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Frances Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lubin, Com m issioner (on leave)
A. F. H inrichs, A ctin g Com m issioner


U nion Agreements in the
Aluminum-'Fabrication Industry

Bulletin 7slo. 760

[Reprinted from the M on th ly Labor R ev ie w , December 1943]


For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U . S. Governm ent Printing Office
Washington, D. C. - Price 10 cents

Letter of Transmittal
U n it e d

Sta te s D

epartm ent





S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. C., December 24, 194$.




I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on union agreements in the
aluminum-fabrication industry. The report is based on an analysis of 20 employerunion agreements which were in effect in October 1943.
This bulletin, which appeared in the December 1943 Monthly Labor Review,
was prepared by Grace Milgram, under the supervision of Florence Peterson and
Constance Williams, of the Bureau’s Industrial Relations Division.
A. F . H i n r i c h s , Acting Commissioner•
Hon. F r a n c e s P e r k i n s ,
Secretary of Labor.

C o n te n ts

Development of collective bargaining__________
Provisions of agreements in effect October 1943.
Union status_____________________________
Wage provisions__________________________
Overtime, week-end, and holiday payments
Vacations_______________________ _______ Seniority_________________________________
Lay-offs and rehiring-------------------------------Promotions____________________ ________
Military service__________________________
Leaves of absence............................................
Health, safety, and welfare— ..................Apprenticeships---------------------------------------Grievances__________— ................................
Strikes and lockouts---- ---------------------------ii




7 n£o .

760 o f the

United States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L abor R eview , December 1943.]

Union Agreements in the Aluminum-Fabrication
THE aluminum-fabrication industry as covered in this report is
composed of those establishments which normally manufacture alumi­
num kitchen, hospital, and household ware (except electrical appli­
ances) and aluminum products such as plates, sheets, rods, tubing,
pipe, wire, castings, bars, and airplane and engine parts. It docs not
include the mining of bauxite (the* ore from which aluminum is
obtained), the production of alumina from bauxite, the reduction of
alumina to aluminum, nor the production of aluminum foil.1 Alumi­
num-fabrication establishments are scattered throughout the country,
but the major concentrations of employment are in Wisconsin (where
a number of independent aluminum cooking-utensil-plants are situ­
ated), Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan; in Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, and New York; in California, Arizona and Washington; and
in Alabama and Tennessee.
This report discusses the provisions of 20 agreements which cover
approximately 85 percent of the production workers in the industry.2
Ninety percent of the workers covered by these agreements work
under the terms of nine agreements signed by the three major compa­
nies manufacturing aluminum products— the Aluminum Co. of
America, which employs a large majority of the workers, the Bohn
Aluminum & Brass Corporation, and the Reynolds Metals Co.,
including its subsidiary, the Reynolds Alloys Co. The aluminumfabrication plants covered by each of the agreements with the three
major companies and the union with which the agreements have been
signed are shown in the table following.
Most of the 20 agreements discussed in this report are in effect
currently (October 1943); a few have expired during recent months
and are at present subject to renegotiation. Almost all the agree­
ments were negotiated for initial periods of 1 year or 18 months, to
extend indefinitely thereafter until 30 days’ notice of intention to
amend is given by either party. Two permit changes only on 30
1 The industry definitions used here correspond to those for the 1939 Census of Manufactures classifications:
“ Aluminum ware, kitchen, hospital, and household (except electrical appliances) ” and “ aluminum products
(including rolling and drawing and extruding), not elsewhere classified/’ A considerable number of establish­
ments, particularly within the branch of the industry which produces kitchen and household ware, are now
produemg wartime rather than their customary peacetime products. T hey are, however, considered part of
the industry for purposes of this study. Plants which were manufacturing other products in 1939 but have
now converted to the production of aluminum products are excluded from this study.
2 Some of these agreements also cover other plants which are not in the aluminum-fabrication industry,
but employment in these plants has not been included in estimating the proportion of workers under agree­
ment. Agreements covering only groups of craft workers also have not been included in the discussion.
The agreements which the Aluminum Co. of America has signed with five unions in its various plants
follow a standard form with almost identical terms. However, they do not include provisions on certain
matters, and these particular items have been negotiated b y the management and union at each separate
plant. Since copies of these supplementary agreements are not on file with the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
their provisions are not discussed in this report.



Union Agreements

days’ notice at the time of expiration or annually thereafter.
one is automatically extended for the duration of the war.


Plants Covered by Agreements between Three M ajor Alum inum •Fabricating Companies
and Specified Unions



Aluminum Co. of A m erica.. Aluminum Workers of America
(C . I. 0 .).

N ew Kensington, Pa.;* Alcoa, Tenn.;
Detroit, M ich.; Edgewater, N . J.;
Bridgeport and Fairfield, Conn.;
Newark, Ohio: Cressona, Pa.; and
Trentwood, Wash.
Aluminum Council (A. F. of L.)__ Massena, N . Y .;* La Fayette, Ind.
Mine, M ill and Smelter Workers Cleveland, Ohio.
(C . I. 0 .).
........ d o ................................................. Garwood, N . J.
Workers Vernon, Calif.
(C . I. 0 .).
United M ine Workers, District 60 Buffalo, N . Y .
B ohn Aluminum & Brass United
Workers Detroit, M ich.
(C. I. 0 .).
Reynolds Metals C o________ Aluminum Council (A . F. of L ) . . Louisville, Ky.«
Reynolds Alloys C o............... ........ d o ......................... ........................ Listerhill, Ala.
i This agreement also covers plants at Badin (N . C .), Bauxite (A rk.), Drury (A rk.), Hurricane Creek
(A rk.), Jones M ill (A rk.), Mead (W ash.), and Troutdale (Oreg.), which are not engaged in aluminum
* This agreement also covers plants at East St. Louis (111.), M obile (Ala.), Baton Rouge (L a.), Maspeth
(N . Y .), and Burlington (N . J.), which are not engaged in aluminum fabrication.
* This agreement also covers plants in New York C ity and Glendale (N . Y .), Richmond (V a.), Harrison
(N . J.), Chicago (111.), and St. Louis (M o.), which are not engaged in aluminum fabrication.

