Public Control of Labor Relations: A Study of the National Labor Relations Board

By D. O. Bowman | Go to book overview

Chapter X. BOARD MEMBERS' VIEWS ON THE UNIT

The debate over the appropriate unit was heightened by the disagreement of the Board members themselves in the interpretation of the unit provision. The record establishes an absence of bias and prejudice on the part of the Board members, and the disagreement arose only out of honest differences of opinion. Nevertheless it was the underlying philosophy of some of the Board members that gave rise to the AF of L and other pressure demand that the Board members be replaced. The interpretation and record of each Board member may be reviewed.


A. Mr. Donald Wakefield Smith

The AF of L charged that Mr. Smith was not acquainted with the methods of American labor.1 The basis for this charge was the Finch case,2 which Mr. Smith referred to as an unusual one; and the Federation used this reference to show that Mr. Smith did not understand the methods of trade unions and that he was biased for the CIO.

The Serrick case3 was the basis of the Federation's charge that Mr. Edwin Smith had converted Mr. Donald Smith to a philoso-

____________________
1
Mr. Smith was not reappointed in 1939, apparently because of the AF of L resistance. The executive council of the Federation in Aug., 1938, requested President Roosevelt not to reappoint Mr. Smith. In his place was appointed Dr. William Leiserson. The AF of L received the appointment of Dr. Leiserson with equanimity, but by January, 1940, Mr. Green was testifying before the Smith Committee that ". . . I have disqualified all of them long ago fair and impartial. They are out the window so far as I am concerned. . . ." Smith Hearings, Vol. II, No. 9, p. 287.
2
Supra, Chapter IX, C(a).
3
8 N.L.R.B.621. The Board's order was eventually sustained by the Supreme Court on Nov. 12, 1940, in International Ass'n of Machinists v. N.L.R.B. N.L.R.B. Press Release, J-395.

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