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Frances Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lubin, Comm issioner (on leave)
A. F. Hinrichs, A ctin g Comm issioner

Union Agreements
in the
Airframe Industry, 1944
Prepared by


Bulletin 7S£o. 792
[R ep rin ted from th e M on th ly Labor R e v ie w , A ugu st 1944]

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 5 cents

Letter of Transmittal
U nited States D epartment of L abor,
B ureau of L abor Statistics,

Washington, D. C., August 19, 1944The Secretary of L abor :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of union agreements in the
airframe industry based on an analysis of 26 agreements under which 95 percent
of the workers in the industry are employed.
This report, which appeared in the August 1944 Monthly Labor Review, was
prepared by Everett M. Kassalow under the direction of Florence Peterson,
Chief of the Industrial Relations Division.
A. F. H inrichs, Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F rances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.


Coverage and duration of agreements^----------Union status________________________________
Check-off of dues------ -----— —-----------------------Wage provisions______________________ *-------Incentive plans. ________________________
Minimum and hiring rates______________
Interim wage adjustments---------------------Minimum call pay and recall for overtime
Shift differentials_______________________
Miscellaneous wage provisions----------------Pay for overtime and week-end work_________
Holidays__________________ __________ ______
Paid vacations and sick leave________________
Military service_____________________________
Leave of absence------------------------------------------Health, safety and sanitation-----------------------Seniority rules______________________________
Lay-off and rehiring_________________________
Adjustment of disputes______________________
Strikes and lockouts_________________________






Bulletin 7n[o . 792 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L abob R e v ie w , August 1944]

Union Agreements in the Airframe Industry, 19441
Shortly after the passage of the National Recovery Act the Amer­
ican Federation of Labor chartered a number of local (federal) unions
in the aircraft industry. In October 1934 jurisdiction over aircraft
workers was assigned to the International Association of Machinists
(A. F. of L.). Although that union was able to negotiate agree­
ments covering the Boeing Seattle plant in 1936, and the LoekheedVega, the Consolidated Vultee (San Diego), and the Curtiss-Wright
(St. Louis) plants in 1937, its greatest organizational strides in the
industry have been made in the last few years.
The United Automobile, Aircraft, and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America (C. I. O.), originally established to organize
workers in the automobile industry, specifically amended its jurisdic­
tion in 1937 to take in aircraft workers. In that same year this union
obtained bargaining rights for its members in a few of the large West
Coast plants, but these agreements were not renewed in 1938. In 1939
the U. A. W.~ C. I. O. renewed its Organizational efforts in the aircraft
industry and by 1940 had negotiated agreements covering several
major plants, including those of the Brewster Aeronautical Corpora­
tion, Bell Aircraft (Buffalo), and Consolidated Vultee (Vultee Field,
Calif.). Agreements with additional plants were negotiated subse­
quent to the beginning of the defense production program.
Approximately 65 percent of the workers in the airframe industry
are now covered by union agreements. Another 20 percent of the
industry’s employees work in plants in which unions are recognized
as sole bargaining agents, as a result of victories in National Labor
Relations Board elections, but have not yet negotiated agreements.
Among the large plants which are still unorganized are those of the
Republic Aviation Corporation (Long Island, N. Y., Division) Northrop
Aircraft Inc. (Hawthorne, Calif.), and two divisions of the Douglas
Aircraft Co. (Oklahoma City and Santa Monica).2
Almost all the airframe workers are represented in approximately
equal proportions by the United Automobile Workers (C. I. O.) and
the International Association of Machinists (A. F. of L.). The In­
ternational Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (A. F.
of L.), the United Furniture Workers of America (C. I. O.), and the
United Steelworkers of America (C. I. O.) each represents a small
num ber of workers employed in a few of the industry’s minor plants.
1The airframe industry in this report includes only establishments which in 1939 were engaged in the
manufacture and assembly of complete aircraft, and new plants established in this industry since 1939.
Plants which have been converted to the industry since 1939 are excluded from the study.
2 In a few of these plants, as well as in some others in the industry, craft unions have negotiated agreements
covering certain skilled groups. Among the most important of these are the United Aircraft Welders of
America (independent), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (A. F. of L .), and the Pattern
Makers League of Nortfr America (A. F. of L .). Since the present report deals primarily with the produc­
tion workers, the agreements for these special groups are not included in the discussion.

(1 )

Coverage and Duration o f Agreements

The following discussion is based on an analysis of 26 agreements in
effect in June 1944,3 which cover more than 95 percent of the employ­
ees in the industry who are working under agreement. The analysis
has been supplemented by examination of National War Labor Board
case data involving most of the plants covered by these agreements.
Seventeen of the agreements were originally negotiated for a
1-year period but are automatically renewed from year to year unless a
30- or 60-day notice of intention to change or terminate has been filed
by either party. Nine are in effect for the duration of the war, al­
though a few of these permit termination on 30 days’ notice. More
than half of the agreements state that their terms and conditions are
binding upoii any successors or assignees of the signatory parties.
Certain occupational groups, such as office workers, plant protection
employees, supervisors, and foremen, usually are excluded from the
coverage of the agreements. In addition, a few agreements exclude
maintenance and skilled craft workers such as welders and electricians.
Union Status