Development of Collective Bargaining
Approximately 90 percent of the workers within the aluminum
industry are working under agreements with various international
unions.3 Almost half of the organized workers are covered by agree­
ments with the Aluminum Workers of America (C. I. O.), and approxmately a fifth with the National Council of Aluminum Workers
(A. F. of L.). The United Automobile Workers (C. I. O.) and the
Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (C. I. O .)4each represent about a sixth
of the workers in the industry. In addition, District 50 of the United
Mine Workers (independent), the International Association of
Machinists (A. F. of L.) and the Molders and Foundry Workers
(A. F. of L.) represent some of the workers.
The first national organization of aluminum workers was formed
in 1934 when several federal labor unions, affiliated directly with the
American Federation of Labor, united into the National Council
of Aluminum Workers. A strike conducted by the council in that
year against the Aluminum Co. of America was settled when the
company issued a unilateral statement of an “ agreement” to the effect
that it was willing to meet with “ any of its employees or representa­
tives of any of its employees” to discuss wages, hours, and working
conditions; but that “ no contract or agreement shall be entered into
between the company and any employee or group of employees or
their representative or representatives that will, in any way, conflict
with, or supersede, this understanding.”
Two years later the Aluminum Co. of America signed its first
bilateral agreement with the Aluminum Council, covering six plants,
of which four— those at New Kensington and Logan’s Ferry, Pa.,
* Organizations covering employees of single plants are not included In this study.
♦The National Association of Die Casting Workers (C . I. O.), which holds bargaining rights in some
aluminum plants, affiliated with the M ine, Mill and Smelter Workers in 1942.

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


Massena, N. Y., and Alcoa, Tenn.— are in the aluminum-fabrication
industry. This agreement granted bargaining rights to the union,
for its members omy.
In 1937, several of the locals left the council to organize the Alum­
inum Workers of America (0. I. O.). Subsequent to the elections
conducted b y the National Labor Relations Board, the Aluminum
Co. of America and the Aluminum Workers signed an agreement
(1939) covering four plants, a fifth plant being added in 1940. These
were situated at New Kensington and Logan's Ferry, Pa., Alcoa,
Tenn., Detroit, Mich., and Edgewater, N. J. The A. F. of L. council
maintained its bargaining rights at the Massena (N. Y .) plant. The
National Association of Die Casting Workers (C. I. O.) won recog­
nition about the same time in the Garwood (N. J.) plant and later
in Cleveland. During the next few years, bargaining rights were won
at additional Aluminum Co. plants by both the Aluminum Workers
and the Aluminum Council. District 50 of the United Mine Work­
ers gained recognition in Buffalo and the United Automobile Workers
(C. 1. O.) in Vernon, Calif.
In the meantime the Bohn Aluminum & Brass Corporation signed
an agreement in 1937 with the United Automobile Workers (C .I.O .).
Later, the Reynolds Metals Co. and Reynolds Alloys Co. signed agree­
ments with the Aluminum Council and, for maintenance workers,
with several American Federation of Labor craft unions.

Provisions o f Agreements in Effect October 1943

Types of recognition.— A degree of union recognition beyond the
grant of sole bargaining rights for all covered employees is provided
in the 9 agreements with the major aluminum companies. All of the
agreements of the Aluminum Co. of America contain a maintenance-ofmembership clause, providing that all employees who are or who
become members of the union must remain members for the duration
of the agreement. Maintenance of membership in these agreements,
except those of the Aluminum Council and of the Mine, Mill and
Smelter Workers at Cleveland, resulted from a War Labor Board
order of August 18, 1942, which provided the customary 15-day
“ escape” period during which employees could resign from the
union. At that time, the Board refused to award maintenance of
membership to the union in the Cleveland plant because of “ the
unsatisfactory relations of the company and the union.” However,
on July 9, 1943, the Board ordered the standard membershipmaintenance clause incorporated in the agreement covering this
plant. The Aluminum Council was not party to the case before the
Board and negotiated a membership-maintenance provision as a
supplement to an existing agreement, which took effect in December
The agreements which cover the Bohn Aluminum & Brass Corpora­
tion and the Reynolds Alloys and Reynolds Metals Companies
establish union shops, under which the company may hire anyone it
chooses, but all workers must join the union within a specified time
and remain members in good standing, in order to keep their employ­
ment. At the Bohn plants new employees must join the union “ 10
days after they shall have acquired seniority,” seniority being acquired


Union Agreements

after a probationary period of 30 days. At the Reynolds plants,
they must join within 30 days after being hired.
Of the workers covered by the other 11 agreements, approximately
half, working under 3 agreements, are employed in accordance with
maintenance-of-membership provisions similar to those covering the
Aluminum Co. of America. One of these agreements establishes
machinery by which a member “ who feels that the union has done him
or her an injustice” can appeal to a joint union-company committee
and from there to an impartial umpire for permission to withdraw
from membership. In 4 of the 11 agreements covering the smaller
plants, provisions are made for union- or closed-shop conditions. The
4 remaining agreements grant sole bargaining rights only, allow the
union to bargain for members only, or do not contain a formal recog­
nition clause. In two of these cases the union has never exercised its
right to ask for an election by the National Labor Relations Board,
but in practice, the union exercises sole bargaining rights.
Coverage.— In all the Aluminum Co. agreements, bargaining rights
are granted only for those workers who are part of the bargaining
unit as established by the National Labor Relations Board in each
plant. The Bohn agreement specifically excludes from membership
in the union, and presumably from the bargaining unit, “ direct repre­
sentatives of management,” including executives, superintendents,
foremen, assistant foremen, etc. The Reynolds agreements cover
workers paid by the hour and such salaried employees as are eligible
for membership in the unions signing the agreement. The Reynolds
Metals agreement provides further that disputes over the question of
which salaried worker’s are covered shall be decided in accordance
with the regular grievance procedure. The smaller companies com­
monly exclude supervisory and administrative workers from the
bargaining unit. In a few cases, watchmen and clerical workers are
specifically excluded. One agreement also specifically excludes
laboratory workers.
Activities affecting union status.— The Aluminum Co. and Bohn
agreements and the agreements of five of the smaller companies
contain clauses specifically prohibiting company discrimination against
any employee because of membership, and in some instances non­
membership, in the union. The former agreements and two of the
latter also forbid the union to “ coerce” employees into membership.
Four agreements, including that of the Bohn Corporation, forbid such
union activity as solicitation of membership or collection of dues on
company time; only one contains a prohibition against such activity
on company property. The agreements of the Aluminum Co. (except
the one with the Aluminum Council) and of the Reynolds Companies
and the agreement of one smaller company make provision for posting
union notices in the plants either on general company bulletin boards
or on special boards used by the union only.
Check-off,— Most of the agreements make no provision for the
deduction of union dues by the company. Of the three major com>anies, only the Reynolds agreements provide for a check-off of dues
rom wages. Under their terms, the company deducts the dues and
initiation fees of those employees who individually authorize such
deductions in writing. The company remits these deductions to the
union, ‘less 2 percent, to be retained by the company to cover clerical
handling expenses.”


Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


Four of the smaller companies also provide for a check-off, two on
authorization by individual employees and two automatically for all
employees. In three of these agreements, the check-off is coupled
with either a union or a closed shop. In the fourth, provision for a
voluntary check-off is made in an agreement which does not contain
a formal recognition clause.

