n s ; t h e c h a r a c t e r is t ic s o f e m p lo y e e s

s e le c t e d w e r e c h ie fly m e n in th e ir la t e tw e n t ie s

w h o s e j o b s w e r e e lim in a t e d a n d w h o w e r e a s s ig n e d

w it h s o m e c o lle g e e d u c a t io n a n d s o m e c o m p a n y

t o n e w p o s it io n s ; a n d s o m e o f t h e im p lic a t io n s

e x p e r ie n c e in a c c o u n t in g a n d r e la t e d w o r k .

o f o ffic e a u t o m a t io n f o r m id d le -a g e d a n d o ld e r

w om en,

e m p lo y e e s .

a ffe c t e d u n it s w e r e c h o s e n f o r t h e n e w l y c r e a t e d

The

i n t r o d u c t io n

of

a

la r g e -s c a le

t h e s a m e o r fe w e r e m p lo y e e s — a m a jo r o b j e c t i v e —

In fo rm a tio n

b u t a ls o e c o n o m ie s in p r o c e s s in g tim e , s p a c e , a n d

BLS

I n s o m e o ffic e s

fo r

th e

r e p r e s e n t a t iv e s

c o m p ile d

e c o n o m ic a l t o a c q u ir e , e n la r g e d t h e c le r ic a l w o r k ­
m a n a g e m e n t ’s

th e

stu d y

th rou g h

w as

c o lle c t e d

by

p e r s o n a l v is it s t o

S u c h in fo r m a t io n c o n s is t e d o f (1 ) s t a t is t ic a l d a t a

o p e r a t in g c o n d it io n s , w h ic h w a s p r e v i o u s ly u n ­
e x t e n d in g

Few

fr o m

o ffic ia ls w h o h a d d ir e c t k n o w le d g e o f t h e c h a n g e s .

c r e a s e d f lo w o f in fo r m a t io n o n i n v e n t o r y a n d o t h e r

by

e m p lo y e e s

o ffic e s a n d in t e r v ie w s w it h m a n a g e m e n t a n d u n io n

w h i c h w e r e p a r t o f in d u s tr ia l o p e r a t io n s , t h e in ­

but

or

M e th o d o f D a ta C o lle c tio n a n d C o v e r a g e

a la r g e r c le r ic a l o u t p u t in r o u t in e a c t iv it ie s w it h

lo a d ,

w ork ers,

p o s it io n s .

e le c t r o n ic

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

e q u ip m e n t a n d g r e a te r a c c u r a c y .

o ld e r

fr o m

p erson n el record s

and

(2 )

non-

s t a t is t ic a l r e p o r t s a b o u t p o lic ie s a n d p r a c t ic e s .

c o n t r o l,

T h e s t u d y w a s lim it e d t o 2 0 p r iv a t e in d u s t r y

o p e n e d u p t h e p o s s ib ilit y o f a c h ie v in g s a v in g s in

o ffic e s w h ic h w e r e a m o n g t h e fir s t t o u t iliz e la r g e

n o n c le r ic a l a c t iv it ie s .

e le c t r o n ic d ig it a l c o m p u t e r s y s t e m s f o r b u s in e s s

A b o u t o n e -t h ir d o f t h e e m p lo y e e s in t h e o ffic e

p u rp oses.

T h e s e c o m p u t e r s se ll f o r $1 m illio n o r

u n it s d ir e c t ly a ffe c t e d b y t h e c h a n g e w e r e s h ift e d

r e n t a t o v e r $ 2 5 ,0 0 0 a m o n t h .

t o o t h e r p o s it io n s .

s t u d y h a d a t le a s t a y e a r ’ s o p e r a t in g e x p e r ie n c e

la id o ff.

O n l y a n e g lig ib le n u m b e r w e r e

T h e o ffic e s in t h e

T h e a d v a n c e d p la n n in g t h a t t o o k p la c e

d u r in g t h e l o n g p r e p a r a t o r y p e r io d w a s u s e fu l in
e a s in g th e i m p a c t o f th e s e c h a n g e s .

S u c h p la n ­

» See' Adjustments to the Introduction of Electronic Data Processing,
forthcoming BLS Bull. 1276 (1960). The study presents information on the
practices of each office in reassigning, selecting, and training employees
in addition to statistical data on the group as a whole. For a report on the
vocational implications of electronic data processing, see Automation and
Employment Opportunities for Office Workers, BLS Bull. 1241 (1958). For
detailed descriptions of the new jobs, see Occupations in Electronic Data
Processing Systems, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment
Security, 1959.

n in g i n v o l v e d in fo r m in g a n d c o n s u lt in g w it h e m ­
p lo y e e s a n d t h e ir o r g a n iz a t io n s a b o u t t h e c h a n g e s ,
e s t a b lis h in g p r o c e d u r e s f o r r e a s s ig n in g e m p lo y e e s
w h o s e p o s it io n s w e r e b e i n g e lim in a t e d , a n d th e
m in im iz in g o f d is p la c e m e n t t h r o u g h a t t r it io n a n d

A p ril

1960




96

They

I n th e s e v e n o ffic e s w it h c o lle c t iv e b a r g a in in g

o n e -h a lf o f t h e c o m ­

r e la t io n s h ip s , t h e u n io n c o n s t it u t e d th e c h a n n e l

b y m id -1 9 5 7 w h e n t h e s t u d y w a s p la n n e d .
a c c o u n t e d f o r m o r e th a n

p a n ie s w h ic h h a d e x p e r ie n c e in a p p ly in g la r g e -

fo r

s c a le e le c t r o n ic d a t a -p r o c e s s in g s y s t e m s t o c le r ic a l

E x is t in g

w o r k a t t h a t t im e .

a p p lic a t io n o f s e n io r it y r u le s in d is p la c e m e n t a n d

G overnm ent

a g e n c ie s ,

fir m s

u s in g

c o m p u te rs

in fo r m in g

e m p lo y e e s

con tra cts

about

p r o v id e d

th e

cha nges.

m a c h in e r y

fo r

th e

t r a n s fe r a n d f o r t h e d e t e r m in a t io n o f w a g e r a te s

p r im a r ily f o r e n g in e e r in g , s c ie n tific , o r in d u s tr ia l

fo r

p u r p o s e s , a n d o ffic e s w it h o n l y s m a ll- a n d m e d iu m -

r e g a r d in g a d v a n c e n o t ic e

s iz e c o m p u t e r s w e r e o u t s id e th e s c o p e o f th e s t u d y .

r e t r a in in g

T h e im p lic a t io n s o f c o m p u t e r s e r v ic e c e n t e r s w e r e

ch a n ge.

a ls o n o t c o v e r e d .

o ffic e t o a p p l y th e s y s t e m o f d is p la c e m e n t b e n e fit s

T h e 2 0 o ffic e s s t u d ie d w e r e t h e c e n t r a l o r h o m e
e c o n o m y , r a n g in g in size fr o m

4 ,0 0 0 .

M ost

grow n

r e la t iv e ly

p u b li c

w ere

u tilitie s ,

in

r a p id ly

in

th e

pa st

o ffic e s ,

and

n e g o t ia t e d

p r o v is io n s

c o n s u l t a t io n

as

a

r e s u lt

and

of

th e

A g r e e m e n t w a s r e a c h e d in o n e r a ilr o a d

about

th a t

Im p a c t o f E le c tr o n ic D a ta P r o c e ssin g

have

decade—

E x te n t o f D isp la c e m e n t a n d R e a ssig n m e n t.

A year

f o llo w in g t h e i n t r o d u c t io n o f th e c o m p u t e r , a b o u t

a ir c r a ft.

o n e -t h ir d o f t h e 2 ,8 0 0 e m p lo y e e s in u n it s w h o s e

O th e r s w e r e in t h e p e t r o le u m r e fin in g , ste e l, a n d

w o r k w a s p la c e d o n th e c o m p u t e r h a d b e e n r e ­

r a ilr o a d

e le c t r ic a l

in d u s tr ie s .

t r a n s p o r t a t io n ,

som e

in s u r a n c e ,

c h e m ic a ls ,

a ir

in d u s tr ie s

w ere

In

c o o r d i n a t io n o f lin e s .

7 0 0 e m p lo y e e s t o a b o u t 1 4 ,0 0 0 , w it h a n a v e r a g e
of

p o s it io n s .

t h a t h a d b e e n in f o r c e f o r w o r k e r s d is p la c e d in th e

o ffic e s o f s o m e o f t h e la r g e s t c o r p o r a t io n s in t h e
A m e r ic a n

new

m a c h in e r y ,
Seven

of

and

th e

20

w ere

in

a s s ig n e d t o o t h e r p o s it io n s , e it h e r w it h in t h e s a m e

in s u r a n c e .

u n it o r e ls e w h e r e in t h e o ffic e .

(S e e t a b le 1 .)

m a jo r i t y r e m a in e d in t h e s a m e p o s it io n .
P la n n in g fo r T r a n sitio n

A

C lo s e

t o o n e -s ix t h h a d q u it , r e t ir e d , d ie d , o r h a d t a k e n
le a v e o f a b s e n c e .

I n s t a llin g a c o m p u t e r i n v o l v e d a s e q u e n c e o f
a d m in is t r a t iv e , te c h n ic a l, a n d p e r s o n n e l c h a n g e s
t h a t , o n th e a v e r a g e , s p a n n e d 3 y e a r s .

N in e p e r s o n s h a d b e e n la id o f f .2

E m p l o y m e n t in t h e a ffe c t e d g r o u p w a s a b o u t 2 5
p e r c e n t le s s a t th e e n d o f t h e y e a r .

T h e lo n g

A lit t le o v e r 8 0 p e r c e n t o f th e e m p lo y e e s a f­

p e r io d o f p r e p a r a t io n a n d p la n n in g n e e d e d f o r th e

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

i n t r o d u c t io n

of

e le c t r o n ic

d a ta

p r o c e s s in g

w as

p a r t ic u la r ly u s e fu l in a v o id i n g e x t e n s iv e d is lo c a ­

T able 1. J ob Status of E mployees of the A ffected
U nits 1 Y e ar A fter I ntroduction of E lectronic
D ata P rocessing , Selected A ge G roups 1

t i o n o f e m p lo y e e s .
M any

o ffic e s

to o k

a d va n ta g e

o f th e g r a d u a l

u n fo ld in g o f th is m a jo r c h a n g e t o in fo r m e m p lo y e e s
t h e ir p o lic ie s a b o u t j o b s e c u r it y .

Type of job change

A m a jo r i t y o f

Num­
ber

th e o ffic e s m a d e s t a t e m e n t s g iv i n g a s s u r a n c e t h a t
n o e m p lo y e e w o u l d lo s e h is j o b o n a c c o u n t o f th e
com p u ter.

