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Transportation Act [Feb. 28, 1920]

 

An Act To provide for the termination of Federal control of railroads and systems of transportation; to provide for the settlement of disputes between carriers and their employees, to further amend an Act entitled " An Act to regulate commerce," approved February 4, 1887, as amended and for other purposes.

SEC. 30I. It shall be the duty of all carriers and their officers, employees, and agents to exert every reasonable effort and adopt every available means to avoid any interruption to the operation of any carrier growing out of anv dispute between the carrier and the employees or subordinate officials thereof. All such disputes shall be considered and, if possible, decided in conference between representatives designated and authorized so to confer by the carriers, or the employees or subordinate officials
thereof, directly interested in the dispute. If any dispute is not decided in such conference, it shall be referred by the parties thereto to the board which under the provisions of this title is authorized to hear and decide such dispute.

SEC. 302. Railroad Boards of Labor Adjustment may be established by agreement between any carrier, group of carriers, or the carriers as a whole, and any employees or subordinate officials of carriers, or organization or group of organizations thereof.

SEC. 303. Each Adjustment Board shall, (I) upon the application of the chief executive of any carrier or organization of employees or subordinate officials whose members are directly interested in the dispute, (2) upon the written petition signed by not less than 100 unorganized employees or subordinate officials directly interested in the dispute, (3) upon the Adjustment Board's own motion, or (4) upon the request of the Labor Board whenever such board is of the opinion that the dispute is likely substantially to interrupt commerce, receive for hearing, and as soon as practicable and with due diligence decide, any dispute involving only grievances, rules, or working conditions, not decided as provided in section 30I, between the carrier and its employees or subordinate officials, who are, or any organization thereof which is, in accordance with the provisions of section 302, represented upon any such Adjustment Board.

SEC. 304. There is hereby established a board to be known as the "Railroad Labor Board" and to be composed of nine members as follows;

(I) Three members constituting the labor group, representing the employees and subordinate officials of the carriers, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from not less than six nominees whose nominations shall be made and offered by such employees in such manner as the Commission shall by regulation prescribe;

(2) Three members, constituting the management group, representing the carriers, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from not less than six nominees whose nominations shall be made and offered by the carriers in such manner as the Commission shall by regulation prescribe; and

(3) Three members, constituting the public group, representing the public, to be appointed directly by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate....

SEC. 307. (a) The Labor Board shall hear, and as soon as practicable and with due diligence decide, any-dispute involving grievances, rules, or working conditions, in respect to which any Adjustment Board certifies to the Labor Board that in its opinion the Adjustment Board has failed or will fail to reach a decision within a reasonable time, or in respect to which the Labor Board determines that any Adjustment Board has so failed or is not using due diligence in its consideration thereof. In case the appropriate Adjustment Board is not organized under the provisions of section 302, the Labor Board, (I) upon the application of the chief executive of any carrier or organization of employees or subordinate officials whose members are directly interested in the dispute, (2) upon a written petition signed by not less than 100 unorganized employees or subordinate officials directly interested in the dispute, or (3) upon the Labor Board's own motion if it is of the opinion that the dispute is likely substantially to interrupt commerce, shall receive for hearing, and as soon as practicable and with due diligence decide, any dispute involving grievances, rules, or working conditions which is not decided as provided in section 30I and which such Adjustment Board would be required to receive for hearing and decision under the provisions of section 303.

(b) The Labor Board, (I) upon the application of the chief executive of any carrier or organization of employees or subordinate officials whose members are directly interested in the dispute, (2) upon a written petition signed by not less than 100 unorganized employees or subordinate of iicials directly interested in the dispute, or (3) upon the Labor Board's own motion if it is of the opinion that the dispute is likely substantially to interrupt commerce, shall receive for hearing, and as soon as practicable and with due diligence decide, all disputes with respect to the wages or salaries of employees or subordinate officials of carriers, not decided as provided in section 30I. The Labor Board may upon its own motion within ten days after the decision, in accordance with the provisions of section 30I,
of any dispute with respect to wages or salaries of employees or subordinate officials of carriers, suspend the operation of such decision if the Labor Board is of the opinion that the decision involves such an increase in wages or salaries as will be likely to necessitate a substantial readjustment of the rates of any carrier. The Labor Board shall hear any decision so suspended and as soon as practicable and with due diligence decide to affirm or modify such suspended decision....

