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by war conditions abroad demand the exercise of unremitting vigilance in the enforcement of these controls. We urge the adoption of a declaration in favor of the continuation of the Nation's restricted immigration policy and the progressive application of these principles as dictated by changing conditions.
Then I go on and read what they say about the protection of wage and working standards.
Mr. CENERAZZO. If you will pardon me, Mr. Knutson, I just read that.
Mr. KNUTSON. It is a mighty good doctrine. If it wasn't so late I would like to read it again. But I am just wondering what has come over Brother Green. He is letting me down, he is letting all the other members of the A. F. of L. down, I guess, when he wants us to renew a law that throws the workers of this country into direct competition with the peon and coolie labor of the world.
Am I right or wrong?
Mr. KNUTSON. I am an old-time unionist. I wouldn't have been paying dues into the union for 27 years while I have been in Congress if I didn't believe in it. I remember when my craft struck, back in the early twenties, for living conditions in New York. I think I was assessed about $12 a month for strike benefits. I was glad to do it, because they were fighting for a just cause. But here, some of your people come up and ask us to open the door and say, "Well, let's all be brothers and let's all live on the same level.”
Mr. CENERAZZO. May I interrupt? When you say "some of these people”-one individual, representing himself.
Mr. KNUTSON. Then change that to one individual.
Mr. CENERAZZO. There is a difference in representing the views of an organization and representing your own views.
The CHAIRMAN. If the American Federation of Labor has views, are you in any better position to express those views than President Green
Mr. CENERAZZO. President Green is in a position to express those views. This is the announced policy and the printed policy. President Green represented himself and himself alone when he was here yesterday, Chairman Doughton.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose he did.
Mr. CENERAZZO. He is not representing his organization. He said that himself.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you in a better position to express the views than President Green ?
Mr. CENERAZZO. I am not in better position.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you in better position to know the effect of the reciprocal trade agreements policy than President Green with respect to labor?
Mr. CENERAZZO. I know I represent an industry-
The CHAIRMAN. He is in touch with the different organizations all the time. If there was a complaint against this reciprocal trade policy he would know it better than anyone else.
Mr. CENERAZZO. I don't think he would know it better than anyone else.
The CHAIRMAN. You have the wrong job.
Mr. CENERAZZO. When a man takes an oath of office, he is to carry through his instructions from a convention, from his executive council. There is the instruction from the convention.
The CHAIRMAN. You are going pretty far now. Are you charging in these public hearings that President Green has violated his oath of office?
Mr. CENERAZZO. No; but I would say that here yesterday he talked as an individual. If he had talked as president of the American Federation of Labor, stating the position of the American Federation of Labor, he would be violating the oath of office. He did not speak as president of the American Federation of Labor yesterday. He did not give you the views of the American Federation of Labor. He said he expressed his own personal views, as any American has a right to do.
The CHAIRMAN. But he seems to have stirred up a terrible hornets nest by doing that.
Mr. CENERAZZO. I sent you a telegram Wednesday. I didn't know he had appeared until I got here this morning.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't suppose, now, that he would come here expressing views as president of the American Federation of Labor that were in violation or contradiction of the expressed views or the interests of labor, do you?
Mr. CENERAZZO. I think this, that Mr. Green may have views that are divergent from the views of a majority of the American Federation of Labor, and has a right to express them. I think he has a right to express his own personal views.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't think he would have come here expressing his views, even if they were his own views, if he thought they were in contravention to the views of the majority of the organization he heads?
Mr. CENERAZZO. I say this to you: When a man is acting for himself, as an individual, who am I to decide why President Green appeared ?
The CHAIRMAN. You can't divorce President Green from his knowledge of and responsibility to labor.
Mr. CENERAZZO. He did, yesterday.
Mr. Knutson. He stated to the committee that he was appearing as an individual.
Mr. CENERAZZO. That's right, sir.
Mr. KNUTSON. Mr. Green was not representing the American Federation of Labor yesterday, but he was expressing his opinion as a congenital democrat.