In addition to granting sole bargaining recognition, most of the
26 agreements furnish additional protection to the union through some
form of union security.
Union membership is required as a condition of employment, under
the Boeing (Seattle), Brewster, Fleetwings, and Ford Willow Run
Bomber agreements. These cover almost one-fifth of the workers
under the 26 agreements. The Boeing and Brewster agreements also
provide for preference in hiring to union members; the other two leave
control over hiring entirely to the employer.
8 The plants covered in this report, and the unions with which the agreements have been made, are listed
Beech Aircraft Corporation, Wichita, Kans........International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
Bell Aircraft Corporation, Buffalo, N . Y .............United Automobile Workers, C. I. O.
Boeing Aircraft Corporation:
Wichita, Kans............................................. .
International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
Seattle, W ash..........................................................
Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, Long United Automobile Workers, C. I. O.
Island City, N. Y ., and Johnsville, Pa.
Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita. Kans......................International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation:
Vultee Field, Calif............................................ United Automobile Workers, C. I. O.
San Diego, Calif................................................. International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
Nashville, T enn........................................
Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Airplane Division:
Louisville, K y .........................................................
D o.
St. Louis, M o__......................................................
D o.
Buffalo, N . Y ..........................................................
Columbus, Ohio................................................. United Automobile Workers, O. I. 0 .
Fairchild Engine &
Airplane Corporation,
Hagerstown, M d.
Fleetwings Incorporated, Bristol, Pa.......................
Ford M otor Co., W illow Run Bomber Plant,
D o.
Ypsilanti, Mich.
General Motors Corporation, Fisher B ody
Bomber Plant No. 2, Cleveland, Ohio.
Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Akron, O h io._ .
D o.
Lock heed-Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
M cDonnell Aircraft Corporation, St. Louis,
M o.
N orth American Aviation, Inc.:
Inglewood, Calif.................................................United Automobile Workers, C. I. O.
Kansas City, Kans., and Dallas, T ex ............
D o.
Republic Aviation Corporation, Evansville,
D o.
R yan Aeronautical Co., San Diego, Calif............
D o.
Spartan Aircraft Co., Tulsa, Okla.........................International Association of Machinists, A . F. of L.
United Aircraft Corporation, Chance-Vought United Automobile Workers, C. I. O.
Aircraft Division, Stratford, Conn.

Maintenance-of-membership clauses are included in 14 agreements,
in most cases as a result of a National War Labor Board order. The
maintenance-of-membership clauses cover more than half of the
workers, including those at the North American plants, the CurtissWright plants at Buffalo and St. Louis, the Boeing plant at Wichita,
Beech Aircraft, Bell Aircraft, Goodyear, and the Chance-Vought
Aircraft Division. Four of the fourteen require the company to fur­
nish new employees copies of the agreement. At Beech and Boeing
(Wichita) the company supplies the union desk space in the personnel
department for the purpose of serving the membership and “ handling
the affairs of the union.” At Beech Aircraft the union is permitted to
“ interview all new employees who are included in the standard union
classification” ; the union, in turn, agrees to “ inform each employee
who is interviewed, at some time during the interview, that the matter
of union membership is optional.”
One agreement with McDonnell Aircraft requires the company to
give preference to union members in hiring and to furnish a copy of
the agreement to all newly hired employees. The remaining 8
agreements, including the Curtiss-Wright plants at Louisville and
Columbus, the three Consolidated Vultee plants, and Lockheed,
make no reference to union membership as a condition of employ­
ment. The Lockheed agreement stipulates that the company is to
supply copies of the agreement to new employees and to urge them
to “ give due consideration to membership in the union.” The
Consolidated Vultee San Diego agreement provides that all persons
newly employed by the company “ who are eligible for membership
in the union shall be given by a company representative before
beginning work a copy of this agreement, a company rule book, and
a union membership application to which is attached a dues deduc­
tion order * * * which membership and order the company
hereby recommends.”
Union activity or solicitation of members on compafiy time is
specifically prohibited in about half of the agreements. The Beech
agreement, however, permits such activities by union members during
their “ free time,” as long as they “ do not interfere with the efficiency
of the employees” whom they address. Nearly all the agreements
grant the union the right to the use of a bulletin board within the plant,
for posting notices, but such notices are generally subject to the
management’s approval before posting.
Check-Off o f Dues

Eighteen agreements include some form of check-off of union dues
by the company; however, only 5 of these provide for an automatic
dues check-off for all members of the union, while the remaining 13
permit check-off after individual employees authorize deductions from
their pay for union dues. Of the 5 agreements which establish an
automatic check-off, 2 are with plants which operate under unionshop clauses and the other 3 cover plants where maintenance of
membership is in effect.
Seven of the thirteen agreements which permit voluntary deduc­
tions of dues contain maintenance-of-membership clauses, 5 merely
recognize the union as the sole bargaining agent, and 1 establishes a
union shop. The Boeing Seattle agreement, in addition to providing
for a voluntary check-off of union dues, states that the union’s shop
committee “ shall check all employees’ union books on the job between
the 5th and the 10th of each month.”