No change in position.......... 1,498
883
Position changed_____ ___
Reassigned within same
work unit..................
552
331
Transferred.............
To computer unit. -.
52
To other units.........
279
Quits, layoffs, and other sep­
427
arations...........................
328
Quits............................
42
Retirement and deaths. _
35
Leaves of absence..........
13
Discharges___________
9
Layoffs.........................

c r e a t e d b y q u it s , d e a th s , r e t ir e m e n t , a n d le a v e s o f
a b s e n c e c o u ld b e fille d b y e m p lo y e e s w h o m i g h t
b e a ffe c t e d .

* The method of determining the extent of displacement, reassignment, and
occupational shifting was to record the changes in status that took place
among employees in those units over a period of 18 months, beginning 6
months before and ending 1 year after the installation. These periods were
selected in order to exclude, as much as possible, the effects of factors other
than the immediate installation of the computer. This does not mean that
additional groups will not be affected as the use of electronic data processing
is extended. Many offices with a largevolume of paperwork indicated that
the introduction would be a gradual process continuing over some years.

45 years
and over

Per­ Num­ Per­ Num­ Per­
cent
ber cent
cent ber
644

100.0

53.3 1,059
724
31.4

49.0
33.5

439
159

24.7

460
264
46
218

21.3

92
67

381
322
3
34
13
9

17.6
14.9

All employees..................... 2 2,808 100.0

H ir in g w a s c u r t a ile d s o t h a t v a c a n c ie s




Under 45
years

All ages

in a d v a n c e a b o u t th e c h a n g e a n d t o m a k e e x p lic it

19.7

11.8

1.9
9.9

15.2
11.7
1.5
1.2

.5
.3

2,164 ioo.o

12.2
2.1
10.1

.1
1.6
.6

6

61
46
6

39
1

68.2

14.3
10.4
.9
9.5
7.1
.9
6.1
(*)

.4

1 Data relate to employees in affected units of 18 offices, 6 months prior to
introduction.
2 Total excludes 7 employees for whom data were insufficient.
3 Less than 0.05 percent.
Note: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal
totals.

97

posting, checking, and m aintaining record s; filing;
com p u tin g; or tabulating, keypu nch , and related
m achine operations. (See table 2 .)
T h e rest
were m ain ly in adm inistrative, supervisory, and
a ccou n tin g w ork. O n ly a little over 4 percent were
engaged in correspondence, stenographic, and
secretarial job s, i.e., the less routine clerical job s.
M o s t o f the em ployees still em ployed in the
offices 1 year after the installation, continued to
d o the sam e ty p e o f w ork. A b o u t 16 percent o f
this group were shifted to a different typ e o f routine
w ork, e.g., from com pu tin g to postin g and check­
ing. A little under 2 percent, a total o f 52 per­
sons, were transferred from the affected group to
electronic data-processing job s. M o s t o f these
had been doin g adm inistrative, accounting, or
tabulating-m achine w ork ; on ly a few , chiefly fo r
equipm ent operation, cam e from routine clerical
w ork.
C lose to one-third o f the em ployees in the af­
fected group had been p rom oted to a higher grade.
A negligible num ber had been dow ngraded. M o s t
o f the upgrading in v olv ed em ployees under age
45 and to som e extent reflected prom otion s w hich
w ou ld have taken place regardless o f the a dven t
o f the new equipm ent.
T h e relatively favorable experience o f these
offices reflected com pa n y policies to p rovid e jo b
security, the high rate o f lab or turnover during
a period o f prosperity, and in a few offices, a
T

a b l e

2 .

P

e r c e n t a g e

D

is t r ib u t io n

1

o f

Y

e a r

E

m

A

greater w orkload to handle inform ation w hich had
previou sly been uneconom ical to acquire. Since
these were large offices, em ployees cou ld be trans­
ferred to com parable clerical positions requiring
a relatively short period o f on -th e-job retraining.

E ffect on Growth o f Office Employment.

T h e groups
w hose w ork was placed on the com pu ter repre­
sented, on the average, on ly abou t 5 percent o f
tota l office em ploym ent. T h e p rop ortion varied,
depending on the nature o f the application and
the degree o f m echanization.
T h e im m ediate overall effect o f electronic data
processing suggests som e retardation in the grow th
o f office em ploym ent, particularly routine p arttim e job s, fo r w hich w om en were hired. ' O ver the
4 years from D ecem ber 1953 to D ecem ber 1957,
total office em ploym en t at 17 offices fo r w hich
data were available increased on the average b y
7 percent. This increase, how ever, was less than
the 15-percent rise reported fo r clerical and kindred
workers in the N ation as a whole. In 6 o f the 17
offices, the increase was greater than 15 p ercen t;
in 7 less, and in 4, there was a decrease prim arily
because o f business conditions.

Changes in Grade Structure. T h e in troduction o f
electronic data processing raised the average grade
or skill o f office occupations, b u t on ly to a slight
extent. W ith the elim ination o f low -p aid jo b s

p l o y e e s

C

f t e r

in

o m

A

f f e c t e d

p u t e r

I

U

n it s

,

O

b y

c c u p a t io n a l

C

l a s s if ic a t io n

n s t a l l a t io n

E m p lo y m e n t
6 m o n t h s p r io r
to co m p u te r
in s t a lla t io n

O c c u p a t i o n a l c la s s i f i c a t i o n

O c c u p a t io n a l c la s s if ic a t io n
N um ­
ber

A l l g r o u p s . . ------------------- ---------------------------1.
2.
3.
4.

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e ______________________________________
S u p e r v i s o r y __________________________ ________________
A c c o u n t i n g a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l_________________
P o s t in g , c h e c k in g , a n d m a in t a in in g
r e c o r d s ________ _______ ____________________________________
5 . C o m p u t i n g a n d s t a t i s t i c a l _____________________
6 . C o r r e s p o n d e n c e w o r k ___________________________
7 . S t e n o g r a p h i c a n d s e c r e t a r i a l _________________
8 . K e y b o a r d o r k e y p u n c h m a c h in e o p e r­
a t i o n s ............. ...........................— ......................................
9 . T a b u la t in g a n d r e la t e d m a c h in e o p e r­
a t i o n s ....................................................................................
S o r t in g , r o u t in g , c la s s if y in g , a n d f ilin g .

10.

P e r­
cent

A ll
g ro u p s

2 ,7 7 2

1 0 0 .0

41
1 76
1 67

1 .6
6 .3
6 .7

7 19
4 92
>3
34

2 6 .9
1 7 .7
.1
1 .2

4 47
6 18
86

1

2

1 0 0 .0

1 .6

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

8 2 .9
3 .4
1 .3 ,

3

4

6

6

7

8

9

10

6 .2

6 .0

2 2 .3

1 6 .2

0 .1

1 .3

1 4 .1

1 5 .1

1 .4

8 0 .7
3 .2

4 .9
2 .8
8 1 .6

2 .3

0 .6

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

.4
1 .4

1 .1
2 .2

6 8 .6
7 .1

4 .0
7 3 .4

1 6 .1

1 0 0 .0

.2

.4

4 .6

1 .8

2 2 .3
3 .1

1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

2 .4

1 .3

6 .6
3 4 .1

3 .4
1 .2

2 .9

.2

i E x c l u d e s 4 3 e m p lo y e e s f o r w h o m d a t a w e r e i n s u f f i c i e n t .
* In s u f f ic ie n t d a t a to w a r r a n t p r e s e n ta t io n o f p e rc e n ta g e d is t r ib u t io n .




N

98

o t e

0 .4

3 .5
1 .8

1 .7
.4

8 5 .3

7 2 .9

2 .2

3 .6
9 .4

6 2 .0
8 .2

1 5 .0
4 .9
4 .5
5 .7

.4
.4

1 7 .9
1 2 .6

.7

1 .5
.6

1 .8

1 6 .1

3 .1

1 7 .6
2 3 .5

2 .9

1 .1

Sepa­
ra te d

7 .3
3 .4
8 .3

2 .3

0 .4

E le c t r o n ic
d a ta p ro c­
e s s in g

8 .8

1 .0
2 3 .5

: B e c a u s e o f r o u n d in g , s u m s o f i n d iv i d u a l it e m s m a y n o t e q u a l 100.

that were n ot filled as th ey becam e vacan t during
the transition, the higher paid group becam e
a larger p rop ortion o f the total in the affected
group. T h e classification o f the new electronic
data-processing positions at the top o f the office
p a y structure also tended to upgrade the pattern.
Since these groups at the b o tto m and the top o f
the p a y structure constituted b u t a small p rop or­
tion o f total office em ploym ent, the n et effect on
the structure o f an entire office was small.

T

a b l e
in

O

E

3.

O

C

c c u p a t io n a l

l e c t r o n ic

D

c c u p a t io n a l

C

a t a

-P

l a s s if ic a t io n

r o c e s s in g

P

o f

E

o s it io n s

m

,

p l o y e e s

b y

P

r io r

l a s s if ic a t io n

P e r c e n t a g e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f e m p lo y e e s i n e le c ­
t r o n i c d a t a - p r o c e s s in g p o s i t i o n s a f t e r c o m ­
p u t e r in s t a lla t io n s t u d y
p r io r to e m p lo y m e n t i n
e l e c t r o n i c d a t a p r o c e s s in g
T o ta ls

A d m i n i s ­ P la n n in g C o n s o le A u x i l i a r y
e q u ip ­
o p e ra ­
tr a tiv e
and
t io n
m ent
a n d su p e r­ p ro g ram ­
o p e r a t io n
m in g
v is o r y




69
7 .5

6 37
6 9 .6

77
8 .4

132
1 4 .4

A l l g r o u p s ...........................

created to operate, program , and m anage elec­
tronic data-processing activities.
T h e average
num ber o f persons em ployed in these units at the
tim e o f the stu dy was 29. C lose to 7 ou t o f 10
persons in electronic data-processing w ork were in
program m ing and planning positions; abou t 25
percent were engaged in operating the equipm ent;
and 8 percent were in adm inistrative and super­
visory occupations.
W age and salary rates were generally fixed
through existing jo b evaluation and personnel
classification systems and, where collective bar­
gaining was in force, w ith union participation.
T h e offices generally rated these new positions at
som ew hat higher grades than job s in other data
processing, placing them at the top o f the office
p a y structure.
M ore than 80 percent o f all em ployees in new
positions were selected from w ithin the offices.
(See table 3.) T h ose hired from the outside were
prim arily trainees. M ost offices relied on standard
tests o f learning ability and num erical aptitude to
screen applicants for these positions. A ll offices
p rovid ed at least 4 or 5 weeks o f form al classroom
instruction for program mers and on -th e-job train­
ing for operators o f the equipm ent.
W om en com prised about 10 percent o f the em­
ployees in these new positions, com pared w ith over
50 percent in the affected unit. O f the 915 em­
ployees in these new positions, on ly 52, or close to
6 percent, were em ployees w hose previous w ork
had been directly affected. A b ou t 10 percent were
age 45 and over, com pared w ith 23 percent in the
group affected. F ou r ou t o f five em ployees as­
signed to these positions were upgraded. T h e
typ ica l person selected for program m ing and plan­
ning— w hich accounted for the largest group o f

9 15
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

A c c o u n t in g a n d p ro fe s s io n a l.
A d m in is t r a t iv e a n d s u p e r­
v i s o r y ................................................
T a b u la t in g a n d k e y b o a r d
m a c h i n e o p e r a t i o n .................
P o s tin g , c h e c k in g , m a in ­
t a in in g re c o r d s , a n d filin g .
C o m p u t in g a n d s t a t is t ic a l..
C o r r e s p o n d e n c e a n d S e cre ­

New Jobs. A small num ber o f new positions were

A l l g r o u p s : N u m b e r .................
P e r c e n t ...................

