« 이전계속 »
seven CIO marine unions-National Maritime Union, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, National Union Marine Cooks and Stewards, International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America, American Communication Association, and Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific.
While our committee represents only CIO maritime unions, we should like to emphasize at this point that all maritime unions, AFL, CIO, and independent alike, are opposed to having these functions continued under the Coast Guard. On March 21, 1946, 11 representatives of AFL, CIO, and independent maritime unions called upon Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace, urging that he do whatever necessary with a view to having the functions of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation returned to the Commerce Department. Present at this same meeting was retired inspector Milne, of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation. We appear today, for the specific purpose of opposing part I, section 101, of the Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1946, for the following reasons:
1. The 1936 Merchant Marine Act, specifically designated that the merchant marine be operated as a civilian service. The continuation of the maritime functions under the Coast Guard, completely invalidates Congress' desire with respect to having a civilian merchant marine.
2. The Coast Guard demonstrated that is does not have the ability to enforce laws relating to discipline of merchant seamen in a fair and impartial manner.
3. Civilian personnel of the inspection service has been grossly discriminated against by Coast Guard officers and personnel.
Let us examine into the reasons why we oppose this part of the reorganization plan as stated above.
Our organizations have over a long period of time been receiving personnel complaints from civilian inspectors who were transferred to the Coast Guard, concerning the treatment they were receiving. To date we have not been able to get any of these people who were on the pay roll to make a statement which could be made public. The reasons for their not wanting to do so are, we are sure, obvious to this committee.
In the meeting with Secretary Wallace, however, retired Inspector Milne, summed up all of the complaints we have heard from inspectors on duty. Mr. Milne, stated in effect, that there was no freedom whatsoever in the Coast Guard, that all the activities of the Coast Guard with respect to the civilian personnel was such as to discourage their continued employment. It was Milne's feeling, that the primary reason why the “heat” was being applied to them was because they were not Coast Guard officers.
In any event, when the administration of the Bureau of Inspection and Navigation, under the Department of Commerce, inspector personnel was chosen from shipboard personnel. This was the primary cutlet of seagoing personnel to shoreside jobs; and, incidentally, was considered by shipboard personnel as a promotion. Under the Coast Guard, this practice was discontinued and Coast Guard officers were given jobs formerly held by civilian inspectors who came up from the ranks aboard ship.
During the war years, the Coast Guard prepared a proposed revision of maritime law, which was commonly referred to as the Marine Safety Act. This proposed act contemplated the consolidation and revision of most of the existing bodies of maritime law.
In October 1945 at New York City, the Coast Guard held a public hearing at which the National Maritime Union appeared and offered suggestions and criticisms with respect to the proposed Marine Safety Act. These suggestions and criticisms are contained in an 81-page detailed analysis and report which pointed out the shortcomings in the proposed legislation. I would like to have that report included in the record at this point, if I may.
One of the primary shortcomings of this proposed Marine Safety Act was its failure to make provisions for the protection of the rights of merchant seamen in various respects. Up to the present time, the Coast Guard, has failed to urge enactment of any of the proposed revisions called for in that report so as to deal adequately with many of the present problems which are concerned with maritime workers.
Now, let us examine into some of the specific acts of discrimination.
The NLRB ordered an election to be held aboard the steamship Horace Mann at Charleston on March 29, 1946. When the NLRB attorney and the union representative sought to board the vessel for that purpose, access was denied them by the master. Thereafter, a launch pulled alongside and the election was held in the launch, with the crew going over the side for that purpose, and then returning back aboard ship. At the end of the voyage, the master appeared before the Coast Guard at New York, demanding that charges be filed against the unlicensed personnel for going over the side of the vessel to vote, despite the fact that he had ordered that they should not do so.
