Code of fair competition for the surgical dressings industry as approved on January 27, 1934


Material Information

Code of fair competition for the surgical dressings industry as approved on January 27, 1934
Portion of title:
Surgical dressings industry
Physical Description:
p. 485-494 : ; 24 cm.
United States -- National Recovery Administration
U.S. Government Printing Office
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Surgical dressings -- Law and legislation -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Additional Physical Form:
Also available in electronic format.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
At head of title: National Recovery Administration.
General Note:
"Approved Code No. 231."
General Note:
"Registry No. 1628-06."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004931801
oclc - 646510631
System ID:

Full Text

Approved Code No. 231 Registry No. 1628-OS









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For sale by the Superintendent of Documents. Washington, D.C. ... Price 5 cents

Approved Code No. 231

Registry No. 1628-06

This publication is for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington. D.C., and by district offices of the Bureau of Foreign
and Domestic Commerce.


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Approved Code No. 231



As Approved on January 27, 1934




An application having been (duly made 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 Surgical Dressings Industry, and hearings
having been duly held thereon and the annexed report on said Code,
containing findings with respect thereto, having been made and
directed to the President:
NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the President of the United
States, I, Hugh S. Johnson, Administrator for Industrial Recovery,
pursuant to authority vested in me by Executive Orders of the
President, including Executive Order No. 6543-A, dated December
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 promote the policy and pur-
poses of said Title of said Act; and do hereby order that said Code
of Fair Competition be and it is hereby approved, provided, how-
ever, that continued participation of the Association of Surgical
Dressings Manufacturers of the United States shall be contingent
upon the amendment, of the Constitution and By-Laws of such
Association to the satisfaction of the Administrator on or before
February 15, 1934.
Arlmir;fstr'ator for Industrtal Recovery.
Approval recommended:
Division Administrator.
January 27, 19.34.
36176--313-141-34 (4.5)

The White House.

SIR: This is the report of the Administrator on the application
for, and public hearing on, a Code of Fair Competition for the
Surgical Dressings Industry, as proposed by the Association of Sur-
gical Dressings Manufacturers of the United States. The public
hearing was conducted in Washington on November 2, 1933. Every
person who requested an appearance was freely heard in accordance
with statutory and regulatory requirements.
There are fifteen known firms in this Industry, of which ten are
members of the Association and account for 95% of all surgical
dressings produced. The five nonmembers, representing 5c or less
of the total production, are, with two possible exceptions, more closely
identified with other industries.


The definition of the Industry, as stated in Article II, Section 1, of
the Code appended hereto, has been so drawn as to exclude the manu-
facture of gauze. Absorbent surgical gauze, from which a high
percentage of surgical dressings derives, is the staple of this Indus-
try; it is manufactured from a light-weight, open weave cloth, made
from standard print-cloth yarns and woven on standard looms,
known in the cotton mill business as tobacco cloth." Only four
of the members of the Surgical Dressings Industry are known to own
or control mills for the production of gauze, and it was the con-
tention of two of these manufacturers that the Surgical Dressings
Industry should properly include the manufacture of gauze, now
conducted under the Code of Fair Competition for the Cotton Tex-
tile Industry as approved by you on July 9, 1933. Whereas it is
apparent that advantages might conceivably accrue to those who
manufacture both gauze and surgical dressings, any such advantages
would be more than counterbalanced by the disrupting effect on the
cotton textile industry and might work a competitive hardship on
those manufacturers of surgical dressings who have to seek the open
market for their gauze requirements.


Sales volume for the peak years of 1929 and 1930 is estimated at
$40,000,000 and employment at about 3,750. Whereas sales for 1933
will probably be in the vicinity of only $25,000,000, employment at
August 1. 1933 was approximately 4,000, an all-time high. Thus it
would not appear that the Industry can reasonably be expected to
do a great deal more in the direction of increased employment, al-


though there is room for improvement in the matter of increased
purchasing power. In the first six months of 1933 average hours
worked were in excess of forty and six of the members reported
fifty hours or more. Rates of pay were as low as 200 per hour for
unskilled female workers, although a weighted average would doubt-
less be very much more satisfactory.
In this connection, it. is pertinent to remark that something like
75% of the total production of surgical dressings is in the hands of
two manufacturers. This unusual concentration of production has
had to be a constant consideration in respect of all provisions in this
Code because what. might seem eminently fair for the large concern
would constitute an inequitable competitive disadvantage for the

The Code establishes 40 hours as the basic week for production
and 32i.4C per hour as the minimum rate of pay. Owing in part
to the application of the President's Reemployment Agreement, it is
safe to say that a substantial part of the industry is already on a
basis more favorable than that imposed by the Code provisions, but
these provisions will, none the leI-. require a real contrition toward
recovery from the balance of the industry and particularly from the
small units, amounting in some cases to at least a 20'; reduction in
time and a 40'C. gain in wages. I believe that any more stringent
limitations at the present time would endanger the existence of the
smaller units and disrupt the competitive situation in the industry.
The Code is unique in that there are no trade practice regulations.