Of the larger companies, only the Reynolds Metals Co. agreement
specifies wage rates, and it provides for hourly rates only. None of
the agreements of the other large companies contains any indication
of whether time or incentive rates prevail. In addition to minimum
rates of 62 cents per hour for men and 57 cents per hour for women,
the Reynolds Metals agreement provides a regular schedule of in­
creases over periods ranging from 3 to 30 months for specified jobs,
rising in the lowest group to a maximum of 66 cents and in the highest
group to 93 cents.
Most of the smaller agreements refer to hourly rates of pay, and
four mention both time and piece rates. Five specify minimum
hourly rates only, while one contains an occupational listmg in which
“ laborers” and “ learners” receive the lowest rate. One agreement
establishes minimum rates of 80 cents per hour for men and 64 cents
for women, but allows hiring rates 20 cents below these amounts
and requires 1 year of service to receive the minima. Another pro­
vides a 65-eent minimum for men and a 50-cent minimum for women,
specifying no separate hiring rates. The other three agreements
provide general plant minima ranging from 50 cents, without separate
hiring rates, to 60 cents after 60 days.
Equal pay for women.— Five of the 20 agreements specifically refer
to ra te for women. The agreement of the Reynolds Metals Co. and
a supplementary agreement signed by the Aluminum Co. of America
with the Aluminum Workers, provide equal rates to women who
perform “ substantially the same work” as men. Both companies
normally distinguish between men’s and women’s occupations, the
latter having lower rates. Three other agreements— one establishing
lower minimum rates for women than for men and two not specifying
any rates— also provide that women shall be paid equal rates with
men when they do “ Substantially the same work.”
Wage adjustments.— The agreements of the Aluminum Co. of
America are somewhat unusual in stating that “ the company is willing
at all times to discuss and negotiate any matter pertaining to wages,
hours, and working conditions * * * with the object of reaching
a satisfactory understanding.” This clause allows not only union par­
ticipation in adjusting individual rates, but also the negotiation of
new wage levels during the term of the agreement.
The Bohn agreement permits the union to participate in setting
new wage rates in case of alteration in methods of production, but
forbids changes in general wage levels “ except by legislative or Exec­
utive order.” The Reynolds Metals agreement provides for a job
survey and reclassification by three experts— one each appointed by
the company, the union, and the National War Labor Board. Al­
though it specifies that there shall be no reduction in the ra te of pay
now received by any employee, “ it is mutually agreed that wherever
the evaluated rate of a job or jobs falls below the current rate, the


Union Agreements

employee or employees performing work on such job or jobs shall be
transferred as soon as possible to other jobs of at least equal compensa­
tion to the rate they are now receiving.” The Reynolds Alloys agree­
ment contains no provision for adjusting rates.
Five of the smaller agreements provide for union participation in
setting individual rates or permit adjustment of such rates through
the grievance machinery, four permit adjustments in the general
wage scales during the term of the agreement, and two agreements
provide for both. Three of the agreements permit discussion of
general wage changes at the request of either party, in one case not
until 5 months after the effective date of the agreement. One of
the agreements provides for an automatic increase of 5 percent for
each increase of 5 percent in the cost of living as shown by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics index^ for the city in which the plant is situated,
unless such adjustment is prohibited by Federal regulations.6 The
company, however, may ask for negotiations on the question if it
feels that the increased wage rates jeopardize its financial position.
Minimum caU and call-back pay.—All the major agreements require
minimum payment to workers who are called to work or report for
work at the usual time and find no work available. Two hours’ work
or 2 hours’ pay at regular rates when work is not ayailable is
guaranteed by the agreements of the Aluminum Co., except in case of
labor disputes, and by the Bohn agreement. The Reynolds Metals
agreement provides a guaranty of 4 hours’ pay if no work is done, or
8 hours’ pay if the employee works part of the day, except “ in cases
of emergency break-down or causes beyond the control of the
company.” The Reynolds Alloys agreement requires the company to
furnish a minimum of 4 hours’ work at regular rates to any employee
called to work, except in break-downs or other causes beyond the
company’s control; if an employee does not complete his shift and then
is called back to complete his shift, he must be paid for the total
elapsed time.
Seven other agreements also grant minimum call pay, four guaran­
teeing a minimum of 2 hours’ pay, one of 1 hour’s pay, and one of
4 hours’ pay. Another grants either 2 hours’ pay or 4 hours’ work,
at the company’s option.
Intraplant transfer rates.— All agreements of the major companies
provide for temporary transfers of employees from their regular jobs
and for payment of the higher rate to all workers transferred to higher­
rated jobs. In the Aluminum Co. agreements, an employee tem­
porarily transferred to a lower-rated job is to receive his regular rate
of pay if his regular job is available during any part of the shift, but
if his regular job is not available he is to be paid at the lower rate.
The Bohn agreement provides that the employee shall receive the
“ prevailing rate” of the job to which he is transferred. Under the
Reynolds agreements an employee may refuse to accept transfer to a
lower-rated job. If he agrees to the transfer in order to avoid being
laid off he receives the lower rate, but if the transfer is made at the
company’s request he is to receive his regular rate.
About half of the agreements covering smaller companies contain
no clauses regulating transfers to other jobs. Those which do have
such clauses provide that the employee shall receive the higher rate•
• T he National W ar Labor Board has prohibited such automatic increases unless they remain within the
15-percent limit established b y the “ Little Steel” formula and within the maximum rate of the established
wage bracket.

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


when transferring to a higher-rated job, except that in one agreement
the increase is granted only if it is a permanent transfer and in another
the higher rate is paid only to an employee who remains on the job
more than 5 days. These last two agreements contain the same
provision in the case of transfers to lower-rated jobs; that is, in one
case the employee is paid at his regular rate when temporarily trans­
ferred but at the lower rate if permanently transferred, and in the
other, the lower rate is paid if the employee works at the job more
than 5 days. Under the other agreements, in general, the employee
is paid at his regular rate, with certain qualifications, when transferred
to lower-rated jobs. One agreement resembles the Reynolds agree­
ments, providing that an employee transferred at the company's
request shall receive his regular rate. Another is similar to the
Aluminum Co. agreements, granting the employee his regular pay if
work was available on his regular job.
Shift differentials.—All the major companies which refer to shift
work pay a shift differential to workers on both the second and third
shifts. The Aluminum Co. of America has paid a shift bonus for
several years in some of its plants. In February 1942 the War Labor
Board directed payment of a premium of 3 cents per hour to the
second shift and 5 cents per hour to the third in the New Kensington
plant. In August, another WLB order extended this arrangement
to other plants under agreement with the three C. I. O. unions and
District 50.7 By supplemental agreement, the same differential was
later granted in plants under agreement with the Aluminum Council.
The Reynolds Metals agreement provides the same shift differentials
as the Aluminum Co. of America. The War Labor Board denied a
request for payment of a shift differential at the Reynolds Alloys
plant, in an order of February 3, 1943. The Bohn agreement does
not differentiate between workers on the second and third shifts,
providing for payment of a premium of 5 cents per hour to both.
No reference is made to shift work in five agreements covering the
smaller companies. Three which mention shifts provide no bonus
for night work; in one of these cases a union request for payment of
a shift differential was denied by the WLB. Three of the 11 agree­
ments of the smaller companies provide for shift differentials, one of
5 cents per hour for all night work, another of 5 cents for work on the
second shift and 10 cents for work on the third, and the third a
differential of 5 percent to all workers on the second and third shifts,
except machinists, tool and die makers, and apprentices, who receive
10 percent.
O V E R T I M E , W E E K -E N D , A N D H O L ID A Y P A Y M E N T S