Mr. CENERAZZO. May I go ahead and clarify the record? What I am saving on this is this:
The CHAIRMAN. We don't want to deprive you of the opportunity to express yourself.
Mr. CENERAZZO. What I am saying to you, Chairman Doughton
The CHAIRMAN. It seems that if somebody asks a question that is not exactly in line with the views being expressed, they think you are trying to abuse their right to express themselves. You just express
yourself as fully as you please. I think I can ask questions without giving offense.
Mr. CENERAZZO. There is no offense. I know you have been fair. I know that you are more than decent in your attitude toward the American workingman. All I want to say to you is that I represent an organization that is directly involved in this reciprocal trade policy. I follow the policies of the American Federation of Labor very closely because their policy affects us. We are interested in having our views expressed to the American Federation of Labor in convention assembled.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you right there: If he had come here yesterday just as he did, and expressed views exactly in opposition to what he did, wouldn't it have been concluded and proclaimed to the world that he was here as president of the American Federation of Labor, opposing the reciprocal trade agreements? For these people here it would have been a sweet morsel under their tongues.
Mr. KNUTSON. And you would have torn him to pieces.
Mr. CENERAZZO. All I am saying to you is that if the man is coming here, regardless of who he is, if he says “I am president of the American Federation of Labor and I am expressing the views of the American Federation of Labor," then you can take the man to task, based upon
the record. If a man comes in any says “I did it as an individual,” he has a perfect right, and you can't and I can't change his inalienable right to speak his own views, provided he states that they are his own views,
I think the committee is interested in what the official platform of the American Federation of Labor is. It is printed; it has been read into the record.
Mr. KNUTSON. Yet you question the judgment of a man who comes up and talks against his own bread and butter.
Mr. CENERAZZO. All I say is, Who am I to judge a man far older than I am ? Who am I to judge his motives? He is elected by a convention. He is elected by the American Federation, and so long as he is in that position we will respect him as such and follow his leadership so long as he stays to the printed record.
Mr. Mills. You made a statement about the number of watches in 1929 and the number today, that is, watch factories, and said that
Mr. CENERAZZO. I said 20 years ago.
Mr. Mills. Possibly that number had been decreased due to the effect of the reciprocal trade agreements.
Mr. CENTRAZZO. I said due to tariffs, and I said foreign trade competition. I will give you the exact words.
Mr. Mills. Let me ask you this question to clarify the record. How many of these 60 companies that were in existence in 1920 were absorbed by the 3 companies that are in existence today?
Mr. CENERAZZO. None. The factories were actually scrapped, sir.
Mr. Mills. How many watch companies did we have in existence in 1936, when the Swiss agreement was made?
Mr. CENERAZZO. Three.
Mr. Mills. Then, the reciprocal-trade agreements in effect haven't reduced the number of watch companies.
Mr. CENERAZZO. It has reduced the output.
Mr. Mills. I think Mr. Woodruff, from his answer to your statement, drew the inference that possibly the reciprocal-trade-agreements policy had reduced the number of watch companies. I wanted to clarify the record.
Mr. CENERAZZO. Two of these companies were in serious financial shape since that time.
Mr. Mills. I didn't mean to argue with you about it. I merely wanted to clarify that one point.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reed.
Mr. REED. Many of those 60 companies, I assume, though, suffered from too low a tariff.
Mr. CENERAZZO. In days gone by; yes, surely. Those companies bave gone out over a period of years. There have been only five companies go out of business in the last 20 years.
Mr. REED. And in view of the competition from abroad that you now face, you don't want any plan or program of reciprocal-trade agreements that won't give you a full opportunity to be heard and some means by which you can bring your complaint to at least a sympathetic or judicial or congressional body to see that you are not crucified any further.