The Deputy Administrator in his final report to me on said Code
having found as herein set forth and on the basis of all the proceed-
ings in this matter:
I find that:
(a) Said Code is well designedd to promote the policies and pur-
poses of Title I of the National Industrial Recovery Act, including
removal of obstructions to tie free flcw of interstate and foreign
commerce which tend to diminish the amount thereof and will pro-
vide for the general welfare by promoting the organization of
industry for the l osepu e of cooperative action among the trade
groups. by inducing and maintaining united action of labor and
management under adequate governmental sanctions and super-
vision, by eliminating unfair competitive practices, by promoting
the fullest possible utilization of the present productive capacity of
industries, by avoiding undue restriction of production (except as
may be temporarily required). by increasing the consumption of
industrial and agricultural products through increasing purchasing
power, by reducing and relieving unemployment, by improving
standards of lalbr,. and by othe'-rwise rehabilitating industry.
(b) Said Industry normally employs not more than 50,000
employees; and is mnot classified by me as a major industry.
(c) The Code as approved complies in all respects with the per-
tinent provisions of said Title of said Act, including without limi-


station Subsection (a) of Section 3, Subsection (a) of Section 7, and
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 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 (ode 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
For these reasoIs,. the ('ode has been approved.
JANUARY 27, 1934.





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 Surgical Dressings Industry, and shall
be the standard of fair competition for such Industry and shall be
binding upon every member thereof.


The term '* Surgical Dressings Industry ", hereinafter called "the
Industry ", as used herein, includes the manufacture of surgical
cotton, adhesive and medicated plasters, and the conversion of un-
bleached gauze to absorbent surgical gauze, gauze bandages, gauze
sponges and pads, and related gauze or gauze and cotton dressings
and or those products made of other absorbent materials, such as
cellulose wadding, but does not include sanitary napkins and cleans-
ing tissue.
The term employee as used herein includes anyone engaged
in the Industry in any capacity receiving compensation for his
services, irrespective of the nature or method of payment of such
The term employer as used herein includes anyone by whom
any such employee i. compensated or employed.
The term member of the Industry includes anyone engaged
in the Industry as above defined, either as an employer or on his own
The terms President "Act ", and "Administrator as used
herein shall mean, respectively, the President of the United States,
Title I of the National Industrial Recovery Act, and the Admin-
istrator for Industrial Recovery.
The term Code Authority as used herein means the body con-
stituted by Article VI, Sections 1 and 2.
Population for the piirpose of this Code shall be determined by
reference to the 1930 Federal Census.


1. No office employee, repair man, engineer, coal passer, electrician,
or cleaner -hall be permitted to work in excess of forty (40) hours
per week averaged over a consecutive eight-week period and in no
event. in excess of forty.-eight (48) hours in any one week, provided


that any such employee, with the exception of an office employee,
shall be paid at one and one third times the normal rate for any
time worked in excess of forty (40) hours in any one week.
2. No watchman shall be permitted to work in excess of fifty-six
(56) hours per week averaged over a two weeks' period and in no
event shall be permitted to work in excess of six days in any seven-
day period.
3. No fireman shall be permitted to work in excess of forty-two
(42) hours in any one week.
4. No other employee, except employees engaged in a managerial
capacity, receiving at least thirty-five ($35.00) dollars a week and
outside salesmen shall be permitted to work in excess of forty (40)
hours in any one week or ten (10) hours in any twenty-four-hour
5. The maximum hours fixed in the foregoing section shall not
apply to any employee on emergency maintenance or emergency
repair work involving breakdowns or protection of life or prop-
erty, but in any such special case at least one and one third times
his normal rate shall be paid for hours worked in excess of the
maximum hours herein provided.
6. No employee shall be permitted to work more than twenty-four
(24) days in any twenty-eight (28) day period.
7. In the event of an emergency due to war, epidemic, catastrophe,
or Act of God wherein the public health is threatened, the stipula-
tion regarding maximum hours of employment shall be temporarily
suspended, and such suspension shall be forthwith reported to the

