U.S. Emergency Board No. 119 Records

Collection Number: 5046

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


U.S. Emergency Board No. 119 Records, 1956-1957
Collection Number:
U.S. Emergency Board
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents), proceedings, transcripts .
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Transcript of proceedings and exhibits of the Emergency Board No. 119, 1957. Wages and benefits case. General Managers' Association of New York vs. the International Organziation of Masters, mates and Pilots, Inc., 1937-1957. There are also copies of 35 exhibits which provide a picture of the wage structure of the railroad and marine industries and describe in detail the jobs performed by union members.
Collection material in English


Emergency Board No. 119 was created under an Executive Order of the President dated August 6, 1957. To the fact-finding board were appointed James J. Healy of Boston, an arbitrator and assistant professor of Industrial Relations at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration; Walter R. Johnson of Arlington, Va; special counsel of the National Association of Attorneys General and former Attorney General of Nebraska, and Benjamin C. Roberts of Brooklyn, N.Y., a lawyer active in mediation and arbitration, Healy was appointed chairman.
On November 21, 1956, the Masters, Mates and Pilots union presented the carriers with their demands, which Included a 35% increase in pay for captains and pilots, a 25 cent per hour increase for mates, deckhands and other crew members (both demands to be retroactive August 1, 1956), double time and one-half for work performed on holidays, differential pay of $1.50 per day for bridge motormen and ferry wheelsmen, and health and welfare Insurance for employees and their families.
The carriers countered by offering the MMP the 1956-1957 "pattern" established In negotiations with the non-operating railroads. This proved to be important in the Board's later decision because the MMP from 1937 through 1953, had bargained jointly with and had agreed to, the same settlements as the non-operating unions. More specifically, the carriers offered a pay increase of 10 cents an hour across-the-board, retroactive to November 1, 1956, with additional 7 cent hourly increases in November of 1957 and 1958, health and welfare benefits or equivalent wage increases of 2.5 cents per hour, and semi-annual cost of living adjustments of 1 cent per hour for each one-half point change in the Consumers' Price Index, in return for a moratorium on contract changes for three years.
Conferences between the General Managers' Association of New York Harbor Railroads and the Masters, Mates and Pilots Organization in December 1956, February 1957 and March 1957 produced no agreement. In March, the services of the National Mediation Board were invoked. Originally intending to strike on July 21 the union postponed its strike deadline at the suggestion of the Mediation Board representative to 12:01 A.M. of August 7.
On August 2 and August 7, with agreement still not in sight, the carriers obtained temporary restraining orders from the Federal Courts to prevent the MMP from striking. These were made unnecessary, however, when the President under Section 10, of the Railway Labor Act on the Mediation Board's report that the situation threatened substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive a section of the country of essential transportation service, created the Emergency Board and halted the strike for sixty days. Nine public hearings and two inspection trips were held by the Emergency Board, the investigation beginning on August 14 and being completed on August 30. With the agreement of both parties, the Board was granted a two week extension in which to make its report.
On September 20, the Board made public its recommendation that settlement be, basically, on the terms offered by the railroads. The Board recommended the 26.5 cents "pattern" settlement of the non-operating railroad unions (10 cents per hour retroactive to November 1, 1956, 7 cents per hour effective November 1, 1958, and 2.5 cents in health and welfare benefits or wages at the option of the MMP,) plus a cost-of-living adjustment of 1 cent an hour for each half point change in the CPI, double pay for designated holidays or 16 cents per day increase in basic wages (again at the choice of the union) and Increases to captains and pilots of $1.00 a day retroactive to December 21, 1956, and 50 cents a day effective November 1, 1957 and November 1, 1958.
The union, however, termed these proposals Inadequate and threatened to strike again at 1 A.M. of October 22, the day after the cooling-off period was to end. Masters, Mates and Pilots' president C.T. Atkins termed the parties still "far apart," and the rank-and-file backed him up by voting affirmatively in the strike vote held October 17. The threatened strike did take place, but lasted for only 90 minutes, as union and management with the aid of Federal Mediator, T.E. Schoonover, reached agreement at 2:30 A.M. on management's terms.
Over the three-year period of the agreement, the settlement meant a daily increase of $4.36 in wages for captains and pilots (in addition to their then current $22.50,) and an increase of $2.36 per day for mates and deckhands (in addition to their respective $16.80 and $16.40,) plus the cost-of-living adjustments which were estimated at an additional 32 cents.
The International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots was the bargaining Agent for 872 of the 3,231 railroad marine service employees then employed in New York Harbor. Although this amounted to only 27% overall, the MMP represented 90.1% of the captains and pilots, 59.1% of the mates and 61.8% of the deckhands.
The eleven railroads represented by the General Managers' Association of New York were the New York Central, the New York, New Haven and Hartford, the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, the New York Dock Railway, the Bush Terminal Railroad, the Baltimore and Delaware, Lackawanna and Western and the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey.
The eleven railroads conduct both ferry and towing operations as extensions of their railroad service. Combined, they handled in 1956 approximately 27 million tons of freight and had an annual gross of approximately $250,000,000, Dally business was estimated at $725,000 and daily-losses in perishable goods, in case of a strike, at $5285,000.
The ferry service of the New York Central, Erie, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western and Jersey Central Railroads handles a total of 69,000 passengers and 4,500 motor vehicles a day, mainly between points in Manhattan and New Jersey.


The collection consists of the transcript of the proceedings (9 vol.) along with the final report (38 pp.). There are also copies of 35 exhibits which provide a picture of the wage structure of the railroad and marine industries and describe in detail the jobs performed by union members.

General Managers' Association of New York650
International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots
United States. Emergency Board No. 119.

Train ferries--New York (State)--New York.
Train ferries--Employees.
Merchant mariners x Labor unions z United States.
Arbitration, Industrial z United States x Sources.
Arbitration, Industrial. Train ferries. New York (N.Y.)
Mediation and conciliation, Industrial. Train ferries. New York (N.Y.)
New York (N.Y.). Harbor.
Strikes and lockouts. Train ferries. New York (N.Y.)
Wages. Mediation and conciliation, Industrial. New York (N.Y.)
Wages. Train ferries. New York (N.Y.)

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
U.S. Emergency Board No. 119 Records #5046. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


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Box 1
Box 1 Folder 1
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3
Box 1 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 5
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Box 1 Folder 7
Including rates, rules, and charges for grain, live stock, and storage, deliveries and handling of freight between terminals on domestic, import, export, coastwise, and Intercoastal freight.
Box 1 Folder 8
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Box 1 Folder 12
Box 1 Folder 13 1956-1957
Box 1 Folder 14
Box 1 Folder 15 1956-1957
Box 1 Folder 16
To: H.F. Wyatt of the Reading Circle; J.W. Orem of the Pennsylvania Railroad; R.L. Harvey of the Baltimore and Ohio Company; and Captain John M. Bishop of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, Incorporated.
Box 1 Folder 17 1956
April 1956
Box 1 Folder 18
Box 1 Folder 19
Box 1 Folder 20
Box 1 Folder 21
Box 1 Folder 22 1957
February 1, 1957
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Box 1 Folder 28
Box 1 Folder 29 1956-1957
Box 1 Folder 30 1956-1957
Box 1 Folder 31 1956-1957
Supplement to Exhibit 30
Box 1 Folder 32 1956-1957
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Box 1 Folder 37