Letter to the National Labor Relations Board on Appeals in Violation of Code Labor Provisions.
My dear Mr. Chairman:
It has come to my attention that out of a total number of approximately five hundred and fifty different codes, which have been approved and are now in effect, a very small number—probably fewer than five—contain a provision for the consideration and final adjudication of complaints of violation of labor provisions. The existence of this provision in this handful of codes was due to the evolutionary process of code making during the first year of N.R.A. I understand that since those days no provision for final adjudication has entered into any of the later codes.
It is, of course, clear to me that it is reasonable that some provision for appeal should be a part of Government policy. Nevertheless, the fact that Government has approved this provision in these very few codes makes it imperative that Government should live up to the letter of the agreement as long as these codes remain in effect.
I, therefore, request that the National Labor Relations Board conform to the following principles in cases arising under these few codes until such time as the codes themselves may be altered, either by Executive action or by the passage of new laws.
1. Whenever, in an approved code of fair competition, provision is made for the consideration and adjudication of complaints of violation of the labor provisions of the code, and whenever a Committee, Board, or other tribunal has been established under the code to which an appeal can be taken and which is empowered to make a final and enforceable decision of such complaints, the National Labor Relations Board will refuse to entertain any such complaint, or to review the record of a hearing thereon, or to take any other action thereon.
2. Whenever a complaint shall be made to the National Labor Relations Board that the tribunal of appeal established under an approved code of fair competition for the final adjudication of labor controversies has not been constituted or is not qualified in accordance with the requirements of such code, the National Labor Relations Board may investigate the merits of such a complaint and submit its recommendations thereon to the President.
3. Whenever, in the case of the type of code referred to in #1, a complaint shall be made to the National Labor Relations Board by either party to a case before the tribunal of appeal that the decision of the tribunal of appeal is contrary to existing interpretations of the law and specifically of Section 7-A of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the National Labor Relations Board may, in its discretion, report to the President as to whether in its judgment the interpretations referred to are contrary to law.
I am inclined to think that as a matter of practice these three rules cover the situation affecting these few special codes and I call your special attention to Rule #3, which should serve to avoid conflicting interpretations of Section 7-A.
Very sincerely yours,
Hon. Francis Biddle,
National Labor Relations Board,
Washington, D. C.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the National Labor Relations Board on Appeals in Violation of Code Labor Provisions. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208824