3 5 .4

4 4 .9

4 3 .5

1 6 .9

2 .3

1 3 .3

4 0 .6

1 1 .9

1 4 .3

5 .3

1 3 .1

2 .9

4 .4

3 1 .2

5 0 .0

1 0 .7
5 .4

2 .9

9 .3
6 .0

1 6 .7
2 .6

1 8 .2
6 .8

1 .7
1 .1
2 2 .1

5 .2
1 .3
1 1 .7

2 .3
1 .5
1 3 .6

tarial wnrTr

........... _ _

N o n c l e r i c a l . .......................................
N e w h i r e s ...........................................

N

o t e

2 .0
1 .2
1 8 .9

1 .4
7 .2

: B e c a u s e o f r o u n d i n g , s u m s o f i n d i v i d u a l i t e m s m a y n o t e q u a l t o t a ls *

new positions— was a m an betw een 25 and 34
years o f age, with som e college education, w ho had
been engaged in accounting* procedure analysis,
or related w ork.
C hangeover P roblem s
W hile layoffs were averted am ong those whose
jo b s were eliminated, reassigning em ployees and
staffing the new positions som etim es in v olv ed com ­
plex personnel problem s. F inding suitable posi­
tions for long-service em ployees— especially super­
visors— w ith ou t disturbing p rom otion opportu n i­
ties for other em ployees presented difficulties.
P a rtly because o f the newness o f the field, there
was som e uncertainty abou t salary levels for the
new jo b s and the use and va lid ity o f test fo r select­
ing staff. In som e unionized offices, the new posi­
tion o f program m ers was included in the bargaining
unit o n ly after prolonged negotiations.

Im plications fo r Older Em ployees. O lder em­
ployees were affected b y change in jo b status to a
lesser extent than younger workers. T h e y bene­
fited from general policies assuring jo b security,
the seniority provisions in union agreements, and
similar protective provisions. H ow ever, th ey were
n ot p rom oted to the new ly created electronic posi­
tions to the same extent as younger workers* nor

99

were th ey hired as trainees. T heir educational
qualifications, em ployers' opinions, and preexisting
hiring practices, as well as their ow n lack o f con ­
fidence in their learning capacity, were am ong the
factors retarding their advancem ent. A n acute
sense o f responsibility and their m atu rity and
experience, how ever, were im portant factors in the
few cases where th ey were assigned to electronic
data-processing positions.
W here em ployers have form ed opinions about
the inflexibility or lack o f adaptability o f older

workers, the introduction o f electronic data p roc­
essing m a y intensify any preexisting reluctance to
hire or p rom ote them . T h e examples o f the suc­
cessful perform ance o f older em ployees in these
new positions in the offices studied reinforce the
findings o f research workers on the variability in
learning ca p acity at all ages and underscore the
im portance o f individual appraisal o f em ployees
in this field as in others.
— E

dgar

. . . T h e Bureau o f the Census has constructed four duplicates o f an
electronic m achine called F O S D IC (Film O ptical Sensing D e v ice fo r In p u t
to C om puters) to be used in transcribing for tabulation the data collected
in the 18th D ecennial Census o f the U nited States. This will m ake available
five o f these electronic m achines in 1960. These m achines will pierform auto­
m atically the w ork w hich under form er m ethods w ould require the em p loy­
m ent o f 2,000 clerical workers.
T h e p ilot m odel for the Census B ureau's new F O S D IC equipm ent was
developed at the B ureau o f Standards b y scientists on the Standards and
Census staffs. . . . This electronic m achine rapidly reads m icrofilm s o f census
docum ents and transcribes the data to m agnetic tape for direct input to an
electronic com puter.




— From FOSDIC to Assist in 1960 Census, U.S. Bureau of the Census, July 1959.

100

W

e in b e r g

Division of Productivity and Technological Developments

The Reactions
of Employees to
Office Automation
E in a r H a r d in *

W h a t a r e t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f changes in
w ork environm ent caused b y the installation o f
an electronic com puter? H ow do em ployees feel
abou t the com puter and the changes it brings?
H ow do em ployees in departm ents that are
affected b y autom ation differ from those in un­
affected departm ents in their experiences w ith
changes, regardless o f cause, in w ork environm ent?
H ow d o affected and unaffected departm ents
differ w ith respect to changes in jo b satisfaction
during the installation period and to jo b satisfac­
tion prevailing after the installation? T h e pres­
ent stu dy addresses itself to these questions. It
is based on data collected in tw o questionnaire
surveys conducted in a medium -size insurance
com pan y, one before and one after the installation
o f an IB M 650 electronic data processing m achine.1

transfer o f m an y activities from the hom e to the
branch office and the m ovem ent, a year or tw o
before, o f all hom e office activities into a new single
building from several inadequate facilities. There
were few personnel transfers am ong offices. T h e
com pan y was n ot a very profitable one b u t was
know n as a good em ployer.
A n International Business M achines 650 elec­
tronic data processing m achine, a standard m odel
w ith card input and ou tp u t and w ith ordinary
m agnetic drum m em ory, was installed in the hom e
office in D ecem ber 1957. A fter 2 weeks' testing
o f equipm ent and program s, the com puter was
successively given the tasks o f checking prem ium
com putations perform ed b y agents, com pu tin g
premiums and assembling policy-declaration data
for policies w ritten in the hom e office, and com ­
piling statistical and accounting reports.
T h e checking o f agents' com putations and the
processing o f policies written in the hom e office
were fu lly autom ated b y the beginning o f M a y
1958. C onversion o f other tasks was n o t com ­
pleted until the fall o f 1958 or later, b u t neverthe­
less, com puter utilization, including tim e for
m achine testing and repair, rose from 15 percent
in January 1958 to 84 percent in A pril 1958.2
♦ A s s is t a n t P r o f e s s o r , D e p a r t m e n t o f E c o n o m i c s a n d t h e L a b o r a n d I n d u s ,
t r ia l R e la t io n s C e n t e r , M ic h ig a n S t a t e U n iv e r s it y .
T h i s s t u d y is p a r t o f t h e a u t o m a t io n r e s e a r c h p r o je c t o f t h e L a b o r a n d
In d u s t r ia l R e la t io n s C e n t e r a t M ic h ig a n S t a t e U n iv e r s it y .

T h e a u t h o r is

in d e b t e d t o W i l l i a m A . F a u n c e , W i l l i a m H . F o r m , a n d E u g e n e H . J a c o b s o n
fo r c o n s t r u c t iv e c o m m e n t s o n e a r lie r d r a f t s o f t h e p a p e r .

H e a ls o g r a t e f u l l y

a c k n o w l e d g e s t h e g e n e r o u s h e l p w h i c h t h e c o m p a n y a n d i t s e m p lo y e e s g a v e
t h e C e n t e r i n c o n d u c t i n g t h e r e s e a r c h p r o je c t .
1 E m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h a d d r e s s in g i t s e l f a t le a s t i n p a r t t o t h e f i r s t t w o q u e s ­
t io n s h a s b e e n p u b lis h e d b y H a r o l d F . C r a ig , A d m in is t e r in g a C o n v e r s io n
to E le c t r o n ic A c c o u n t in g ( B o s to n , H a r v a r d U n iv e r s it y , G r a d u a t e S c h o o l o f
B u s i n e s s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , 1 9 5 5 ); T h e I n t r o d u c t i o n o f a n E l e c t r o n i c C o m p u t e r
in a L a r g e In s u ra n c e C o m p a n y ( U .S . D e p a rt m e n t o f L a b o r , B L S S t u d ie s in

Scope and M ethodology

A u t o m a t i c T e c h n o l o g y N o . 2 , 195 5; a n d M o n t h l y L a b o r R e v i e w , J a n u a r y

Th e insurance com pan y consisted o f a hom e
office located in a small m idw estem city (where
it was the largest em ployer o f clerical personnel),
a branch office situated in a m etropolitan area,
and claims adjustm ent offices in various cities.
F o r several years preceding the com puter instal­
lation, total com pa n y full-tim e em ploym ent had
rem ained at approxim ately 400 persons, and parttime em ploym ent was negligible. N o layoffs had
occurred for at least 5 years. H ow ever, em ploy­
m ent had declined in the hom e office and risen
in the branch office, prim arily as a result o f the

The

195 6, p p . 1 7 - 1 9 ); A d j u s t m e n t t o a n A u t o m a t i c A i r l i n e R e s e r v a t i o n S y s t e m
( I n M o n t h l y L a b o r R e v i e w , S e p t e m b e r 1958, p p . 1 0 1 4 -1 0 1 6 ); F l o y d C . M a n n ,

S e p te m b e r 1960




Im p a c t

o f E le c t r o n ic

A c c o u n t in g

E q u ip m e n t

on

th e

W h it e

C o lla r

W o r k e r in a P u b lic U t i lit y C o m p a n y , in M a n a n d A u t o m a t io n ( N e w H a v e n ,
C o n n .,

Y a le

U n iv e r s it y

T e c h n o lo g y

P r o je c t ,

1 9 5 6 ), p p . 3 2 -3 9 ; F l o y d

C.

M a n n a n d L a w r e n c e K . W i ll ia m s , O r g a n iz a t io n a l I m p a c t o f W h it e C o lla r
A u t o m a t i o n , i n P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e 1 1 th A n n u a l M e e t i n g , I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s
R e se a rch

A s s o c ia t io n

(M a d is o n ,

W is .,

IR R A

P u b lic a t io n

2 2 , 1 9 5 9 ), p p .

5 9 -6 9 ; C . E d w a r d W e b e r , I m p a c t o f E l e c t r o n i c D a t a P r o c e s s i n g o n C l e r i c a l
S k i l l s ( in P e r s o n n e l A d m in is t r a t io n , W a s h in g t o n , J a n u a r y - F e b r u a r y 1959,
pp.

2 6 - 2 6 );

and

C h a n g e in

M a n a g e r ia l

M anpow er

W it h

M e c h a n iz a tio n

o f D a t a P r o c e s s i n g ( i n J o u r n a l o f B u s i n e s s , C h i c a g o , V o l . 3 2 , 195 9, p p . 1 5 1 1 6 3 ); a n d

E u g e n e H . J a c o b so n a n d o th e rs, E m p lo y e e

T e c h n o lo g ic a l C h a n g e i n a M e d iu m
o f A p p lie d

A ttitu d e s

T o w a rd

S iz e d I n s u r a n c e C o m p a n y ( in J o u r n a l

P s y c h o l o g y , W a s h i n g t o n , V o l . 4 3 ,1 9 5 9 , p p . 3 4 9 -3 5 4 ).