W age P rovision s 4

Largely as the result of the influence of the National War Labor
Board, most of the organized plants in the airframe industry now
operate under the so-called 10-labor-grade wage system. Under
this system 10 basic labor grades are established, with minimum and
maximum rates for each of the grades. All jobs are classified on
the basis of a job-evaluation system, the factor of skill carrying
the greatest weight in the evaluation. After a job is evaluated it is
placed in its proper labor grade; thus, jobs of least skill are placed
in labor grade X , which carries the lowest rates, while those involving
the greatest training and skill are classified in labor grade I. Jobs
of intermediate skill are graded anywhere from II to IX , depending
upon their evaluation.5
Minimum and maximum rates are established for each labor grade,
and a worker who starts at the minimum of a given labor grade may
receive increases which will bring him to the maximum of that grade.
Under the Southern California plan, which governs all of the major
assembly plants in California, such increases from the minimum to the
maximum of the labor grade are not automatic but are granted as a
reward for individual merit. At the Consolidated Vultee San Diego
plant a union-management committee reviews each employee’s
record every 6 months, to determine his eligibility for a merit increase.
The other California agreements also require management to con­
duct such reviews periodically, but limit the union’s participation
to the right of appealing the company’s decisions to the grievance
machinery. Some of the agreements covering airframe plants outside
of California, including the four Curtiss-Wright plants as well as
Cessna Aircraft, provide for automatic progression from the minimum
to the maximum of a labor grade with 5-cent increases every 3 months
until the grade maximum is reached.
Although most of the plants have adopted the 10-labor-grade system,
the rates established for each of the grades and the grades assigned
to individual jobs may vary from plant to plant. Under the Southern
California plan, as well as in some other plants, most jobs are divided
into A, B, and C classes, depending upon the degree of skill and
responsibility required, with the classes assigned to the various labor
grades. (The A job receives the top rate, B the intermediate, and
C the lowest rate.) In an effort to bring about standardization in
the California aircraft plants, the National War Labor Board ordered
all plants to adopt the same rates for each of the 10 labor grades and
appointed a West Coast Aircraft Committee to assist the companies
and unions in administering the plan. Under this arrangement,
any new job not covered by the plan is “ by collective bargaining * * *
classified, evaluated, and assigned to the appropriate labor grade * * *
provided, however, that in the event of failure of collective bargaining
the West Coast Aircraft Committee shall make all necessary deter­
< For a more detailed discussion of wages in the metal airframe industry, including nonunion plants, see
M onthly Labor Review, M a y 1944 (p. 1050).
5 For a description of the mechanics of the 10-labor-grade system, see U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bulletin N o. 746: Wage Stabilization in California Airframe Industry, 1943.

mination.” 6 The Southern California rates and job evaluation
system have been extended by the National War Labor Board to
several midcontinent airframe plants, including the North American
Co. (Kansas City^and Dallas) and the Consolidated Yultee Nashville
In some cases the 10-labor-grade system has been somewhat mod­
ified in its adoption at individual plants. The Boeing agreement,
for example, establishes 10 labor grades, but establishes one flat rate
which serves as both maximum and minimum for each labor grade,
i. e., 10 rates in all with no range within each grade. •
Safeguards against wage cuts.—Because of the numerous techno­
logical changes occurring in aircraft production, clauses protecting
the earnings of workers whose jobs are affected by such changes have
assumed special importance. The Brewster agreement guards against
reductions in established classifications by providing that, “ there
shall be no reduction in rates of pay for established classifications or
grades of classifications during the term of this agreement except as
mutually agreed upon.”
The National War Labor Board directive order in the Southern
California Aircraft case stated that in no case was the introduction
of the job-classification system to “ operate to cause a decrease in
the hourly wage rate of any employee.” This provision would protect
the rates of workers employed at the time the directive order was
issued, even though some jobs might be classified at a lower rate
after the SCAI plan went into effect. New employees hired for
these same jobs would receive the rates established under the jobclassification system.
Lead men.— Special wage differentials for “lead men” are estab­
lished by a number of these agreements and, although the others
make no reference to such differentials, they are known to be actually
in effect in most of these plants.7 Of the 12 for which these rates are
available, 5 allow any lead man at least 5 cents per hour more than
• National War Labor Board decision in Southern California airframe case, March 3,1943, National War
Labor Board release B467. The rates set for the different labor grades under the Southern California plan
are as follows:

Minimum Maximum



X ___
I X ...
V I I ..
V I.
I V ...
I .......







The board added that, "having due regard for the processes of collective bargaining, an employer may
establish specialist rates for exceptionally qualified * * * employees in labor grade I, II, III, and IV as follows:
Grade I, not to exceed $1.60 per hour; grade II, not to exceed $1.45 per hour; grade III. not to exceed $1.35 per
hour; grade IV , not to exceed $1.30 per hour. Provided, however, that in any plant the number of employees
receiving such specialist rates shall not exceed 10 percent of the employees in any labor grade for which such
a specialist rate may be fixed.”
7 The West Coast Aircraft Committee of the National War Labor Board has issued the following uniform
job description for lead men in the California plants: “ This occupation requires the transmitting of super­
vision orders and work instructions to a group of not more than 20 workers * * * engaged in an occu­
pation, craft, trade, or closely related operations; working with the group to see that work is properly done.
* * * (Lead men shall not pass upon wages, employment, or discharge of employees.) * * * The
operations consist of giving immediate direction as to work or machine operations, work methods, and shop
or office practices, and machine or work set-ups for lay-outs for demonstration purposes, seeing that given
personnel, machines, tools, and equipment are properly utilized for work at hand, imparting current or
new trade, craft, or occupational knowledge to workers, giving necessary guidance to employees, and per­
forming work similar to that assigned to the group for a major portion of time. Similar work shall be
construed to include time spent in guidance of employees on the job or in performing work demonstrations”
(W est Coast Aircraft Committee, Order N o. 54, N ov. 5, 1943).

the highest-paid employee in the group he leads, 2 set this differential
at 6 cents, 1 at 8 cents, and the other 4 fix a 10-cent differential.8

Only 3 of the 26 agreements refer to incentive systems. The
Chance-Vought Aircraft Division and the Beech Aircraft Corporation
agreements provide plant-wide incentive systems which cover both
production and nonproduction personnel. Both plans are based on
the entire plant output for a given period (1 month in Chance-Vought,
3 months in Beech Aircraft), with workers’ earnings rising and falling
in proportion to increases or decreases in output during the specified
periods. The Beech plan, which is an outgrowth of an earlier profitsharing system, also includes a rather unique up-grading system:
merit increases within job classifications are dependent on an em­
ployee’s performance in 2 examinations, one written and one a per­
formance test, jointly prepared and administered by management and
union. The other agreement which refers to an incentive system
indicates that certain groups of production employees in the plantwork on an incentive basis, but does not state the nature of this

Information on plant-wide minimum wage rates is available for all
but four of the plants included in the report. While these minimum
hourly rates range from 75 cents to 82% cents, 13, including all the
California plants, provide a plant minimum rate of 75 cents.
All but 1 of the 22 agreements which provide plant minimum
rates include hiring rates for new, inexperienced workers below the
general minimum scale. In 17 the difference between hiring and
minimum rates is 15 cents, and in 5 this difference is 10 cents. All
of the agreements which contain special hiring rates provide that
new employees ace to be advanced to the plant minimum by means
of successive, automatic increases within a specified period (usually
3 months); in most of them the employee is advanced 5 cents each
month until he reaches the plant minimum.