Mr. CENERAZZO. All I say is, let's follow the Constitution. Let's have reciprocal-trade treaties with Senate ratification. So long as we have the chosen representatives of the people to go to we will get satisfaction. We will get the treatment we are entitled to. We have an opportunity to come to you, and we know we will get fair and considerate treatment. Take it out of the hands of bureaucrats. All you have to do is go in any number of Government agencies and you cool your heels for 5 or 6 hours. You go in there and they listen to you, and if the fellow happens to have a personal interest in the matter you are just talking to yourself. We want experts from the industry to give you their views. Let's go and have the chosen representatives of the people approve those representatives, and if there is anything in them, we will have an opportunity to take it out.
Other countries with whom we have treaties take the position of ratifying those treaties in their parliaments or legislatures or whatever they act through. Why shouldn't we have the same privilege of coming to our elected representatives? Mr. REED. That is the point I am bringing out.
There is one thing that you ought to be in a position to do for me if you will. You spoke about all these man-hours lost in this country. If you will, just put in the record the value in spending power of the loss of these companies that has been lost and gone abroad.
Mr. CENERAZZO. I am putting in the record the table which I gave, and the average hourly rate for men in our particular plant is 91 cents an hour, and for women 62 cents an hour.
Mr. REED. If we had all those skilled men that have now gone abroad, that have been working in those factories, they would be valuable as technicians in this war.
Mr. CENERAZZO. May I continue with my statement ?
Mr. CENERAZZO. The position of our organization is based upon this platform, that we believe in "Live and let live!” Any country with which we have a trade treaty should be able to ship its products into this country on equal terms. "No more, no less, do we ask. If the cost of a Swiss watch landed in this country is the same as an American-made watch, our problem is solved. We know our product is superior. We know the American public will choose correctly.
This is not a political problem. This is an economic problem which will seriously face three communities after this war: Lancaster, Pa.; Elgin, Ill., and Waltham, Mass. Hamilton today has 2,100 employees; Elgin over 5,000, Waltham 2,600. Where do they go from here? Only the Congress of the United States can determine that. Trade treaties should have either congressional approval or Senate ratification. Then the interests of an industry small in size but vital in nature such as ours can be protected.
Spokesmen for labor may favor trade agreements individually, but they cannot be true to their oath of office if they do not support the program submitted to the conventions of both political parties by direction of their governing body concerning this important post-war problem.
Labor sought restrictive immigration legislation to protect American jobs and the American way of life. American labor is not antisocial. We sought and we still insist on restrictive immigration laws to protect our jobs.
The position of the American Federation of Labor on the immigration question is as follows:
In order to protect the welfare and the standards of living of the American workers, organized labor has favored from the beginning a restricted and controlled national immigration policy. Upheavals brought about by war conditions abroad demand the exercise of unremitting vigilance in the enforcement of these controls. We urge the adoption of a declaration in favor of the continuation of the Nation's restricted immigration policy and the progressive application of these principles as dictated by changing conditions.
Our position on the imports of competitive foreign-made products is the same. We see no advantage in barring the entry of the immigrant and at the same time permitting the entry of the product of the immigrant at total landed costs which are less than American costs of production.
We consider ourselves a model union, democratically operated. We publish our financial statement monthly. We take an interest in our employer's business only to the extent that it pertains to our job. We know that if the employer does not make a profit we cannot retain our jobs.
In 1940 the average hourly wage for females was 39 cents an hour in our industry; the average wage for men was 63 cents an hour. Today Uncle Sam is the customer. The average hourly wage is 62 cents an hour for females and 91 cents an hour for males. Our industry has reduced unit costs to the bone. We have 60-percent female employees in the industry, 40-percent male. To make a watch it takes 962 separate classifications of work with each operation, each classification of work, doing anywhere from 1 to 32 operations. It is a highly skilled industry, and in our present labor contract we have a clause in order to protect ourselves in our jobs in the future to the effect that we will make every effort to help the employer reduce the unit costs so we can compete in the future with the Swiss.
In November of 1941 our union, at our own expense, sent 15,000 copies of a four-page bulletin to every jeweler in the United States,