A stu d y

d ir e c t e d t o w a r d t h e t w o la t t e r q u e s tio n s h a s b e e n re p o r t e d b y t h e a u t h o r in
C o m p u te r

A u t o m a t io n , W o r k

E n v ir o n m e n t ,

and

E m p lo y e e

S a t is f a c t io n

( in I n d u s t r ia l a n d L a b o r R e la t io n s R e v ie w , I t h a c a , N . Y . , J u l y

1 96 0, p p .

5 5 0 -5 6 7 ).
i T h e u t iliz a t io n fig u re s w e re b a s e d o n a r e g u la r o n e -s h ift w o r k m o n t h .

101

Fearing that news about the com puter installa­
tion w ould have adverse effects u pon em ployee
attitudes, the com pan y delayed announcem ent o f
the installation until O ctober 1957, and it is un­
likely that m uch inform ation had spread infor­
m ally through the com pan y before then. A t that
time, top m anagem ent m ade a statem ent abou t
the im pending installation and its purposes, and
gave assurances that, in accordance w ith long­
standing com pan y p olicy, it w ould n ot jeopardize
any em ployee’s job .
N o specific guarantee o f
earnings or o f aid in retraining was m ade. E arly in
N ovem b er 1957, all hom e office em ployees were
called to special inform ation meetings at which
technical inform ation was given and questions
from em ployees were answered; how ever, no spe­
cific changeover plans were presented. Personnel
whose tasks were to be affected directly b y the
com puter were instructed in the new w ork p roce­
dures during the first week o f N ovem ber. G roup
meetings in the branch office were n ot held until
A pril 1958, when that office was to be affected.
T h e com puter installation had a m uch greater
im pact on the procedures and tasks o f som e de­
partm ents than o f others. H om e office depart­
m ents affected extensively, and hereafter called
“ the com puter area,” consisted o f the I B M k ey­
punching and accounting departm ents, the p ro­
gram ing and office-system s departm ents, and the
internal auditing departm ent. Personnel in this
area were given the tasks o f com puter program ing
and operation, for w hich th ey had to learn new
T

a b l e

1.

C

h a n g e s

in

J

o b

o r

W

o r k

C

D

o n t e n t
o f

T

I

u r in g
h r e e

D

form s, codes, and sorting and tabulating routines,
and devise new procedures for correcting errors.
In addition, it was necessary for them to punch
m an y m ore I B M cards than before. H ow ever,
conventional I B M equipm ent also rem ained in use.
T h e autom obile underwriting departm ent o f the
hom e office, the general underwriting departm ent
o f the branch office, and the coding and p o licy
typ in g departm ents o f b o th offices were less ex­
tensively affected b y the com puter installation.
Personnel in these departm ents lost m an y tasks to
the com puter, b u t for m an y o f the rem aining tasks,
th ey learned new form s, codes, and procedures.
T h e y were given practically no new tasks during
the period covered b y the study. These depart­
m ents are called “ other affected departm ents” in
this article. T h e term “ affected departm ents” is
used occasionally to refer to the com puter area
and other affected departm ents com bined.
“ U naffected departm ents” consisted o f the re­
m aining hom e and branch office departm ents and
accounted for the m a jority o f the w ork force. T h e
claims adjustm ent offices, w hich were unaffected
b y the installation, were excluded from the study.
F rom N ovem b er 1957 to M a y 1958, the super­
visors o f the com puter area and o f other affected
departm ents attem pted to defer som e procedural
changes n ot related to the com puter so that th ey
could concentrate on the conversion to autom a­
tion.
U ndou btedly, how ever, som e unrelated
changes occurred. N o substantial m echanization
or reorganization in unaffected departm ents to o k

n s t a l l a t io n

e p a r t m

e n t

G

P

e r io d

r o u p s

o f

C

o m p u t e r

a s

P

e r c e i v e d

b y

E

m

p l o y e e s

1

[P e r c e n ta g e d is t r ib u t io n ]

J o b ch a n g e s a t t rib u t e d to c o m p u te r 8

J o b c h a n g e s a t t rib u t e d to a n y so u rc e *

C h a n g e s i n jo b o r w o r k c o n t e n t
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rtm e n ts

C o m p u te r
a rea

U n a ffe c te d
d e p a rtm e n ts

A ll d e p a rt­
m e n t g ro u p s

C o m p u te r
a re a

O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rtm e n ts

U n a ffe cte d
d e p a rtm e n ts

A l l r e s p o n s e s ..........................................................................................................

100

100

100

1 00

100

100

1 00

1 . P r o m o t i o n .........................................................................................................
2 . T r a n s f e r ..............................................................................................................
R e m a i n e d i n jo b w i t h w o r k c o n t e n t c h a n g e d —
3 . G r e a t l y .......................................................................................................
4 . N o t i c e a b l y ..............................................................................................
5 . S l i g h t l y - ...................................................................................................
6 . N o t a t a l l ( o r n o i m p a c t ) ..........................................................
7 . U n k n o w n ..........................................................................................................

0
4

0
2

1
1

1
2

0
4

5
5

7
5

52
13
9
22
0

21
22
16
34
5

3
4
10
76
5

12
10
11
60
4

57
13
9
17
0

22
26
26
16
0

6
13
28
39
2

1 F o r d e f in it io n o f g ro u p s o f d e p a r t m e n t s , se e t e x t .
I n N o v e m b e r 195 7,
b e fo re t h e in s t a lla t i o n o f t h e c o m p u t e r , t h e c o m p u t e r a r e a h a d 23 r e s p o n d e n t s ,
o t h e r a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s h a d 6 2 , a n d u n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s h a d 161.
* R e s p o n s e s t o f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n a s k e d i n M a y 1958 s u r v e y : “ D i d t h e c o m ­
p u t e r p l a y a n y p a r t i n t h e c h a n g e i n y o u r jo b s in c e la s t N o v e m b e r ? "
The
f ig u r e s i n r o w s 1 t h r o u g h 5 s h o w t h e p r o p o r t i o n o f r e s p o n d e n t s w h o s a i d t h e




102

c o m p u t e r w a s th e m a in fa c to r o r a m in o r fa c to r in t h e c h a n g e t h e y re p o r t e d .
T h e fig u re s i n r o w 6 r e f e r to th o s e w h o s a id e it h e r t h a t t h e r e h a d b e e n n o
c h a n g e s i n c e N o v e m b e r o r t h a t t h e c o m p u t e r h a d h a d n o t h i n g to d o w i t h t h e
change.
* R e s p o n s e s to f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n a s k e d i n M a y 1 958 s u r v e y : “ W h a t h a s
h a p p e n e d to y o u r j o b s i n c e l a s t N o v e m b e r ? ”

place during the period, and the everyday altera­
tions in w ork m ethods and tasks were excluded
from the study.
D a ta on em ployee response to com puter auto­
m ation were collected in tw o questionnaire surveys
con du cted in N ovem ber 1957 and M a y 1958.3
M ore than 90 percent o f eligible em ployees were
questioned in each survey.4 T h e 246 em ployees
w ho participated in both surveys were grouped
into the com puter area, the other affected de­
partm ents, and the unaffected departm ents on
the basis o f their affiliation at the tim e of the
first survey.5
T h e analysis consisted in com paring the re­
sponses o f the three groups o f em ployees to
questions concerning—
1. Perceived changes in w ork environm ent
(regardless o f cause) and feelings about these
changes.
2. Perceived im pact o f the com puter upon
w ork environm ent.
3. General attitudes tow ard the com puter
installation.
4. Job satisfaction.
T h e departm ental differences m entioned in
the text were all significant at the 5 percent
level or better, as determ ined b y the chi-square
and other tests.
Im pact o f Computer Installation
A lm ost tw o-thirds o f the em ployees stated
in the M a y 1958 survey that th ey had been
unaffected b y the installation o f the com puter,
and very few thought the com puter had brought
them prom otions or transfers.
(See table 1.)
T h e proportion o f persons reporting com puter
im pact was highest in the com puter area and
3 T h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s u r v e y s w e r e c o n d u c t e d b y t h e a u t h o r i n c o o p e r a t io n
w it h

W illia m

A .

F a u n c e , G lo r ia C h e e k , J o h n N a n g le , a n d

G e o rg e W o n .

T h e q u e s t io n n a ir e s e m p lo y e d m a n y o f t h e it e m s u s e d in t h e s t u d y b y J a c o b ­
s o n a n d a s s o c ia t e s .
4 In e lig ib le

w ere

com pany

o f f ic e r s ,

b u ild in g

m a in t e n a n c e

e m p lo y e e s ,

e m p lo y e e s w h o s e w o r k t y p i c a l l y r e q u ir e d t h e m to s p e n d m o r e t h a n h a lf t h e
t i m e a w a y f r o m t h e o f f ic e , a n d p a r t - t i m e e m p lo y e e s .

A

t o t a l o f 283 u s a b l e

q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w e r e o b t a in e d i n t h e f i r s t s u r v e y , a n d 2 95 w e r e r e c e i v e d i n
th e seco n d .

F u r t h e r d e t a ils o f th e s u r v e y p ro c e d u re a n d o f th e

q u e s tio n n a ir e s e m p lo y e d a r e r e p o r te d b y t h e a u t h o r a n d G e r a ld
A c c u r a c y o f E m p lo y e e R e p o rt s o n C h a n g e s in P a y

id e n t i f i e d

L . H ersh e y ,

( in J o u r n a l o f A p p l ie d

P s y c h o l o g y , W a s h i n g t o n , A u g u s t 1 96 0, p p . 2 6 9 -2 7 5 ).
1 O n l y 10 o f t h e r e s p o n d e n t s m o v e d f r o m o n e o f t h e t h r e e g r o u p s t o a n o t h e r
d u r in g

t h e f o l lo w i n g 6 m o n t h s , m o s t l y f r o m

u n a ffe c te d

to o th e r a ffe c te d

d e p a r t m e n t s o f t h e b r a n c h o ff ic e .