Although this action on the part of the master was a confession of a violation of section 12 of the National Labor Relations Act, subjecting him to a $5,000 fine and/or 1 year's imprisonment, the Coast Guard failed to take any disciplinary action against him. Instead, it undertook an investigation of the unlicensed personnel to determine whether they should be charged with misconduct for allegedly refusing to obey what was clearly an unlawful order on the part of the master.
Such action of the Coast Guard would only result in encouraging masters and ship operators to violate the provisions of the Wagner Act with impunity, knowing that in the event of a labor dispute such as in this case--the Coast Guard would seek to take action only against the unlicensed personnel, and not the violator.
The unlicensed members of the crew of the steamship Jonathan P. Doliver were found guilty of participating in mutinous conduct in refusing to perform duty about October 1945.
The circumstances of the case were that their articles had expired while the vessel was abroad. Instead of returning to the United States, the master ordered the vessel to proceed to another foreign port to take on a new cargo destined for the States. For their refusal to work until their rights could be clarified, the men were found guilty of misconduct and their seamen's papers were permanently revoked, by a west coast merchant marine hearing unit of the Coast Guard.
An appeal was filed, in which the authorities were requested to follow their previous decision in the case. of the steamship Forbes Road, wherein an acquittal was obtained of a licensed officer who
walked off that ship upon the expiration of the articles, under similar circumstances.
The present Coast Guard Commandant, however, refused to follow his predecessor's decision on the steamship Forbes Road case, and sustained the ruling of the west coast merchant marine hearing unit.
From this it appears that where a licensed man walks off a ship in a foreign port upon the expiration of the articles and upon the master's refusal to return to the final port of discharge without further delay, the Coast Guard will find him not guilty of misconduct.' On the other hand, if unlicensed personnel engaged in a concerted protest against being kept in involuntary servitude upon expiration of the contract period for which they were employed, then, even although they continue with the ship, the Coast Guard will find them guilty of misconduct and deprive them forever of the right to earn their livelihood as seamen.
In the case of the steamship Alanson B. Houghton, a Boston Merchant Marine Hearing Unit of the Coast Guard found the unlicensed personnel of the ship guilty of misconduct in a foreign port for their refusal to proceed to sea while the vessel was not in a position of safety. The crew contended that under the NMU agreement, the failure to secure booms and hatch tarpaulins, rendered the vessel unseaworthy, and that this justified their failure to turn to. This record is being studied and an appeal is presently being prepared on behalf of the crew.
Here also it appears clear that the Coast Guard is intervening in a purely labor dispute. The agreement between the employer and the employees require that the vessel should be made secure prior to sailing for the purpose of promoting safety at sea. If the employer breaches that agreement, it would seem that the men should be free to refuse to take the ship out.
The dangers of leaving boom unsecured, and tarpaulins unfastened while at sea, are too well known to seamen to merit extended discussion. However, instead of the Coast Guard taking disciplinary action against the master for jeopardizing the safety of his crew by proceeding to sea before the ship was properly secured, action was taken against the unlicensed personnel.
The foregoing are but a small percentage of the many cases which have been occurring.
So long as the Coast Guard continues with its militaristic, unjust labor approach, and so long as the Coast Guard will, in most instances, continue to uphold the authority of the master in a dispute with his crew, even when he is clearly in the wrong, maritime workers can expect no justice from that body.
It is quite clear from maritime law and from the record of hearings dealing with its adoption, that Congress intended that they be impartially administered. It is also clear that Congress in making law with respect to licensed personnel, dealing with discipline, intended that licensed personnel, because of their greater responsibility, should conduct themselves with greater decorum than unlicensed personnel. It is clear from the few cases cited above that the opposite interpretation is being put into practice by officers of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard's approach to shipboard discipline is purely on the basis of military concepts. In the military all orders must be obeyed. In the maritime only orders which are legal must be obeyed.
