Imágenes de páginas

workers. In most cases, it would be accurate to say that the coverage is denied because of this sloppy situation.

The tragedy is in terms of what Frank and Al Laureta were describing—the tragedy of these bus accidents, tractor accidents, and farm accidents. The surviving widows and children should be able to collect these benefits. Because of this crazy recordkeeping, they have failed. I think this is, in a sense, a Federal-employer responsibility under the social security law. The State labor department has a crucial roll to play of making it work. I think the Social Security Administration recognizes the fact, but I am not sure that all of us in labor departments realize what we can do without law to make it function.

Mr. HAROLD SMITH. Recently, in Florida we conducted a protective labor seminar. One subject we discussed was the need to extend coverage of labor laws to agricultural workers. As a result of that, the very subject you are discussing on social security arose. It was stated that OEO groups and migrants were encouraging people to write to the Social Security Administration and ask for a record of their earnings. It was alleged that these were being collected. As the migrants left one job and went to another, their earnings records were not being sent in on their behalf. So there is an effort being made, at least for the east coast migrants, to try to determine this and rectify it, if possible.

Mr. DALY. We had that problem in New York State. It was alleged that deductions were being made by farm labor contractors for social security purposes, but they were not submitting them to social security. The Social Security Administration requested some information from us. Unfortunately, we can never get the cooperation from social security in these matters.

Commissioner MALE. If that be true, Dan—and I would not want to concede it on behalf of the Social Security Administration, because I, personally, always found them very anxious to get full coverage of these people and they have been most cooperative — I would suggest to the incoming executive board that this be made one of the priorities for their attention in the coming year: to work out an effective solution with Commissioner Boyd and his staff and see to it that this protection, which is already on the books, is implemented. I think this will go a long way toward correcting some of these evils that we describe here.

Commissioner ROWLAND. If we are talking about social security, and it runs hand in hand with the workmen's compensation problem, I wonder if, when the workmen's compensation group is meeting in Washington this fall, we might follow closely to what they are doing

on the collection and their accounting, and dovetail it into social security.

Commissioner MALE. I would say on behalf of the growers-whom I deal with in considerable measure as a result of our major use of agricultural labor in our State—that they have been derelict in proper recordkeeping. But to the credit of Puerto Rico again, they taught our growers and their association to be good recordkeepers in the interest of effective management of farm labor supply. It would be a great thing if IAGLO, in cooperation with interested Federal agencies, could set up a simplified recordkeeping system that would include wages, piece rates, and hourly problems, workmen's compensation, social security deductions, out of which a simple set of records would be given to the worker and, indeed, to the crew leader, if this is a helpful part of the control.

I would put that as a part of the charge to next year's IAGLO executive board or its appropriate committee to work in that direction.

I would just say, by way of summary, these great changes that were described—the mechanization, the decline of the family farm, the fact that agriculture is getting to be big business—an industry in America—and that it is becoming an area in which we can treat the working people in a much different way than when it was a small unit operation. By way of recommendation, in addition to those that have been brought out by the panel and your questions, I think we ought to resolve here to attempt in the States to secure legislation to apply all those benefits to agricultural workers that apply to industrial and other workers.

The time has come when we can almost stop talking about migratory workers, assuming we mean agricultural workers. There are, indeed, more migratory workers among industrial, clerical, governmental, and other workers than there may soon be in the agricultural field. But we treat them so differently in unemployment insurance, temporary disability insurance, workmen's compensation, pension or fringe benefits, minimum wages, that we ought to go back and do more than take a look at it. We ought to box score our own State.

Then in the area of development, it seems to be that both in physical development terms and in human development or redevelopment terms, we should, as labor departments, take a closer, first cousin interest, for example, in the housing needs in the rural communities of these people who work in agricultural jobs. Over a million homes will be needed in the next 10 years in rural areas alone. Two and one-half million need major repairs and by American standards are declared substandard.

In human development, IAGLO ought to take an official note that in the phase of increasing mechanization of the agricultural industry, that we must train the agricultural worker, not just let him be a migrant. We must train him in two areas: one, in the area of the increasing industrial skill for the ability to use these machines that have been described. The pineapple machine, the cottonpicking machine, the tractor, and the tomatopicking machine—these require training. Two, we need training in supervision. Because as this gets bigger and more complicated, who will train crew leaders? Who is training supervisors in the field on these big mechanized farms? This says something to those involved in manpower development and training programs. We have to prepare for their entry into industrial jobs or into other community activities.

I would say by way of summary, on behalf of the committee, that it has been proved to us, that where something can be done with respect to earnings, to wages, and problems of housing, community life, health, and education can be met out of those earnings. I would suggest that IAGLO take official note that when there is an earning deficit for agricultural working families in America that those deficits must be made up. The way we have been making them up in recent years in America is first through public assistance which goes unrecognized as part of the cost because it is handled by other agencies and through other procedures. And second, the deficit is made up in the families themselves in terms of ill health, lack of education, lack of ability to live with our modern society. And third, this deficit is made up by what I would call crime and delinquency. If you cannot earn it or if you cannot get it because of residency requirements, you take it. If you do not believe this is an important part of this problem, talk to any municipal police department or anybody who is running a correctional institution.