Ten agreements specifically permit reconsideration of the general
wage scale during the life of the agreement. Most of these allow
reconsideration of wages only at specified intervals (usually every
6 months), although 2 which are in effect for the duration permit the
wage question to be reopened on 30 days’ notice by either party.
The wage question may be reopened in the event of a “ major change”
in the present wage-stabilization program, under a few additional
8 A recent directive order of the West Coast Aircraft Committee established the following rates for lead
men: “ The minimum rate of pay shall be equal to the maximum of the ‘A ’ job grade of the highest occupa­
tion of any employee who remains within the group led for not less than a major portion of a given pay
period. The maximum rate of pay shall be 10 cents above the maximum rate of the ‘ A* job grade of the
highest occupation of any employee who remains within the group led for not less than a major portion of a
given pay period. Provided, however, that in no case shall lead men receive less than 90 cents per hour
or less than the minimum provided b y contract, whichever is higher. ♦ * * T he methods of progression
within the rate range herein established shall be the merit increase system currently used in each of the
companies. * * * There shall be no reduction in pay for any person now performing the duties of lead
men b y reason of the application of this order” (West Coast Aircraft Committee, General Order N o. 74,
June 13, 1944).

When changes in production requiring new rates or classifications
are introduced, most of the agreements require the management to
consult with the union before putting into effect any new rates or
changing the old ones. A few state that if the parties cannot agree
on a new rate the management may establish a temporary rate
pending final settlement by the National War Labor Board, with
any upward adjustment ordered by the Board to be retroactive.

All but one of these agreements require payment of a minimum
amount to employees who report at their regular time but are not
employed for a full shift. Nineteen guarantee a minimum of 4 hours’
reporting pay, three of the others guarantee 3 hours, and two pro­
vide only 2 hours’ reporting pay. The Boeing agreement provides
that any employee required to report for work is to receive pay for
the number of hours he is regularly scheduled to work.
Although not specified, the same minimum call pay probably
applies to work outside regular hours in most plants, and more than
half of the agreements specifically provide such guaranties for workers
who are recalled after their regular shifts. A few of the agreements
establish overtime rates for such “ recall” work.

All of these agreements allow wage differentials for night work
and a majority of the workers are allowed 8 hours’ pay for less than
8 hours’ work on the third shift. One-third of the workers under
these provisions are also entitled to an hourly bonus of 6 cents for
both second and third shifts. Most agreements do not explain
whether shifts are fixed or rotated. One agreement permits the
rotation of custodial employees, while two others state that the
question of shift rotation is to be worked out jointly by management
and union. Some of the agreements specify that the management
is to notify the union in advance before changing the ..starting time
of any shift.
The proportions of workers under agreements providing differ­
entials for the various shifts are shown in the following table:
W age Differentials fo r Night Work in Union Agreem ents in the Airfram e Industry
Differential paid for—

Proportion of workers co v e r e d b y

Second shift

1 percent..................... 6 percent per hour____

Third shift
6 percent per hour.

9 percent..................... 6 cents per hour______ 5 cents per hour.
7 percent _ _
____ d o ________________ 10 cents per hour.
1 percent.....................
1 percent....................
3 percent.....................
6 percent.....................

Rpercent ___ _

33 percent...................
1 percent.....................
2 percent....................
7 percent.....................
18 percent........ ..........

A percent. ........ _ ....

8 cents per hour............
10 cents per hour..........
9 cents per hour............
5 cents per hour............
. _ do_________ ___
6 cents per hour............
7 cents per hour............
7H cents per hour........
8 cents per hour............
10 cents per hour..........
____ d o _______________


11 cents per hour.
10 cents per hour.

9 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 7H hours' work.

8 hoursr pay for w i hours’ work.
5 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.
6 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6U hours’ work.
5 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.
cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.
8 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.
5 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.
10 cents per hour, plus 8 hours’ pay for 6H hours’ work.


Equal pay fo r equal work— Most of the agreements expressly prohibit
different rates for women performing the same work as men and none of
the 26 refers to special rates for women.
Transfer rates.—Most of the agreements do not refer to transfer
rates. Under the terms of five agreements, workers temporarily
transferred to lower-paid positions receive their regular rate unless
such a transfer is to avoid lay-off for lack of work in the employee’s
regular position. Four of the five indicate that if employees are
temporarily transferred to higher positions, the higher rate is to pre­
vail; but two qualify the application of the higher rate by requiring an
employee to be on the higher-paying job at least 4 hours before the
new rate becomes effective, while a third requires at least 3 days on the
new job before receiving the higher rate.
Injured employees.—Employees who are injured on the job and sent
home because of such injuries receive pay at their regular hourly rate
for the remainder of the shift on which the injury occurred, under
9 agreements.
P a y fo r Overtime and W eek-E nd Work

Overtime pay for all work in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours
per week, at time and a half, is provided for production workers in all
the agreements and for maintenance workers in nearly all.9 Most of
the agreements which provide 8 hours’ pay for 6% hours’ work on the
third shift also state that workers on this shift are to receive overtime
after 6% hours’ work per day or 32% hours’ per week. Two-thirds
of the agreements require the management to distribute overtime
equally among employees affected.
In accordance with Executive Order No. 9240, all but two of the
agreements (these exceptions were negotiated before the order was
issued) provide for time and a half for the sixth day and double time
for the seventh day worked in a workweek, while prohibiting any
premium pay for Saturday and Sunday as such.10 In about half of
these agreements this prohibition on week-end premium pay is limited
to the war emergency, with some specifically providing for the restora­
tion of Sunday and Saturday penalty rates (generally time and a half
for Saturday and double time for Sunday) after the war, while others
merely call for renegotiation of this issue m the post-war period.
H olidays