Overtime.—All the agreements provide premium rates for overtime
work after 8 hours in a day or 40 in a week; for the larger companies
and nine of the smaller companies the rate is time and a half. One
of the agreements covering a small company permits' 70 hours of
overtime work (on Saturday mornings only) in each 6-month period,
at straight rates, but otherwise it establishes the prevailing premium
7 T he W ar Labor Board’s second order, which affected both smelting and fabricating plants directed
payment of the differential only to workers engaged on noncontinuous-process operations. However,
only a negligible number of workers are employed on continuous-process operations in the fabrication of
aluminum products. A supplemental agreement between the Aluminum Workers of America and the
Aluminum Co. requires payment of the shift bonus to all workers. T he com pany has reported to the
Bureau that the same bonus is paid in all its plants.
£67297°—44----- 2


Union Agreements

rate. Another provides for payment of time and a half for the first
4 hours of overtime and double time thereafter.
Saturday and Sunday rates.—Although many of the agreements
provide for payment of premium rates for Saturday and Sunday
work, these terms have been superseded by Executive Order No. 9240.8
The Aluminum Co. of America agreements provide for time and a half
for Sunday work, except “ continuous-process operations and em­
ployees as are now excepted or hereafter, by mutual agreement,
may be excepted.” No provision is made for premium payments
for work on Saturday, although most workers probably receive higher
rates for Saturday work in accordance with the agreement establish­
ing payment of time and a half for work over 40 hours in 1 week.
The Bohn and Reynolds Metals agreements establish payment, in
normal times, of time and a half for Saturday work and double time
for Sunday work. The Reynolds Alloys agreement contains no
provision for normal premium rates, specifying only that payment
for work on the sixth and seventh days shall be in accordance with
Executive Order No. 9240. The Bohn, Reynolds Metals, and two
Aluminum Co. agreements have been specifically modified to con­
form with the Executive order.
All agreements covering the smaller companies provide for payment
of premium rates on either Sunday or the seventh day worked,
although more than half do not establish premium rates for work on
either Saturday or the sixth day of work. Two agreements provide
for time and a half on Saturday and double time on Sunday, one for
time and a half on either Saturday or the sixth day and double time
on either Sunday or the seventh day, depending upon the depart­
ment. Four of the remaining agreements provide for time and a
half for Sunday work and three provide for double time.
Holiday rates.— None of the aluminum agreements grants pay for
holidays if no work is performed, but all make some provision for
premium rates for work done on specified holidays. The terms of
these agreements have been superseded by Executive Order No. 9240
when they provide for payment of more than time and a half on
other than 6 holidays.
The Aluminum Co. agreements provide for payment of a holiday
premium on 6 days to the same workers who receive premium pay­
ments for Sunday work. Workers in the Bohn and Reynolds Metals
plants in normal times are paid double time for work on 6 and 8
holidays, respectively. As in the case of premium payments for
work on the sixth and seventh day, the terms of the Reynolds Alloys
agreement conforms to Executive Order No. 9240. Those agree­
ments which have been modified to conform with that order, as
regards payment of premium rates for week-end work, have also been
amended to conform with its terms for payment for holiday work.
Seven of the small companies’ agreements require payment of
double time on holidays and four specify a premium rate of time and
a half. Most of the agreements establish 6 holidays, although three
specify 7 and two specify 5 days on which holiday rates shall be paid.
8 Agreement provisions regulating pay for week-end and holiday work have been superseded b y Execu­
tive Order N o. 9240 “ on all work relating to the prosecution of the war.” The order prohibits premium
pay for Saturday and Sunday work as such, and makes the payment of double time for the seventh con­
secutive day of a regularly scheduled workweek mandatory. Payment of a premium rate on the sixth
d a y is permitted if it has been paid previously either cn the sixth day or on Saturday. Compensation at
the rate of time and a half is required for all work performed on 6 specified holidays.

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry



Either a vacation with pay or a vacation bonus is provided in the
agreements covering all the large companies and all but three of the
smaller companies.
The Aluminum Co. agreements covering all plants except Massena
and La Fayette provide that vacations shall be granted in accordance
with the “ company plan.” The agreement for the Massena and
La Fayette plants grants 1 week’s vacation to employees with 2 to 5
years’ service, and 2 weeks’ vacation to employees with 5 or more
years’ service and states that further provisions shall be in accordance
with the company plan. The company vacation plan establishes the
same vacation rights, qualifying them, however, by requiring that the
employee shall have worked 1,200 or more hours in the preceding
year. It permits either the individual employee or the company to
decide whether a vacation shall be granted or a bonus paid in lieu of
a vacation.
The Reynolds agreements grant vacations to all workers who have
been employed for a year or more, ranging from 1 day for every 320
hours worked during the year to a maximum of 1 week if 1,600 hours
have been worked. A bonus may be paid instead of a vacation, if
it is “ found to be impractical” to permit an employee to take time
from work. The Bohn agreement stipulates that an employee with
1 year of service shall be paid a vacation bonus of 2% percent of the
total wages he has earned during the year, and provides that “ when
employees deserve time off for vacation purposes” the period in which
the time shall be granted shall be determined by the company and
All of the smaller agreements which contain vacation provisions
allow vacations of 1 week after employment periods ranging from 6
months to 3 years. Four of the agreements grant shorter vacations
for shorter periods of employment. One agreement which grants 40
hours’ pay for 1 week’s vacation to employees with less than 3 years’
service, gives 50 hours’ pay for a vacation of the same length to those
employed more than 3 years. Three of the agreements permit pay­
ment of a bonus in lieu of vacation, two at the employee’s option and
one at the company’s request.

