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Frances Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lukin, Commissioner (on leave)
A. F. H inrichs, Acting Commissioner


Union Agreements in the Canned
Fruit and Vegetable Industry
Prepared by

Florence Peterson, C hief

Bulletin T^o. 794

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U. S. Governm ent Printing Office
Washington 25, D . C. - Price 10 cents



Summary.------- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Extent and development of collective bargaining________________________
Union agreements_____________________________________________________
Duration and renewal_________________________ ^__________________
The bargaining unit_______________________________________________
Regulations covering foremen_____________________________________
Union status:
Membership requirements_________________________________________
Collection of union dues___________________________________________
Activities affecting union status____________________________________
Wage provisions----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Minimum wage rates______________________________________________
H iring rates__________________________
Interim wage adjustment_________________________________________
Piece-work systems_______________________________________________
Piece-rate adjustment and job evaluation________________________
Intraplant transfer rates_____________
Minimum call pay______________________________________
Stand-by pay and split shifts______________________________________
Shift differentials--------------------------------------------------------------------------Miscellaneous pay provisions_______________________________
Hours and overtime------------------------------------------------------------------Seasonal exemptions_______________________________________
Guaranteed hours__________________________________________ ______
Meal periods_____________________________________________
Week-end and holiday pay_________________________________
Method of computing vacation pay________________________
Leaves of absence______________________________________________________
Leave for union business...___ ______________________________________
Seniority rules_________________________________________
Seniority for union officials_______________________________
Seniority for other special groups________ ____ ______________ _ - r -----Loss of seniority____________________________________________
Lay-off and rehiring-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Notice of lay-off----------------------------------------------------------------------------Work sharing__________________________________________
Promotions and transfers---------------------------------------------------------------------Military service and war jobs__________________________________________
Health and safety_____________________________________________________
Adjustment of disputes------------------------------------------------------------------------Grievance machinery______________________________________________
Payment during adjustment meetings---------------------------------------------Arbitration------------------------------------------------------------------------Discharges____________________________________________
Strikes and lockouts________________________________________________—

( h i)


Letter o f Transmittal


n it e d

S tates D

epartm ent op

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S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. (7., August 11, 1944.
The S e c r e t a r y o p L a b o r :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on union agreements
in the canned fruit and vegetable industry. The report is based on an
analysis of 32 employer-union agreements which were in effect during
the 1943 peak season.
This bulletin was prepared by Judith P. Zander under the immedi­
ate supervision of Abraham Weiss of the Industrial Relations Divi­
sion, Florence Peterson, Chief.
A. F. H i n r i o h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F r a n c e s P e r k i n s ,
Secretary of Labor.


Bulletin 7s[o. 794 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics

Union Agreements in the Canned Fruit and
Vegetable Industry
Approximately 40 percent of the more than 200,000 workers em­
ployed during the seasonal peak in the canned fruit and vegetable
industry are covered by union agreements. The following analysis
o f collective-bargaining arrangements is based on 32 agreements cov­
ering over 85 percent of the total workers employed under the terms
of union agreements which were in effect during the 1943 peak season.
The industry includes establishments whose principal products are
canned and dried fruits, vegetables, and soups, and canned and bottled
fruit juices. The chief processed foods not included are canned and
cured fish, preserves, jams, jellies, fruit butters, pickled fruits and
vegetables, vegetable sauces, and seasonings.1
Approximately one-third of the 2,000 canneries in the United States
are located on the West Coast; another third are located in the North
Central and Middle Atlantic States, chiefly New York, Indiana, and
Wisconsin; and the rest are scattered throughout most of the other
States in the country. Since the quality of canned fruit and veg­
etables depends on the rapidity with which they are processed after
picking, most of the canneries are located in areas close to the sources
o f supply. Because of the seasonal aspects of the industry and the
ease with which all but a few highly skilled operations may be learned,
it has become the practice to augment the regular work force by em­
ploying local housewives and students during the peak seasons.2
Employment in the canning industry fluctuates widely because of its
dependence on agricultural products. The number of people em­
ployed in the early fall of 1943 was probably three times the number
in the low employment months of early spring.
Average employment for the year 1943 was probably a little over
100,000. Plants which are limited to the canning of one or two sea­
sonal products maintain small crews in the off season, who are en­
gaged in labeling, reconditioning of machinery, shipping, and general
maintenance work. Because of the nature of this work, these regular
crews are made up primarily of male workers, whereas the seasonal
force consists largely o f women.
1 The industry definition used here corresponds to the 1939 Census of Manufactures classi­
fication No. 133, “ Canned and dried fruits and vegetables including canned soup.”
2 U. S. Department o f Labor. Women’s Bureau. Bulletin 176: Application of Labor
Legislation to the Fruit and Vegetable Canning and Preserving Industries (p. 68). Wash­
ington, 1940.


Extent and Development of Collective Bargainmg
About 40 percent of the estimated 200,000 workers employed at the
seasonal peak in the canned fruit and vegetable industry -are covered
by union agreements. Approximately 75 percent of these workers,
cniefly located on the West Coast, are under agreements with federal
labor unions directly affiliated with the American Federation of Labor,
since no national organization for cannery workers has been estab­
lished by the Federation. Another 20 percent are under agreement
with the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Workers
of America (C. I. O .), while the remaining 5 percent are represented
by various other unions.
There were attempts to organize both field and cannery workers
as far back as 1910, but unionization in the canning industry did not
begin on a significant scale until the 1930’s. Between 1929 and 1933
wage rates for field and process workers were reduced to less than onehalf of what they were before the depression, and following the passage
o f the National Industrial Recovery Act many of these discontented
workers accepted the opportunity to organize.3
Early in 1935 the California State Federation of Labor passed a
resolution calling for the organization of agricultural, cannery, and
packing-shed workers on a State-wide basis; 6 months later, 16 federal
labor unions of agricultural workers had been organized in the State.
In 1936 these locals established a coordinating State council, which
subsequently carried on an intensive organizational drive in canneries
throughout California. The council is known today as the California
State Council of Cannery Unions; and, although recognized by the
American Federation of Labor, it functions without an official charter
from that body.
In July 1937, a section of the A. F. of L. cannery workers who had
become discouraged by their failure to secure a national charter from
the A. F. of L. met with workers from 26 other States in Denver, Colo.,
to form the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Work­
ers o f America, which affiliated later in the same year with the C. I. O.

Union Agreements
This report analyzes the provisions of 32 union agreements on file
with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, covering over 85 percent of the
workers in the canned fruit and vegetable industry who were under
agreement during the 1943 peak season. Most of these agreements will
be in effect for the 1944 season; a few agreements, however, expired
early in 1944, but have been extended pending negotiation of new
The outstanding agreement in the industry is that negotiated by the
California State Council of Cannery Unions and the California Proces­
sors and Growers, Inc., the latter being an employer association formed
in 1936 to handle labor relations for the industry. The first agreement
negotiated by these two groups, which also marked the first area-wide
agreement in the industry, was signed in July 1937. Today the Cali­
fornia Processors and Growers, Inc., bargains for its 34 members
*U. S. Senate.

S. Kept. 1150, Pt. I l l <pp. 208, 332), 77th Cong., 2d sess.

whose 64 canneries, located in northern and central California, produce
nearly 80 percent of all canned goods processed in California. Some
35 independent canneries also have subscribed to the terms of this
agreement except for the provisions covering the grievance machinery.
In addition to the California Processors and Growers agreement, the
study includes 12 agreements negotiated by A. F. of L. federal labor
unions; 11 by the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied
Workers (C. I. O .) ; 4 by the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher
Workmen (A. F. of L . ) ; and 1 each by the United Steelworkers
(C. I. O .) ; District 50, United Mine Workers (independent); Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Teamsters (A. F. of L . ) ; and Hod Carriers,
Building and Common Laborers’ Union (A. F. of L .).
The agreement with the California Processors and Growers, Inc.,
covers about two-thirds o f all the workers under the agreements
analyzed. Other agreements covering over 2,500 workers at the sea­
sonal peak are those with the Campbell Soup Co. (plants at Camden,
N. J., and Chicago, 111.); the H. J. Heinz Co. (Pittsburgh, P a .); and
Libby, McNeill & Libby (Portland, Oreg.). Four agreements cover
between 1,0Q0 and 1,500 workers; 19, between 100 and 1,000; and 5, less
than 100 workers.

