NATIONAL RECOVERY ADMIINISTRATION
CODE OF FAIR COMPETITION
FRESH WATER PEARL
AS APPROVED ON FEBRUARY 26, 1934
Ear sale bJ the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C. - Price 5 cente
Approved Code No. 310
Registry No. 1009--1---02
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Approved Code No. 310
CODE OF FAIR COMPETITION
FRESH WATER PEARL BUTTON
As Approved on February 26, 1934
APPROVING CODE OF FAIR COMPETITION FOR THE FRESH \YATTER PEEARL
BnrroN MAINUTFACTURING INDUSTRY
An application having been duly miade pursuant to and in full
compliance with the provisions of Title I of the National Industrial
Recovery Act, approved June 16, 1933, for approval of a Code of
Fair Competition for the Fresh~ Water Pearl Button Mannufacturing
Industry, and hearings4 having been duly held thereon and thle an-
nexed report on said Code, containing findings with respect thereto,
having been made and directed to the President:i
NOW THEREFORE, on behalf of the President of the United
States, i, Hugh S. Johnson, Administr~ator for Industr~ial Recovery,
p ursuant to authority vested in me byEcuieOdrofhePsi
dent, including Executive Order Ko. 6543-A, daedso Dheember 30
1933, and otherwise; do hereby incorporate by reference said annexed
report and do find that said Code complies in all respects with the
pertinent provisions and will p remote the policy and purposes of
said Title of said Act; and do hereby order that said Code of Fair
Competition be and it is hereby approved.
Hnca S. JOHNSON,
Adminristr~ator for Ind~ustrial Recovery.
A. D. WHIATESIDE,
February 96, 1934
42463 "- 376-1371--34
REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT
The Wh~ite How~e.
SmR:The Public Hearing on the Code of Fair Competition for the
Fresh Water Pearl Button Manufacturing Industry as proposed by
the National Association of Button M~anufacturers, was conducted
in the M1Cafl~ower Hotel, Washington, D.C., on October 11, 1933.
Every person who ~requested an appearance was fairly heard in
accordance with regulations of the National Recovery Administra-
tion. Thle Code has t~he approval of the Industrial and Consumers'
Advlisory Boards of the National Recovery Administration and of
the Legal Division. The Chairman of the Code Committee, upon
authorization of the Committee has also given an approval to the
final draft of the Ciode on behalf of the Industry.
The Industry as defined in the Code includes the manufacture of
fresh wanter pearl button blanks and buttons, finished or unfinished.
Fresh water pearl buttons are manufactured from fresh water
mussel shells found largely in the Mlississippi Valley. The shells are
gathered by individuals wRho sell them to the button manufacturers.
Cuit~tingr plantsi are saPttered througchout the shell gathering terri-
tory. The shells are shipped to these plants where they are cut into
blanks and the blanks ar~e re-shipped to the finishing plants. The
cutting plants furnish employment in small localities which in many
cases have no other industry. A number of finishing plants are
located in M~usca7tine, Iowa, and others in the states of Miassachusetts,
New York, W'isconsin, Miissouri and other parts of lowa. The
product. is sold largely to, garment manufacturers who in turn use
the product. in making medium~ and popular priced wash garments.
According to the United States Census taken for the Industry for
1931, the fresh water pearl button branch represented 37.8%~ of the
gross production of the entire Industry which includes the manufac-
ture of all buttons and 30.6%c of the value of tihe production of the
entire industry for that year. It is therefore the largest single branch
of the entire Industry. The number of wage earners engaged in the
entire Industryo throughout the Country was 8,105. It is estimated
that about 4500 persons were engaged in the blank cutting and finish-
ing operations of the Fresh Water Pearl Button Industry represent-
ing about 50C% of the total number of employees in the Button Indus-
try in the Ujnited States. Compliance with the proposed Code has
increased the number of employees from 4500 to 4800 since the first
It was attempted first by the Deputy Administrator to combine the
various button codes into one code for the entire. Industry, but this
was found to be impracticable inasmuch as no unanimity could be
reached by the representatives of the different branches of the Indus-
try. However, a provision has been incorporated in this Code
which, if agreed upon by all the branches of thle Indlustry, may open
the way for a cooperative administration of the various codes.