All the agreements provide seniority rules under which employees
with longer service receive certain advantages; these consist most
generally in preference in lay-offs and rehiring and less frequently in
preference in promotion, choice of vacation time, and shift assignments.
The Aluminum Co. agreements establish three types of seniority,
each being applied for a different purpose. “ Departmental” seniority
is the length of service within a department, exclusive of time lost be­
cause of lay-offs of more than 1 week, leaves of absence in excess of 21
days, etc. “ Continuous-service” seniority is the sum of all depart­
mental seniorities. “ Company” seniority includes all time from the
beginning of the “ present continuous service,” and includes periods
of lay-off and other absences which are not included in departmental
and continuous-service seniority.
In the Reynolds plants, seniority is acquired only within a depart­
ment. The Bohn agreement provides that “ straight plant seniority
will be continued in effect in the separate plants, based on type of


Union Agreements

work, classification, and length of service with the company, except
* * * in plants 2 and 3 departmental seniority shall prevail and
in the tool rooms of the various plants departmental seniority shall
prevail/, About two-thirds of the agreements of the smaller comanies provide for seniority by department and one-third on a plant
asis, with one plant establishing both plant and departmental
In most of the major agreements a probationary period is required
before seniority becomes effective. Under agreements of the Alumi­
num Co. of America, an employee must have worked 90 days to ac­
quire seniority rights; under the Reynolds Metals agreement, 30 days;
and under the Bohn agreement, 30 days, to be accumulated during 6
months by new employees and during 1 year by old employees who
are transferred to another plant. Only five of the agreements of the
smaller companies require employees, before acquiring seniority
rights, to complete probationary periods ranging from 30 days’ to 6
months’ employment accumulated within 18 months.
Seniority for union officials.—Many unions prefer to have their
shop committeemen placed at the head of the seniority list, but this
practice is not common in the aluminum-fabrication industry. Of
the larger companies, only the Bohn agreement provides special
seniority arrangements for union officials; the plant chairman and
chief shop steward to outrank all those “ under his or her jurisdiction,”
and the other union officials, such as the president, vice president,
sergeant-at-arms, etc., to outrank all employees in their own depart­
ments except the plant chairman and chief shop steward. Six of the
smaller companies’ agreements also place union officials or shop com­
mitteemen at the head of the seniority list; one of these agreements
provides that they shall be the last discharged, provided efficient
operation is not affected; and another makes their continuance at
work conditional upon the availability of work which they can do.
Seniority for other special groups.— Agreements of both the Alumi­
num Co. of America and the Reynolds Metals Co. make special pro­
visions for certain skilled employees. The Aluminum Co. agreements
exempt from seniority an employee who, because of special training
or ability, is necessary to the efficient operation of the plant. Such
an employee may be hired, retained, transferred, or rehired after a
lay-off, regardless of any provisions of the agreement, provided that
he is placed on a job using his special ability and that the management
will, “ if time permits,” first discuss its action with union representa­
tives in the department involved. No limit is placed on the number
of such employees.
The Reynolds Metals agreement provides that no more than 2
percent of the total plant personnel “ may be employed and retamed
without consideration to seniority,” to be trained for supervisory posi­
tions. One percent of the employees are to be chosen from among
workers in the plant and 1 percent may be selected from outside
the plant. Such employees may perform all work done by the em­
ployees covered by the agreement. However, in the event of a lay­
off in any department, they may not be used to displace a regular
employee doing the same type of work but shall instead be transferred
to another department in which work is available.
Special consideration is accorded to employees of the Reynolds
Metals Co. and of five of the smaller ^companies when they are unable
to perform heavy work after having given “ long and faithful service.”


Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


Preference is to be shown to them by employment on light work which
they are able to do. Two of these agreements make the same provi­
sions for employees who are incapacitated by injury received during
Loss of seniority.— Most agreements provide for retention of sen­
iority during lay-offs, generally for certain specified periods. The
Aluminum Co. agreements provide for permanent retention of all
types of seniority, provided the employee reports, at least once in
every 12 months, his address and his willingness to return to his regu­
lar job. Departmental and continuous-service seniority accumulate,
however, only during lay-offs of less than 1 week’s duration. The
Reynolds Metals and Alloys agreements do not specify the duration
of a lay-off during which seniority shall be maintained, although the
Reynolds Metals agreement limits accumulation of seniority to not
over 90 days during any one lay-off. The Bohn agreement provides
for permanent retention of seniority for employees on the seniority
list January 1, 1942, provided that the laid-off employee registers
quarterly. Workers hired after January 1, 1942, presumably as a
result of expansion caused by war production, maintain seniority
rights only during lay-offs of not more than 12 months’ duration.
Of the smaller-company agreements, only three state definitely
the period during which seniority is maintained; two provide that it
shall be lost after 24 months and one after 1 year. One other agree­
ment provides that lay-off “ shall not affect an employee’s seniority”
and another specifies that it shall not be affected by “ temporary”
Most of the agreements establish time limits within which the
worker must report when recalled after a lay-off; these range in length
from 24 hours to 5 days. In some cases, including the Aluminum Co.,
a worker who fails to report on the first call is replaced on the list
and recalled on the next opportunity, if he makes such a request (which
the Aluminum Co. agreements require to be made within 10 days).
In other cases he may be recalled after presentation of an adequate
excuse for not having reported. One agreement, by War Labor
Board order, provides that an employee shall not lose seniority if he
does not report when recalled, if he is employed on defense work
and the company cannot guarantee at least 8 weeks’ continuous
Most of the agreements, including all of the larger companies,
specifically state that seniority shall end with discharge or quitting;
this is probably taken for granted under the other agreements. Vari­
ous other causes of loss of seniority are contained in some of the
agreements, such as being absent from work for a specified number of
days without permission or without reporting that sickness or acci­
dent is the cause, overstaying a leave of absence, working during a
leave of absence, reporting to work while intoxicated, violation of
company rules, etc. Although most of the agreements contain one
or more of these additional causes for loss of seniority, no one of the
causes is found in a majority of the agreements, and a few of the agree­
ments make no provision whatever for loss of seniority.
L A Y -O F F S A N D


All agreements, except those of the Aluminum Co. and one of the
smaller companies, provide that the order of lay-offs and rehiring