All but 2 of the agreements were initially negotiated for 1 year, but
all are automatically renewable, usually from year to year, unless
notice of desired change or termination is filed by either party 30 or
60 days prior to the expiration date. The California Processors and
the Campbell Soup Co. (N. J.) agreements were signed for 2-year
periods, but both permit modifications o f specified sections at yearly
intervals—wages, hours, and working conditions in the former, and
wages only in the latter. Most of the agreements provide that if
negotiations on proposed changes are in process when the agreement
expires, both parties shall continue to operate under the old agreement
until the new contract is signed; or, in one instance, for 30 days after
expiration, with the new terms retroactive to the expiration date of the
old contract.

In all o f the agreements the union bargains for all production,
maintenance, and service employees and in half of the agreements, for
watchmen as well. Office and administrative workers, on the other
hand, are always excluded, as are foremen in all but three of the smallcompany agreements.

Although workers classified as foremen are generally excluded from
both the union’s jurisdiction and the provisions of the agreements,
about half of the agreements regulate their productive activities. The
frequency o f such provisions probably stems from the industry’s
custom o f promoting regular production workers to the rank o f fore­
man during the processing season with, in some cakes, the authority to
hire and fire.

According to nine agreements, foremen may do routine productive
work only when a Special emergency” arises, and in two they are also
permitted to do maintenance work in the, nonprocessing season—in
one case, only when all members o f the regular maintenance crew are
working, and in the other, provided no more than three foremen are
assigned to such work.
Five other agreements, all with closed-shop clauses, allow foremen to
do routine production work provided they obtain a working permit and
pay dues to the union while engaged in such work. In one of these a
worker classified as a foreman must spend at least 6 weeks of the
year on supervisory work, and must be paid 10 percent more than the
minimum hourly rate of the workers in his group both when acting as
foreman or when “ working at routine work.” Even when acting as a
foreman, however, he is covered by the hours and holiday provisions of
the contract.
The line of demarcation between foremen and production workers
is even less distinct in the California Processors and Libby, McNeill
& Libby agreements and in one smaller agreement. In contrast to most
of the agreements discussed above—where foremen have the right
to hire and fire and where their productive work is regulated—fore­
men in these three agreements “customarily” supervise the work of
others and may only “recommend” hiring and firing. These agree­
ments specifically permit the assignment of foremen to routine duties
both during and after the processing season as long as they spend
most o f their time supervising and are paid a specified minimum.
In the California Processors agreement the minimum is set at $30 a
week; and in the other two agreements at $40.
Nearly all of the West Coast agreements prescribe that the number
o f foremen is to correspond as nearly as possible to the number of
departments in the plant; and a third of these expressly state that
questions over company compliance with regulations governing fore­
men shall be settled by the grievance machinery.

Union Status

The Libby, McNeill &Libby agreement and 11 of those with smaller
companies establish closed-shop conditions under which all workers
must be members of the union and all new employees must be hired
through the union. The California Processors agreement and 8 others
establish union shops which require all employees to become mem­
bers o f the union, but allow the employer to obtain new employees
from any source, provided such workers join the union within a speci­
fied time, ranging from 5 days to 1 month. The California Processors
agreement also* states that “ the employer will give preference o f em­
ployment to unemployed members of the local union.” 4 A few agree­
4 A supplementary emergency agreement negotiated in July 1943 provided that, when it
was necessary to hire workers other than present or former union members, such workers
could obtain an emergency card and would not be required to complete their affiliation with
the local uqless they so chose. Emergency cards must be renewed weekly. If, however,
these employees work more than 24 days or work all regular shifts when work is available
during 4 pay-roll periods, such workers are deemed to be in the same category as other
cannery workers and are required to join the union unless they are doing cannery work
in addition to their regular employment. Emergency workers do not acquire seniority
rights unless they join the union, in which case seniority is retroactive to the date
o f hiring.

ments in the latter group require new employees obtained from outside
sources to obtain a clearance card from the union before starting to
The two Campbell agreements, the Heinz agreement, and two others
provide that all employees who, 15 days after the signing o f the
agreement, are or become members of the union must remain members
in good standing for the duration of the agreement.5 O f the remain­
ing agreements, one covering a small plant provides that union mem­
bers shall be given preference in hiring, while the other five do not
require union membership as a basis for hiring or continued em­

Some provision for check-off of union dues by the company is made
in 10 of the 32 agreements; five of these are closed- or union-shop
agreements, four provide maintenance of membership, while one con­
tains no membership requirement. In the Heinz agreement and those
o f two smaller companies, the check-off is automatic for union mem­
bers, while in the other seven, including the Campbell agreements, dues
are checked off only on individual authorization by the employee.
About two-thirds of the agreements (including California Pro­
cessors and Libby, McNeill & Libby) which do not contain check-off
provisions, facilitate the collection of union dues by providing space
on plant property for an authorized agent to collect dues. In con­
trast, several agreements, all with smaller companies, prohibit col­
lection of dues on company time or property.

Clauses prohibiting company discrimination against employees be­
cause of union affiliation or for bona fide union activity are included
in all the major agreements and in many of the others; while specific#
reference to union coercion of employees to become members is made
in the Heinz agreement and six others with small firms, none of which
provide for a closed or union shop. Nearly all of the agreements for­
bid the discussion of union business and the solicitation of mem­
bership on company time.
About half the agreements, including all of the major ones except
the California Processors and the Campbell Soup Co., specifically pro­
vide for the posting of union notices in the plant either on general
company bulletin boards or on special union boards. * In nearly every
case the company reserves the right to prior inspection of the material
and the right to disapprove notices of a “ controversial” nature.

Wage Provisions
With but two exceptions the agreements indicate the basis on which
wage payments are calculated. Hourly rates are specifically provided
in every case for all regular employees and in most cases for seasonal
5 The Campbell agreements. provide that the “ question of union security" should be
submitted to the National War Labor Board: On August 9, lOiSV theB oard ordered ‘ the
parties to incorporate a standard voluntary membership-maintenance clause in their con­
tract and to provide for the check-off of union dues upon individual authorization.
609572°— 44------ 2

employees as well. Ten agreements^ however, all but two of which are
with plants on the West Coast, provide piece work for certain seasonal
workers. Eight of these provide for the posting o f piece rates o r
rates per unit of weight before the day’s operations are begun, and two
provide for daily rotation of piece workers, where practicable, when
position on the work line may give the employee an undue advantage..

