Emergency Board no. 52 Files

Collection Number: 5308

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

This collection was processed with the help of generous funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Emergency Board no. 52 Files, 1937-1948
Collection Number:
5308
Creator:
Emergency Board no. 52;
Meyer, Arthur S. (Arthur Simon), 1880-1955;
Friedman, Clara H. (nee Handelman)
Quantity:
1.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents), case files .
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Transcripts, exhibits, and reports of United States Emergency Board no. 52. The dispute concerned a contract dispute between the Railway Express Agency and the New York City Metropolitan area Local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Emergency Board no. 52 was created by President Harry S. Truman on October 22, 1947 under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act to investigate a dispute between the Railway Express Agency and its 4,700 vehicle and garage employees in the New York City Metropolitan area, specifically the five boroughs of New York and Weehawken, Hoboken, and Jersey City, New Jersey. The dispute, regarding contract negotiations between the Railway Express Agency and the employees' unions, Local 808 and 459 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, A.F.L., resulted in a strike which lasted from September 18 to October 14, 1947. The employees were demanding a reduction in hours to a 40-hour workweek and higher wages. The strike ended when the unions agreed to submit their demands to a Presidential fact finding board.
At the suggestion of Mayor William O'Dwyer, President Harry S. Truman appointed three New Yorkers to the board. The chairman was Arthur S. Meyer; the other two members were Frank M. Swacker and Aaron Horovitz. Mr. Meyer brought on Clara Friedman (nee Handelman), with whom he had worked on arbitration boards overseeing New York City transit disputes, as consultant and secretary. Mrs. Friedman was a member of the National Academy of Mediators.
The Emergency Board conducted 20 days of hearings between October 27 and December 1, 1947, considering union proposals for changes in the title, preamble, and 26 working rules of the Local Agreement, and Railway Express Agency proposals for changes in 17 working rules. The mediation was able to dispose of 62 contested matters, the most important being the voluntary agreement between both sides to create Board of Adjustment procedures for arbitrating future grievances.
The Emergency Board recommended a general wage increase and a reduction of work hours from a six day, 44 hour week to a five day, 40 hour week. The other demands of the union, including vacations and holidays, were denied.
The decision in this case was predicated upon its location in the New York City metropolitan area. It declined to set a precedent for other areas or classes of employees.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Inclusive dates: 1937 - 1948
Bulk date: 1947
This collection contains transcripts of the proceedings of the Emergency Board no. 52, exhibits and briefs submitted to the Emergency Board by both the Railway Express Agency and the Locals 459 and 808 of the Teamsters Union, the notes, correspondence and memos from the chairman of the Emergency Board, Arthur S. Meyer, and the correspondence file of the Emergency Board. It also contains a final draft of the report submitted to President Harry S. Truman on January 15, 1948.
The transcripts are divided into 20 volumes. The exhibits contain rulebooks, contracts, previous decisions by other emergency boards, summaries of costs of living compared to the current wage structure, the costs of a wage increase to the REA, and comparisons of the national contract to what the Locals were requesting. Arthur S. Meyer's folders contain drafts of the agreement, supplemental exhibits, economic summaries from labor arbitrator Clara H. Friedman (nee Handelman), and drafts of the final report with annotations.
The correspondence file documents the various people and agencies who were involved in the mediation. It also contains a letter signed by President Truman appointing Arthur S. Meyer as chairman and member of the Emergency Board.
SUBJECTS

Names:
United States. Emergency Board No. 52.
Railway Express Agency.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America.

Subjects:
Transport workers -- New York (State) -- New York.
Transport workers -- Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Wages-- Transport workers -- New York (State) -- New York.
Collective bargaining agreements -- Local transit -- New York (State) > New York.
Strikes and lockouts -- Transport workers -- New York (State) > New York.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)
Case files


INFORMATION FOR USERS

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:
Emergency Board no. 52 Files #5308. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5114: New York City Transit Authority Fact Finding Panel Records
5118: New York City Board of Transportation and the Transport Workers Union Records
5251: New York City Mayor's Advisory Transit Committee Hearing Transcripts and Records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1947
Box 1 Folder 2 1947
Box 1 Folder 3 1947
Box 1 Folder 4 1947
Box 1 Folder 5 1947
Box 1 Folder 6 1947
Box 1 Folder 7 1947
Box 1 Folder 8 1947
Box 1 Folder 9 1947
Box 1 Folder 10 1947
Box 1 Folder 11 1947
Box 1 Folder 12 1947
Box 1 Folder 13 1947
Box 1 Folder 14 1947
Box 1 Folder 15 1947
Box 1 Folder 16 1947
Box 1 Folder 17 1947
Box 1 Folder 18 1947
Box 1 Folder 19 1947
Box 1 Folder 20 1947
Box 1 Folder 21 1948
Final draft of report, with five corrections of small typos in red pencil. Separate sheet lists the corrections, and the names of the individuals the report was sent to at its completion.
Box 2 Folder 1a 1937-1947
(extra long paper in exhibit, needs to be copied or re- housed)
Box 2 Folder 1b 1937-1947
(extra long paper in exhibit, needs to be copied or re- housed)
Box 2 Folder 1c 1937-1947
(extra long paper in exhibit, needs to be copied or re- housed)
Box 2 Folder 2a 1944-1947
Box 2 Folder 2b 1944-1947
Box 2 Folder 3 1947
Submitted December 1, 1947
Box 2 Folder 4a 1947
Notes, correspondence, and memos from Arthur Meyer and Clara Friedman
Box 2 Folder 4b 1947
Notes, correspondence, and memos from Arthur Meyer and Clara Friedman. Also contains full draft of report to President Harry S. Truman
Box 2 Folder 5 1947-1948
Includes letter from President Harry S. Truman to Arthur S. Meyer, appointing him as member and Chairman of Emergency Board no. 52 on October 22, 1947.