103

lowest in the departm ents classified as unaffected.
G reat changes in w ork were m ost frequent in the
com puter area and least com m on in the unaf­
fected departm ents.
T h e em ployees were asked in the second survey
whether the com puter had affected each o f 14
aspects o f their job s, as listed in table 2. A p ­
proxim ately 20 percent failed to answer the
questions or chose the response category “ I
have no idea.” These respondents were prim arily
from unaffected departm ents.
A m on g persons
giving definite answers, a m a jority reported no
com puter im pact.
T h e com puter was m ost
com m on ly perceived to have affected variety,
am ount, and accuracy o f work.
It was m ost
seldom thought to have affected pay, prom otion
chances, and am ount o f supervision.
M o st
effects, except for jo b security and prom otion
chances, to o k the form o f increases, such as m ore
variety and greater am ount o f work.
On the average for the *14 jo b aspects, the
three groups o f departm ents differed n oticeably
in the frequency and direction o f perceived
com puter im pact.
In the com puter area, 58
percent o f those giving definite responses said
the com puter had an effect, and 96 percent o f the
effects th ey reported were increases. This com ­
pared with 36 and 71 percent, respectively, in
other affected departm ents and with 15 and 90
percent, respectively, in the unaffected depart­
ments.
T h e com puter area and other affected depart­
ments did n ot differ from each other in the
frequency o f reported im pact on jo b security,
prom otion chances, and pay, and on accuracy
dem anded b y the jo b , w ork variety, and w orkload.
H ow ever, the com puter area reported m ore fre­
quent im pact u pon evaluation o f im portance o f
jo b ; am ount o f supervision; skill, planning, and
judgm ent required; and w ork interest. Further­
more, it reported m ore increases than decreases
for each o f the 14 aspects, but som e differences
were slight. In the other affected departm ents,
the requirements for accuracy, skill, responsibility,
and judgm ent were raised significantly m ore often
than lowered, while the reverse was true for p ro­
m otion chances.
A fter the installation, one-third o f the em ­
ployees thought it very likely or quite likely that

T

a b l e

2.

C

h a n g e s

in

14

J

o b

A

s p e c t s

D

C

u r in g

T

h

r e e

o m

D

p u t e r

e p a r t m

I

n s t a l l a t io n

e n t

G

P

e r io d

a s

P

e r c e i v e d

b y

E

m

p l o y e e s

o p

r o u p s

[P e rc e n ta g e d is t r ib u t io n ]

C h a n g e s a ttrib u te d to c o m p u te r *
J o b asp ect

T o tal

In c r e a s e d

74
37

in

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
100
1 00

re -

C o m p u t e r a r e a ...... .............. .......
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
1 00
100

3 . T h e d eg ree o f a c c u r a c y d em a n d e d b y m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
1 00
100

4. M y c o n tro l o v e r th e
of m y w o rk .

p ace

C o m p u t e r a r e a . . ........................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100
100

5 . T h e im p o r t a n c e o f m y jo b
fo r t h e c o m p a n y .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100
100

6 . T h e a m o u n t o f s u p e r v is io n
I g e t o n m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ........ .............. —
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100
100

7. T h e a m o u n t of s k ill need ed
o n m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100
100

8 . T h e a m o u n t o f r e s p o n s i­
b i l i t y d e m a n d e d b y m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100
100

9 . T h e a m o u n t o f p la n n in g I
h a v e to d o o n m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a ffe c te d d e p a r t m e n t s .._

100
100
100

10. T h e a m o u n t o f ju d g m e n t
I h a v e to u s e o n m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a __________________
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
100
100

11

11. T h e d e g re e to w h ic h
w o r k is in t e r e s t in g .

m y

C o m p u t e r a r e a . . ........................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ___

100
100

65
24

100

14

s e c u rity

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
100

31
11

100

13. M y c h a n c e s fo r p r o m o t io n
to a b e t t e r jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a . . ........................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
100
100

14. T h e a m o u n t o f p a y I
o n m y jo b .

C o m p u t e r a r e a ............................
O th e r
a ffe c te d
d e p a rt­
m e n ts.
U n a f f e c t e d d e p a r t m e n t s ____

100
100
100

6

1 . T h e a m o u n t o f v a r ie t y
m y w o rk .

2. T h e am o u n t of w o rk
q u ir e d o n m y jo b .

12. T h e a m o u n t o f
I fe e l o n m y jo b .

C h a n g e s a t t rib u t e d to a n y so u rce *

D e p a rtm e n t g ro u p 1

get

D ecrea sed

N o t a v a il­
a b le

T o tal

In c r e a s e d

1 00
1 00

65
42

Sam e

35
39

D ecre a se d

0
19

N o t a v a il­
a b le

0
0

26
37

0
20

0
6

17

55

2

26

1 00

46

50

3

1

74
39

22
34

4
24

0
3

1 00
100

70
42

30
45

0
11

0
2

19

53

2

26

100

52

42

4

2

65
56

35
37

0
5

0
2

100
1 00

57
35

43
63

0
2

0
0

12

63

0

25

1 00

27

72

0

1

48
21

43
64

9
10

0
5

1 00
1 00

35
30

56
60

9
8

0
2

9

63

2

26

100

25

67

6

2

57
21

39
65

0
8

4
6

100
100

52
27

48
65

0
8

0
0

5

68

0

27

100

25

73

1

1

48
5

48
87

4
6

0
2

100
100

26
11

70
78

4
11

0
0

4

68

2

26

100

12

76

11

1

74
34

26
61

0
3

0
2

1 00
100

52
^7

48
58

0
5

0
0

9

66

0

25

1 00

30

67

1

2

70
39

30
55

0
3

0
3

100
100

61
40

39
52

0
6

0
2

12

65

0

23

100

41

57

0

2

61
11

39
78

0
6

0
5

100
1 00

39
31

61
63

0
6

0
0

11

62

0

27

100

34

62

2

2

70
24

30
68

0
3

0
5

100
100

56
36

44
58

0
6

0
0

65

0

24

100

40

57

1

2

31
60

4
13

0
3

100
100

61
42

35
43

4
15

0
0

62

1

23

100

36

59

4

1

65
66

4
20

0
3

100
100

31
26

65
55

4
17

0
2

6

67

3

24

100

21

72

4

3

22
5

74
68

4
17

0
10

100
100

22
8

78
68

0
22

0
2

3

66

2

29

100

15

72

9

4

30
10

70
77

0
2

0
11

100
100

56
39

40
61

0
0

4
0

68

1

25

100

46

53

0

1

1 F o r d e f in it io n o f g r o u p s o f d e p a r t m e n t s , se e t e x t .
F o r s iz e o f d e p a r t m e n t
g r o u p s , s e e f o o t n o t e 1, t a b l e 1.
* E m p l o y e e s w e r e a s k e d i n t h e M a y 1958 s u r v e y to c h e c k o n e o f t h e f o l lo w ­
i n g : “ F o r t h i s a s p e c t o f m y j o b , t h e c o m p u t e r c a u s e d (1 ) a g r e a t i n c r e a s e ,
(2 ) s o m e i n c r e a s e , (3 ) n o c h a n g e , (4 ) s o m e d e c r e a s e , (5 ) a g r e a t d e c r e a s e ,
(6 ) I h a v e n o i d e a w h a t t h e c o m p u t e r m a y h a v e d o n e .”
T h e t a b le c o lu m n
h e a d s “ I n c r e a s e d ," “ N o n e ,” “ D e c r e a s e d ," a n d “ N o t a v a ila b le ” c o r r e s p o n d
to r e s p o n s e s 1 - 2 ,3 , 4 -5 , a n d 6 p lu s n o r e s p o n s e , r e s p e c t iv e ly .




None

* E m p l o y e e s w e r e a s k e d i n t h e M a y 1958 s u r v e y t o c h e c k o n e o f t h e f o l lo w ­
in g : “ H o w h a s t h i s a s p e c t o f y o u r Jo b c h a n g e d i n t h e p a s t 6 m o n t h s ?
1.
M u c h m o re n o w , 2. M o re n o w , 3. N o ch a n g e , 4. L e s s n o w . a n d 5. M u c h
le s s n o w ."
T h e t a b le c o lu m n h e a d s “ I n c r e a s e d ,” “ S a m e ," “ D e c r e a s e d ,”
a n d “ N o t a v a ila b le " c o r r e s p o n d to r e s p o n s e s 1 - 2 , 3 ,4 - 5 , a n d n o r e s p o n s e , r e ­
s p e c t iv e ly .

the computer would influence their jobs in the
following year or two. People in the computer
area were most convinced of this (83 percent),
followed by those in other affected departments
(61 percent), while a minority of employees in sofar unaffected departments thought they would be
affected (21 percent).
Fifty-eight percent of the employees who saw
the computer as a major or minor factor in the
change of job or of work content over the 6-month
period said they liked the change, while 21 per­
cent expressed indifference, and an equal propor­
tion said they disliked the change. Among those
who thought computer impact on their jobs in
the subsequent year or two was very likely or
quite likely, 10 percent disliked the prospect,
while 29 percent did not care, and 58 percent liked
it. Both past and prospective computer impacts
were liked more strongly in the computer area and
unaffected departments than in the other affected
departments.
N o questions were asked about em ployee feel­
ings concerning the im pact o f the com puter upon
specific jo b aspects. Since responses to other
questions indicated that the em ployees usually
preferred increases in a jo b aspect to decreases,
the com puter im pact on specific jo b aspects was
apparently m ore often liked than disliked.

Sixty-one percent of the employees in both the
computer area and other affected departments
felt that the changeover to the new computer had
been only slightly disrupting or not disrupting at
all, while 20 percent saw it as quite disrupting,
and 9 percent felt it had been very disrupting.
More than one-third of employees in unaffected
departments had no opinion.
According to answers given before the installa­
tion of the computer, the vast majority of the
employees either liked the fact the company had
decided to install a computer or were indifferent.
Dislike of the decision was reported by 5 percent,
indifference by 27 percent, and positive approval
by 63 percent. Disapproval was absent from the
computer area and most common, 13 percent, in
the other affected departments. Table 3 shows
that the majority of the employees continued to
like fhe computer installation after they acquired




105

some experience with it and its effects. Forty-one
percent of the employees in affected departments
changed their feelings about the computer from
November to May, with increases and decreases
in liking being equally numerous. In the un­
affected departments, 54 percent changed their
minds, primarily from positive feelings to indif­
ference.
Answers to other questions also failed to show
negative attitudes toward the computer after the
installation. The personnel of unaffected depart­
ments often did not know whether the computer
had been a good thing or a bad thing for employees.
However, regardless of department affiliation,
those who had an opinion usually thought the
computer had been a good thing. A majority of
those with an opinion favored wider use of the
computer; this feeling was particularly pronounced
in the computer area.
Impact of All Job Changes
In the May 1958 survey, about two-thirds of
all participating employees reported that job
changes—most commonly, changes in work con­
tent without promotion or transfer—had taken
place since the computer installation for a variety
of reasons. Changes were reported more often by
employees in the computer area and in other
affected departments than by employees in un­
affected departments, and great and noticeable
changes in work content were more predominant
among the first two groups, particularly in the
computer area. Sixty-one percent liked the
changes experienced during the 6-month period,
18 percent disliked them, and most of the others
professed indifference. Likes and dislikes of the
changes were distributed very similarly in the
three departments.
In the second survey, the employees were also
asked what changes, regardless of source, they
experienced in each of the 14 job aspects over the
6 months. In all departments combined, the net
change in job aspects was most frequent for
variety and amount of work and was least frequent
for amount of supervision and promotion chances.
Increases significantly outnumbered decreases for

T

a b l e

3.