Union Agreements

shall be based solely on seniority status. The Aluminum Co. agree­
ments provide that in determining the workers to be laid off in a
reduction of forces or rehired after a lay-off, company seniority shall
govern unless there is “ sufficient difference in ability” to outweigh
seniority. All of these agreements, except those of the Aluminum
Council and of the United Automobile Workers, provide further that
if neither seniority nor ability predominate, consideration shall be
given to family status and residence within the community. The
Aluminum Council agreement for the Massena and La Fayette plants
does not specify the particular additional factors to be considered, but
states merely that “ when advisable” consideration shall be given to
“ other factors” in addition to seniority and ability. One of the
smaller-company agreements states that family status shall be con­
sidered if seniority and ability are equal.
In a reduction of forces at the Aluminum Co. of America plants,
which result in demotion rather than lay-off, either departmental or
company seniority shall govern as decided by prior agreement of the
local management and union. However, if the reduction causes a
lay-off, company seniority is the decisive factor. All the agreements
state further than an employee with more than 5 years* continuous
service, who is to be laid off, may transfer to another department in
the same or in another plant in the community and displace the
employee with least seniority, provided the latter has less than 1 year’s
continuous service. All except the Aluminum Council agreement
provide further that an employee with more than 10 years* service
may in the same manner displace another employee with 2 years*
service. Under these provisions an employee will be placed in a job in
the lowest classification in the department to which he transfers,
regardless of the job held by the employee he is displacing. He must,
of course, have the ability to do the required work. In a restoration
of forces, employees are to be returned to their regular department
“ if practicable” and given their former departmental seniority.
An employee who refuses to return loses his seniority in his regular
In a permanent displacement caused by “ major improvement, a
major change in process, or the permanent elimmation of an entire
operation unit,” all the Aluminum Co. agreements give additional
protection to an employee with more than 5 years* continuous service;
under such circumstances he may replace an employee with 4 years*
service. For promotion purposes, the employee transferred because
of technological change is given the departmental seniority of the
employee he has displaced.
All the agreements, except those with the Aluminum Council, pro­
vide that a person who has been laid off, and has maintained his
company and continuous-service seniority by reporting for work
annually, shall be given preference for work in other departments and
in other plants in the same community and, if work is not available
“ within a reasonable time,** in other plants in other communities
covered by the same agreement.
In the Bohn Corporation, in all except the tool rooms and two
plants, employees are laid off in order of plant seniority, an employee
in one department replacing an employee in another department with
less seniority. However, such a transfer does not occur if the lay-off
is to be of 2 days or less, “ unless a different period of time is mutually
agreed upon by the company and the plant bargaining committee.**

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


In the tool rooms and the two plants, departmental seniority controls
the order of lay-offs.
The Reynolds agreements merely state that departmental seniority
shall govern in lay-offs, but no detailed regulations for applying this
policy are established. In the agreement for the small company which
establishes both plant and departmental seniority, the latter is used
for lay-offs under 2 weeks and plant seniority for lay-offs of over 2
consecutive weeks.
Notice oj lay-offs and rehiring.—In the Aluminum Co. of America,
notice of reduction of forces and a list of names of employees to be
laid off are posted 2 days before the reduction takes effect, “ unless
cancelations of orders, changes in customers’ requirements, break­
down, accidents, or other emergency makes such notice impossible.”
The list is to be given the union concerned, upon request, and griev­
ances arising from the reduction must be presented within 2 days of the
notice, if possible. Further rules consistent with the provisions in
these agreements may be negotiated by the local management and
The Bohn agreement requires that notice of employees to be laid
off or rehired shall be given to the chief steward and “ sufficient time
allowed” so that he can check their seniority standing. The Reynolds
Metals agreement requires the company to give the individual
employee notice of 2 working days “ except in emergency cases,” the
question of emergency being decided by the departmental foreman and
shop steward. The Reynolds Alloys agreement makes no provision
for giving notice in regard to lay-offs.
Both the Aluminum Co. and Reynolds Metals agreements require
the company to give 48 hours’ notice of restoration of forces in calling
an employee back to work after a lay-off, while the Bohn and Reynolds
Alloys agreements do not specify the length of advance notice for
rehiring. None of the smaller companies is required by its agree­
ment to give formal advance notice of a lay-off. Only three of their
agreements specify the period during which an employee must report
to work when recalled after a lay-off, 48 hours in one and 3 days in two.
Work sharing.— Of the largest companies, only the Aluminum Co.
agreements call for some degree of work sharing during slack periods.
These provide that employees within any department or other “ prop­
er unit” with more than 1 year’s continuous service shall not have
their workweek reduced for “ any continued period” until employees
with less than 1 year’s seniority have been laid off. Thereafter,
work is to be distributed “ as equally as possible.” If such distribu­
tion “ probably” would result in employees’ working less than 4 days
per week, “ averaged over a reasonable period of time,” further lay­
offs are to be made according to the above-described procedure, until
the remaining employees “ will have a reasonable expectancy of
averaging at least 4 days’ work per week.”
Three of the agreements of the smaller companies also provide for
work sharing; in two cases, until employees work not less than 24
hours per week, and in the third case, not less than 30 hours. One of
these agreements requires that if regular employees continue working
only 3 days a week for “ an unreasonable period of time in the opinion
of the majority of the employees affected,” the company representa­
tives shall explain the probable duration of the work shortage and the
“ employees affected” shall decide by majority vote the “ division of
time or reduction of forces to be effected.” Under the other two


Union Agreements

agreements before work sharing becomes operative, employees with
seniority ranging from less than 9 months to less than 18 months are
laid off.
One of the agreements covering a smaller company prohibits work
sharing by providing that employees with less than 6 months’ seniority
be laid off first and other employees thereafter according to seniority,
so as to provide a 5-day week.

Both the Aluminum Co. and Reynolds Alloys agreements provide
for promotions in accordance with seniority, provided the employee
has “ sufficient ability” to do the work. The Aluminum Co. agree­
ments provide that in filling new jobs or vacancies, the job is to be
posted and consideration is to be given in order of departmental
seniority to workers who apply and who are in the “ same general
classification” in the same department, and (except under the Alum­
inum Council agreement which refers only to departmental seniority)
next, to workers in the same classification in other departments in the
same plant or in other plants in the same community, or to those who
have been transferred, demoted, or laid off because of a reduction of
forces in the department. Thereafter consideration is to be given to
employees in the next lower classification in the same department.
In practice, under this procedure, lines of progression from job
to job have been established within departments, with possibly several
lines of progression in each department and with each job preparing the
employee for the next higher job on the line. In this way training
periods are shortened. The statement in the agreement that consider­
ation for promotion will be given to workers in the “ same general
classification” has been interpreted to mean that consideration will be
given to the worker with the highest seniority (either company or
departmental, depending on the plant) in the next lower classification
in the line of progression, who applies for the job after it has been
posted. In accordance with this interpretation, employees can change
from one line of progression to another only within the same depart­
ment and only by going to the bottom of the new line of progression.
The employee with the greatest seniority if he “ so deserves” is to be
“ given a trial unless he does not have sufficient ability to fill such new
job or vacancy.” If he is passed over, the job is not to be permanently
filled until after the employee has had his case “ fully considered,”
provided it is presented within 5 days at all plants, except Massena
and La Fayette where it may be presented within 7 days. Although
this procedure need not be followed in promotion to supervisory
positions, the company agrees that it will “ in general” be followed.
The Reynolds Alloys agreement requires that the employee with
greatest seniority who bids for a new job is to be given a trial period,
if he is qualified “ in the opinion of management and the department
shop steward.” Disputes arising from this provision are to be settled
in accordance with the regular grievance procedure. Supervisory
positions are to be filled “ in general” by this same policy. The
Reynolds Metals agreement contains no provision dealing with
promotions. The Bohn agreement specifies that the “ company and
the union will mutually agree” on employees to be promoted, except
for supervisory positions.