The submitting Association represents 1100?o of! the fresh water
pearl button manufacturers in the United States and therefore 100"Jo
of the volume of business and number of employees.
RESUMEB OF THE CODE
Article I gives the purpose of the Clode.
Article II sets forth certain definitions.
Article III contains the maximum hour provisions of the Code.
Article IV establishes the minimum wage for all employees em-
played in the Industry.
Article V sets forth the general labor provisions.
Article VI provides for the general organization of the Code
Authority and defines its powers.
Article VII d~efines trade practices which are unfair and shall be
Article VIII provides for the modification of the Code in accord-
ance with Section 10 (b) of the National Recovery Act.
Article IX states that this Code shall not permit monopolies.
Article X deals with price increases.
Article XI specifies the effective date.
The Deputy Administrator in his final report to mle on said Codel~
having found as herein set forthi and on the basis of all1 the proceed-
ings in this matter:
I find that:
(a) Said Code is well designed to promote the policies and pur-
poses of Title I of the National Indlustrial Recovery Act, including~
removal of obstructions to the free flow of interstate and foreign
commerce which tend to diminish the amount thereof and will pro-
vide for the general welfare by promotingr the organization of in-
dustry f~or the purpose of rncprative action among the! trade goroups,
by inducing and maintaining united action of labor and management
under adequate governmental sanctions and supervision, by elimi-
natinga unfair competitive practice, b~y promoting the fullest possible
utilization of the present productive capacity of industries, by avoid-
ing undue restriction of production (except as mayS be temporarily
required), by increasing the consumption of industrial and agrcul-
tural products through increasing purchasing power, by reducing
and relieving unemployment, by improving standards of labor, an9
by otherwise rehabilitating industry.
(b) Said industry normally employs not more than 50,000 em-
ployees; and is not classified by me as a major industry.
(c) The Code as approved complies in all respects with the perti-
nent provisions of said Title of said Act, including without lunita-
tion Subsection (a) of Seection 3, Subsection (a) of Sect~ion 7, alnd
Subsection (b) of Section 10 thereof; and that the applicant asso-
ciation is an industrial association truly representative of the afore-
said industry; and that the said association imposes no inequitable
restrictions on admission to membership therein.
(d) The Code is not designed to and will not permit monopolies
or monopolistic practices.
(e) The Code Is not designed to and will not eliminate or oppress
small enterprises and will not operate to discriminate against them.
(f) Those engaged in other steps of the economic process have not
been deprived of the right to be heard prior to approval of said Code.
For these reasons the Code has been approved.
Hona 8. JoHNwoN,
Annu~ar 26, 1934.
CODE OF FAIR COMPETITION FOR THE FRESH WATER
PEARL BUTTON INDUSTRY
To effectuate the policies of Title I of the National Industrial
Recovery Act, the following provisions are established as a Code
of Fair Competition for the Fresh WTater Pearl Buttori Industry
and shall be the standard of fair competition for this industry,an
shall be binding on everyr member thereof.
1. The term industry as used herein includes the manufacture
of Fresh Water Pearl Button blanks and buttons, finished or un-
finished, and such related branches or subdivisions as may from
time to time be included under the provisions of this Code by the
Administrator after such notice and hearing as hie may prescribe.
2. The term employee as used herein includes any person en-
gaged in any phase of the Industry in any capacity, irrespective
of the method of compensation, or his interest otherwise in said
3. The term employer as used herein includes any one for
whose ~benefit such employee is so engaged.
4. The term "L member of the Industry as used herein includes
any individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other per-
son engaged in thle Industry, either as an employer or on his or its
5. The term President "Act ", and "'Admninist~rator ", as used
hlerein shall mean respectively. President of the United States, Title
I of the National Industrial Recovery Act, and the Adm-inistrator
for Industrial Recovery.
1. Except as hereinafter provided, no employee shall be permitted
to work in excess of forty (40) hours in any one week, nor mnore
than eight (8) hours in any twenty-four (24) hour period.