1. No office employee shall be paid at. less than the rate of fifteen
($15.00) dollars per week in any City of over 500,000 population,
or in the immediate trade area of such City; not less than fourteen
dollars and fifty cents ($14.50) per week in any City of between
250,000 and 500,000 population, or in the immediate trade area of
such City; nor less than fourteen ($14.00) dollars per week in any
City of less than 250,000 population, or in the immediate trade
area of such City.
2. No other employee shall be paid at less than the rate of thirty-
two and one half cents (321.-) per hour, except that a learner dur-
ing a period of six weeks may be paid a rate of not less than
eighty (80%c) percent. of the foregoing minimum rate provided,
however, that such classification of learners shall not exceed five
(5'%) percent of the total number of employees of any employer.
No employee shall be classed as a learner who has worked for any
employer in the Industry a total of eight (8) weeks within the
preceding two (2) years.
3. This Article establishes a minimum rate of pay which shall
apply irrespective of whether an employee is actually compensated
on a time-rate, piecework, or other basis.
4. Rates of pay in excess of the minimum established by this Code
shall be adjusted so as to preserve equitable differentials between the
various occupations in the Industry. A definite plan for the adjust-
ment of those wages above the minimum herein prescribed shall be


presented to the Administrator for his approval within thirty (30)
days of the effective date of this Code.
5. Female employees performing the same work under substan-
tially the same conditions as male employees shall receive the same
rates of pay as male employees.
6. A person whose earning capacity is limited because of age or
physical or mental handicap may be emplloyed on special work at
a wage below the minimum established by this Code if the employer
obtains from the State Authority designated by the Unitedl States
Department of Labor a certificate authorizing his employment at
such wages and for such hours as shall be stated in the certificate.
Each employer shall file with the Code Authority a list of all such
persons employed by him.
7. No employee shall be dismissed by reason of making a com-
plaint or giving evidence with respect to a violation of this Code.


1. Child Labor Provision.-No person under sixteen (16) years of
age shall be employed in the Industry, nor anyone under eighteen
(18) years of age at operations or occupations hazardous in nature
or detrimental to health. The Code Authority shall submit to the
Administrator before March 1, 1934, a list of such occupations. In
any State, an employer shall be deemed to have complied with this
provision if he shall have on file a certificate or permit duly issued
by the authority in such State empowered to issue employment or
age certificates or permits. showing that the employee is of the
required age.
2. Prois'ions fro-m the Act.-In compliance with Section 7 (a) of
the Act, it is provided:
(a) That employees shall have the right to organize and bargain
collectively, through representatives of their own choosing, and 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
collective. bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
(b) That no employee and no one seeking employment shall he
required as a condition of employment to join any company unon
or to refrain from joining, organizing, or assisting a labor organiza-
tion of his own choosing, and
(c) That employers shall comply with the maximum hours of
labor, minimum rates of pay, and other conditions of employment
approved or prescribed by the President.
3. Reeiassica 'f i of Employees.-Emtployers shall not reclassify
employees or duties or occupations, or engage in any other subterfuge
so as to defeat the purposes of the Act or of this Code.
4. Standards for Safety and Health.-Every employer shall make
reasonable provision for the safety and health of his employees at
the place and during the hours of their employment. Standards for
safety and health shall be submitted by the Code Authority to the
Administrator within six (6) months after the effective date of
this Code.


5. State Laws.-No provisions in this Code shall supersede any
State or Federal law which imposes more stringent requirements on
employers as to age of employees, wages, hours of work, or as to
safety, health, sanitary or general working conditions or insurance,
or fire protection, than under this Code.
6. Posting.-Employers shall post in ten-point type or larger in
conspicuous places readily accessible to the employees Articles III,
IV, and V of this Code.


