Labor's Status in the National Effort

DOI10.1177/000271624222400120
Published date01 November 1942
Date01 November 1942
Subject MatterArticles
124
Labor’s
Status
in
the
National
Effort
By
GEORGE
SOULE
TWO
principal
concepts
of
labor’s
proper
status
in
the
direction
of
the
war
economy
have
been
advocated.
One
takes
as
its
example
what
has
been
done
in
Britain,
where
official
labor
representatives
have
been
called
to
power,
not
only
in
the
Cabinet
but
in
the
inner
War
Cabinet,
and
where
labor
has
a
participation
in
the
direction
of
almost
every
activity,
from
the
top
to
the
bottom,
and
from
the
national
to
the
local
sphere,
fully
equal
and
in
many
cases
superior
to
that
accorded
to
ownership
or
management.
The
other
takes
as
its
example
what
was
done
in
the
United
States
in
the
former
World
War.
This
amounted
to
an
agreement
to
maintain
a
truce
based
on
the
pre-
bellum
status
quo
of
organized
labor
and
employers,
while
Government
as
such
held
the
ring
and
assured
labor
of
an
essential
minimum
in
wages
and
standards
of
work.
Each
contestant
agreed
not
to
take
advantage
of
the
national
need
in
order
to
extort
a
perma-
nent
advantage
for
itself.
The
first
attitude
has
led
to
a
number
of
concrete
proposals,
none
of
which
has
been-
adopted
in
full,
although
compro-
mises
looking
in
that
direction
have
been
attempted.
Though
organized
la-
bor
has
long
felt
that
it
should
have
a
representative
in
the
President’s
Cabi-
net,
that
ambition
has
not,
for
whatever
reason,
been
achieved.
More
important
for
the
time
being
is
the
question
of
representation
in
the
extraordinary
war
agencies.
This
was
approximated
for
a
while
in
the
Office
of
Production
Man-
agement
by
the
cochairmanship
of
an
industrialist
and
a
labor
leader,
but
there
was
widespread
complaint
that
this
arrangement
did
not
amount
to
full
representation,
since
the leader
in
question
was
chosen
by
the
President
and
was
responsible
to
him
rather
than
being
nominated
by
the
movement
it-
self.
The
arrangement
has
been
aban-
doned
in
the
War
Production
Board,
successor
to
the
Office
of
Production
Management,
while
both
the
price
con-
trol
and
the
manpower
functions
have
been
placed
under
single
heads
who
do
not
represent
labor
and
with
whom
in
certain
instances,
such
as
the
contro-
versy
over
wage
increases,
sharp
con-
flicts
have
arisen.
Only
in
the
agencies
for
adjustment
of
industrial
disputes,
such
as
the
National
War
Labor
Board,
has
labor
gained
official
representation
equal
to
that
of
employers
and
the
&dquo;public.&dquo;
LABOR’S
VIEWS
ON
DOLLAR-A-YEAR
MEN
At
lower
levels
of
administration,
la-
bor
has
objected
to
the
role
assigned
to
dollar-a-year
men
from
the
ranks
of
large
corporate
management,
and
has
demanded
instead
industrial
councils
with
equal
representation
for
labor
and
management,
under
the
chairmanship
of
a
Government
representative
who,
it
was
assumed,
should
be
a
genuine
agent
for
the
Nation’s
need
for
maximum
production
rather
than
a
person
con-
sciously
or
unconsciously
serving
pri-
vate
interest.
The
arguments
for
this
arrangement
were
couched
not
merely
in
terms
of
a
demand
for
status
but
also
in
terms
of
the
better
organization
of
industry
for
conversion
to
war
output
or
for
quicker
or
more
efficient
operation,
as
in
the
Reuther
plan
for
the
auto-
mobile
industry.
Labor-management
advisory
committees
have
been
created
in
partial
recognition
of
this
demand,
but
essential
power
has
remained
in
the
hands
of
dollar-a-year
men,
some
of
whom
have
fulfilled
labor’s
specifica-
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