2. Members of shop repair crewfs, engmeers, el'ectricians, firemen
watchmen, plant managers, stock and shipping clerks shall not b
permitted to work in excess of forty-four (44) hours in any one
3. The provisions of this Article shall not, apply to persons emn-
ployed in supervisory capacities, provided such per~sonis earn not less
than thirty dollars ($~30.00) p~er weekz.
4. No member of the Industry shall k~inoingly engrage any emn-
ployee for any time which, when totaledl with that al'ready performed
.trith another member or members of the Industry, eigceeds the
maximum permitted herein.
5;. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to outside sacles-
men or to employees engaged in emergency maintenance or emergency
1. Except as hereinafter provided, no employee shall be paid at
less than the rate of thirteen ($13.00) dollars per forty (40) hour
(a) No employee as defined in Article III, Sec. 2 shall' be paid at
less than the rate of thirteen ($13.00) dollars per forty four (44)
(b) The Code Authority with the approval of the Administrator
shall fix the minimum piece work rate which shall be paid persons
for the carding of buttons in homes.
2. No apprentice shall be paid at less than the rate of 70%a/ of
minimum wage per week of 40 hours for the first six months of em-
ployment and thereafter not less than the minimum wages in section
one of this article. Th~e period of apprenticeship shall be strictly
limited to six months and the number employed at any time shall
not exceed 10%o of the total number of employees. Any time worked
by an apprentice shall be: deemed a part of such apprenticeship
period, whether such time is worked continuously, or in more than
one: shop, or for more than one employer. An affidavit sworn to and
furnished by an employee as to the total number of hours he has
worked as an apprentice in the industry shall' be deemed sufficient
evidence of the status of such employee. The number of apprentices
to be employed as mentioned in this article is subject to review by the
code authority with the right to increase the number if good cause
3. Prsos woseearingcapacities are limited because of age
or physical or mental handicap miay be employed at a wage below
the minimum establishled by this Code under the following condi-
(a) That they shall be paid proportionately no less than the
other employees in the same factory receive for similar work, but
in no case shall their compensation amount to less than seventy
percent (70%) of the amount required by the minimum wage pro-
visions of this CGode.
(b) That the employer shall at once prepare and transmit to the
Code Authority a list of such excepted persons stating name, class
of occupation, wage rate, length of service, and reason for exception.
This list shall be revised up to date once each month; and transmitted
to the Code Authority.
(c) The proportion of excepted persons to total employees at any
time shall not exceed the proportion of such employees on the
payroll during the week of July 15, 1933.
(~d) The Code Authority shall have the right to investigate and
dlisallow any such claims for exception subject to review by the
Admlinistra.t'or upon appeal by an employer or employee.
(e) The Code Authority shall report to the Administrator within
three (3) months and from time to time thereafter as to the effect
pf the operation of this provision, both generally and in cases of
4. This article establishes a minimum rate of pay, which shaUl
apply regardless of whether an employee is compensated on a time
rate, piece work, or other basis. No employer shall reduce the full-
time weekly compensation of any employee receiving more than the
minimum herein provided for below that in effect as of July 1, 1933,
for any given class of work, whether such work was paid for on a
monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, or piece rate basis, notwit.hstanding
that the hours of such employment mlay have been reduced by the
provisions of this code ; the Code Authority, following an investiga-
tion, may recommend such adjustments of rates as may be necessary
to eliminate inequitable differentials.
AnricLE V--GENERAL LABOR PROVISIONS
1. No person under sixteen (16) years of age shall be employed
in the Industry. No person under eighteen (18) year~s of age shall
be employed at operations or occupations, if any, whiich are haza rdous
in nature or detrimental to health. The Code Authority shall sub-
mit to the Administrator within ninetyv (90) days of the effective datei
of this Code a list of such operations or occupations.
2. Employees shall have the right to organize and bargain collec-
tively, through representatives of their own choosing, andi shall be
free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of employers of labor
or their agents, in the designation of such representatives or in self-
organization or in other concerted activities for the purpose of col-
lective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
3. No employee and no one seeking employment shall be required
as a condition of employment to join an$ company union, or to re-
framn from joinng, organizing, or assisting a labor organization of
his own choosing.