For example, if on a military vessel the commanding officer orders a seaman under him to jump overboard without reason, the seaman must jump. In the maritime, if the captain orders one of his seamen to jump overboard without reason, it is obviously not a lawful order. We, therefore, submit that the Coast Guard is not constituted in such a way as to impartially administer maritime laws. We urge therefore that House Concurrent Resolution 154 be reported to the House favorably by this committee. Mr. Chairman, I failed to bring with me this morning an 81-page brief which this statement refers to that I would like also to present to the record, because it goes into great detail in the matter of marine laws that are administered by the Coast Guard. Mr. GIBSON. We will very gladly have you submit it. Whether it should be incorporated in the record or not, we will submit the question to the committee. o Mr. GIBSON. Give your name and whom you represent.
STATEMENT OF MISS ELIZABETH WICKENDEN, WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WELFARE ASS00IATION
Miss WICKENDEN. My name is Elizabeth Wickenden. I am the Washington representative of the American Public Welfare Association, which is the organization of State and local welfare departments and of officials, administrators, and workers and board members in the public-welfare field. I am here to express their support for Reorganization Plan No. 2, especially because of its proposal to transfer the Children's Bureau to the Federal Security Agency. Mr. GIBSON. Does your group endorse it in toto? Miss WICKENDEN. We endorse it in toto, but that is our primar interest. We have been on record since 1942 advocating a closer unification of field programs in the welfare field, and we feel that this proposal would be a major step in that direction. There has been a definite trend in the welfare field away from the breaking up of the responsibility into a series of small programs separately administered and toward a unification of responsibility. That trend has been particularly apparent in the States and in the communities. If I had time, I could cite State after State that has taken steps to integrate its own services at the State and local level, but they have been hampered in doing that by the fact that they must deal with a variety of Federal agencies. At the present time, that is primarily - #. with respect to the Children's Bureau and the Social Security Oar Cl. As you know, under the Social Security Act, the State welfare departments are called upon to administer two separate programs. One is the program of assistance to needy persons, namely the needy, aged, blind, and deaf children, under which grants are made. A second program provides for grants to the State welfare departments by the Children's Bureau now in the Labor Department for social services to children in some type of difficulty. It has become increasingly difficult for the States to deal with two Federal agencies on programs which in their own activities in the State they are bringing
closer and closer together. It is pretty hard for a mother with several children to see why financial aid she gets for her children is one program and the social services she gets for a particular child in some difficulty is part of another program.
Therefore, we have had allocated, as Mrs. Meyer has said--and this is the program from our point of view that comes from the grass roots, from the States and localities that the Federal Administration be brought together in one unified whole.
We feel that there are definite advantages in such a move. In the first place, it would eliminate the duplication, overlapping, and, occasionally, competition of effort which results from this division. Each department now has separate requirements with respect to auditing, reporting, financial accounting, personnel, and even to some extent à difference in philosophy of operation and philosophy of FederalState relationships.
In the second place, we feel that this would be in line with the trend toward a unified administration of welfare services rather than the old idea of a series of separate programs.
In the third place, I am here representing the point of view of State agencies, and yet they would like to see the Federal machinery such as
that so that there could be unified leadership going down to the States.
I was interested, for instance, when the Pennsylvania commissioner went before the Ways and Means Committee recently and said:
We are not asking nearly so much for money as we are for a common program under which all of us in the States can deal with the problem which is national in character and not limited to the States. They accept their responsibility for local administration, but they want the common program that can only come from unified Federal administration.
As it is now, either one or the other of the two bureaus concerned with welfare matters feels that they can't move forward on a unified basis for fear of stepping on each other's toes, or else they move forward on a general basis and they do step on each other's toes, and then we have all the unfortunate results of competition which are inevitable in such a circumstance.
Therefore, we feel that there would be no expense whatsoever involved in bringing these together. There would in fact be economy on the administrative front, and there would be a great benefit to the services and particularly to the State and local administrators who carry forward these responsibilities where the people actually are.
Mr. GIBSON. Thank you.
(Whereupon, at 12 noon, the committee recessed until 10 o'clock the following day, Thursday, June 13, 1946.)