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


Five of the smaller-company agreements include general provisions
to the effect that promotions are to be based on seniority, and two
state that the company agrees to make “ every effort” to promote by
seniority. The others do not specify how promotions are to be made.

Seniority rights of employees who enter the military service are
considered in all the agreements of the larger companies except that
of the Reynolds Alloys Co., and in seven of the smaller compames.
All of these, except three of the smaller agreements, provide specif­
ically that seniority rights shall accumulate during the absence of the
employee.9 Of these three, one states that those returning shall be
reemployed in accordance with the provisions of the Selective Service
Act; another states that leave of absence for military duty “ will not
jeopardize the seniority standing” ; and the third provides that there
shall be no “ loss of seniority.”
The Aluminum Co. agreements specify that further regulations
concerning employees entering military service may be promulgated
by the company, if explained to the local union. Under this provi­
sion the company has agreed to pay a bonus equal to the difference
between Government pay and company pay, for 1 month after induc­
tion, to employees with more than 90 days’ but less than 1 year’s
seniority; and for 2 months to employees with more than 1 year’s
seniority. In addition, employees are granted vacation pay for which
they are eligible or for which they would have become eligible during
the first year of military service. Three of the smaller agreements
also provide that employees who enter military service shall be given
their earned vacation bonus.


All the agreements of the major companies grant the workers
leaves of absence, both for union business and for other “ reasonable”
cause. In the Aluminum Co. of America plants, leave is granted on
request “ when requirements of the plant permit * * * for a limited
time with the privilege of renewal.” Those elected to union office
may take a year’s leave, which may be renewed for another year.
At the Reynolds Metals plant, workers may take leave “ for reasonable
cause * * * for a limited time with the privilege of renewal.”
Stewards or executive officers of the union are granted leave, the
duration of which is not stated, to carry on union duties. The
Reynolds Alloys agreement permits an employee to take leave for
not more than 30 days, except that it may extend over a “ stated period”
when taken to conduct union business. Under the terms of the Bohn
agreement, “ if mutually agreed upon by both the company and the
union,” leave may be taken for a period of 6 months, with privilege
of renewal, or for the duration of a term of office or for other specific
union business.
All these agreements forbid the employee who is on leave from
engaging in other occupations, except for serving the union, and
•See “ Military Service and War-Job Clauses in Union Agreements,” M onthly Labor Review, December
1942 (pp. 1147-1155), for interpretation of seniority rights under the Selective Service Act.


Union Agreements

specify that if he fails to report by the end of his leave, he shall be
considered to have quit, and consequently shall forfeit his seniority.
Only five of the agreements covering smaller companies make pro­
vision for employees’ taking leave. In two cases leave is granted
specifically for both union business and other reasons; in another, only
for union business; and in the other two, for general reasons with union
business not specifically mentioned. One of the agreements which
ide for taking leave for general reasons requires the consent of
the management and the union shop committee. The duration
of permissible leave varies from 1 week to “ a definite period of time,
to be specified in the leave.”
The effect of a leave of absence upon the employee’s seniority rating
is not clearly established in most cases. The Aluminum Co. agree­
ments provide for accumulation of departmental seniority during
leaves of absence not in excess of 21 days per year. Absences there­
after, except for time spent negotiating with the company as a union
representative, are not accumulated. If an employee takes leave in
order to hold union office, he is to be reemployed “ in the same classi­
fication * * * if such work is available, and he will not lose the
seniority status which he had at the beginning of such leave of absence.”
The Reynolds Alloys agreement states that employees shall be
returned to work “ without loss of seniority,” while the Reynolds
Metals, Bohn, and small companies’ agreements say nothing about
either the retention or accumulation of seniority.



Provisions concerning the health and safety of workers are con­
tained in the agreements of one Aluminum Co. plant, the Bohn Co.,
and five smaller companies. The United Automobile Workers agree­
ment with the Aluminum Co. of America provides that sanitary and
safety conditions are to be maintained in accordance with the State,
county, and city laws, and that the company, in cooperation with
the union, is to work out a health and safety program. The Bohn
agreement encourages workers to have minor injuries treated, by pro­
viding that they are to receive treatment on company time if they are
not disabled, and that they are to be paid for all time until they are
actually ordered home or to the hospital by the doctor at the plant,
if they are disabled.
The safety and health clauses in the smaller-company agreements
contain the general statement that the company will continue to pro­
tect the health and safety of its employees. Two agreements specifi­
cally require the company to provide protective equipment. Only
one establishes a safety committee to make suggestions concerning
appliances and working practices, consisting of one company and one
union representative, and one neutral person who is called in to act as
arbitrator in the event of disagreement.

Apprentice plans are established in the agreements of the Aluminum
Co. of America, the Bohn Co., and one smaller company. The terms
of the Aluminum Co. agreements are applicable to apprentices who
have contracted with the company for a period of years, “ normally
4,” to learn the trade under a specific program of study. The ratio

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


of apprentices to journeymen may be a matter for negotiation between
the local union and plant management, at the union’s request, and this
ratio is to be maintained in periods of lay-off. The Bohn agreement
covers apprentices to tool and die makers and patternmakers, estab­
lishing a ratio of 1 apprentice to every 20 journeymen or major frac­
tion thereof. It provides for a 6-month probationary period and
establishes a wage scale containing regular increases at 1,000-hour
intervals. For the duration of the war, an increase in the ratio of
apprentices to journeymen is a subject for negotiation when skilled
mechanics are not available. The smaller company’s agreement
provides that employment of apprentices shall be in accordance with
standards approved by the Federal Committee on