4. Employers shall comply with the maximum hours of labor
minimum rates of pay and other conditions of employment approved
or prescribed by the P~resident.
5. No provision of this Code shall supersede any law within any
state which imposes more stringent requirements on emuployers as to
age of employees, wages, hours of work, or as to safety, health, or
sanitary reguLlations, or insurance, or fire protection, or general
woringconditions, than are imposed by this Code.
6. Allt~ employers shall post complete copies of Article III, IV,
and V of this Code in conspicuous places accessible to employees.
7. The C~ode Authority shall study the problem of home work in
this Industry and propose to the Administrator, not longer than five
(5) months after the effective date of this Code, appropriate pro-
visions for the regulation and control of such home work, and when
approved by the Administrator, shall become binding upon all
members of this Industry.
To further effectuate the purpose of the Act, a Code Authority
is set up to cooperate with the Administraztor in the administration
of this Code.
1. Organization and Coonstitution of the Code Authority.
(a) The Code Authorit~y shall consist of not more than nine (9)
members. Six (6) members shall be appointed by the Nationail
Association of Button M~anufacturers. In addition thereto, the Ad-
ministrator may appoint not more than three (3) members who
shall be without vote and who shall serve without expense to the
Industry and together with the Administrator shall be given notice
of and may sit at all meetings of the Code Authority.
(b) Each trade or industrial association directly indirectly
participating in the selection or activities of the Cd uhrt
shall (1) impose no equitable restrictions on membership, and (2)
submit to the Administrator true copies of its Articles of association,
by-laws, regulations and any amendments when made thereto, to-
gether with such other information as to membership, organization
and activities as the Administrator may deem necessary to effectuate
the purposes of the Act.
(c) In order that the Code Authority shall at all times be truly
representative of the Industry and in other respects comply with
the provisions of the Act, the Administrator may provide such
hearings as he may deem. proper and may require an appropriate
modification in the method of selection of the Code Authorit~y, or
any sub-Code Authority.
(.d) MCembers of the Industry shall be entit~ledt to participate in
andshae te eneitsofthe activities of the Code Authority and
to part.icipate in the selection of the members thereof by assenting
to and complying with the requirements of this Code and sustain-
ing their reasonable share of the expenses of its administration.
Such reasonable share of the expenses of administration shall be de-
termined by the Code Authority, subject to review by the Admin-
istrator, on the basis of volume of business and/or such other factors
as miay be deemed equitable.
(e) Nothing contained in this Code shall constitute the members
of the Code Authority partners for any purpose. Nor shall any
member of the Code Authority be liable in any manner to any one
for any act of any other member, officer, agent or employee of the
Code Authority exercising reasonable diligence in the conduct of
his duties hereunder be liable to any one for any action or omission
to act under the Code, except for his own wilful mlisfeasance or non-
2. The Code Authority shall have the following powers and duties
in addition to those elsewhere provided in this Code, subject to the
right of the Administrator on review, to disapprove any action taken
by the Code Authority.
(a) To adopt by-laws and rules and regulations for its pro-
cedure and for the administration and enforcement of the Code, in
accordlance with the powers herein granted, and to submit same to
the Administrator for his approval together with true copies of any
amendments or additions when made thereto, minutes o~f meetings
when held, and such other information as to its activities as the
Administrator may deem necessary to effect the purposes of the Act.
(b) To obtain from members of the Industry for use of the Code
Authority and of the Administrator in the administration and en-
forcemlent of the Code, and for the information of the President,
reports based on periods of two or four weeks, or multiples thereof,
as soon as the necessary readjustment within thee Industry can be
made, and to give assistance to members of the Industry in improv-
ing methods, and otherwise. All individual reports shall be kept
confidential as to members of the Industry and only general sum-
maries thereof may be published.
(c) To receive complaints of violation of this Code, make investi-
gations thereof and provide hearings thereof and adjust such com-
plaints, and bring to the attention of the Administrator for prose-
cution, recommendations, and information relative to unadjusted
(d) To use such trade associations and other agencies as it deems
proper for the carrying out of any of its activities provided for
heenand to pay such trade associations and agencies the cost there-
of, provided that nothing herein shall relieve the Code Authority of
its duties or responsibilities under this Code and that such trade asso-
ciations and agencies shall at all times be subject to and comply with
the provisions hereof.
