Truman Reliance of Fact-Finding Method
Fact-finding by special boards with power to make A recommendations for settlement—the method preferred by President Truman for dealing with labor disputes in major industries when collective bargaining breaks down—is undergoing a decisive test in the present controversy in the basic steel industry.
If the report submitted on Sept. 10 by the emergency board created by the President for the steel dispute becomes the basis for a peaceful settlement—and wins acceptance as a pattern for contracts in other mass industries—the prestige of the fact-finding process will be greatly enhanced. It may later be adopted by Congress as the central feature of government labor policy. If a work stoppage in steel occurs despite the contribution made through the fact-finding process, the President may be compelled again to resort to the injunction method for dealing with national emergency strikes prescribed in the Taft-Hartley Act.
Fact-Finding in Current Steel Controversy
Convinced that a deadlock had been reached in negotiations, President Truman intervened in the steel dispute on July 15 by appointing a three-man board of inquiry to report “with their recommendations to the parties as to fair and equitable terms of settlement.” The United Steel-workers accepted the President's proposal and agreed to a strike truce. After first announcing its reluctance to participate, the steel industry also consented to the procedure, making clear at the same time that it would not feel bound by the board's recommendations.