O f the 30 agreements with wage provisions, 16 (including all the
large companies but Campbell) have both plant-wide minima and occu­
pational wage rates for men and women; 8 list minimum rates for
regular employees and 2 have plant minima for seasonal workers only,,
with one of these also listing occupational rates for regular employees.
The 2'Campbell agreements and the 2 remaining ones list occupational
rates but no plant minima.
In the 24 agreements which have plant-wide minima for regular em­
ployees, the rates for regular male employees range from 35 cents6
to 85 cents an hour; but 12 of these, including all the major agreements
except Campbell, specify minimum rates ox 70 cents or more.7 The
plant minima for regular female employees, which are lower in every
case than minimum rates for men, range from 32y2 to 80 cents an hour,,
with 52y2 cents the most common. The differences between male and
female rates range from 2y2 to 15 cents an hour, with a difference of
5 cents the most common. Since nearly all of the agreements, however,
specify that women shall receive men’s rates when put on men’s jobs,,
it may be inferred that most of these differences reflect differences
in jobs rather than sex differentials for the same work.
The agreements which list minimum rates only for seasonal workers
specify 45 and 4 2 ^ cents for men and 35 and 40 cents for women.
Five o f the small company agreements with minimum rates for reg­
ular employees establish lower plant minima for seasonal employees.
The differences range from 5 to 10 cents an hour for men and from
2y2 to 5 cents an hour for women.
In the four agreements with occupational rates only, the lowest
rates listed which are designated as “ general” or “ extra” labor range
from 45 to 50 cents an hour for men and from 40 to 48 cents for women.
Minimum rates for minors are established in 11 agreements. In 8
o f these, all with plants in the State of Washington, the 77%-cent min­
imum for boys is 7% cents below the minimum for adult male workers
while the 65-cent minimum for girls is 5 cents below the female min­
imum rate. In the Heinz agreement, the differentials are 10 cents for
boys under 18 and 5 cents an hour for boys between 18 and 21; in the
Campbell (N. J.) agreement the “ boy’s” rate is 11 cents and in Camp­
bell (111.) the “junior male” rate is 12 cents below the adult male
« Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the minimum wage rate for the canning
industry was set at 30 cents an hour. On October 17, 1943, the minimum was raised to 40
cents an h our; the rates below 40 cents are found in 2 agreements negotiated prior to that
7 While the wage rates reported in this analysis were current at the time the agreements
were signed, they may have been revised because of the directive issued by the Director o f
Economic Stabilization on May 11, 1943, authorizing canners to pay up to 8 cents m ore
than the rate paid common farm labor in the vicinity o f the plant.


About two-thirds o f the agreements—including those of all the major
'Companies except California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby—
prescribe hiring rates below the minimum for new, inexperienced
workers for a stipulated period, ranging from 3 weeks to 6 months.
Hiring rates apply to all new workers m 11 agreements, while in 8
others (all with plants located in the State ox Washington) hiring
rates apply only to boys and girls under 18. In the first group of agree­
ments the differences range from 2 to 5 cents an hour, with the latter
the most common; in the second group, boys receive a 5-cent increase
to their minimum rate after 30 days while girls receive 2y2 cents after
the same interval. In the Campbell agreements which indicate that
an incentive system is in force, a new employee advances from the
hiring rate to the base rate which is guaranteed after he has met the
standard o f production for 5 consecutive days, even though he may
later fail to maintain production.

Provisions for general wage changes during the life o f the agree­
ment are found in five agreements, two of which were signed for pe­
riods exceeding 1 year and the others for a 1-year period with provi­
sions for automatic yearly renewal. The Heinz, the California Proces­
sors, and the Campbell (N. J.) agreements permit either party to
request a reconsideration of the wage level upon specified notice—in
60 days, in 90 days, or at any time between October 1 and February 1,
respectively. An agreement with a smaller company permits wage
changes if the cost of living rises 5 percent, but makes actual changes
in .wages dependent on the state of company profits. The remaining
agreement specifies that a general wage change will be made auto­
matically in the event there is a “general rise in wages” in any two of
five other designated California plants, and further provides that “ if
classified employees are given a raise of pay above the rates stipulated
herein, in any two of the mentioned plants, employees of equal classi­
fications covered by this agreement shall automatically be raised to
the same level.”

O f the 10 agreements which mention piece rates, all but 1 provide
minimum guaranties.8 Combination group-individual incentive sys­
tems are provided in 7 agreements with West Coast companies. In
the California Processors agreement, for example, a “ guaranteed aver­
age rate” o f 80 cents an hour is established for piece-work crews. In
any week in which the average actual earnings of the group fall below
the guaranteed rate, a percentage adjustment “sufficient to produce a
group average of 80 cents an hour” is paid to each worker in the
group, regardless o f whether his individual earnings were above or
8 In any industry, when the actual hourly earnings of piece workers fall below the mini­
mum established under the Fair Labor Standards Act or State laws, whichever is higher,
the employer is required to make up the difference. The “ guaranties” referred to above
were set considerably higher than the legal minima in every case.

below the guaranteed rate. A similar adjustment is made in the other
agreements when less than 50 percent of the workers in the group earn
the guaranteed minimum.
Two other agreements refer to guaranteed hourly earnings: One
reads “Where piece rates are paid it is agreed they shall be computed
in accordance with the guaranteed hourly minimum based on average
production output, and in no case shall an employee receive less than
the guaranteed hourly rates.” Similarly, the Heinz agreement pro­
vides : “ Piece workers are guaranteed daily earnings equal to the earn­
ings at their hourly job grade rates for the jobs performed and the
number of hours they work.”

Specific provisions for rate setting and rate adjustment are outlined
in two agreements. Under the California Processors agreement, piece
rates may be changed to compensate for variations m products or
processes to correct errors or for other reasonable causes, provided the
employer gives advance notice to the union and to the employer’s com­
mittee of the change and the reason. I f the union disapproves of the
change it may submit the matter to the grievance machinery within
10 days. The second agreement provides that piece rates shall be estab­
lished by the end of 5 working days? but that the method of determin­
ing such rates shall be discussed with the union before the rates are
Job analysis and grading by a joint union-management committee
is provided under the Heinz agreement; while another agreement
states that “ a new job classification list of minimum rates * * *
shall be compiled by the management with the assistance of the union

One-third of the agreements mention wage rates in connection with
temporary transfers. About one-half of these agreements, including
California Processors, provide for the payment of the higher rate to
all employees transferred to higher-rated jobs, and the payment of
the employee’s old rate when the worker is transferred to a lower-rated
job. The remainder provide that the rate of the job to which he is
transferred shall apply only if the employee remains on the job to
which he was transferred a given length of time—from 3 days to 2


A ll but one of the agreements provide for the payment of a mini­
mum amount to employees who are called to work or who report for
work at the regular time but for whom no work is available. The
minimum guaranty varies from 1 to 4 hours’ pay, with 2 hours most
common. Two-thirds of these agreements, including those of all the
larger companies except H. J. Heinz, guarantee additional pay if
some work is done after reporting. The minimum guaranty under
these circumstances varies from 2 to 4 hours, with the latter the most


When operations are temporarily halted during the workday, seven
agreements provide for “ stand-by pay” if the suspension of work is
due to lack o f materials or other specified causes. In several of these,
stand-by pay is canceled when the temporary suspension of work is
caused by black-out, power failure, or other causes beyond the em­
ployer’s control. Five of the agreements provide that when there
is an interruption of operations because of lack of materials, employees
are to be paid “ straight-time or overtime rates, as the case may be.”
Another agreement specifies that they shall be paid one-half such
waiting time at their regular hourly rate unless the employer calls a
recess of 3 hours, in which event no pay is received. The Heinz agree­
ment specifies hourly workers are to be paid for “ time lost,” while
piece workers will be paid hourly or job grade rates when the waiting
period exceeds 15 minutes.
Six other agreements make no provision for stand-by pay and allow
split shifts without overtime pay when work is halted for reasons
beyond the employers’ control. The California Processors and Libby,
.McNeill & Libby agreements and one other stipulate that the employer
may declare a work recess for a period or periods o f not less than onehalf hour but not to exceed a total of 2 hours. One small-company
agreement permits the 8 hours o f work to be spread over 12 consecutive
hours during the processing season; in another, the company is
allowed to extend the straight-time workday beyond 9 hours for those
workers who have “ as a matter of past practice worked such 8 hours
within a longer spread o f hours” ; and another allows split shifts
when interruptions o f this nature occur on Saturday nights, Sundays,
or holidays during the 14-week “unlimited exemption” period.