Grievance machinery.—All the agreements in the industry establish
some form of procedure for the settlement of grievances. The
Aluminum Co. of America and the Bohn agreements give the employee
the option of asking the union representative to discuss his grievance
with his foreman or of talking to his foreman himself. The Reynolds
Alloys agreement provides that the employee must first take the griev­
ance to his immediate supervisor before presenting it to the union,
while in the Reynolds Metals agreement the employee and the union
representative together are to present the matter to the foreman.
Most of the smaller-company agreements state that the union rep­
resentative or committee shall present the grievance to the foreman
of the employee’s department.
The Aluminum Co. agreements also permit the employee to
choose at all later stages of the grievance procedure whether he shall
meet the company officials alone or with his union representatives.
Only one of the smaller-company agreements gives the employee this
option. According to the terms of the other agreements, if the
employee and his union representative and his foreman fail to reach
an agreement, the union grievance committee or, in a few cases, the
chief shop steward or other union official, discusses the grievance with
higher company officials. At successive stages the entire union com­
mittee (and possibly representatives of the international union) meets
with higher company officials, such as the plant manager, personnel
director, or president of the company.
Payment to union officials participating in grievance meetings.— Most
of the agreements do not specify whether meetings between shop
stewards and management are to be held during or after working
hours, or whether the stewards are paid for time spent on grievance
work or in grievance meetings. The Aluminum Co. agreements
state that employees shall not experience loss of time when conferences
“ must be held” during working hours. The Reynolds Metals agree­
ment provides that consideration of grievances shall be taken up after
working hours, if the head of the department thinks such “ considera­
tion would interfere with efficient operation of the department.”
Although the majority of the smaller-company agreements make no
provision for attendance at grievance meetings, there is a scattering
of provisions on the subject, varying from one which specifically statos
that meetings must be held after working hours, to another which states
10 N ow Apprentice-Training Service in Bureau of Training, W ar Manpower Commission.


Union Agreements

they shall be held during working hours with no loss of time to those
Arbitration.— The Reynolds agreements and five of the agreements
covering smaller companies provide for arbitration at the request of
either the union or the company. The agreements of the Aluminum
Co. of America provide for arbitration only if both union and com­
pany agree to it, permitting the party who is satisfied with the current
situation to prevent recourse to arbitration. Excepted are unsettled
disputes arising from the maintenance-of-membership clause which,
under the NWLB order, must be arbitrated, either by the regular
arbitration procedure established in the agreement or by an arbitrator
appointed by the Board.
The Bohn agreement and those of six of the smaller companies do
not provide for arbitration, although two of the latter permit either
party to appeal to conciliation.
The Aluminum Co. agreements include no procedures for estab­
lishing arbitration boards or selecting impartial chairmen, a decision
thus being required each time the parties agree to arbitrate. The
Reynolds Metals Co. agreement provides that a permanent chairman
be appointed by the Chairman of the National War Labor Board, to
serve with a board composed of an equal number of company and
union representatives selected each time a dispute is to be adjudicated.
The other agreements also establish temporary boards, composed of
company and union representatives who select the impartial chairmen.
Ail but one of these provide for selection of the impartial representative
by a governmental agency if the company and union cannot agree;
four refer the selection to the Conciliation Service of the U. S. De­
partment of Labor, and one to either the United States Secretary of
Labor or the Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry.
The Reynolds Metals Co. and three of the smaller-company agree­
ments establish time limits for some of the procedures involved in
establishing the arbitration board. The former agreement and one
of the latter require that the company and union representatives be
appointed within 48 hours of a request for arbitration. Another
requires appointment of the company and union representatives
within 5 days of the request, and provides that if the party upon
which the request is made fails to appoint its representatives within
that time, it shall automatically be understood as a request to the
Conciliation Service to appoint an arbitrator.
The selection of an impartial chairman is referred by the various
agreements to the designated governmental agency within a period
ranging from 3 to 15 days after selection of the company and union
representatives. None of the agreements requires the arbitration
board to make its decision within any specified time, although one
states that it must meet within 5 days of the selection of the impartial
Scope of grievance procedure.—The Aluminum Co. of America
agreements state that grievances which may be adjusted through
use of the grievance procedure “ may include any difference of opinion
or dispute * * * regarding interpretation or explanation of any
provision of this agreement.” The Reynolds Metals agreement
likewise permits arbitration of any dispute arising under the terms

Alum inum -Fabrication Industry


of the agreement, specifically excluding proposed changes in the
agreement. The Reynolds Alloys agreement permits use of the
grievance machinery for any matter of controversy “ including wages,
hours, working conditions * * * except as provided in the attached
wage addenda [to the agreement].”
Two of the smaller-company agreements contain clauses permitting
discussion of any difference concerning the meaning of provisions or
“ any trouble” which may arise. Two others specifically provide that
wage rates are not subject to arbitration. The Bohn agreement and
the others of the smaller companies contain no specific definition of
Dis<^?§es —&}\ of the major and six of the smaller agreements
establish special procedures to be followed in case of discharge of a
regular employee, and all but one of these provide for reinstatement
of the employee with back pay if he is found to have been discharged
unjustly. The agreements which do not establish arbitration as the
means of settling other grievances do not provide for arbitration
concerning discharges.
The Aluminum Co. agreements provide that an employee may be
discharged for “ proper and just cause.” However, before he is finally
discharged there must be a suspension period of 5 days, in all plants
except those at Vernon, Massena, and La Fayette, where 3 days is spec­
ified. The employee and union representative must be told the reason
for the discharge and it may then be taken up as a grievance through
the regular grievance procedure. If possible, it is to be disposed of
within the suspension period but must be brought up within 10 days
of the actual discharge.
The Bohn agreement lists various specific acts for which the em­
ployee may be discharged, such as theft, falsification of the record of
work performed, habitual drunkenness on the job, etc. The employee
and plant chairman must be told the reason immediately, and a hear­
ing may be requested which must be held as soon as possible and not
later than the following working day. However, disciplinary penalties
of not more than 1 week’s lay-off are set by mutual agreement of the
foreman and department steward, whose decision is final. Both of the
Reynolds agreements grant the company the right to discharge an
employee for “ sufficient and reasonable cause” ; disputed discharges
are to be taken up through the regular grievance procedure. In the
Alloys plant, protest must be made within 10 days; the Metals agree­
ment does not establish any time limit.
Of the six smaller-company agreements which deal specifically with
the problem of discharge, two provide that disputed discharges shall
be considered under the regular grievance procedure. The other four
provide for special hearings after a discharge; in only one case is there
a time limit—24 hours for a protest to be made, and an additional 48
hours during which a hearing must be held.

The agreements of the Aluminum Co. of America and of the Rey­
nolds Metals Co. do not specifically prohibit work stoppages; the
Reynolds Alloys agreement prohibits stoppages during the “ utiliza­
tion” of grievance machinery. All these agreements, as indicated


Union Agreements

above, provide for arbitration of disputes not settled by the parties
concerned, although the Aluminum Co. agreements require mutual
consent before arbitration may be resorted to. The Bohn agreement,
which does not provide for arbitration of disputes, forbids stoppages
during negotiations on grievances.
Of the five smaller-company agreements which provide for arbitra­
tion, one contains no clause specifically prohibiting work stoppages,
two forbid resort to strikes and lockouts while grievances are being
negotiated, one during arbitration proceedings, and one during the
term of the agreement. Five of the agreements without arbitration
provisions also forbid stoppages during the use of the grievance ma­
chinery, one of these prohibiting them also during negotiations for a
new agreement, while the remaining agreement says nothing about a
strike or lockout.