G

e n e r a l

A

T

t t it u d e s

o w a r d

t h e

C

o m p u te r

G

A

I

f t e r

r o u ps

n s t a l l a t io n

,

b y

E

m p l o ye e s

in

T

h r e e

D

e p a r t m e n t

1

[Percentage distribution]
Computer good or bad for employees *

General feeling toward computer Installation *
Response

Com­
puter
area

Other
affected
depart­
ments

Unaf­
fected
depart­
ments

100

100

Desirable extent of computer use *

Com­
puter
area

Response

Other
affected
depart­
ments

Unaf­
fected
depart­
ments

100

100

100

Response

Other
affected
depart­
ments

100

100

Unaf­
fected
depart­
ments

100

All responses...........

I like It very much...

48

18

11

A very good thing_

44

31

15 Much more
widely than
now.

30

13

I like it.....................

39

45

28 A good thing...........

44

40

36 More widely
than now.

44

34

20

It makes no difference
tome.

9

27

50 Neither a good thing,
nor a bad thing.

12

13

21

20

I dislike it............ .

0

8

7 A bad thing............

0

0

4 Less widely
than now.

0

0

1

I dislike it very much.

0

2

0

A very bad thing___

0

0

1

Much less wide­
ly than now.

4

0

1

I have never given it
a thought.

0

0

2

I have no idea.........

0

13

30 I don't know__

13

30

42

No response..............

4

0

2

No response............

0

3

4 No response___

0

2

All responses.............

10

All responses_
_

Com­
puter
area

About the same
as now.

9

100

9

7

1 For definition of groups of departments, see text. For size of department
groups, see footnote 1, table 1.
* The question, asked in the May 1958 survey, was as follows: “ What is
your general feeling about the fact that the company has installed a com­
puter?”

*The question, asked in the May 1958 survey, was as follows: “ Consider­
ing everything, do you think the computer has been a good thing or a bad
thing for the employees in [the company]?”
* The question, asked in the May 1958 survey, was as follows: “ In your
opinion, would it be a good idea to use the computer more widely or less
widely in this company than is now the case?”

all aspects except am ount o f supervision and p ro­
m otion chances. F or m ost aspects, how ever, a
m a jority reported there was no change during the
period.
E m ployees in unaffected departm ents tended to
report less net change in jo b aspects than did
em ployees in the com puter area or the other
affected departm ents. H ow ever, the differences
were v ery small for m an y o f the individual jo b
aspects. T h e com puter area and other affected
departm ents com bined reported significantly m ore
change in accu racy requirements, im portance of
jo b , w ork interest, and jo b security than did
unaffected departm ents.
T h e three groups also differed som ewhat in the
direction o f the change in jo b that was reported.
In general, the num ber o f increases relative to
that o f decreases tended to be higher in the com ­
puter area and in unaffected departm ents than in
the oth er affected departm ents. This relation­
ship was statistically significant for variety and
am ount o f w ork, im portance o f the jo b to the
com pany, responsibility required, w ork interest,
jo b security, and p rom otion chances. T h e com ­
puter area did n ot differ from unaffected depart­
m ents in the direction o f change on a ny o f the jo b
aspects. E ven in the other affected departm ents,

increases exceeded decreases for most aspects, but
decreases in promotion chances were reported
significantly more often than were increases.
Most net changes in job aspects were in a
direction employees liked. Among those who
reported a change in any job aspect after the com­
puter installation, from 61 to 93 percent said they
liked the change or liked it very much, up to 10
percent reported indifference, and from 2 to 31
percent disliked it or disliked it very much.
Indifference was expressed most often toward
changes in amounts of work and supervision and
least often toward changes in work interest
and job security. Likes were most numerous
relative to dislikes in the case of accuracy, skill,
and responsibility and fewest in the case of pro­
motion chances, amount of supervision, and job
security.
Considering the 14 job aspects together, re­
sponses stating that changes were liked outnum­
bered the expressions of dislikes by 10 to 1 in the
computer area and in unaffected departments, but
only by 3 to 1 in the other affected departments.
In the last group, the changes in importance of the
job, amount of supervision received, amount of
judgment required, job security, and chances for
promotion were disliked as often as they were




10 6

liked. However, no aspect was significantly more
disliked than liked even in these departments.
In the computer area, the changes in 11 of the
aspects were liked more often than disliked, but
changes in pay, which were all increases, were
disliked as often as they were liked. Employees
in the computer area perceived few changes in job
security and chances for promotion, and the num­
ber of likes and dislikes for these two changes did
not differ significantly.
As suggested by the responses to pay changes
in the computer area, some changes were perhaps
reported as disliked, not because they went in the
undesired direction or disrupted the status quo,
but because they did not go far enough in the
desired direction. Similarly, some expressions of
approval possibly meant that although the change
was really undesirable, it was too small to disturb
materially a pleasant status quo.
Department Differences in Job Satisfaction
The same 24 questions concerning job satisfac­
tion were asked in each survey. Since the
questionnaires were identified, it was possible to
determine whether each respondent’s reported
satisfaction in each of these 24 respects had risen,
remained the same, or fallen from the first to the
second survey. As an average for all depart­
ments and items, 33 percent of the 246 respondents
showed increased satisfaction, 39 percent showed
no change, 24 percent showed decreased satis­
faction, and 4 percent did not answer.7 Because
of response unreliability, however, these figures
somewhat overstate the frequency of genuine
change.
Absence of change was equally common for all
24 items. Increases in job satisfaction were
significantly more numerous than decreases for
15 items. These included all of the items listed
in table 2 (excepting promotion opportunities),
and items described as “the relationship between
you and your supervisor” and “the information
you receive concerning changes in the company
and in your job.” In addition to promotion
opportunities, other exceptions were the way
changes were handled, kind of work done, th * com­
e
pany, amount of information, accuracy of informa­
tion, understandability of information, promptness

o f inform ation, and the jo b as a whole. B u t for
no item were decreases in satisfaction significantly
m ore com m on than increases.

The preponderance of increases over decreases in
satisfaction was probably not related to the com­
puter, and there were no other large changes in
company behavior that would easily explain the
net increases in satisfaction. More plausible
explanations lie in the continuation of the 1957-58
recession (affecting heavily the automobile in­
dustry of the region and making the insurance
company employees happier about tjieir jobs),
and in a variety of special factors.
The three groups of departments showed few
pronounced differences in the frequency and
direction of change in job satisfaction. In fact,
significant differences were found for only 3 of the
24 items. Satisfaction with pay changed equally
often in the three groups, but the computer area
showed fewer increases relative to decreases than
did the other two groups. Satisfaction with the
promptness of information changed less often in
the other affected departments, but increases
were equally common relative to decreases in all
groups. Increases were more predominant among
changes in overall job satisfaction in the unaffected
departments.
Nevertheless, there were signs of a pattern of
differences. For the first 12 items on table 2,
the average frequency of change was lower in un­
affected departments than in the other two groups,
while the ratio of increases to decreases was
smallest in the other affected departments. For
the remaining 11 of the 23 specific job aspect
items, the average frequency of change did not
differ among departments, but the proportion of
increases in satisfaction was lower in the computer
area than in the other two groups. The first set
of items covered primarily intrinsic job aspects,
while the second set covered pay, job tenure,
relations to management, and information.
According to the second survey in May 1958,
employees as a group showed little satisfaction
with chances for promotion, amount of pay re­
ceived, the way of handling changes in the com­
pany, and the promptness of information. They
were notably satisfied, however, with accuracy
and skill requirements and responsibility.
Th e three departm ent groups differed little in

Because of its bulk, the table showing the changes in job satisfaction and satisfaction with individual jo b aspects after the
the May 1958level of satisfaction by aspect and department was omitted from
com puter
installation. C om plete
satisfaction
the article. Interested readers may obtain copies of the table from the author.
7




107

with amount of supervision and skill was most
pronounced in the computer area. The largest
proportion of respondents “somewhat satisfied”
or “not satisfied” with variety and with kind of
work done was found in other affected depart­
ments. For all other job satisfaction items taken
individually, including overall satisfaction, there
were no significant departmental differences,
whether the comparisons pertained to the propor­
tion of completely satisfied respondents or to the
proportion of respondents that were somewhat
or not satisfied.
On the average for the 24 items, however, com­
plete satisfaction was most commonly reported in
the computer area, while the other affected
departments showed the largest proportionof some­
what or not satisfied respondents. The depart­
ment differences in average proportions of com­
pletely satisfied and somewhat or not satisfied
respondents were about the same for the first 12
items as the latter group; the only significant
variation was that the computer area was less
often dissatisfied and the other affected depart­
ments were more often dissatisfied with the first
set of items than with the second.
Conclusions
The results of the study indicate that the in­
stallation of the computer by the insurance com­
pany affected the work environment of a number
of employees in several respects, that most of its
effects were those that employees desired, and that
the computer installation was liked more often
than disliked. However, the departments affected
by the computer and those not affected
differed little in the frequency and direction of
net change in most job aspects although there
were significant department differences for some
aspects of the job. Employees in the computer
area (which gained work tasks as a result of the




10 8

installation) and em ployees o f the unaffected*
departm ents liked the net changes m ore than did
em ployees o f the other affected departm ents
(which had lost w ork tasks because o f the com puter
and h ad been required to adjust to p artly new
m ethods o f w ork). T h e em ployees o f these other
affected departm ents show ed less gain in satis­
faction w ith intrinsic jo b aspects than did the
personnel o f the other tw o groups. C om puter
area personnel tended to becom e com paratively
less satisfied than other em ployees with jo b tenure,
p ay, relations to supervisor and com pan y, and
inform ation practices. M o s t departm ent dif­
ferences in jo b satisfaction change were slight.

Except for the installation of the computer
and the resulting adaptation of work methods,
there were no large technological changes in the
company during the period studied. The fact
that affected departments and unaffected depart­
ments were found to differ little in perceived job
changes, in feelings about these changes, and in
changes in job satisfaction indicate that the com­
puter had only moderate effects upon work envir­
onment and job satisfaction. This conclusion,
which agrees with the author’s conclusion from a
previous study of computer automation,8 suggests
that the installation of an IBM 650 computer is
not a radical or extensive enough operation to
cause a substanial reversal or acceleration of exist­
ing trends in work environment and job satis­
faction. The computer area’s slightly declining
satisfaction with information practices and with
the company’s way of handling changes suggests,
however, that the process of installing a computer
and of adapting work methods to it may cause
noticeable, though presumably temporary, dis­
satisfaction unless management handles the con­
version with great skill.
» See Computer Automation, Work Environment, and Employee Satis­
faction (in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Ithaca, N.Y., July 1960,
pp. 669-667).