(e) To coordinate the administration of this Code with such other
Codes if any, as may be related to the Industry, or any sub-division
thereof, and to delegate to any other administrative authority, with
the approval of the Administrator, such powers as will promote joint
and harmonious action upon matters of common interest.
(f) To provide ways and means for financing the operation of
said Code Authority and to determine an equitable method of appor-
tioning in the Industry the cost of administering this Code. Aloney
raised in any manner shall not exceed in amount such reasonable
(g) To initiate, consider and make recommendations for the mod-
ifications or amendment of this Code which shall become effective as
a part ofi this Code when approved by the Administrattor after such
notice and hearing as he may specify.
(h) To cause to be formulated an accounting system and methods
of cost findings and/or estimating capable of use by all members of
the industry. After such system and methods have been formulated,
full details concerning them shall be made available to all members.
Thereafter all members shall determine and,/or estimate costs in
accordance with the principles of such methods.
(i) To investigate and recommend a uniform system, or standard
method of classifying blanks and grading finished buttons by the
members of the Industry, which upon approval by the Admlinistrator
and after such notice of hearing, as he shall prescribe, shall become
a part of this Code.
(j) To recommend to the Administrator appropriate pr~ovisions3
for the regulation of the disposal of distress merchandise.
(k) To recommend to the Administrator and upon his approval,
subject to his review, to enforce such regulations affectinga the pro-
curing, conservation, and propagationl of mussel shells as may be
deemed necessary to assure a continuous supply of raw materials.
(1) To investigate competitive articles imported into the United
States on such terms and under such conditions as to rendler ineffee-
tive or seriously endanger the maintenance of this Code and to act
as the agency for making complaints to the proper governmental
agency on behalf of this Industry.
(mn) To recommend to the Administrator further fair trade prac-
tice provisions to govern members of the industry in their relations
with each other or with other industries and to recommend to the
Administrator measures for industrial planning, including stabiliza-
tion of employTment.
(n) to coordinate the administration of this Code with such other
codes as may be related to the Industry, the Code Authority may
designate representatives for thle purpose of meeting with like repre-
sentatives designated by the Code Authorities of the related Codes
referred to above. Such representatives shall be duly authorized to
constitute a committee, which committee shall, as soon as practicable,
submit to the Administrator reports and recommendations with
(1) The establishment and method of selection of a General Button
Manufacturers Coordinating Council.
(2) The jurisdiction, as well as the administrative powers and
authority to be delegated to such Coordinating Council.
Upon approval by the Administrator, after such hearings and
notice as he shall prescribe, of such recommendations of the Council
selected in the manner above provided for, the Code Aut~hority shall
be subject to the jurisdiction, rules, regulations, and by-laws of the
General 1Button MIanufacturers Cloordinating Council in the form
and manner approved by the Administrator, any express or implied
delegation of power or duty in this Code to the Code Authority
3. In addition t~o the information required to be submitted to the
Code Author~ity as set forth in this Article there shall be furnished
to government agencies such statistical information as the Adminis-
trator may deem necessary for thle purposes recited in Section 3 (a)
of the National Industrial Recovery Act. Nothing in this Code shall
relieve any member of thle Indlustry of any existing obligations to
furnish reports to any government agency.
4. If the Administrator shall determine that any action of a
code authority or any agency thereof may be unfair or unjust or
contrary to the public interest, the Admimistrator may: require that
such action be suspended to afford an opportunity for investiga-
tion of the merits of such action and further consideration by such
code authority or agency pending final action which shall not be
effective unless the Administrator approves or unless he shall fail
to disapprove after thirty days' notice to him of intention to pro-
ceed with sulch action in its original or modified form.
ARTICLE VII-TRADE FIRlCTICE8
1. No member of the Industry shall use selling methods or credit
terms which tend to deceive or mislead the customers or prospective
2. No member of the Industry shall brand or mark any com-
miodity in any manner which tends to mislead or deceive purchasers
with respect to the grade, quality, origin, size, material, content or
preparation of such commodity in conformity with the standards as
established by the Code Authority wThenl applroved by t~he A~dminis-
8. No member of the Industry shall use advertising or other rep-
resentation which refers inaccurately in any material particular to
anyl competitors or their commodities, prices, values, credit terms,
pohlces or services.