Finally, I would suggest to IAGLO: one thing that has been happening in recent years in fighting poverty is the establishment of programs and available resources, cash and people resources, to attack poverty, rural and urban. I suspect that, in my State as in yours, the attack has to be more in the form of trying to duplicate existing services or to buy some new solution and that maybe IAGLO, as part of its concern for agricultural labor and the rural poor working families, should see to it that the drive toward decent earnings and decent living for these people is coordinated with these new resources, not displaced or engulfed by them. I want to thank you very much for your time.

[There was a short coffee break.]

President CATHERWOOD. Commissioner Wright from Florida was not able to be with us, but Art Motley is and would like to extend an invitation.

Mr. MOTLEY. The IAIABC executive committee asked Mr. Wright to represent it here at this meeting. Unfortunately, he is unable to be present. I would like, on behalf of the association, to remind you of the convention which will be held at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C., starting Sunday, September 10, 1966. The program this year is going to follow somewhat the program of the IAGLO in that two workshops will be provided. The report of the committees will be given a full day. So in a way, the convention this year will be similar somewhat to the proceedings and procedures being followed by this association.

I would like, following Ray's comments this morning on workmen's compensation, to urge that IAIABC and IAGLO join forces in meeting with the social security people on some of these issues that we discussed this morning. I think both associations have a very close interest in this subject. You are all invited to attend the convention and we hope many of you can.


Chairman: HENRY MILLER, Commissioner, Maryland Department

of Labor and Industry

(In the absence of Mr. Miller, Deputy Commissioner William R. Welsh acted as

chairman of the panel)

Deputy Commissioner WELSH. In 1965, over $140,000 was collected in unpaid wages in Connecticut; in a biannual period in California, $7,700,000. What happens to these people? Do they go out and hold up a liquor store or do they go on welfare? And we are speaking of the poverty level. I think that the economy of the State is affected by this. I do not know how many States represented here have that law; we do not have it in Maryland. I will speak to those who are not covered by such a law. The biggest employer in Maryland opposed the law that is now in effect-Bethlehem Steel. This is a natural, normal reaction. It pays its employees monthly. So you people who do not have such a law, do not ever make the mistake of passing a piece of legislation that will not meet the requirements of your biggest employer.

President CATHERWOOD. I am glad to have your introductory remarks here. I wonder if we might not ask Minister Reierson to say a word on the subject from the Canadian standpoint and then ask Dan Daly to say a few words from the States' standpoint.

RAYMOND REIERSON, Minister, Alberta Department of Labour Rather than go into detail on the status that we have in the Canadian Provinces for collection of wage claims, I would like to indicate briefly that every Province has a series of protective laws. In the Province of Alberta, the method of collecting any unpaid wages, where they are held back, would be that the Department of Labour is able to file a claim on behalf of the employee. Where there is unpaid overtime, or failure to pay minimum wage or for wage claims, action can be taken in the magistrate court. The magistrate can direct the assessment, the amount of money that shall be paid to the aggrieved worker.

But this still does not cover the situation where there is no money; where the firm is bankrupt; where it is a single, private employer who has no money; where he is levied a fine or a jail sentence. We still have individuals who walk away without receiving their wages. But they are becoming fewer and fewer. Our labour movement indicates, of course, that there should be such things as bonding for wage claims and that there should be sums of money deposited with depositories to guarantee wages. We have that as far as the mining and the lumbering industries are concerned. But again this would be a very big limitation on small businessmen getting into business in the first instance.

I do not believe there is any answer, other than that today workmen are becoming more and more alert as to whether there is security for their wages. When they fail to be paid at the end of the week, on a weekly basis, they are immediately suspicious, and before the next week goes by, they have been in touch with the Department of Labour. So the amounts are consistently getting smaller. Although from time to time, timberworkers will continue to work where they build up hundreds of dollars. There is really no answer for that.

I think anything that we can do to see that wages are paid promptly, that there is security for wage claims perhaps penalties should be more and more severe for failure to pay a workingman his just wages—is the means of maintaining a higher standard. This may be generalizing. Speaking of mechanics' liens ability to file caveat against employers, property, and so on—I think would become much more detailed. I would like to see a matter of dialogue of questioning and cross-questioning. I know the statutes that we have in Canada. Mere debate whether they are the same or different from the ones you have, I do not believe is of any importance. I believe discussion on this very, very important subject can be a far more fruitful way of meeting the situation than the actual statutes that may be developed for the employee's protection.

« AnteriorContinuar »