Six agreements, covering more than one-fourth of the workers under
the 26 agreements, and including those at Lockheed-Vega, Brewster,
Beech, Cessna, McDonnell, and the Boeing Wichita plant, provide
pay for holidays not worked. Four of the six require payment for six
specified holidays, while the Beech and Cessna agreements limit such
pay to four designated holidays per year. Two of the six agreements
stipulate that when an employee is scheduled to w^ork on a holiday
9 Under the Fair Labor Standards Act maintenance workers would have to be paid time and a half after
40 hours per week but not after 8 hours per day. Under the Walsh-Healey P ublic Contracts A ct all
employees are paid time and a half after 8 hours per day.
“ On all work relating to the prosecution of the war” Executive Order N o. 9240 prohibits premium pay
for Saturday and Sunday work as such, and makes the payment of double time for the seventh consecutive
day of a regularly scheduled workweek mandatory.

but fails to appear, he shall receive no compensation for this day.
The Fairchild agreement permits 8 holidays with pay in peacetime,
but none in wartime.
Twenty-one agreements conform to the Government provision that
time and a half be paid for work performed on six designated holidays,
although several of these provide for a return to double-time rates for
holiday work at the cessation of hostilities. The remaining five
agreements establish double-time rates for holiday work but have
been superseded by Executive Order No. 9240.11
P aid Vacations and Sick Leave

Paid vacations for workers who meet specified service qualifications
are found in all the agreements. Twenty-two grant 1 week's vacation
with pay after 1 year of service. Although 7 of the 22 have only this
single vacation provision, the other 15 provide increased vacation al­
lowances for workers with longer service. The Brewster and Fairchild
plans permit 2 weeks' paid vacation after 2 years' service; the Lock­
heed, Goodyear, Ford, and 3 others allow 2 weeks' paid vacation with
pay for workers with 5 years' service. The 4 Curtiss-Wright agree­
ments and 3 others grant an additional day, beyond the 1 week, for
each additional year of service up to a maximum of 10 days after 6
years of service.
More than half of the 15 agreements which provide for graduated
vacation schedules also grant smaller vacation allowances for workers
with less than a year of service; these generally require a minimum of 6
months' service, after which a worker becomes eligible for vacation
benefits prorated according to number of months worked.
The Boeing Seattle agreement establishes a somewhat unusual
vacation practice, under which each employee is to “ earn and accu­
mulate a vacation allowance of 1 work hour for each 22 hours worked"
every year, with “ work hours used by the employee as vacation with
pay * * * deemed to have been hours worked." Workers in the
three Consolidated Vultee plants who have completed a year or more
of service are entitled to 96 hours of vacation or sick leave annually ,
to be taken as the employee may elect.
Vacation pay is generally calculated on the basis of a 40-hour week,
although six agreements base this pay on a 48- and one on a 45-hour
week; three of these, however, limit such pay to periods when the
company is operating on a 6-day week.
Compensatory pay in lieu of vacations is permitted in about half
the agreements, in most cases at the discretion of the company.
The Chance-Vought agreement specifies that if “ there is a scheduled
vacation general shut-down period, an employee eligible for a vaca­
tion shall be paid, in addition to his vacation wage, time and one-half
for all hours he may be required to work during the first week of
such scheduled vacation" and straight time for all hours he may be
required to work on any additional scheduled vacation days.
Sick leave.— Provisions establishing paid sick leave are included in 10
agreements covering almost half of the workers under the 26 agree­
ments. Five of the ten, covering the Ryan, Lockheed-Vega, Republic,
11 Executive Order N o. 9240 requires the payment of time and a half on N ew Year's D ay, Fourth of July,
Labor D ay, Thanksgiving D ay, and Christmas D a y and either M em orialDay or one other holiday of greater
local importance, and prohibits premium pay for any other holiday.

Brewster, and Spartan plants, allow 5 days’ sick leave with pay each
year for workers with 1 year of service. The North American agree­
ments grant 56 hours of paid sick leave annually for workers with 1
year’s service; these agreements further specify that workers are to
be compensated for unused sick leave. As previously indicated, the
3 Consolidated Vultee agreements provide 96 hours of combined paid
sick leave and vacation leave for employees with 1 year of service.
M ilita ry Service

Keemployment and seniority rights of employees who volunteer or
are drafted for military service are referred to in most of these agree­
ments. A majority follow the Selective Service Act by providing that
any employee who is honorably discharged is to berestored to his former
position, or one of similar status and pay, with no loss in seniority,
if he reports to work within a specified period. Some of the agree­
ments limit this period to the 40 days granted under the act, but most
of them allow a longer period, and a few permit an extension if the
returning serviceman is suffering from illness or injury. Twenty
agreements specifically provide for accumulation of seniority during
military leave.
If the discharged employee is not able to perform his regular duties,
owing to any sickness or injury incurred during his service, the
Brewster agreement states that he is to be reinstated to any position
which he can fill, and when and if he recovers, he is to be returned ta
his regular job. A few other agreements grant similar rights to dis­
charged servicemen who are disabled, if their seniority entitles them
to other positions they can perform.
Under three of the Curtiss-Wright agreements, the wives and sisters
of Curtiss-Wright workers entering the armed forces are given pref­
erence in employment if they are qualified for available work. The
Consolidated Vultee Downey (Calif.) agreement accords similar
preference to the next of kin of any head of the family who leaves the
plant to enter military service.
In most of the agreements the company is specifically required to
pay earned vacation bonuses to employees entering mintary service,
and a special supplementary bonus is provided under five agreements.
Three of the five, covering the North American plants and the ChanceVought Aircraft Division, state that any employee with 1 year’s
service is to receive 80 hours’ pay upon entering military service.
The Chance-Vought agreement further provides a military severance
bonus of 40 hours’ pay for workers with from 6 to 12 months’ service.
The Spartan Aircraft agreement requires the company to pay 2% days’
pay to employees with 6 to 12 months’ service, who enter the armed
forces, and 5 days’ pay for those with a year or more of service. All
workers under the Brewster agreement receive a “ severance allow­
ance” of $50 upon entering military service.
Leave o f Absence

