Franklin D. Roosevelt

Executive Order 9017—Establishing the National War Labor Board

January 12, 1942

Whereas by reason of the state of war declared to exist by joint resolutions of the Congress, approved December 8, 1941, and December 11, 1941, respectively (Public Laws Nos. 328, 331,332, 77th Congress), the national interest demands that there shall be no interruption of any work which contributes to the effective prosecution of the war; and

Whereas as a result of a conference of representatives of labor and industry which met at the call of the President on December 17, 1941, it has been agreed that for the duration of the war there shall be no strikes or lockouts, and that all labor disputes shall be settled by peaceful means, and that a National War Labor Board be established for the peaceful adjustment of such disputes:

Now, Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States, it is hereby ordered:

1. There is hereby created in the Office for Emergency Management a National War Labor Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board. The Board shall be composed of twelve special commissioners to be appointed by the President. Four of the members shall be representative of the public; four shall be representative of employees; and four shall be representative of employers. The President shall designate the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board from the members representing the public. The President shall appoint four alternate members representative of employees and four representative of employers, to serve as Board members in the absence of regular members representative of their respective groups. Six members or alternate members of the Board, including not less than two members from each of the groups represented on the Board, shall constitute a quorum. A vacancy in the Board shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the Board.

2. This Order does not apply to labor disputes for which procedures for adjustment or settlement are otherwise provided until those procedures have been exhausted.

3. The procedures for adjusting and settling labor disputes which might interrupt work which contributes to the effective prosecution of the war shall be as follows: (a) The parties shall first resort to direct negotiations or to the procedures provided in a collective bargaining agreement. (b) If not settled in this manner, the Commissioners of Conciliation of the Department of Labor shall be notified if they have not already intervened in the dispute. (c) If not promptly settled by conciliation, the Secretary of Labor shall certify the dispute to the Board, provided, however, that the Board in its discretion after consultation with the Secretary may take jurisdiction of the dispute on its own motion. After it takes jurisdiction, the Board shall finally determine the dispute, and for this purpose may use mediation, voluntary arbitration, or arbitration under rules established by the Board.

4. The Board shall have power to promulgate rules and regulations appropriate for the performance of its duties.

5. The members of the Board (including alternates) shall receive necessary traveling expenses, and, unless their compensation is otherwise prescribed by the President, shall receive in addition to traveling expenses $25.00 per diem for subsistence expense on such days as they are actually engaged in the performance of duties pursuant to this Order. The Board is authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of its officers, examiners, mediators, umpires, and arbitrators; and the Chairman is authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of other necessary employees of the Board. The Board shall avail itself, insofar as practicable, of the services and facilities of the Office for Emergency Management and of other departments and agencies of the Government.

6. Upon the appointment of the Board and the designation of its Chairman, the National Defense Mediation Board established by Executive Order No. 8716 of March 19, 1941, shall cease to exist. All employees of the National Defense Mediation Board shall be transferred to the Board without acquiring by such transfer any change in grade or civil service status. All records, papers, and property, and all unexpended funds and appropriations for the use and maintenance of the National Defense Mediation Board shall be transferred to the Board. All duties with respect to cases certified to the National Defense Mediation Board shall be assumed by the Board for discharge under the provisions of this Order.

7. Nothing herein shall be construed as superseding or in conflict with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act (Act of May 20, 1926, as amended, 44 Stat. 577; 48 Stat. 926, 1185; 49 Stat. 1169; 45 U.S. Code 151), the National Labor Relations Act (Act of July 5, 1935, 49 Stat. 457; 29 U.S. Code 151 et seq.), the Fair Labor Standards Act (Act of June 25, 1938; 52 Stat. 1060; 29 U.S. Code 201 et seq.), and the Act to provide conditions for the purchase of supplies, etc., approved June 30, 1936 (49 Stat. 2036; 41 U.S. Code, sections 35-45), or the Act amending the Act of March 3, 1931, relating to the rate of wages for laborers and mechanics, approved August 30, 1935 (49 Stat. 1011; 40 U.S. Code, Section 276 et seq.).

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,
January 12, 1942.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 9017—Establishing the National War Labor Board Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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