To permit rapid processing of fresh produce when large quantities
o f fruits and vegetables are brought to the plant at one time, 11
agreements, including those of most of the larger companies, allow for
multiple-shift operations. O f these, the California Processors agree­
ment and 5 others (covering small plants) grant no differentials over
day rates for night work, simply stating that shifts shall be instituted
where necessary.
The other five agreements which mention shifts stipulate differential
rates for work between 6 p. m. and 6 a. m. In the two Campbell
agreements the differential is 10 percent of the day rate; in the Heinz
agreement and one other it is 5 cents and 10 cents an hour, respec­
tively. The Heinz agreement, however, limits payment of a shift
premium to the nonprocessing periods.

Special provisions for aged and handicapped employees who have
been with the company for a period of years are found only in the
agreements with large West Coast companies. Under these the em­
ployer has the right to adjust the hours and wages of an employee
who cannot accomplish a satisfactory day’s work because of age or

physical disability. Such provisions cover employees currently
employed and those who may be injured in the service of the employer.
Four agreements require the company to furnish, free of cost,
wearing apparel and safety devices necessary for the job. Another
states that the employee and the company shall equally share the
expense o f uniforms, but the employee’s share is not to exceed 75 cents
a week.
In the Heinz agreement an employee sent to the plant hospital
because of industrial injury is paid his regular rate for the time he is
required to remain there, while employees sent to the hospital because
o f illness are paid for the first hour or fraction thereof. This agree­
ment also stipulates that employees called up for jury duty are paid
the difference between their jury pay and their regular pay for the
working time lost by reason of such service. Another agreement pro­
vides that when an employee receives an injury on the job which is
not compensable under the State compensation laws, he shall be paid
for a full day’s work.

Hours and Overtime
All but 1 of the 32 cannery agreements contain hours and overtime
provisions. Twenty-four distinguish between the processing and non­
processing season by allowing additional hours of work at straighttime rates during seasonal peaks known as exemption periods; 9 7
o f these refer to 2 separate exemption periods. Although the 7 remain­
ing agreements establish a basic 8-hour day and 40-hour week, with time
and a half for work in excess of these limits, throughout the year, sev­
eral specify some exceptions. One limits these hours to regular em­
ployees, while seasonal employees are subject to the exemptions of the
Fair Labor Standards Act. Another allows an additional hour daily
at straight-time rates but stipulates that, if more than 9 hours are
worked, time and a half will be paid for all work in excess of 8 hours
except to warehouse employees. A third excludes clean-up employees
from the 8-hour day; these receive time and a half after 9 hours. Five
o f the seven 40-hour-week agreements cover companies whose plants
are located in or near large cities where they compete with other in­
dustries for a labor supply; while the other 2 are with firms not entitled
to the statutory seasonal exemptions.1
In 22 o f the 24 agreements with different seasonal standards the basic
hourly overtime standards during the nonprocessing season are time
and a half for work in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week,
although 1 agreement requires male employees to work 9 hours before
daily overtime begins.1 O f the 2 remaining agreements, 1 requires
9 Canneries may take advantage of three types of hour exemptions permissible under the
Fair Labor Standards Act, but it is not possible to tell from the agreements the number
or type of exemptions taken. The exemptions which may apply to canneries are as follow s:
(1) A total exemption from both wage and hour provisions throughout the year is allowed
“ any individual employee within the area of production (as defined by the Administrator),
and engaged in * * * canning of agricultural or horticultural commodities for market’*
(sec. 1 3 -a -1 0 ). (2) A total exemption from the hour provisions of the act for 14
weeks o f the year is provided for employees of employers engaged in “ the first processing
of, or the canning of * * * perishable or seasonal fresh fruits or vegetables” (sec. 7 -c ).
(3) A limited exemption from the hour provisions of 12 hours per day and 56 per week
may be granted for 14 weeks to persons engaged in any industry found by the Administra­
tor to be of a seasonal nature (sec. 7 -b -3 ). Canneries located outside the “ area of pro­
duction” may take advantage of (2) or (3) or both.
1 These firms are engaged in dried-fruit packing, which is not considered eligible for an
exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
n Except for closing-machine operators, canning-room inspectors, and shipping clerks
who may work more than 9 hours at straight-time rates.

time and a half after 40 hours weekly, but contains no daily overtime?
the other simply states that the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards
Act shall govern overtime pay. Double time after 12 hours daily is
rovided in 6 agreements—including California Processors and Libby,
IcNeill & Libby—and after 14 hours in another.



Ten o f the 24 agreements which refer to seasonal exemptions specify
neither the number nor the kinds of exemptions taken, simply stating
that during the processing season hours and overtime pay shall be de­
termined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. On the other hand, 14
explicitly establish a limit on the number of hours per day and/or week
which may be worked at straight-time rates, although, it is not always
possible to determine which or how many of the three allowable exemp­
tions are referred to in these cases. In the latter group of agreements,
9 establish longer straight-time hours for men than for women, while
5 have the same hours and overtime arrangements for both sexes. The
hours and overtime provisions specified in these agreements are shown
in table 1.
T a b l e 1.— Hours and Overtime Rates During the Seasonal Exemption Period in

Cannery Agreements
Separate Hours Standards for Men and Women

Number of agreements
3 AgrAAtnAnts 1

Workers covered


2 agreeroMits

.._ .


1 agrAAiriAnt .


W om an. . . . . . .

1 agrAAmfint .. ._

W oman. _

1 fl.grAAm


M an.

1 flgrAA .m A .nt


_. .




Hours and overtime rates
Time and a half after 10 hours daily or 60 hours weekly;
double time after 12 hours daily.
Time and a quarter after 8 hours daily; time and a half after
10 hours daily or 60 hours weekly; double time after 12
hours daily.
Time and a half after 10 hours daily or 60 hours weekly;
double time after 12 hours daily.
Time and a half after 9 hours daily or 54 hours weekly;
double time after 12 hours daily.
Time and a half after 10 hours daily or 60 hours weekly.
Time and a half after 9 hours daily or 54 hours weekly.
Time and a half after 10 hours daily; double time after
12 hours daily.
Time and a half after 9 hours daily; double time after 12
hours daily.
Time and a half after 45 hours weekly.
Time and a quarter after 8 hours daily; time and a half after
45 hours weekly; double time after 12 hours daily.
Time and a half after 56 hours weekly.
Time and a half after 11 hours daily or 56 hours weekly.

Identical Hours Standards for Men and Women

2 AgrAA.mAnts _
Men and women.. Time and a half after 56 hours weekly.
2 agreements__ __ _____ ....... do______ ____ Time and a half after 8 hours daily or 48 hours weekly;
double time after 12 hours daily.
....... do.................... Time and a half after 12 hours daily or 72 hours weekly.
i Over 70 percent of the workers in this sample are covered by these provisions. The California Processors
agreement allows the extension of straight-time hours from 10 to 12 hours daily by mutual agreement on a
plant-by-plant basis, provided copies of the agreement are filed with the California Processors and the
California State Council of Cannery Unions.

In addition to the seasonal hours tolerances described above, seven
agreements also establish special hours standards for the “pea canning”
or “tomato processing” seasons or refer to the “ unlimited hours”

-exemption. The overtime-pay requirements during this second ex­
emption period are less generous than during the seasonal exemptions
described above and are shown in table 2.
Table 2.— Hours and Overtime Rates During the Special Exemption Period in
Cannery Agreements


Number of agreements
4 agreements__________ Men
1 Agreement


1 agreement__________
1 agreement


W omen
M en .



. _.. __
_ __


Men. _




Unlimited straight-time hours.
Unlimited straight-time hours.
Unlimited straight-time hours.
Time and a half after 11 hours daily.
Time and a half after 70 hours weekly.
Time and a quarter after 8 hours daily; time and a half
after 70 hours weekly: double time after 12 hours daily.
Time and a half after 66 hours weekly.
Time and a half after 9 hours daily or 64 hours weekly.