4. No member of the Industry~ shall publish or circularize un-
j justified or unwarranted threats of legal proceedings which. tend to
or have the effect of harassing competitors or intimidating a~ny of
5. No member of the Industry shall secretly offer or make any
payment or allowance of a rebate, refund, commission, credit, un-
earned discount or excess allowance, whether in the form of money
or otherwise, for t~he purposen of infiluencing a sale nor shall a maem-
ber secretly extend to any customer any special service or privilege
not extended to all customers of the same class.
6. No member of the Industry shall give, permit to be
or rewarding the action of any employee, agent, or representative off
another in relation to the business of the employer or such employee,
the principal of such agent or the represented party, without, the
knowledge of such employer, principal or pa rty. Com mercial
bribery provisions are not to be construed to prohibit. free and general
distribution of articles commonly used for adv.ertisingr, except so far
as such articles are actually used for commercial bribery as herein
7. No member of the Indust~ry shall secretly give anything of value
to the employee or agent of a customer for the purpose of influencing
a sale, or in furtherence of a sale render a bill or statement of account
to such employee, agent or customer which is inaccurate in any
8. No member of the Industry shall attempt to induce the breach
of an existing contract between a competitor and his employee or
customer, or source of supplies; nor shall any such member interfere
with or object to the performance of such contranctual duties or
9. No member of the Industryv shall require that the purchase of
any goods be prerequisite to the purchase of anyr other aoods.
10. No member of the Indust~ry shall use any unfair means to
secure information regarding the manner in which a competitor
conducts his business.
11. No member of the Industry shall ship goods onho cosinmen
except. under circumstances authorized by h oeAuhrt n
approved by the Administrator.
12. No member of the Industry hl rn n emo ahds
coun inexcss f on pecen (1) ten dlays, net thirty, E.O.MB.
Good shiped on or after t.he t~wenty-fifthl of a month may be billed
aors of he i~T~~~rst of t~he following month.
18. All sample requirements in excess of one half gross in bulk in
any one number and all sample cards furnished for the use of cus-
tomers'' salesmen shall be charged and paid for by the customer at
the sales price of the finished button, plus all' cardingr and other costs
14. No member of the Industry shall sell anly articles subject to the
provisions of this Code below his individual cost. However, any
member of the Industry may meet the price of any competing mem-
ber of the I~ndustry whose cost is lower. Cost for the purpose of this
provision shall be determined in accordance with the uniform cost
system provided for in Section 2 (h) of Article VI of this Code
when such system is approved by the Administrator.
ARTICLE VI~I I-ODIFICATION
1. This Code and all the provisions thereof are expressly made
subject to the right of the President, in accordance with the pro-
visions of sub-section (b) of Section 10 of the National Industrial
Recovery Act, from time to time to cancel or modify any order,
approval, license, rule or regulation issued under Title I of said
Act and specifically, but without limitation, to the right of the Presi-
dent to cancel or modify his approval of this Code or any conditions
imposed by him upon his approval thereof.
2. This Code, except as to provisions required by the Act, may be
modified on the basis of experience or changes in circumstances, such
modification to be based upon application to the Administrator and
such notice and hearing as he shall specify, and to become effective
on approval of the President.
No provision of this Code shall be so applied as to permit monop-
olies or monopolistic practices, or to eliminate, oppress, or discrimi-
nate against small enterprises.
ARTICLE X- PuRaF INCREASES
WVher~eas the policy of thle Act to increase real purchasing power
will be made impossible of consummation if prices of goods and
services increase as rapidly as wages, it is recognized that price
increases should be delayed. But when made such increases should,
so fa r as possible, be limited to actual increases in the seller's costs.
ARTICLE XI--EFFECTn'E DATEG
This Code shall become effective on and after the second M~onday
a after its approval.
Approvedl Code No. 310.
Registry No. 1009-1--02.
UNIVRSIY OFFLO ID