Leaves of absence without pay, for personal reasons such as illness,
settlement of an estate, jury duty, etc., are permitted in 19 of these
agreements. Most of them limit such leave to 90 days or less (gener­
ally a longer period is granted for sick leave) and state that workers

shall accumulate seniority during their absence. Seven additional
agreements allow such leave only for personal illness.
AH of the agreements permit workers to take leave of absence for
union business, and most of them establish no time limit for this leave.
Cumulative seniority for employees on leave for union business is pro­
vided for in 20 agreements; in the others, seniority status is not clear.



Health Safety and Sanitation

Clauses relating to health, safety, and sanitation are contained
in most of the agreements. Generally they consist of pledges by the
employer to make provisions for the employees’ safety and health
at the plant by installing adequate safety devices, etc. More than
half of the agreements provide for union participation in the adminis­
tration of the plant health and safety rules by means of a special safety
committee on which both union and management are represented.
The Republic Aviation and the Boeing Wichita plant agreements
specifically provide two rest periods for each shift, and two others also
make reference to rest periods which are said to be in effect, without
indicating the exact number of periods.
Seniority Rules

Seniority rights acquired after serving specified probationary peri­
ods are provided in all the agreements. Probationary periods vary
from 30 days to 6 months, but the majority require either 12 weeks or
3 months. Workers hired as “ beginners” at the Ryan Aeronautical
plant serve a 12-week probationary period; new employees “ not hired
as beginners” obtain seniority rights after 30 days. Seniority rights
once acquired apply to lay-offs, rehiring, and promotions. In addition
senior employees have first choice of shifts and vacations in almost
half the agreements, including most of the larger plants.
Only three agreements fail to define the unit in which seniority
applies. Department or plant-wide seniority is most frequently
specified, in about equal proportions, although a few agreements
make provision for occupational or “ occupational-code” seniority.
Where departmental seniority is in effect, the agreements frequently
allow workers who are laid off on the basis of seniority in the given
department to qualify for work in other departments where the sen­
iority list has been exhausted; their status in the new department is
usually of a temporary nature and they are returned to their regular
departments when work is available there.
Five agreements which provide department seniority specifically
indicate an employee’s seniority status on transfer to another depart­
ment. In two agreements the employee retains his standing in his
old department, and his seniority in the new department dates from
the time of transfer. In two others an employee transferred at his
own request retains seniority in his old department for 6 months, after
which all his seniority is carried over to the new department; if an
employee is transferred at the request of the company all his sen­
iority is immediately carried to the new department. In the fifth
agreement transferred employees carry all their seniority to the new
department after 6 months.

Under 11 agreements employees transferred to other plants of the
same company not covered by the same agreement, retain and accu­
mulate seniority at their old plants.
Loss of seniority,— The conditions under which seniority rights are
lost are described in detail in almost all the agreements. Most com­
monly seniority is retained during periods of enforced lay-offs; how­
ever, this period is generally limited to a specified length of time—
usually 2 years— after which seniority rights are lost. A few agree­
ments require laid-off employees to notify the company periodically
of their desire to be retained on the seniority list.
In addition to conditions arising from lay-offs, other grounds for loss
of seniority mentioned include failure to report within a specified
time (from a few days to a few weeks) when recalled by the company,
absence for 3 days without notifying the company, engaging in out­
side employment while on leave of absence, and inability of the com­
pany to find the worker when desiring to recall him to work.
L a y-O ff and Rehiring

In selecting workers for lay-off and rehiring, seniority is the determin­
ing factor in all but a few agreements. The few agreements which do
not make seniority the determining factor in lay-offs indicate that it is
to be given consideration along with ability, efficiency and similar
When lay-offs occur and more than one type of work is included in
the plant or department unit to which seniority applies, longer-service
employees may displace shorter-service employees, provided, as ex­
pressed in one agreement, the “ employees with seniority * * *
are qualified and willing to do the work of employees displaced.” In
one case “ if a reasonable doubt exists” as to the ability of the senior
employee to perform the job of the worker he displaces, “ he shall be
given not to exceed 5 days in which to demonstrate that he will be able
and competent to perform such work efficiently within a reasonable
time.” Another agreement refers to a “ reasonable breaking-in period”
for senior employees.
Special arrangements to cover temporary lay-offs (usually not to
exceed 10 days), caused by machinery break-down or shortage of
material, are found in a few agreements. In these cases the company
distributes the lay-offs among the workers immediately involved,
instead of following the seniority rules prescribed by the agreement for
“ regular” or extended lay-offs.
If operations or departments are transferred from one plant of the
company to another, the Goodyear agreement states that “ employees
engaged in such operations or employed in such departments, who are
out of work as a result of the transfer, may if they so desire be trans­
ferred to the other plant and carry their ranking for seniority to the
other plant.” Ten agreements, including Brewster, two CurtissWright plants (Buffalo and St. Louis), Goodyear, and Ford, protect
employees whose occupations or departments are completely discon­
tinued as a result of changes in production methods, policies or prod­
ucts by permitting them to exercise their seniority on a plant-wide
basis, by “ bumping” junior employees.
Lay-off notice,—Advance notice of lay-offs to employees or to the
union, or to both, is required in about tmee-fourths of the agreements,