(d) All the decisions of the Labor Board in respect to wages or salaries and of the Labor Board or an Adjustment Board in respect to working conditions of employees or subordinate officials of carriers shall establish rates of wages and salaries and standards of working conditions which in the opinion of the board are just and reasonable. In determining the justness and reasonableness of such wages and salaries or working conditions the board shall, so far as applicable, take into consideration among other relevant circumstances:
(1) The scales of wages paid for similar kinds of work in other industries;
(2) The relation between wages and the cost of living;
(3) The hazards of the employment;
(4) The training and skill required;
(5) The degree of responsibility;
(6) The character and regularity of the employment; and
(7) Equalities of increases in wages or of treatment, the result of previous wage orders or adjustments.

SEC. 407. The first paragraph of section 5 of the Interstate Commerce Act is hereby amended to read as follows: . . .

" (4) The Commission shall as soon as practicable prepare and adopt a plan for the consolidation of the railway properties of the continental United States into a limited number of systems. In the division of such railways into such systems under such plan, competition shall be preserved as fully as possible and wherever practicable the existing routes and channels of trade and commerce shall be maintained. Subject to the foregoing requirements, the several systems shall be so arranged that the cost of transportation as between competitive systems and as related to the values of the properties through which the service is rendered shall be the same, so far as practicable, so that these systems can employ uniform rates in the movement of competitive traffic and under efficient management earn substantially the same rate of return upon the value of their respective railway properties.

" (5) When the Commission has agreed upon a tentative plan, it shall give the same due publicity and upon reasonable notice, including notice to the Governor of each State, shall hear all persons who may file or present objections thereto. The Commission is authorized to prescribe a procedure for such hearings and to fix a time for bringing them to a close. After the hearings are at an end, the Commission shall adopt a plan for such consolidation and publish the same; but it may at any time thereafter, upon its own motion or upon application, reopen the subject for such changes or modifications as in its judgment will promote the public interest. The consolidations herein provided for shall be in harmony with such plan.

"(6) It shall be lawful for two or more carriers by railroad, subject to this Act, to consolidate their properties or any part thereof, into one corporation for the ownership, management, and operation of the properties theretofore in separate ownership, management, and operation, under the following conditions:

" (a) The proposed consolidation must be in harmony with and in furtherance of the complete plan of consolidation mentioned in paragraph (5) and must be approved by the Commission;

' (b) The bonds at par of the corporation which is to become the owner of the consolidated properties, together with the outstanding capital stock at par of such corporation, shall not exceed the value of the consolidated properties as determined by the Commission. The value of the properties sought to be consolidated shall be ascertained by the Commission under section I9a of this Act, and it shall be the duty of the Commission to proceed immediately to the ascertainment of such value for the properties involved in a proposed consolidation upon the filing of the application for such consolidation.

" (c) Whenever two or more carriers propose a consolidation under this section, they shall present their application therefor to the Commission, and thereupon the Commission shall notify the Governor of each State in which any part of the properties sought to be consolidated is situated and the carriers involved in the proposed consolidation, of the time and place for a public hearing. If after such hearing the Commission finds that the public interest will be promoted by the consolidation and that the conditions of this section have been or will be fulfilled, it may enter an order approving and authorizing such consolidation with such modifications and upon such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, and thereupon such consolidation may be effected, in accordance with such order, if all the carriers involved assent thereto, the law of any State or the decision or order of any State authority to the contrary notwithstanding.

" (7) The power and authority of the Commission to approve and authorize the consolidation of two or more carriers shall extend and apply to the consolidation of four express companies into the American Railway Express Company, a Delaware corporation, if application for such approval and authority is made to the Commission within thirty days after the passage of this amendatory Act; and pending the decision of the Commission such consolidation shall not be dissolved."