One small-company agreement stipulates that where any regular
employee is called to work the first or second day of the regular work­
week, he shall be guaranteed a minimum of 32 hours o f work for that

Provisions for meal periods of definite length at specified intervals
are found in 12 o f the agreements. Half of these provide for lunch
periods of 1 full hour, generally after 5 hours of work, and the others
for 30-minute periods after 4- to 6-hour work periods. O f those pro­
viding a 1-hour lunch period, the California Processors and Libby,
McNeill & Libby agreements and one other provide that the period may
be reduced to 30 minutes by mutual agreement, in the first on a plantby-plant basis. I f such mutual agreement is lacking, these 3 agree­
ments and 1 other specify that time and a half shall be paid if more
than 5 hours o f work are performed before a lunch recess is called.
Two other agreements allow the lunch period to be extended to 1 hour,
in 1 o f these, however, during the processing season only.
One agreement specifies that no overtime, and another that no com­
pensation, will be paid for work performed during the lunch period;
while two other agreements stipulate double time must be paid for
all such work.

Week-End and Holiday Pay
Most o f the agreements with premium rates for week-end work were
negotiated in conformance with Executive Order No. 9240 & but also
provided Saturday and Sunday rates which were to be substituted
when the order no longer applied to the industry. In contrast, the
Heinz agreement and the two Campbell agreements, which were also
“ Executive Order No. 9240 prohibits premium pay for Saturday and Sunday work as
such for “ all work relating to the prosecution of the war,” and makes the payment of
double time mandatory for the seventh consecutive day of a regularly scheduled workweek.
On August 23, 1943, the Secretary of Labor issued a determination stating that “ in the
case of an employer engaged in the first processing of, o f in canning or packing, perishable
or seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables the provisions of Executive Order No. 9240 shall
not apply to his employees in any place of employment where he is so engaged.”

negotiated in conformance with Executive Order No. 9240,1 have re­
tained the premium rates for sixth and seventh day work, instead of
for Saturday and Sunday per se.
Time and a half for all Saturday work is stipulated in the California
Processors and six other agreements, in one other for work after 1
p. m. on Saturday, and in another for work on “ Saturday night”
during the nonprocessing season. The California Processors agree­
ment does not mention whether the premium rate for Saturday work
applies during the processing season, while during the nonprocessing
season the rate applies only if the employer does not give the employees
and the union notice at the earliest possible date, or if the work is
not of an emergency nature. Only one of the other agreements, in
which no seasonal exemption is taken, specifies that the premium rate
applies throughout the year, while the others limit the payment of
premium rates to the nonprocessing season.
Payment of the premium rate for all Sunday or seventh-day work
throughout the year is required by 9 agreements, half of which provide
for seasonal exemptions. On the other hand, 10 agreements waive
these premium rates during the exemption periods. In the California
Processors agreement and 1 other, time and a half is paid for work
on either Sunday or the seventh day when specified commodities are
being processed. Another agreement specifies the premium rate will
apply to all but 6 Sundays in the year; and the remaining agreement
does not mention whether the rate applies during the processing
Holidays.— Pay for holidays not worked is allowed in only two
agreements: The Campbell (111.) agreement allows pay for Christmas
and the Campbell (N. J.) agreement, for Thanksgiving, to employees
who work on the workday immediately preceding and immediately
following the holiday. '
Premium pay for work on holidays is established in 26 of the 32
agreements; 23 require time and a half and 3 require double time.
In the group requiring time and a half, two-thirds of the agreements
designate 6 holidays, the California Processors and a few others desig­
nate 7, one designates 8, and another 9. In the other group, double
time is paid for 6 holidays in 2 agreements and for 10 holidays in the
third. Only 3 small-company agreements specify that the premium
rates shall not apply if the holiday occurs during an exempt week.
Payment of overtime after 32 hours (instead of 40) during a holiday
week is specifically provided in 2 agreements. One other provides
that employees shall receive time and a half for all work in excess of
32 hours in a 40-hour week and of 48 hours in a.56-hour week or for
work on the holiday, whichever is greater; in an unlimited week these
employees receive time and a half for work on the holiday or straight
time plus 4 hours’ pay for work in excess of 56 hours, whichever is
greater. The California Processors and 3 other agreements prohibit
all but emergency work on Labor Day; and another prohibits all
holiday work except that necessary to the war effort and provides no
premium rate for such work.
1 Prior to the order, the Campbell (111.) agreement provided that employees, except watch­
men, firemen, and engineers, were to receive time and a half for work on Saturday and
Sunday throughout the year.
609572°— 44------3

Paid vacations are provided for regular employees under 21 agree­
ments including all the major companies; 2 of these grant vacations to
seasonal workers as well. Fourteen of the agreements, including
California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby, establish a maxi­
mum paid vacation of 1 week, generally after 1 year o f service,
although 2 reqiiire 2 years’ service. One grants a week’s vacation to
any regular or seasonal employee who has worked 100 days in each
o f the 3 preceding years or to any regular employee who has worked
some part o f the last 5 years. In 12 of the 14 agreements with a maxi­
mum o f 1 week’s paid vacation, this is the only vacation; the other
2 allow 3 days’ paid vacation after 6 months and 1 year, respectively.
More extensive vacation plans are provided by seven agreements.
In five of these the maximum is 2 weeks after periods of service
ranging from 1 to 8 years. O f the two remaining agreements, one
allows “ 60 hours’ vacation with pay” after 5 years’ service and the
other provides 2 weeks after 5 years’ service for both men and women
and 3 weeks after 15 years’ service for women and after 20 years’
service for men. Shorter vacations allowed in these agreements are
as follow s: One day after 3 months and 2 days after 3 months in two
agreements, respectively; 1 week after 6 months in one; and 1 week
after 1 year in the others. The agreement which allows “ 60 hours’
vacation with pay” also allows “20 hours’ vacation with pay” to
seasonal workers with 8 months’ service.
The service requirement is qualified in about half the agreements by
a provision that the employee must have actually worked a minimum
period during the service year. The California Processors, Libby,
McNeill & Libby, and several other agreements require an employee
to have worked 1,600 straight-time hours in 40 weeks; two others
require 1,800 straight-time hours in 45 weeks. In two agreements
1 year’s service is considered as 1,500 and 1,600 total hours, respec­
tively ; but the accumulation of these hours for vacation purpose may
be extended over a 2-year period if necessary. One of the latter agree­
ments allows 2 weeks’ vacation after 3 years’ service, construed as
4,800 hours o f work, but permits this time to be accumulated over a
4-year period. One of the agreements allowing a week’s vacation after
2 years’ service requires men to work 2,295 hours in the preceding
calendar year, while women, mostly seasonal workers, must work 1,428
or 1,020 hours for 28 or 20 hours’ vacation, respectively.
Another agreement requires the employee to work some part o f 33
separate weeks but sets no requirements as to hours. The Heinz
agreement, which allows a week after 1 year and 2 weeks after 8 years,
requires the employee to have worked at least 200 days in the preceding
calendar year to be eligible for the full vacation; employees who have
worked more than 150 but less than 200 days are entitled to a half
week’s vacation after 1 year of service, and 1 week’s vacation after
8 years.

