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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The Labor Month in Review

LABOR LEGISLATION PROPOSALS from

many sources were made with the seating of the 86th Congress. The President's State of the Union Message, on January 10, asked for more than "half-hearted” laws to safeguard union treasuries against misuse of funds; to protect “the rights and freedoms" of union members; to advance "true and responsible collective bargaining”; and to protect “the public and innocent third parties” from such practices as boycotting and blackmail picketing.

Amendment of the Employment Act of 1946 was also asked “to make it clear that Government intends ... to protect the buying power of the dollar."

The United Automobile Workers on January 5 offered a six-point program which would provide aid to depressed areas (emphasizing Detroit); increase and extend the duration of unemployment insurance on the basis of Federal standards; extend Federal aid to school construction; promote industrial redevelopment; increase the Federal minimum wage to $1.25 an hour; and boost Social Security benefits and cover recipients with hospital and surgical care.

presumably gave job security assurance by not requiring flight engineers on jet airliners to be qualified pilots, provided salary increases (about $1,368 a month on jets when introduced), established the agency shop, and liberalized the contributory pension plan. A jurisdictional dispute with the Air Line Pilots Association has long existed, with the Pilots insisting on a third pilot in the cockpit of jets. Eastern agreed to make the engineer a fourth cockpit crewman. The Pilots, not on strike, agreed to the compromise, which provided a third pilot plus an engineer.

a Similar jurisdictional issues, as well as salary and flight time demands, were a factor in the Pilots' strike against American Airlines on December 20. Settlement was reached on January 11. Salary increases were granted, but flight-time maximums were unchanged. The Eastern provision for a third pilot plus an engineer on jets was included.

Continental Airlines agreed with the Air Line Stewards and Stewardesses Association (a subsidiary of the Pilots) to pay a wage differential to attendants on jet planes, with salaries ranging up to $422.50 a month. No strike occurred. (Earlier, the company had announced the industry's first hiring of a Negro pilot for a scheduled passenger plane.)

Earlier, both United and Western airlines, under wage reopener clauses in their contracts with the Machinists, revised scales upward to conform with recently gained increases for mechanics on other lines. Contracts were also extended for 1 year. Expiration for United is now October 1, 1960, and Western, March 1, 1961.

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SECRETARY OF LABOR James P. Mitchell on January 3 announced a labor-management meeting to conduct "a reappraisal” of the Railway Labor Act, "in view of the recent strike activity." He pointed out that "it may well be that all that is required is more realistic bargaining." Strikes have hit several airlines in recent months, with thost against Capital (settled November 20 after 5 weeks), Eastern, and American of especially long duration. Some of the prestrike negotiations had been in progress for 32 months.

The Eastern strike began November 24 and ended New Year's Eve. Maintenance employees, represented by the Machinists, had struck simultaneously with the Flight Engineers, but settled earlier. The new contract for the engineers

PREHOLIDAY STRIKES crippled the seasonal advertising of nearly a score of newspapers. In New York City, a 19-day walkout of a deliverers' union began December 9 and closed all general daily newspapers. Settlement was made substantially on the basis of the publishers' initial offer (a 2-stage package worth $7 a week spread over 2 years). Estimates of wage and revenue loss ran as high as $50 million.

Nine newspapers of the Booth chain in Michigan were closed November 25 by the International Typographical Union, the Stereotypers, and the American Newspaper Guild (the latter two unions were involved only in Grand Rapids) over wage issues. Settlements varied in terms and in time,

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