Franklin D. Roosevelt

Executive Order 8716—Establishment of National Defense Mediation Board

March 19, 1941

Whereas it is essential in the present emergency that employers and employees engaged in production or transportation of materials necessary to national defense shall exert every possible effort to assure that all work necessary for national defense shall proceed without interruption and with all possible speed:

Now, Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes, and in order to define further certain functions and duties of the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President with respect to the national emergency as declared by the President to exist on September 8, 1939, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. (a) There is hereby created in the Office for Emergency Management, a board to be known as the National Defense Mediation Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board). The Board shall be composed of eleven members to be appointed by the President, of whom three shall be disinterested persons representing the public, four shall be representatives of employees and four shall be representatives of employers. The President shall designate as chairman of the Board one of the members representing the public.

(b) Each member of the Board shall receive necessary traveling expenses, and each member who, during the period of his service on said Board, is not an officer or employee of the United States shall receive in addition thereto $25.00 per diem for subsistence expense on such days as he is performing Board duties. Within the limits of such funds as may be appropriated by Congress or allocated to it by the President, through the Bureau of the Budget, the Office of Production Management shall furnish the Board with necessary experts, assistants, officers, and employees, and make provision for the necessary supplies, facilities, and services.

2. Whenever the Secretary of Labor certifies to the Board that any controversy or dispute has arisen between any employer (or group of employers) and any employees (or organization of employees) which threatens to burden or obstruct the production or transportation of equipment or materials essential to national defense (excluding any dispute coming within the purview of the Railway Labor Act as amended) and which cannot be adjusted by the commissioners of conciliation of the Department of Labor, the Board is hereby authorized—

(a) To make every reasonable effort to adjust and settle any such controversy or dispute by assisting the parties thereto to negotiate agreements for that purpose;

(b) To afford means for voluntary arbitration with an agreement by the parties thereto to abide by the decision arrived at upon such arbitration, and, when requested by both parties, to designate a person or persons to act as impartial arbitrator or arbitrators of such controversy or dispute;

(c) To assist in establishing, when desired by the parties, methods for resolving future controversies or disputes between the parties; and to deal with matters of interest to both parties which may thereafter arise;

(d) To investigate issues between employers and employees, and practices and activities thereof, with respect to such controversy or dispute; conduct hearings, take testimony, make findings of fact, and formulate recommendations for the settlement of any such controversy or dispute; and make public such findings and recommendations whenever in the judgment of the Board the interests of industrial peace so require;

(e) To request the National Labor Relations Board, in any controversy or dispute relating to the appropriate unit or appropriate representatives to be designated for purposes of collective bargaining, to expedite as much as possible the determination of the appropriate unit or appropriate representatives of the workers.

3. Whenever a controversy or dispute is certified to the Board, in accordance with section 2, the Chairman, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Board, shall designate as a division of the Board such members as he deems necessary to take action with respect to such controversy or dispute, and to perform in connection therewith any of the duties enumerated in section 2; provided (a) that no less than three members shall be assigned to any such division, and (b) that each of the three groups represented on the Board shall be represented on any such division.

4. Whenever a controversy or dispute which has not been certified to it in accordance with section 2 is brought to the attention of the Board, it shall refer the matter to the Department of Labor.

It is hereby declared to be the duty of employers and employees engaged in production or transportation of materials essential to national defense to exert every possible effort to settle all their disputes without any interruption in production or transportation. In the interest of national defense the parties should give to the Conciliation Service of the Department of Labor and to the Office of Production Management (a) notice in writing of any desired change in existing agreements, wages, or working conditions; (b) full information as to all developments in labor disputes; and (c) such sufficient advance notice of any threatened interruptions to continuous production as will permit exploration of all avenues of possible settlement of such controversies so as to avoid strikes, stoppages, or lockouts.

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,
March 19, 1941.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 8716—Establishment of National Defense Mediation Board Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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