O f f i c e A u t o m a t io n
in t h e F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t

the Government has a large volume of
routine recordkeeping, Federal administrators and
technicians have been greatly interested in the
economies of personnel, time, and money possible
with electronic data processing. From the earliest
stages of development of this new technology,
Federal agencies have been among the leaders in
adopting electronic computers for business as well
as scientific purposes. These innovations repre­
sent the latest step in a continuing search for more
efficient equipment going back as early as 1889,
when Herman Hollerith of the Census Bureau
pioneered the use of mechanical data processing
equipment.
The impact of office automation on Government
employees has also been receiving special atten­
tion. The Subcommittee on Census and Govern­
ment Statistics of the House of Representatives
Committee on Post Office and Civil Service con­
ducted hearings in 1959 and 1960 to determine the
extent of office automation in the Federal Govern­
ment and to explore the implications of these
technological changes for Federal clerical workers.
The subcommittee, under the chairmanship of
Representative John Lesinski of Michigan, heard
witnesses from the Bureau of the Budget, the
General Accounting Office, the Veterans Adminis­
tration, the Treasury and Post Office Depart­
ments, and several Government employee unions.
In addition to the testimony by the witnesses,
many exhibits were also submitted to the sub­
committee.
This article summarizes material presented in
these hearings concerning the impact of office
automation on employees (primarily clerical). It
presents information on such topics as computer
applications and savings, problems of displace­
ment and reassignment, personnel planning for
technological change, selecting and training per­

B

ecau se

S ep te m b e r 1960




sonnel fo r electronic data processing (E D P ) posi­
tions, and attitudes o f em ployee organizations
tow ard autom ation .1

Extent and Examples of Use
Since the Bureau of the Census first introduced
a large-scale electronic computer for business pur­
poses in 1951, the application of EDP systems has
grown rapidly. According to a recent Bureau of
the Budget survey, there were 414 computers of
all sizes located in Government agencies in fiscal
year 1959.2 An earlier report, included in the
hearings, noted that 8 out of 10 of all mediumand large-scale computers were located in military
establishments, and that 2 out of 3 were pro­
gramed for business applications, the remainder
being used to process scientific data.3 The rapid
growth of electronic data processing in Govern­
ment agencies will probably continue. By 1961,
agencies informed the Budget Bureau that they
expect to have 646 computers in operation.
Among examples of computer uses described in
the hearings are two business applications in the
Treasury Department that involve hundreds of
millions of transactions annually: the payment and
reconciliation of Treasury checks and the auditing
and accounting of U.S. savings bonds.

i The article is based on the following two volumes: Use of Electronic
Data-Processing Equipment, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Census
and Government Statistics of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service
(86th Cong., 1st scss.), Washington, 1959; and Office Automation and Em­
ployee Job Security, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Census and
Government Statistics of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service
(86th Cong., 2d sess.), Washington, 1960.
aSee Inventory and Cost Data Concerning the Utilization of Automatic
Data Processing (ADP) Equipment in the Federal Government for Fiscal
Years 1959, 1960 and 1961, Executive Office of the President, Bureau of the
Budget, May 1960. This report, to be prepared annually, was not included
in the hearings.
» This report on manpower problems related to adoption and use of EDP
systems was prepared by a private research organization for the Bureau of
the Budget’s Interagency Committee on Automatic Data Processing. The
function of this committee is to coordinate the activities of various users of
EDP equipment and to act as a clearinghouse for disseminating information
on developments in electronic data processing.

109

In the Veterans Administration, a large-scale
electronic data processing system will be used to
establish and maintain insurance records for over
6 million policyholders. Officials claim that this
operation will be “the most extensive computer
application undertaken by any major life insur­
ance operation/ 1 This program will eventually
draw the premium, loan, dividend, and billing
records into one major file. The system will then
be used to perform high-speed posting, billing, and
accounting operations, and will store a complete,
up-to-date record on a magnetic tape, which will
constitute the master record file.

120 percent). Unit labor costs declined 44 percent,
while equipment rental per unit of output rose
85 percent; total unit costs declined 32 percent.
Indirect operating economies should greatly
increase with the improvement of management
control techniques which would result from the
centralization and consolidation of data for EDP
operations and from the preparation of more
meaningful and timely reports. For example,
a GAO report (included in the hearings) stated
that numerous electronic systems are currently
applied in Defense Department supply operations
in which the Government has over $50 billion in
inventories. Even small percentage savings
achieved through a reduction in inventory levels
could yield substantial annual savings. The
report states: “The unique ability of electronic
systems to rapidly combine and analyze data
regarding resources and needs in integrated
systems in these programs holds promise of
achieving these savings.”

Some Economic Effects
A striking, though not necessarily typical, case
of substantial direct savings achieved through the
use of electronic data processing systems is the
Treasury’s check payment and reconciliation oper­
ation. Transferring this function to computers
centralized in the Treasury Department the
responsibility for an operation that had previously
been performed jointly by the Treasury Depart­
ment, the General Accounting Office, and certain
Federal Reserve banks.
Table 1 shows the amount of direct savings.
Although the workload increased 14 percent,
employment declined 48 percent—with the result
that output per employee more than doubled (up

Displacement and Reassignment
In the hearings, various Treasury officials
described the im pact on em ployees that resulted
from the use o f com puters to process check
paym ent and reconciliation and to perform savings
b onds auditing and accounting operations.4

+120.2
-54.6
-32.0
56.0 -44.0
185.3 +85.3
78.8 -21.2

The changeover relating to check payment and
reconciliation affected employees in three agencies:
the Office of the Treasurer, the General Account­
ing Office, and the Federal Reserve System. The
electronic system went into operation in June 1957
after a 17-month phased conversion from a me­
chanical system. Table 2 shows the changes
effected from June 1956 to June 1959 (data were
not presented for the Federal Reserve System).
Only 174, or 23 percent, of the 755 persons
affected were retained in the same unit for con­
tinuing operations. Over one-half were trans­
ferred, most going to other activities within their
organization; only 31 employees, 4 percent of the
total, went into the new unit. Through special
placement efforts, about 11 percent went to other
agencies. Nearly 14 percent resigned or retired.
Two were laid off.

i Includes a 10-percent pay increase granted classified workers in 1958.
* Includes costs for shipping and communications, forms and supplies, and
indirect costs.
S o u r c e : Derived from data presented in Offico Automation and Employee
Job Security, op. cit., pp. 76-77.

<Data on characteristics (age, sex, education, etc.) of affected employees
and those selected for electronic data processing, extent of their upgrading
or downgrading, and their subsequent work assignments were not reported
in these hearings.

T

a b le

C

osts

1.

C

of

o m p a r is o n s

G

A

fter

P

r o c e s s in g

o v e r n m e n t

I

t h e

S

of

C

P

r o d u c t iv it y

h e c k

n t r o d u c t io n

of

S

y st e m s

a n

E

,

a n d

B

U

e fo r e

l e c t r o n ic

n it
a n d

D

a ta

yste m

Item

Before EDP After EDP Percent
(fiscal year (fiscal year change
1956)
1959)

Workload............................... checks.. 345,000,000 393,000,000
1,552
803
Number of operating employees...........
Total cost..........................................Labor cost (including retirement
and other fringe costs).................
Equipment rentals........................
Other costs *..................................

$7,188,000

$5,569,000

,101,000
579,000
508,000

+13.9
—
48.3

1 3,891,000

6

1

-22.5

-36.2
,222,000 +111.1
456,000 -10.2

Indexes (1956=100)
Output per employee...........................
Employees per unit of output..............
Cost per unit of output........................
Labor cost per unit........................
Equipment rental per unit...........
Other costs per unit.......................




1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .0

2 2 0 .2

45.4

6 8 .0

n o

T

a b le

2.

R

U

n it s

G

e n e r a l

in

e d u c t io n s
t h e

A

O

in

f f ic e

c c o u n t in g

of

O

E

m p lo ym e n t
t h e

f f ic e

, Ju

T

A

in

r e a su r e r

n e

1956

Personnel actions

to

ffected

a n d

J

t h e

u n e

1959

Number Percent

Total personnel as of June 1956..................................

755

Retained for continuing operations............................
Temporarily retained 1
..............................................
Transferred__________________________________
To new EDP system in the Office of the Treasurer.
To other activities within the Office of the Treas­
urer or the General Accounting Office...............
To other Treasury bureaus..................................
To other Government agencies............................
Resigned, retired......................................................
Deceased________ . ___________________________
Laid off____________________________________

174
70
399
31

23.0
9.3
52.8
4.1

244
44
80
104

32.3
5.8

6
2

1 0 0 .0

1 0 .6

13.8
.8

.3

*In order to complete residual operations in GAO under old system. Of
these 70 employees, 59 were subsequently assigned other duties within the
GAO, 2 were transferred to other agencies, 4 resigned or retired, and 5 were
laid off.
S o u r c e : Office Automation and Employee Job Security, op.cit., p. 75.

Automation of the auditing and accounting of
savings bonds in the Treasury Department had
a more unfavorable outcome for employees. De­
spite serious efforts, it was difficult in this case to
find other jobs for these workers because a large
number were clerical employees whose skills were
not in demand and who did not want to relocate
in other cities.
The introduction of the computer affected 889
people in the Bureau of Public Debt and caused
the closing of audit branches in Chicago and
New York and the curtailment of operations in the
Chicago departmental office. Electronic data
processing of punchcard savings bonds was started
at a new office in Parkersburg, W. Va. (at that
time classified a labor surplus area). Other bond
processing operations were transferred to the
Cincinnati branch.
Personnel changes were extensive. (See table
3.) Of 889 employees, over one-third, mainly in
lower clerical grades, were laid off. Sixteen per­
cent resigned, giving such reasons as ill health,
home responsibilities, and the desire for further
education. Three percent were transferred to
other Public Debt offices; 35 percent went to
other Government agencies. Nine percent of the
total personnel, all from the Chicago depart­
mental office, obtained jobs with private industry.
Bureau officials reported that few of those in
Chicago and New York whose jobs were eliminated
w willing to move to Parkersburg when offered
ere
jobs there. The 458 employees required in the
Parkersburg installation were recruited locally.
And Bureau officials trying to locate other jobs
for those displaced found that there was little




demand for people doing such routine clerical
work as alphabetical filing and keypunch card
work.

ill

Planning for the Change
Federal officials made advance efforts to cushion
the impact of office automation on employees. It
was reported that agencies adopted such policies
as sharing information with employees concerning
technological change, using attrition to minimize
layoffs, transferring employees to other positions,
and retraining employees for reassignment to new
jobs.
The Treasury Department adopted a policy of
informing employees of changes well in advance.
In the Office of the Treasurer and in the Bureau of
Accounts (affected by another installation), em­
ployees W informed nearly a year before sched­
ere
uled conversion dates. Ivy Baker Priest, the
Treasurer of the United States, met with em­
ployees of the Office of the Treasurer to assure
them that everything possible would be done to
alleviate hardships that might arise. In the Bureau
of Accounts, a memorandum was sent to regional
offices setting forth the probable effects impending
operational changes would have on employee job
security. This memorandum was supplemented
by visits of agency officials to each of the six re­
gional offices scheduled to be closed. During these
field visits, the officials discussed personal em­
ployment problems with the individuals who would
be affected by the changeover.
In the Veterans Administration, providing em­
ployees with advance and periodic information
concerning technological change is an integral part
T

a b l e

Y
P

3.

ork
u b l ic

R
a n d

D

e d u c t io n s

C

e b t

h ic a g o

,

M

a r ch

in

O

E

m p l o ym e n t

f f ic e s

19,

1957,

of
to

a t

t h e

t h e

B

J

30,

u n e

Personnel actions

N

u r e a u

Number

e w
of

1958 1

Percent

Total affected_______________ ____ ___________

889

Transferred_________________________________
To other Public Debt offices...............................
To other Government agencies............................
Obtained jobs with private industry (Chicago office)..
Resigned because of ill health, home responsibilities,
desire to further education, etc...............................
Retired.......... .............................................. .......
Laid off...................................................................