Over half the agreements with paid vacations (including some with
single and some with graduated plans) calculate 1 week’s vacation
pay at 40 times the employee’s basic hourly rate. One agreement,

however, stipulates that 56 hours’ pay will be granted for 7 days’
vacation and another allows 44 hours’ pay for 1 week’s vacation and
22 hours’ pay for one-half week’s vacation, respectively. In the Heinz
agreement and one other, vacation pay is calculated on the basis o f
average hourly earnings for the year and in another agreement on the
average hourly earnings during the “two pay periods but one immedi­
ately preceding the vacation.” In the agreement which sets a mini­
mum work requirement of 33 weeks for a week’s vacation, pay is
3 percent of the employee’s total annual compensation. The Camp­
bell (111.) agreement and one other do not state how vacation pay is
to be computed.
In one agreement employees who do not exceed the permissive days
o f unexcused absence per year (10 days for women and 5 for men)
receive full vacation pay of 1 week after 6 months’ service and 2 weeks
after a year. I f the number of unexcused absences is exceeded, em­
ployees receive the same time off but with one-half week’s pay after
6 months and 1% week’s pay after a year.
Pay in lieu of vacation is prohibited in all the agreements except
one, which permits the employer to grant vacation pay but no time off
for the duration of the war if “sufficient help is not available.” A ll the
agreements prohibit the accumulation o f vacation periods. In all of
the agreements with vacation provisions, the company reserves the
right to designate the vacation period, although a few allow employees
to state a preference in accordance with seniority. Nearly all of the
agreements specify vacations shall be taken during the nonprocessing
period; one stipulates that vacations shall be taken when the plant is
shut down in December.

Leaves o f Absence
With the exception of the Heinz agreement and those o f two smaller
companies, all of the agreements provide for leave of absence for per­
sonal reasons. Most o f these establish no limit on the amount of leave
granted, although five place a 3-month limit, subject to extension. The
two Campbell agreements limit such leave to 60 days “ provided the
company is satisfied with the reasons given for such leave of absence.”
The Campbell (N. J.) agreement also prohibits workers from taking
other jobs during such leave except if “ such work is requested by the
United States Government in an ordnance plant.”
About half of the agreements with leave provisions, including those
o f all the larger firms, require company consent and union approval
before leave o f absence is taken. The Campbell agreements and two
others specify that leaves may not be taken during the peak season.

Provisions for leave o f absence for union business are found in 14
agreements covering nearly 75 percent of the workers, including all
those o f the larger firms except the Campbell Soup Co. and the Heinz
Co. The extent o f leave varies from 15 days in any 6-month period indefinite period, with most o f the provisions in the latter category.
Two agreements limit leave for union business to union members
who are appointed as delegates to conventions, and one of these specifies
that no more than five employees may request such leave at any time

and permission must be asked at least 10 days in advance. Most of the
agreements allow such leave “ without loss of seniority rights” ; the
California Processors agreement and one other specifically provide that
seniority shall accumulate during leave for union business.

Seniority Rules
Seniority rules recognizing length of service as the basis for prefer­
ential consideration in lay-off and rehiring and occasionally for pro­
motions are found in all the agreements. Detailed provisions are
found in all but 1. which merely states that “ seniority rights shall
prevail in all cases.” The right to acquire seniority is limited to regu­
lar employees in 10 of the agreements, while the others extend the
privilege to both regular and seasonal workers. Separate seniority
rosters for regular and seasonal workers are established under 12 agree­
ments which include all the major companies; the others provide for
one seniority list arranged in order of the last date of hiring. In the
California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements and
1 other, workers may have places on both lists so that when a regular
worker is laid off he may reclaim his standing on the seasonal list. The
Heinz agreement establishes separate seniority lists for men and women.
About a third of the agreements, including those of all the major
companies, require both regular and seasonal employees to serve a pro­
bationary period before seniority can be acquired, with seniority rights
retroactive to the date of hiring. Most of these set the same proba­
tionary requirements for. regular and seasonal employees, most com­
monly 30 days, although some specify periods ranging from 2 weeks to
10 months. Four o f the agreements have separate seniority rosters for
regular and seasonal employees with separate requirements for these
groups. The California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby
agreements and one other require employees to work 30 out of 52 weeks
to qualify for the regular seniority roster, while employees qualifying
for the seasonal roster must work 60 per cent of the operating days
during the processing season. The other agreement requires a worker
to serve a 2-week probationary period for a regular job, while an
employee who wishes to qualify for the seasonal seniority roster must
work 40 percent of the operating days of the season.

The practice of placing shop stewards and committeemen at the head
o f seniority lists is not common in the canning industry, although such
provisions are found in four agreements with small firms in the Eastern
and Midwestern sections of the country. A ll provide that they shall
return to their regular place on the seniority list at the expiration of
their term o f office.

Common to all o f the West Coast agreements and to those o f many
firms in the Midwest are special provisions relating to skilled employees.
The California Processors agreement, for example, states that when it
is necessary to “employ persons to perform supervisory duties or duties

requiring special training or experience, and in the employer’s judg­
ment it is necessary to select a person regardless of seniority to fill a
position, such person may be employed and assigned * * * with­
out regard to the seniority list, provided he is compensated at a wage
higher5than the minimum paid to experienced routine workers. One
agreement states that when the services of skilled operators are required
and such operators are not on the seniority list the company may obtain
them from any source.
In all o f the large West Coast agreements and in two with Midwest­
ern companies, the company reserves the right to employ and train
students for managerial positions, although students may not accu­
mulate seniority nor displace any o f the regular workers. Under these
agreements students are ineligible for union membership and may be
hired and transferred at the company’s discretion. Some agreements
provide that students who are part of the regular seasonal force and
not in training for managerial positions shall be members of the union
and may accumulate seniority. Under all o f these agreements, stu­
dents who return to school after working on the seasonal force retain
their seniority.

Clauses safeguarding seniority rights during periods of enforced
lay-off are found in about two-thirds of the agreements, including
those of all the major companies, although the length of time during
which such protection is afforded varies considerably. The maximum
period of lay-off before seniority is lost is most frequently specified for
regular employees only, and varies from 60 days to 1 year. The Libby,
McNeill & Libby agreement and one other, however, set no maximum
on lay-off beyond which seniority is lost but provide that “regular
employees laid off because of lack of work shall be restored to their
former place * * * when work is available.”
In the case o f seasonal employees whose seniority is generally com­
puted on the number o f consecutive seasons worked, seniority rights
are presumably lost only if they fail to report for the next operating
season. Under the California Processors and Growers agreement,
however, no employee, regular or seasonal, loses his seniority until he
has been off the plant pay roll for a calendar year or has been on the
plant pay roll for 2 consecutive years but has tailed to meet minimum
work requirements in either year. I f the employee subsequently quali­
fies for seniority he is entitled to credit for the “ intervening year or
years” not to exceed 2 consecutive years.
Most of the agreements establish time limits within which an em­
ployee must report when recalled to work or lose his seniority unless
he can furnish a justifiable excuse for not reporting when recalled.
These limits range from 2 to 5 days, 3 days being most frequently men­
tioned. All o f the agreements specifically state that seniority shall
terminate on discharge or voluntary separation.

Lay-Off and Rehiring
Twenty-four of the agreements with detailed seniority rules, includ­
ing those of all the major companies, provide that lay-offs shall be in
strict accordance with seniority. Three agreements, on the other hand,