1. Organization.-A Code Authority is hereby constituted to co-
operate with the Administrator in the administration of this Code.
2. The Code Authority shall consist of not more than five indi-
viduals or such other number as may be approved from time to time
by the Administrator, to be selected by the Industry as hereinafter
set forth, and of such additional members without vote as the Admin-
istrator, in his discretion, may appoint to represent such groups or
interests or such governmental agencies as he may designate.
The Code Authority members to be selected by the Industry shall
be elected as follows:
Any member of the Industry who has qualified as provided in
Section 5 of this Article shall be entitled to one vote in the nomina-
tion and election of the members of the Code Authority. The pro-
ponents of the Code shall arrange for such nomination and election
within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of this Code. In
the interim, the Code Committee of the Association of Surgical
Dressings Manufacturers of the United States shall fulfill the func-
tion.- of the Code Authority.*
3. Each trade or industrial association, directly or indirectly par-
ticipating in the selection or activities of the Code Authority, shall
(1) impose no inequitable restrictions on membership, and (2) sub-
mit to the Administrator true copies of its articles of Association,
By-Laws, regulations, and any amendments when made thereto,
together with such other information as to membership, organiza-
tion, and activities as the Administrator may deem necessary to
effectuate the purposes of the Act.
4. 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 hear-
ings as he may deem proper; and thereafter, if he shall find that the
Code Authority is not truly representative or does not in other re-
spects comply with the provisions of the Act, may require an appro-
priate modification in the method of selection of the Code Authority.
5. Members of the Industry shall be entitled to participate in and
share the benefits of the activities of the Code Authority and to
participate in the selection of the members thereof and to use the
N.R.A. Insignia by assenting to and complying with the require-
ments of this Code and sustaining their reasonable share of the
expenses of its administration. Such reasonable share of the ex-
Sec paragraph 2 of order approving this Code.


penses of administration shall be determined by the Code Authority
subject to review by the Administrator, on the basis of volume of
business and/or such other factors as may be deemed equitable.
6. 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 anyone
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 nor be liable to anyone for any action or omis-
sion to act under the Code, except for his own willful misfeasance
or nonfeasance.
7. Powers and Dutti.s.-The Code Authority shall have the follow-
ing duties and powers to the extent permitted by the Act:
(a) To adopt bylaws and rules and regulations for its procedure
and for the administration and enforcement of the Code, in accord-
ance with the powers herein granted, and to submit the same to the
Administrator for his approval together with true copies of any
amendments or additions when made thereto, minutes of 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, the Administrator and the President, at such time and
in such manner as may be prescribed by the Code Authority, statis-
tics covering number of employees, wage rates, employee earnings,
hours of work, and such other data as may be required by the
Administrator. All such individual reports and statistics shall be
kept confidential as to members of the Industry, including such
members serving on the Code Authority, and only general summaries
thereof, prepared by a confidential agent chosen by the Code Author-
ity, may be published.
(c) To receive complaints of violations of this Code, make investi-
gations thereof, and bring to the attention of the Administrator
recommendations and information relative to violations.
(d) To use such trade associations and other agencies as it deems
proper for the carrying out of any of its activities provided for
herein and to pay such trade associations and agencies the cost
thereof, provided that nothing herein shall relieve the Code Author-
ity of its duties or responsibilities under this Code and that such
trade associations and agencies shall at all times be subject to and
comply with the provisions hereof.
(e) To secure an equitable and proportionate payment of the
expenses of maintaining the Code Authority and its activities from
members of the Induistry.
(f) To cooperate with the Administrator in regulating the use of
the N.R.A. Insignia solely by those employers who have assented to,
and are complying with, this Code.
(g) To initiate, consider, and make recommendations for the
modification or amendment of this Code.
8. If the Administrator shall determine that any action of a code
authority or any agency thereof is unfair or unjust or contrary to
the public interest, the Administrator may require that such action
be suspended for a period of not to exceed thirty days to afford an
opportunity for investigation of the merits of such action and further
consideration by such code authority or agency pending final action,
which shall be taken only upon approval by the Administrator.


S111ll l Hll 1111 11111 11111IIIt1 1 11 1
494 3 1262 08727 9880

9. General Administrative Provision.-In addition to the infor-
mation required to be submitted to the Code Authority as set forth
in this Article there shall be furnished to Government agencies such
statistical information as the Administrator may deem necessary
for the purposes recited in Section 3 (a) of the National Industrial
Recovery Act.

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 subsection (b) of Section 10 of the National Industrial
Recovery Act, from time to time to cancel or modify any order, ap-
proval, license, rule, or regulation issued under Title I of said Act
and specifically, but without limitation, to the right of the President
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 discrim-
inate against small enterprises.


Whereas, the policy of the Act to increase real purchasing power
will be made more difficult of consummation if prices of goods and
services increase as rapidly as wages, it is recognized that price in-
creases except such as may be required to meet individual cost should
be delayed. But when made such increases should, so far as possible,
be limited to actual additional increase in the seller's costs.

This Code shall become effective on the second Monday after its
approval by the President.
Approved Code No. 231.
Registry No. 1628-06.