although most of these do not require the company to give notice if
the lay-off is only of a temporary nature. In most cases the length
of this notice is either 2 or 3 days. Pay in lieu of notice is specified in
two Curtiss-Wright (Buffalo and Columbus) agreements and in four
Work sharing.—Reference to work sharing is found in five agree­
ments. Three state that if lay-off of regular employees become neces­
sary, work will be shared until the hours are reduced to 32 per week.
Under one North American agreement (covering the Kansas City and
Dallas plants) work sharing is permitted, down to a week of 32 hours,
for a temporary period not to exceed 4 weeks; if at the end of this period
“ the production schedule has not been revised up to a point where it
is possible to maintain a 40-hour workweek, further lay-offs” are to
be made on the basis of seniority. At Bell Aircraft, when there is
prospect “ of a severe reduction of the working force, requiring a lay-off
of individuals with seniority, it is mutually agreed that the company
and the union will jointly discuss the problem at the time of such lay­
off, with reference to the length of such workweek and schedule of
Lay-off of union stewards.—Eighteen agreements place union stewards
at the head of the company seniority list, so far as lay-offs are concerned.
Most of these also accord similar preference to officials of the local
union who are employed in the plant.
Prom otions

The method of promotion and of filling vacancies is outlined in 24
agreements. In most of these seniority is considered along with other
factors such as ability, skill and competence, and when these qualifica­
tions are approximately equal, seniority is then made the determining
factor. In seven agreements, including Brewster, Boeing (Seattle),
Lockheed, Beech,Fleetwings, and two Consolidated Vultee plants (Vultee
Field and Nashville), seniority governs promotions where the senior
man is capable of filling the position, but several provide a trial period
on the new job as a test for promotion.
Supervisory force.— Only six agreements require the management
to give consideration to seniority in making promotions to supervisory
positions. Under the agreements covering two of the Consolidated
Vultee plants (Nashville and Vultee Field) and the Brewster Aeronau­
tical Corporation, the management is to fill vacancies among the
supervisory staff by selecting eligible senior employees from the regular
working force; however, a senior employee who is promoted to a super­
visory job must undergo a trial period. Two others state that man­
agement is to give “ due consideration” to seniority in filling such
positions. In the sixth agreement promotions to supervisory positions
are “ based on departmental seniority, when, in the company’s sole
judgment and opinion, the efficiency, ability to perform the work
and other personal qualifications of the senior employee are equal
to the junior employee considered for the job.”
About half the agreements include clauses protecting the seniority
rights of workers promoted to the supervisory force. These clauses
generally state that* workers advanced to supervisory positions
accumulate seniority which they may apply to their old jobs in the
event of lay-off or demotion.

Adjustm ent o f D isputes

All but 1 of the 26 agreements establish formal machinery for the
adjustment of disputes, and 21 provide for their final settlement
through arbitration. In most of the agreements the word “ grievance”
is defined only in general terms, with the provision that any dispute
arising out of the interpretation or application of the agreement may
be submitted to the grievance machinery.
Grievance machinery.— Fifteen agreements grant the employee the
option of presenting grievances to the foreman alone or of being
accompanied or represented by his shop steward or other designated
union official. An employee must consult with his foreman before
taking his grievance to the union under three agreements; in three
others the union steward alone presents grievances to the foreman,
and four specify that an aggrieved employee must accompany his
union representative when presenting a grievance to his foreman.
If grievances are not adjusted satisfactorily with the foreman, the
agreements generally permit the chief steward and then the plant
grievance committee to discuss the grievance with higher company
officials. If the plant grievance committee and management repre­
sentatives fail to settle the dispute, the union may usually call upon
an outside representative, frequently an official or employee of the
International union, who attempts to adjust the difference in con­
ference with top representatives of the company.
To avoid prolonged delay in the disposition of disputes, more than
two-thirds of the agreements impose time limits on the operation of
the grievance machinery and many provide for frequent (usually
weekly) regular meetings between the plant grievance committee and
Payment for time spent in adjusting grievances.— Shop stewards
receive pay for all time spent in adjusting grievances during working
hours under a large majority of the agreements, but most of these
state that union and management will cooperate to keep this time
down to a minimum. Generally, too, these agreements state that
the steward must receive permission from his foreman before leaving
his job to adjust a grievance.
Several additional agreements provide such compensation only for
a specified length of time each day (from half an hour to 5 hours,
varying with the individual agreement), after which the company is
not required to pay the steward for time lost from work. (It has not
been possible to determine whether or not stewards are compensated
for time spent in adjusting grievances under a few of the 26 agreements,
but none specifically says that grievance work shall be done entirely
on the employee’s own time.)
Thirteen of the twenty agreements which provide for regular griev­
ance meetings indicated that such meetings are to be held during
regular working hours, with shop stewards being paid for time spent
in attendance at them. One of the thirteen limits this compensation
to 4 hours’ pay, another sets a maximum of 3 hours’ pay for regular
meetings, but the other eleven establish no such limits.
A few of the agreements which compensate stewards for all time
lost from work in adjusting grievances include additional pay clauses
covering other aspects of union adjustment activity. The Ford
Willow Run agreement states that the union’s building chairman
“ shall devote his full time to his duties as such.” This chairman is

to receive the same wage he was earning on the job he held prior to
assuming the chairmanship, and he is also granted “ the benefit of any
raises which may thereafter be given to those employed on such jobs.”
The Fairchild agreement provides that “ second and third shift * * *
grievances which are unsettled shall be taken up on the day shift with
the superintendent. The committeemen on the second and third
shift, as the case may be, shall participate in the conference and shall
be allowed up to an additional hour with pay on the day shift to dis­
pose of the grievance.” Under the Brewster agreement, members
of the contract negotiating committee are compensated for time
lost from work which is “ spent by them in negotiating the agreement
with the company.”