state that seniority shall goyeriJ only if skill atid ability are equal, and
4 others provide that “ length of service in the plant as well as skill and
efficiency of the worker shall be taken into consideration when hiring or
lay-offs occur.” A ll of the agreements providing for the separate
listing of regular and seasonal employees specify that seasonal workers
(and probationary employees) shall be laid off before any workers on
the regular force.
Seniority is acquired and exercised in one unit only in most of the
agreements. One agreement with a company operating several plants
uses company-wide seniority as the basis for lay-off and rehiring for all
workers covered by plants m the same community. In the California
Processors, Libby, McNeill & Libby, the 2 Campbell, and 17 other
agreements plant-wide seniority determines the order of lay-off and
rehire, although in the Campbell (N. J.) and 1 other agreement mainte­
nance employees may exercise departmental seniority only. In 4
agreements the order of lay-off and rehire of all employees is deter­
mined solely by departmental seniority. Another agreement allows
employees to accumulate seniority on the basis of total plant service,
but they may exercise it only in the department to which they are
Under the Heinz agreement, production workers acquire seniority on
the basis o f total plant service but apply their seniority to both the
department and the plant. For example, in a temporary reduction of
forces (i. e., a lay-off of less than 2 weeks) total plant service is applied
within the department only; in a general reduction, total plant service
is applied throughout the plant. In the latter instance, if a lay-off
lasts 2 weeks or more a male employee with 1 to 10 years’ seniority may
displace any other male in the plant with less than 1 year’s service,
while a male employee with more than 10 years’ service may displace
the junior man among those with less than 10 years’ service. Em­
ployees with seniority of less than 1 year as well as those on mainte­
nance work may apply it only within their departments. The same
right to displace junior workers in other departments is granted to
female employees who have accumulated 5 years or more of service.
The right to “bump” is circumscribed, however, by the requirement
that the senior employee have at least 1 year’s seniority over the
employee displaced.
Two other agreements allow employees to accumulate and exercise
seniority on a plant-wide basis except during temporary lay-offs,
defined in one agreement as less than 2 days. On a lay-off, employees
with insufficient seniority to remain in their own departments are
permitted to displace workers in other departments with less total
plant seniority. In one of these agreements the right to displace
workers in other departments is limited to employees with more than
6 months’ total plant seniority.
The remaining agreement allows seniority rights to be accumulated
and exercised on a plant basis for lay-off. In rehiring, however, pref­
erence is given to those employees who have worked on specific pro­
ducts in preceding years. For example, the agreement states that the
regular shift on beets and carrots is to be made up by rehiring workers
with experience on these vegetables.
All the agreements with West Coast plants and several others with
Midwestern companies provide that after all the workers on the

seniority lists have been rehired, preference shall be given residents o f
the community.

Advance notice of lay-off is provided in two agreements which re­
quire the employer to notify the shop steward 24 hours before lay­
offs occur.

Provisions for work sharing before lay-offs take place are found in
four agreements. The Campbell agreements provide that if after the
lay-off o f probationary and seasonal employees the average workweek
falls below 35 hours the question of a program for the division of
available work may be brought up for discussion. The other two
agreements provide for an equal division of available work among
regular employees until the average workweek is less than 32 hours,
after which lay-offs on the basis of seniority take place.

Promotions and Transfers
Consideration of seniority in making promotions is stipulated in
over half the agreements covering 90 percent of the workers. Eleven
of these, all negotiated by West Coast or Midwestern companies, pro­
vide that seniority alone shall govern promotions, and seven of these
in which seniority is exercised on a plant-wide basis also stipulate that
the senior employee shall be given a trial period to prove his ability to
perform the work to which his seniority entitles him. Seniority is a
secondary factor in determining promotions in agreements which
give first consideration to skill and ability and, occasionally, physical
fitness. In every case the seniority unit for promotion is the same
as for lay-off and rehiring. A few small-company agreements give
employees the right to turn down a specific promotion without
jeopardizing their chances for future openings. The California Pro­
cessors and Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements provide that vacancies
shall be filled from the seniority list whenever possible; and deviations
from this procedure are subject to the grievance machinery.
Only the Heinz agreement and one other mention the effect of a
transfer on an employee’s seniority status. Under the Heinz agree­
ment an employee who is transferred to a “new department” cannot
acquire seniority in the new department for 1 year. Should a lay-off
for more than 1 week occur iii the new department within the 1-year
period, the employee may exercise his former seniority to “ bump” back
into his old department. After 1 year his total service is applied to the*
new department only. The other agreement, in which seniority is ac­
cumulated on a departmental basis, has separate rules for transfer
made either at an employee’s or at the employer’s request. An em­
ployee temporarily transferred by the company to another department
retains seniority m his former department. I f the employee desires
to make the transfer permanent, he automatically loses seniority in
his former department and is placed at the bottom of the list in the?
new department.

Military Service and War Jobs
Clauses protecting the seniority and reemployment rights of em­
ployees who enter the military service are found in all but three of
the small-company agreements. Two-thirds of the agreements, in­
cluding those of all the major companies, provide that upon presenta­
tion o f an honorable discharge certificate the employee shall be
restored to his former position or one of a similar status and pay “ with­
out loss of seniority” ; the others specifically provide for the accumula­
tion o f seniority by employees on military leave.
Five o f the agreements provide that a bonus shall be given to
workers entering military service. In the Heinz agreement the bonus
is 1 month’s salary or average monthly pay; in two others it is 2 and
4 weeks’ pay, respectively; in one the bonus is based on the employee’s
“ past productivity” ; and in the fifth employees are paid the difference
between their regular pay and their service pay for the first 4 weeks
o f service.
In addition to the bonus, the Heinz agreement pledges the company
to continue the employee’s “ Free and Co-operative Life Insurance” at
company expense for 60 days from the date of his induction into the
armed forces. Should the employee subscribe to National Service
Life Insurance within 60 days of his enrollment, the company will re­
imburse him quarterly, if it is financially able to do so, for the premium
he pays on such insurance up to the combined amount of “ Free and
Co-operative Group Insurance” he carried at the time he left the
company’s service.
References to the effect o f transfers to war jobs in other plants on an
employee’s seniority rights are found only in a few agreements, which
state that in the event of a Federal labor draft employees affected shall
accumulate seniority.

Health and Safety
Most o f the agreements allow relief periods, usually of 10 minutes at
2-or 2%-hour intervals. Three of the major agreements—H einz;
Libby, McNeill and L ibby; and Campbell (111)—simply state that ade­
quate relief periods will be granted but, in the last agreement, only to
workers on continuous operations.
Under five o f the agreements with smaller companies, employees may
be required to take a physical examination at the company’s request,
three specifying that the company will pay for such examination.
One agreement with a small company specifies that female employees
shall not be required to lift more than 15 pounds in continuous work;
another specifies that women are not to lift weight in excess of 30
pounds at any one time. One agreement with a small company pro­
vides for the establishment o f a joint safety committee of union and
company officials to meet regularly for the purpose of promoting
safety and eliminating hazards. Another agreement provides for a
registered nurse for both day and night shifts whenever more than
40 women are working.
The California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements
specifically state that questions of health and safety, speed-up, sanitary
facilities, and work at more than one machine are subject to the regular

grievance machinery, although the right of the union to raise similar
questions in the other agreements may be implied.

Adjustment o f Disputes
A ll but 1 o f the agreements outline the specific steps in the presenta­
tion and negotiation of grievances, and all but 6 of the 32 agreements
provide some form of arbitration as the final step in settling disputes.

The agreements vary widely with respect to the methods used in the
initial presentation of grievances. In the California Processors and
Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements and 14 others, the shop committee
or union representative discusses the grievance with the foreman or (in
the first of these) with plant management without the aggrieved em­
ployee present. Under the Heinz agreement and 4 others the employee
has the option o f discussing the grievance with the foreman or of hav­
ing his union representative take up the grievance for him. Five
agreements specify that the individual employee is to take up the griev­
ance with the foreman himself, while in 3 others the employee involved
must accompany the union representative. In the 2 Campbell agree­
ments the employee may present the grievance himself or have the
steward accompany him.
I f grievances are not satisfactorily settled at the first step in the pro­
cedure the agreements generally provide that one or more members of
the shop committee or the union representative shall take up the dispute
with the plant manager. In the California Processors agreement and
one other, disputes thereafter go to a permanent committee on which
management and the union are equally represented; while in the
Libby, McNeill & Libby agreement and one other disputes not settled
by the union executive committee and the management may be sub­
mitted to a permanent bipartisan board.
The permanent bipartisan committee, called the Central Adjustment
Board under the California Processors agreement, is composed o f
four regular (including one woman) and two alternate business agents
elected bv the California State Council of Cannery Unions and a com­
mittee of like number elected by the California Processors and Grow­
ers, Inc. No member of the California Processors or member of a local
union involved may participate on the Central Adjustment Board
in his own case. Employers who have signed the master agreement
but who are not members o f the California Processors may resort to
one o f three designated grievance procedures: (1) Appeal to the Cen­
tral Adjustment Board established by the master agreement, (2) estab­
lishment o f a board composed of four union representatives and four
representatives o f the independent employers to function in the same
manner as the Central Adjustment Board, or (3) establishment of a bi­
partisan, plant committee composed of three company and three union
representatives to act on the grievances affecting only the plant o f the
individual employer.
The California Processors agreement is the only one o f the cannery
agreements which states that the employer has an equal right to present
609572°—-44---- 4