336
25
311
78

37.8

143
14
318

16.1

1 0 0 .0

2 .8

35.0
8 .8

1 .6

35.8

1 No layoffs have been necessary since June 30,1958, and none are foreseen.
Note: Because of rounding, the sum of individual percentages does not
equal 100.
S o u r c e : Office Automation and Employee Job Security, op. cit., p. 83.

of basic personnel policies developed for EDP
situations. Commenting at the hearings on per­
sonnel procedures already initiated, Edward R.
Silberman, Assistant Administrator for Personnel,
stated: “We wanted our people to know what
was going on and how they stood at any given
time . . . [and] we wanted to provide a ready
access to management.”
These personnel policies were spelled out in a
letter from Sumner G. Whittier, VA Administra­
tor, to his department and office heads well ahead
of the initial computer installation. Subsequent
information was provided in periodic newsletters,
bulletins, etc., and during conferences held by
agency officials with employee groups. Informa­
tion supplied included a description of electronic
data processing, types of jobs and number of em­
ployees likely to be affected, and reassurance that
the agency would do everything possible to mini­
mize displacement. A basic orientation course on
EDP, lasting from 3 to 40 hours, was given to
17,500 employees.
Mr. Whittier instructed department heads to
inform managers of the occupational categories
and number of employees to be affected at each
VA station “as soon as possible, but not later than
6 months prior to the conversion date for the partic­
ular station” ; and it was also decided that em­
ployees adversely affected would be given a mini­
mum of 90 days’ advance notice.
Some agencies formulated in advance explicit
policies for EDP installations which provide for
maximum use of attrition where necessary. A
Department of the Army regulation (AR-1- 250)
specifically states: “Resultant personnel adjust­
ments will be minimized wherever possible through
attrition or retraining and reassignment in prefer­
ence to reduction-in-force procedures.” A joint
Treasury Department-General Accounting Office
report (included in the hearings) noted that the
long time period necessary for planning the com­
puter installation provides maximum opportunity
to utilize attrition.
In the future, agencies plan to rely heavily on
attrition to provide jobs for employees displaced
because of automation. The Internal Revenue
Service will soon begin to install a centralized
data processing system, and Commissioner Dana
Latham stated in a letter to IRS employees
on August 12, 1959, that “we will make every
effort to effect changes gradually so that most,




1 12

if not all, of the necessary personnel cuts can be
made by attrition.”
An integral phase of advance planning was the
development of administrative procedures for
transferring surplus employees to other jobs.
The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Accounts
(Division of Disbursements), for example, insti­
tuted a “job freeze” and instructed that all
vacancies be reported to the central personnel
office to determine whether employees displaced
because of the closing of certain field offices could
qualify for the openings. Bureau officials also
discussed with other Federal agencies and local
civil service offices the placement of these surplus
employees.
The VA estimated at the hearings that automa­
tion will create 1,259 surplus positions in VA
offices throughout the country during fiscal years
1960- 62. Commenting on the importance of
advance planning, Mr. Silberman stated: “The
need for reassignment actions will be anticipated
in sufficient time to take full advantage for out­
placement of employees.” In some instances
surplus employees in regional offices will be
offered transfers at Government expense to VA
hospitals in need of their services.
Providing displaced employees with opportu­
nities to develop skills needed for new jobs was
recognized as an important prerequisite to making
an orderly change. Some agencies made efforts
to provide training programs in advance. The
Treasury Department (Office of the Treasurer),
for example, offered a refresher course in typing
to all affected employees who had some typing
skills; employees who could then qualify for typing
jobs were placed in these positions as they became
available.
Selecting EDP Personnel
The creation of new jobs and the selection of
personnel to fill them presented extensive admin­
istrative problems. Table 4 shows the staffing,
in 1958, of primary EDP jobs as reported by 236
computer installations. Two-thirds of the em­
ployees were engaged in planning and programing
activities for computers, one-fourth were digital
computer systems (console) operators or periph­
eral equipment operators, and a small group,
only 8 percent, administered the EDP systems.

T a ble 4. N umber of E mployees in P rim ary E D P
O ccupations ( as of M arch 31, 1958) a t 236 G ov ­
ern m en t C omputer I nstallations
Positions filled
Prim ary E D P occupation
N um ber
A]] occupations

__ -........ -

-

Digital computer a^n-noist-rator
_ _
Digital computer management analyst______ - _______
Digital onmpntftr programfir
......................__ .
Electronic teohnjoiftn
„
Digital nnmpntfir systems operator.. .
Peripheral equipment operator
.—

-

Percent

3,742

100.0

301
615
1,773
83
621
349

8.0
16.4
47.4
2.2
16.6
9.3

N ote : Because of rounding, the sum of individual percentages does not
equal 100.
S ource : Use of Electronic Data-Processing Equipm ent, op. cit., p. 85.

The agencies7 general practice in filling EDP
positions was to select employees only from their
own staffs. A 1958 survey (see footnote 3) of
recruitment practices at 129 military and civilian
agencies showed that nearly two-thirds of the
agencies filled EDP positions only from their own
staffs; one-tenth filled them only from outside
sources; and one-fourth used both methods of
recruitment.
The reasons cited for preferring to recruit from
within were the shorter training time required
where the employee knows the paperwork process
and the improvement in morale where there are
advancement opportunities. At the same time,
some reported that they needed to seek employees
outside their own agencies because of the shortage
of talent among their workers.
Written aptitude and intelligence tests were
widely used. Of 129 agencies reporting types of
selection methods, 7 out of 10 administered one or
more tests, primarily to applicants for programer
and computer operator positions. In addition to
various Civil Service examinations, tests designed
specifically to show programer aptitudes were used.
In cases where written testing devices were not
used, interviews and other formal practices were
frequently employed.
The magnitude of the selection task is illus­
trated by the experiences of the Treasury Depart­
ment and the General Accounting Office. All
the employees working in the units affected by
the conversion were invited to take an aptitude
test. Of 470 persons tested, 77 were selected for
training, and 23 were assigned to electronic posi­
tions. Not only aptitude tests, but also super­
visors7 written evaluations were taken into
account. Final selection of the 23 employees who




113

were to become the regular programers or opera­
tors was made on the additional basis of marks
achieved in programing school and the satis­
factory performance of programing duties on
subsequent detail assignments.
Training in EDP
Training for EDP operations was a complex
task partly because of the various types required.
Training was needed not only for the development
of programers and console operators, but also for
the orientation and indoctrination of higher levels
of management.
A survey for the Bureau of the Budget showed
that the Government relied almost exclusively on
computer manufacturers for the training of pro­
gramers and operators. Several sources were
drawn upon to give EDP indoctrination to middle
and top management—manufacturers, Govern­
ment agencies, universities, professional associa­
tions, and consultants, etc.
The Government paid salaries and any tuition
and transportation cost of trainees. Manufac­
turers generally provided free classes for pro­
gramers and operators from agencies using their
equipment.
An illustration of the extensive amount of
formal training given is the program at the
Philadelphia office of the Department of Insurance
of the Veterans Administration, where 2,700
employees were involved. Representatives of
computer manufacturers gave on-the-site courses
to employees directly involved in computer
operations; 20 persons were each given 150 hours
of programing; 5 employees, 24 hours of peripheral
equipment operation; and 5 persons, 12 hours of
digital computer console operation.
In preparation for other clerical jobs created by
this EDP installation, several hundred employees
and administrators were given classroom training
dealing with use of records and documents in­
volved in programing. In addition, all 2,700
employees received orientation courses lasting
1% hours.
Some agencies gave tests to trainees in order to
weed out unsuitable candidates. At one agency,
instructors gave periodic tests of material covered,
with the result that 25 to 30 percent of the
trainees were dropped out. At another agency,
7 percent of the programer trainees were dropped

on the basis of monthly evaluation reports by
supervisors.
Attitude of Employee Organizations
Officials of Government employees’ unions
stated that they did not oppose automation, but
wanted specific efforts made to avoid hardships
arising from EDP installations. Some approved
the advance preparations made by the VA, and
they felt that similar efforts should be made prior
to future technological changes. They suggested
a number of specific protective measures.
Vaux Owen, president of the National Federa­
tion of Federal Employees, recommended a fivepoint program:
(1) Thorough and definite planning ahead . . . of all
departments and agencies prior to adoption of automated
procedures. (2) Retraining programs . . . for all em­
ployees before they are displaced by automation so that
[they] may be qualified for reassignment to other positions.
(3) Positive reassignment procedures . . . so that em­
ployees can feel some assurance they will get reassign­
ments in their own or another Federal agency. . . . (4)
Definite placement programs . . . to place in suitable jobs
in private industry those who cannot be reassigned in the
Federal service. (5) Advance information . . . about
plans for installing automated procedures, and just which
categories of employees, and how many will likely be
affected, and when.

Owen also proposed “an inventory of the skills
of the people in the different agencies” as well as
an inventory “of those who want to develop new
skills.”
Besides making similar recommendations,
George Riley, legislative representative of the




American Federation of Labor and Congress of
Industrial Organizations, called for early retire­
ment benefits for unretrainable employees af­
fected by automation who have a specified mini­
mum of service and are past a certain age. He
also recommended severance pay for employees
dismissed.
A number of administrative changes were
suggested to carry out these proposals. James
K. Langan, operations director of the AFL-CIO
Government Employes Council, suggested that
“the Congress lay down a policy that would re­
quire the agencies to have personnel management
work closely with the installation engineers to
reduce to a minimum the adverse effect upon em­
ployees.” Riley recommended “the formation of
a central transfer unit with authority to overcome
resistance of uncooperative agencies.” James
Campbell, president of the American Federation
of Government Employees, called for a transfer
facility in the Civil Service Commission which
would serve as a governmentwide clearinghouse
for reassigning employees and assisting displaced
employees to relocate.
Langan pointed out that Government employees
do not have the same facilities for collective
bargaining as employees in private industry have,
and, consequently, that there is a challenge for
the administration and the Congress to develop
model personnel practices to handle the problem
of automation.
— R ic h ard W . R ich e

and

W il l ia m

E. A l l i

Division of Productivity
and Technological Developments

nU
* U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : I960 0 — 576451