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negligible amount of stoppage in our work. It is also their function to help us procure labor in outlying areas where it may not be accessible to build houses near a remote ordnance plant, and to help in collecting necessary data for the determination of wage rates.
Mr. STARNES. That is the very thing I am talking about. The Department establishes the existing wage rate for a certain area, and they take that from the Department of Labor and the United States Employment Service, to get the manpower. Now, I am not being critical of you.
Mr. EMMERICH. I understand. That is a perfectly fair question.
Mr. STARNES. But, to be frank, it seems to me that every time you do this you just have another labor man imposed on the Federal. pay roll to make the project cost more, and the taxpayer pays the bill. That is what I am driving at. I am trying to find out what those things are, in a constructive way. If they are essential, I am for them.
Mr. EMMERICH. To us, this seems to be an insurance policy against stoppage on this large program running well over a billion and a half dollars.
While on the surface it may appear that the functions of the F. P. H. A. Labor Relations Division duplicate those of other agencies, the fact is that they do not. We will submit a complete statement for the record on this matter, but I just want to say that there are certain labor matters where the duties are imposed directly on F. P. H. A. and which are not in any way the responsibility of any other Federal agencies. There are other duties on labor matters which are imposed on other agencies, but even in these matters, F. P. H. A. must perform certain functions in obtaining the materials required by other agencies and making recommendations. Finally, as a matter of good business administration in the construction of this tremendous program, we have found it essential to have a Labor Relations Division right in our organization which has the responsibility for assuring that work proceeds without stoppages. The work of this Division in avoiding strikes and settling labor disputes eliminates the necessity of resorting to the machinery of other Federal agencies and therefore avoids imposing additional work loads on them. In short, the work we are doing does not duplicate that of other agencies and if we did not do this work, other agencies would have to add a staff to do it. It is my firm conviction that on certain of these matters, such as settling labor disputes and avoiding strikes, it would be less effective and would involve delays and increased costs if we were compelled to go to other agencies for all such services.
Mr. STARNES. I have turned to the justification sheet in this small publication here that you are quoting from, and I find there the total for the Labor Relations Division has been reduced some for this year, according to this statement.
Mr. EMMERICH. Slightly; yes, sir.
Mr. STARNES. But those figures do not seem to agree there with the figures set forth in the document sent up by the Director of the Budget.
Mr. SPENCER. I think the answer is that what you have here on that small sheet is just for the central office.
Mr. STARNES. That is just for the central office and this sindicating) is for the over-all picture?
Mr. SPENCER. That is right.
Mr. SPENCER. The first page is the central office and the second page is the field.
Mr. STARNES. Pages 290 and 291.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Assuming you would abolish those positions, would you find it rather hard to get them supplied by the other boards in time to get them on the jobs; is that the idea?
Mr. EMMERICH. Yes, sir; that is my opinion. (The following material was inserted later:)
Federal Public Housing Authority Labor Relations Division, labor relations
advisers (fiscal year 1944, exclusive of clerical employees)
1. Purpose of Labor Relations Division.—The Labor Relations Division performs certain duties on labor matters which are imposed on Federal Public Housing Authority by Federal law or otherwise and which are not in any way the responsibility of other Federal agencies. For example, as explained below, Federal Public Housing Authority has the sole responsibility for determining prevailing wages on projects operated under the United States Housing Act. It also has the responsibility for obtaining compliance with the kick-back statute, the Executive order on wage stabilization, and the outstanding stabilization agreements.
While it is true that there are certain duties in labor matters which are imposed upon other agencies of the Federal Government, we wish to emphasize that even as to these matters, Federal Public Housing Authority must perform certain functions in obtaining the materials required by such other agencies and make recommendations. For example, it is the responsibility of the Department of Labor to determine prevailing wages on federally owned projects, but it has always been the practice for Federal Public Housing Authority to obtain the necessary field data and submit this to the Department of Labor with its recommendations. If Federal Public Housing Authority did not do this work, delays would result and the work load of the Department of Labor would be proportionately increased.
As a matter of good business administration in the construction of projects and to avoid delays and increased costs, the Labor Relations Division has the responsibility for assuring that work proceeds without work stoppages and that an adequate labor supply is provided. It is true that there are other agencies of the Government which have certain functions on strikes and labor disputes. However, it has been the practice of the Federal Public Housing Authority, Labor Relations Division, to exert its efforts to settle these disputes and the necessity of resorting to the machinery of these other agencies. This eliminates delays and the necessity for the other agencies to add the personnel that would be necessary to administer the labor problems of Federal Public Housing Authority. The direct handling of these labor disputes by Federal Public Housing Authority makes it possible to settle these matters on a quick and informal basis and this is clearly shown by the outstanding record on these matters which is described below.