grievances to the shop committee and/or Central Adjustment Board,
and the only one specifically to provide that all eases “ relating to the
refusal of union members to work with nonunion employees” are sub­
ject to the grievance machinery. Under this agreement, interpretations
and adjustments made in tfie settlement of local disputes may be
reversed by the Central Adjustment Board. Employer members of
the California Processors or local unions affiliated with the council
who fail to comply with decisions o f the Central Adjustment Board
may be expelled from their respective organization.
To expedite the settlement o f disputes, 22 agreements covering 80
percent of the workers impose time limits on most stages of the griev­
ance procedure, and 4 of these provide for regular meetings of the
lant grievance committee and the management. The California
Processors agreement provides for monthly meetings of the Central
Adjustment Board although it has no provisions for regular meetings
within the individual plants.
Grievance meetings, both those regularly scheduled and those called
only when the need arises, are to be held outside of working hours in
about half of the agreements, during working hours in about onequarter of the others, and either during or after working hours in one
agreement; the rest do not state when meetings are to be held.



Although several agreements specify that shop stewards shall be
allowed time off to settle grievances at the initial stage of the dispute,
only the Heinz agreement specifically allows stewards pay for time
lost, the company reserving the right to discontinue such payment
“ in case of abuse.” A t advanced stages of the grievance procedure
only one small-company agreement provides that union representa­
tives shall be paid for time Tost in the settlement of ordinary disputes.
However, the two Campbell agreements provide that union represent­
atives shall be paid for time lost if it is necessary to call a special
meeting during working hours to settle a dispute of an “ emergency”
nature. An. “emergency” grievance is defined as one which if post­
poned would, in the company’s opinion, result in “irreparable loss to
the war effort, to the company, or to the employees.” In the Cali­
fornia Processors agreement union representatives on the adjustment
board are full-time paid union officials.

All but 1 of the 26 agreements which provide for arbitration as the
final step in the settlement of disputes, state that arbitration may be
invoked at the request o f either party—the Heinz agreement requires
mutual consent In all cases the arbitrator’s decision is explicitly
declared to be final and binding.
The 2 Campbell agreements and 14 others establish tripartite arbi­
tration boards consisting of one or two representatives chosen by each
side at the time of the dispute, together with a jointly selected im­
partial chairman. Under the California Processors, Libby, McNeill
& Libby, and 6 other agreements, on the other hand, the dispute is
referred to a single arbitrator (in one case to the Massachusetts State

Board o f Conciliation and Arbitration) for final disposition. In the
California Processors and Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements and 1
other, the arbitrator is appointed only when the bipartisan board fails
to agree.
In all but four of the agreements the arbitrator or arbitration board
is chosen for particular disputes; in the others, all with small com­
panies, the arbitrator is designated to settle all disputes arising during
the term o f the agreement. A third of the agreements provide that
a designated public agency shall make the selection if the company
and the union are unable to agree upon the selection of an impartial
erson. Most frequently named agencies are the U. S. Conciliation
ervice and appropriate State mediation boards, although one agree­
ment delegates the choice to the Secretary of State of the State of
Illinois and another to the National War Labor Board.
Only 10 of the agreements establish time limits for various stages of
the arbitration proceedings, generally in connection with the selection
o f the arbitrator, although some have set time limits for the arbitra­
tion hearings and the rendering of the decisions. Time limits for the
selection of the arbitrator vary from 2 to 7 days after arbitration has
been requested.
Scope o f arbitration.—Almost all of the agreements permit the arbi­
tration of disputes arising as to the meaning and application of the
terms of the agreement, or the compliance of either party with the
contract or individual grievances. A few agreements expressly de­
limit the scope of arbitration. The Campbell (111.) agreement states
that no grievance which “concerns the rights o f management”—
to hire, fire, discipline, and to determine products, methods, or mate­
rials—may be arbitrated. Two agreements forbid arbitration of any
dispute on wage rates or of management’s “right to * * * control
and change methods in operations * * * add or reduce shifts, and
the right to employ, transfer * * * promote or demote workers
* * * except in case an employee * * * is promoted, demoted,
suspended, or discharged and the union has reason to believe that the
company has discriminated against said employee by reason of his
union activity * * *.” Another agreement excludes from arbitra­
tion any matter involving “employment” discharge, promotion, or
demotion of any employee, except and to the extent necessary to de­
termine whether such action has been taken by the company in viola­
tion of this agreement.”


Most of the agreements do not specify causes for discharge but
simply state that discharges may be made for “ good” or “ sufficient”
reason. Specific causes for discharge including mcompetency, theft,
intoxication, and violation of safety rules arc found m four
A ll of the agreements provide for the appeal of discharge cases
through the regular grievance machinery, although in the California
Processors agreement an extra step is added, in that discharge disputes
are referred to the union executive committee and a company official
before they can be submitted to the Central Adjustment Board. This
step is inserted both to hasten a decision and to obviate the need and
expense of convening the members of the Central Adjustment Board.

Special time limits are established for various stages o f the discharge
procedure in eight of the agreements. In five of these the limits are
set on the time in which the employee may make an appeal, and in the
other three on the time in which the case must be settled. Limits in
the first case range from 1 to 5 days, and in the latter from 3 to 7 days.
About half of the agreements specifically provide that back pay shall
be granted employees found discharged without justification. In 13
agreements the employee receives pay for all time lost, while in the
California Processors, Libby, McNeill & Libby, and 2 other agreements
the amount of back pay is left to the discretion of the arbitrator. One
o f these further specifies that unemployment compensation drawn by
the employee is to be deducted from the amount of back pay awarded.

Strikes and Lockouts
A ll of the agreements except those of 6 small companies either ab­
solutely forbia strikes and lockouts during their term or permit such
action only after every effort has been made to settle the dispute.
Where final and binding arbitration is provided, a restriction on work
stoppages pending resort to the grievance machinery is tantamount
to a prohibition, unless, of course, there is undue delay at any stage
o f the grievance machinery. All of the agreements which either pro­
hibit or restrict strikes provide for arbitration of unsettled disputes;
none of those which do not prohibit strikes or lockouts, on the other
hand, provide for arbitration.
The Campbell (111.) and 16 other agreements prohibit all stoppages
during the life o f the agreement, while 1 extends the prohibition during
the negotiation of a new contract. The California Processors and
Libby, McNeill & Libby agreements and 3 others prohibit strikes dur­
ing the operation of the grievance machinery. The Campbell (N. J.)
agreement and 1 other permit strikes only when substantiation of a
violation o f the agreement is sent by the arbitration board to the com­
pany and the union, while a third agreement permits strikes only
when the agreement has been “willfully violated.”
Under the Heinz agreement, which provides for arbitration only
by mutual consent, should the parties fail to agree to arbitrate, the
restriction against strikes is lifted provided the union gives the com­
pany 3 days’ notice of its intent to strike and provided the strike is
related solely to the grievance in question.
Eight o f the agreements with A. F. of L. unions which ban work
stoppages within the plant pending resort to final stages of the griev­
ance machinery also express disapproval of sympathy strikes. Four o f
these prohibit union participation in such strikes but also specify
that the employer shall not require the employees to go through a
legitimate A. F. of L. picket line. A few o f the remaining agree­
ments have special provisions for sympathy strikes where the approval
o f the local union has been obtained. These were negotiated with the
companies where various unions bargain for different groups within
the plant or where the company operates more than one cannery.