A-56368, JULY 13, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 42

A-56368: Jul 13, 1934

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COMPENSATION - FORTY-HOUR WEEK - ALASKA RAILROAD THE EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD ARE NOT WITHIN THE TERMS OF SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28. 1934: THERE WAS RECEIVED JUNE 28. AS FOLLOWS: CERTAIN QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE ARISEN UNDER SECTION 23 OF THE "INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. ARE PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION. IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT I BE ADVISED WHETHER EMPLOYEES OF THE RAILROAD IN THE FOLLOWING-NAMED CLASSES ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID SECTION 23: 1. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE PAID MONTHLY ON BASIS OF HOURS CREDITED (OR MILES. THE PAY SCHEDULE AND WORKING RULES GOVERNING THESE EMPLOYEES WERE ADOPTED SOME YEARS AGO BY THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RAILROAD AFTER EXTENDED CONFERENCES WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEN AND COMPARISON WITH RATES PAID FOR LIKE SERVICES IN THE STATES. 2.

A-56368, JULY 13, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 42

COMPENSATION - FORTY-HOUR WEEK - ALASKA RAILROAD THE EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD ARE NOT WITHIN THE TERMS OF SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934 (48 STAT. 522), ESTABLISHING A 40-HOUR WEEK.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 13, 1934:

THERE WAS RECEIVED JUNE 28, 1934, YOUR LETTER, WITHOUT DATE, AS FOLLOWS:

CERTAIN QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE ARISEN UNDER SECTION 23 OF THE "INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1935," IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD, ARE PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION.

IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT I BE ADVISED WHETHER EMPLOYEES OF THE RAILROAD IN THE FOLLOWING-NAMED CLASSES ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID SECTION 23:

1. TRAINMEN (LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN, CONDUCTORS, BRAKEMEN, AND BAGGAGE MEN). THESE EMPLOYEES ARE PAID MONTHLY ON BASIS OF HOURS CREDITED (OR MILES, WHICHEVER GIVES THE GREATER AMOUNT). THE PAY SCHEDULE AND WORKING RULES GOVERNING THESE EMPLOYEES WERE ADOPTED SOME YEARS AGO BY THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RAILROAD AFTER EXTENDED CONFERENCES WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEN AND COMPARISON WITH RATES PAID FOR LIKE SERVICES IN THE STATES.

2. MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY EMPLOYEES (CARPENTERS, SECTION LABORERS, AND OTHERS, AT HOURLY RATES, ENGAGED IN REPAIR AND UPKEEP OF BUILDINGS, TRACKS, BRIDGES, AND ROADWAY). THE RATES PAID THESE MEN HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME BY THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RAILROAD, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, TO CONFORM TO LOCAL WAGE CONDITIONS.

3. MECHANICAL AND SHOP FORCES. THESE EMPLOYEES (MACHINISTS, BOILERMAKERS, ETC.) RECEIVE MONTHLY WAGES AT RATES FIXED BY THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE RAILROAD, AND APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, TO CONFORM TO RATES FOR SIMILAR WORK IN THE STATES, ADJUSTED TO LOCAL WAGE CONDITIONS.

4. COOKS AND WAITERS PAID AT MONTHLY RATES IN EMPLOY OF THE OPERATION OF THE RAILROAD'S HOTEL AT CURRY, ITS BASE HOSPITAL AT ANCHORAGE, ON RIVER BOATS, AND IN SUNDRY MESS HALLS OPERATED BY THE RAILROAD AT POINTS ON ITS LINE FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF ITS OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE FORCES. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE PAID AT RATES ESTABLISHED BY THE MANAGEMENT, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, WHICH CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF WAGE CONDITIONS IN THE PLACES WHERE THE EMPLOYEES ARE LOCATED.

IF FURTHER PARTICULARS ARE REQUIRED BY YOUR OFFICE IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED, THE INFORMATION DESIRED WILL BE FURNISHED GLADLY BY THIS DEPARTMENT UPON REQUEST.

SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE WEEKLY COMPENSATION, MINUS ANY GENERAL PERCENTAGE REDUCTION WHICH MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ACT OF CONGRESS, FOR THE SEVERAL TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS, WHICH IS SET BY WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES, SHALL BE REESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED AT RATES NOT LOWER THAN NECESSARY TO RESTORE THE FULL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FULL- TIME WEEKLY EARNINGS UNDER THE RESPECTIVE WAGE SCHEDULES IN EFFECT ON JUNE 1, 1932: PROVIDED, THAT THE REGULAR HOURS OF LABOR SHALL NOT BE MORE THAN FORTY PER WEEK; AND ALL OVERTIME SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR AT THE RATE OF NOT LESS THAN TIME AND ONE HALF.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 6, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 265, 268, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

EVIDENTLY THE WORDS "TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS" APPEARING IN SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, SUPRA, WERE INTENDED TO EMBRACE NOT ONLY ALL POSITIONS OR EMPLOYMENTS IN THE RECOGNIZED TRADES AND CRAFTS AND OCCUPATIONS OF A SIMILAR CHARACTER BUT ALSO SUPERVISORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS AND EMPLOYMENTS THE DUTIES OF WHICH ARE ENTIRELY CONNECTED WITH, AND DEPENDENT UPON, THE DUTIES PERFORMED BY THE PERSONNEL IN THE TRADES, CRAFTS, AND SIMILAR OCCUPATIONS, THE COMPENSATION OF WHICH IS SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENT BY WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES. SEE GENERALLY SECTION 5 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 43 STAT. 1489, AND 4 COMP. GEN. 00; ID. 959.

RAILROAD EMPLOYEES ARE REGARDED GENERALLY AS A DISTINCT CLASS OF PERSONNEL AND THEIR OCCUPATIONS AS NOT BEING WITHIN "TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS" OF MECHANICS AND LABORERS AS EMPLOYED IN SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, SUPRA. IT IS NOT BELIEVED, THEREFORE, THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED TO REQUIRE THAT THE 40-HOUR WEEK STATUTORY PROVISION BE APPLIED TO EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD EVEN THOUGH THEIR RATES OF WAGES MAY BE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY PURSUANT TO A PROCEDURE SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THAT FOLLOWED BY WAGE BOARDS. THE AUTHORITY TO FIX HOURS OF LABOR AND RATES OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD IS VESTED IN THE PRESIDENT BY THE ACT OF MARCH 12, 1914, 38 STAT. 305, AND WHILE A 40-HOUR WEEK FOR SAID EMPLOYEES MIGHT BE ESTABLISHED BY ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT, AND RATES OF WAGES ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY, WITHIN THE LIMITS OF AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS AND SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS ON ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS (SEE DECISION OF JUNE 19, 1934, A-56038, 13 COMP. GEN. 451), SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, SUPRA, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO REQUIRE SUCH ACTION.