2. List of functions of Labor Relations Division. The functions and responsibilities of the Labor Relations Division are to:
(a) Determine prevailing wages for all laborers, mechanics, and technicians employed in the development or administration of Federal Public Housing Authority-aided projects pursuant to the provisions of section 16 (2) of the United States Housing Act. This function, with respect to all Federal Public Housing Authority-aided projects, is vested in Federal Public Housing Authority and not in the Department of Labor. For the fiscal year 1944, this will involve largely the determination of prevailing wages of laborers, mechanics, and technicians
engaged in operating, maintaining and repairing the projects included in the program under the United States Housing Act.
(6) Obtain and submit pertinent data to the Bacon-Davis Division of the Department of Labor to enable the Secretary of Labor to predetermine prevailing wages for the construction of all Federally owned war housing projects (as distinguished from Federal Public Housing Authority-aided projects). While it is the responsibility of the Secretary of Labor to make the required predeterminations of prevailing wages for these projects under the Bacon-Davis Act, this cannot be done in the absence of accurate current field data; e. g., latest collective bargaining agreements, latest actual amounts being paid by contractors engaged in the building trades, etc. Federal Public Housing Authority labor relations advisers obtain and analyze this information and data from the project area, and it is submitted to the Department of Labor. In this manner, we are able to obtain predeterminations of prevailing wages within 2 weeks from the time request is made. If Federal Public Housing Authority did not supply this information to the Department of Labor, it would take a substantially longer time to obtain such predeterminations, as it would then be necessary for the Department of Labor to send its own personnel to the field to obtain it. This would increase the personnel requirements of the Department of Labor so that there would be no real economy to the Government as someone must do this field work. Durirg the calendar year 1942, Federal Public Housing Authority made approximately 700 submissions to the Bacon-Davis Division of the Department of Labor for predeterminations of prevailing wages, including the data gathered by the Federal Public Housing Authority labor relations advisers. In the event that prevailing wages determined by the Department of Labor are protested, they are subject to adjustment after hearing by the Wage Adjustment Board of the Department of Labor. When such hearings are held affecting Federal Public Housing Authority construction, it is necessary for the Federal Public Housing Authority, Labor Relations Division, to obtain and present evidence to the Wage Adjustment Board to oppose or support pending requests for wage adjustments. This Board started to function in July 1942, and the Federal Public Housing Authority Labor Relations Division has assembled and presented evidence in numerous cases since its establishment.
(c) Assist in settling labor disputes: Due to this activity of the Federal Public Housing Authority, Labor Relations Division, there is no instance where a general strike stopped construction of a housing project under the jurisdiction of Federal Public Housing Authority although there have been a few strikes which have stopped the work of some particular trade. These strikes number less than 25, and on the average have been settled in less than 2 days. Since Pearl Harbor, less than seventeen one-hundredths of 1 percent of the total man-hours on Federal Public Housing Authority war projects have been lost because of strikes. It is believed that no other Government construction agency has lost so few man-hours of work as a result of strikes. The relative absence of strikes has not been due to the absence of labor disputes, but to their settlement before any strikes or work stoppages occurred.
During the calendar year 1942, there have been at least 250 labor disputes on our projects. These disputes have involved questions of jurisdiction among the various building trades, wage rates, job classifications, etc. Except as indicated above, strikes have been avoided and all of these disputes settled because of the on-the-spot activities of the Federal Public Housing Authority Labor Relations Division. As a result, it has not been necessary to call upon the Conciliation Service of the Department of Labor or the War Labor Board to settle strikes. It thus appears clear that there is no conflict or overlapping of functions between the Federal Public Housing Authority Labor Relations Division and the Conciliation Service of the Department of Labor or of the War Labor Board. If the Federal Public Housing Authority did not perform this function, substantial delay would be involved in referrals to the Conciliation Service and the War Labor Board, and these agencies would have to have additional staff to service the Federal Public Housing Authority program.
Since it is becoming increasingly necessary to resort to the cost-plus-fixed-fee method of construction contract, it is now more necessary than ever for Federal Public Housing Authority to exert its efforts to settle labor disputes. Under cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts, the contractor does not assume the risk of loss from delays or damages resulting from labor disputes or strikes. Therefore, many cost-plus-fixed-fee contractors toss the entire burden of settling such disputes upon the owner, in this case the Federal Government acting through Federal Public Housing Authority.