When negotiations between the highest union and company offi­
cials fail to result in a settlement, arbitration by an impartial individual
or agency is provided in 21 agreements including about three-fourths
of the workers covered by all the agreements. All of these stipulate
that unsettled disputes arising under the terms of the agreements are
to be submitted to arbitration at the request of either party; however,
8 agreements, including the four Curtiss-Wright plants, explicitly
exclude general wage changes from arbitration. Most of the agree­
ments which include maintenance-of-membership clauses state that
any dispute arising under this particular provision not settled under
the grievance machinery is to be referred to an arbitrator appointed
by the National War Labor Board.
Among the five agreements which fail to provide for arbitration is
one covering the Lockheed plant, the parties to which resort to the
services of the U. S. Department of Labor Conciliation Service if
they cannot settle a dispute through the regular grievance machinery.12
Another of the five, Chance-Vought, states that grievances not
settled under the established machinery are to be “ referred to the
National War Labor Board for its determination.”
Of the agreements which provide for arbitration, 14 state that the
arbitrator or arbitration board is to be chosen at the time of the dis­
pute. Most of these provide for a 3-man arbitration board composed
of 1 member chosen by each of the parties, with the 2 so selected to
choose a third arbitrator. In the event of failure of the parties to
agree on the selection of a third man, the agreements generally refer
this choice to a designated public agency. The agencies most fre­
quently named are the U. S. Conciliation Service and the National
War Labor Board.
The Ryan Aeronautical agreement has a somewhat unusual arbi­
tration procedure: although a conciliator of the U. S. Department of
Labor is established as an umpire to whom the parties submit their
unsettled disputes, either party may appeal his decision to. a fiveman arbitration board composed of two representatives from each
side, with the fifth man to be chosen with the assistance of the pre­
siding judge of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of
Six agreements provide for a permanent referee, selected and com>ensated by both parties, to whom unsettled grievances are referred
or final decision.


« In July 1944, the union negotiating committee and the management of Lockheed-Vega agreed upon
new contract which, among other things, includes a provision for arbitration.



Although the large majority of agreements state that workers may
be discharged for “ just” or “ proper” cause, a few include detailed
lists of reasons justifying discharges. Typical of those giving specific
causes is the Cessna agreement, which states that workers may be dis­
charged for “ insubordination, intoxication, or being under the influ­
ence of intoxicating liquor while on duty, gross inefficiency, breach of
trust, including commission or concealment of errors, sabotage, and
excessive absences.”
Appeal of discharges is specifically provided in 20 agreements, and
under the other 6 it can be assumed that discharge cases may be sub­
mitted to the regular grievance machinery. The union is expressly
granted the right to submit the cases of discharged workers under
the regular grievance procedure in 16 agreements, and some specify
that if the employee’s discharge is found to be unjust, he is to be rein­
stated with compensation for time lost. Five of the sixteen permit
the discharged employee to present his case to his union committee­
man before leaving the plant. Discharge complaints must be pre­
sented to the company within a few days after an employee’s discharge
and are to be disposed of within a specified period unless, as is provided
in some cases, management and union cannot reach an agreement and
decide to submit the case to arbitration.
Four additional agreements, covering the Beech, Bell, Brewster,
and Fairchild plants, provide that before any employee may be dis­
charged the company must give advance notice to the union. The
Beech agreement denies this right of advance notice in cases of flagrant
violation of company rules (as intoxication or breach of trust); but
in the event such notice of dismissal or suspension is given “ the em­
ployees shall have the right to immediately, and must within 3 days,
demand in writing an investigation. Prior to the time of the investi­
gation, the employee and the union committee shall be advised of the
charges against mm and he shall be given an opportunity to obtain
the presence of witnesses, if desired. * * * All investigations
shall be held during regular working hours when possible and without
loss of time to the employee or his committee.”
The Brewster agreement requires “ mutual agreement between man­
agement and the shop committee for the effectuation” of any dis­
charge. If the parties fail to agree, the employee is suspended while
the case is submitted to arbitration. If the arbitrator upholds the
employee, he is reinstated with back pay to cover the period of his
suspension. In the event that the arbitrator fails to make a decision
within 2 weeks from the date of suspension, the employee is to be
reinstated, “ and shall remain on the pay roll until the determination
of the arbitrator is rendered.”
Under the Fairchild agreement the company is to give 24 hours’
written notice to the union plant committee before discharging any
employee “ for cause,” unless circumstances necessitate the “ immediate
removal” of the employee from the premises. Whenever the Bell
Aircraft Corporation contemplates disciplining any employee, the
agreement states that “ before such action is taken * * * the
matter will be a subject for discussion between the company and the

Strikes and Lockouts

Restrictions on strikes or lockouts are found in 24 of the 26 agree­
ments.^ Eighteen, all but one of which include arbitration machinery,
prohibit work stoppages altogether while the agreements are in effect.
Two others which establish permanent arbitrators forbid strikes or
lockouts in any case where the umpire is empowered to rule.
The Republic and Curtiss-Wright (Columbus plant) agreements,
which provide for arbitration of unsettled disputes, nevertheless do
not ban stoppages entirely. Under the latter the union agrees to
forego strikes “ so long as the employer shall live up to this agreement.”
According to the Republic agreement before either the union or man­
agement may cause a work stoppage they must resort to all steps in
the grievance procedure, and then give 10 days' notice; in addition,
the union may strike only after a “ majority of the employees * * *
have voted such action by secret ballot conducted under the direction
of an authorized Governmental agency.”
The Goodyear agreement which does not include arbitration, for­
bids stoppages pending resort to all stages of the grievance machinery.
In addition, the union at Goodyear must give 5 days' notice before
resorting to a strike.