(d) Police labor requirements: This includes (1) the so-called stabilization agreements between the various governmental construction agencies and the American Federation of Labor Building Construction Trades Council, (2) the wage stabilization order (Executive Order No. 9250), and (3) the statutory labor provisions included in construction contract documents, such as the prevailing wage requirements, kick-back statute, workmen's compensation, etc. It is the responsibility of Federal Public Housing Authority (as it is of other Federal agencies supervising construction) to obtain such compliance with these various requirements and to take appropriate administrative measures in the event of noncompliances, including, if necessary, recommendations for additional action by such agencies as the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, or the Director of Economic Stabilization.
(e) Assist in obtaining adequate labor supply at project sites: In many instances, the Federal Public Housing Authority, Labor Relations Division, has been able to obtain adequate labor supply to man the construction of housing jobs after efforts of the contractor, United States Employment Service, and War Manpower Commission have failed. The Federal Public Housing Authority, Labor Relations Division, has been successful in obtaining agreements with unions to permit union men to work side by side with nonunion labor and to obtain cooperation from the international unions to man jobs where labor shortages exist.
EMPLOYMENT OF EDITORIAL PERSONNEL
Mr. STARNES. Now, looking at page 292, Mr. Emmerich, under “Personal services, departmental,” I do not know where it is charged here-whether to the field or regions, or whether it is charged to your central over-all set-up.
I find here provision for an assistant editor at $2,600 and an assistant editorial writer at $2,600. Are they engaged in the type of publications and the issuance of statements similar to what was being put out in the past by the United States Housing Authority, in 1939?
Mr. EMMERICH. Last year, as you may remember, as a result of an amendment put on in the Senate, all informational activities under the United States Housing Authority appropriation were eliminated. We have abolished the publications that used to be published. In fact, we have abolished our Information Division in the Federal Public Housing Authority. We are giving out most of our information to people connected with the housing program, in a very limited way, and that is mostly by request.
RACIAL RELATIONS ADVISERS
(See pp. 1121, 1124)
Mr. STARNES. There is one item on page 294 of the bill for five racial relations advisers at $3,800, in the field service.
Will you give us a justification for that item and tell us what the duties of those positions are?
Mr. EMMERICH. May I submit that statement for the record?
Mr. STARNES. Yes. I am calling special attention to that because you are going to get your funds under half a dozen different authorizations, and I wish you would be careful to set out the duties of each of those positions. There is provision here for quite a number of them, and under this estimate they would be pretty well paid.
Mr. EMMERICH. We will give you a complete picture of that.
Mr. Woodrum. When you furnish that list, it seems to me it is very important for us to know, in trying to evaluate this matter, as to whether this racial relations set-up is helpful. So it will be very helpful to us to know who these people are, where they came from, and what their background is.
In respect to all these types of people, can you not give us a statement as to who these people are, and what they were doing before you would get them?
Mr. EMMERICH. Yes; I will be glad to do that.
(This information is supplied in statement "Background of racial relations advisers" on page 1125.)
Mr. Woodrum. The question of housing war workers in war industries, at war plants, is one that has been recognized now by the War Production Board and those in authority, as being one of major importance, not only as to the question of getting the plant operating, but keeping it operating and in good condition. In order to do that you have to have the people adequately housed, and that was a job laid into your lap in this consolidation.
Mr. EMMERICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. WOODRUM. You feel like you have been able to meet the situation satisfactorily?
Mr. EMMERICH. That is rather for others to judge, Mr. Chairman. But we are behind our schedule; there is no use denying it. We have now standardized our types of temporary housing. We are now getting priorities issued by the War Production Board on large groups of projects at once, rather than on a separate project-by-project basis. Since late in December we have had AA3 ratings.
From now on, we must place under construction 25,000 units a month, during the next 6 months in order to meet our present production schedule, and I hope to meet it. I said I would meet it, although it is quite some job.
Incidentally, the figures in the printed budget on the estimated return from rents on federally owned war housing projects are based on the assumption that we will achieve this schedule in the construction of our present program. Any delays in completions, due to such factors as delays in getting materials, would naturally reduce the estimates in the printed budget on the total net returns from rents during fiscal 1944. Also, since the preparation of the income data in our printed budget, we have taken steps to make our payments in lieu of taxes at the earliest possible date in order to help local communities in providing local services to projects. As a result, it is anticipated that payments in lieu of taxes will be made on more projects during fiscal 1944 than were reflected in the printed budget and there will be corresponding reductions in the amounts shown as the estimated net returns from rents.
Mr. WOODRUM. Do you administer the various funds under the several Lanham acts?
Mr. EMMERICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. WOODRUM. You told us you were not constructing anything more of the permanent type of houses?
Mr. EMMERICH. Practically none. We are completing a few of the F. P. H. A. aided projects which were converted to war use and placed under construction earlier in the year. Under the recent $600,000,000 appropriation, we estimate that at least 90 percent will be temporary. Even as to the balance, they are more like the temporary type than the pre-war permanent house.