U6 REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES 91 TIMES 1980192027 Tight 17s (WAJAHONRY GWISS 7930 90. 12 He has not been frank and open to both sides. Labor has naturally benefitted more from this vacillation than capital. For example, the laborers of the United Fruit Company in the Que pos division struck on January 31, 1943, for higher wages. For political reasons, the President of the Republic himself flew down to Quepos to arrange a compromise between the strikers and the Company and most of the strikers returned to work shortly thereafter. Mr. Hamer, the General Manager of the Company, reported to the Legation that in September the labor syndicates had agreed not to strike for the duration of the war and when he directly questioned the strikers as to their complaints, he was unable to obtain any specific answers. Mr. Hamer believed that the strike was fomented by organizers who had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and who accused the United Fruit Company of trying to suppress labor unions. In addition, Mr. Hamer said he pointed out to President Calderón Guardia at that time that, because of the inability of the United Fruit Company to export as many bananas as they had before the war, his Company would be unable to pay higher wages. President Calderón Guardia unequivocally replied, according to Mr. Hamer, that he did not want the Fruit Company to raise wages as it would start demands by all labor groups for higher wages, which it would be impossible to satisfy. At the moment, the labor situation with reference to the United Fruit Company is quiescent, but uncertain, and the Company fears that additional strikes may be called at any time.
It is highly improbable that the President, even in view of the serious economic situation, will inform labor that he presently is against higher wages for the laborers in the United Fruit Company. The result is more than likely to be additional strikes and especially so when labor feels that it has the President backing. If the labor code is passed, the result is practically a foregone conclusion.
Another instance of the President intervention in labor disputes was the first case to come before the National Arbitration Commission. This case concerned.
16 laborers dismissed from the National Light and Power Company. According to Mr. Gehrels, the General Manager of this Company, these 16 men had been discharged for reasons of economy, because the company was unable to obtain certain needed materials from the United States.
The 16 were those who had been working the shortest time in the Company, and they were not dismissed, said Mr.
Gehrels, because they were members of the Communist party or because they were members of a syndicate, as was charged. Their dismissal took place about a year before the case came before the National Arbitration Commission, None of the men dismissed have ever complained against the company, and 14 of them were able to obtain work almost immediately after their dismissal. The syndicates, however, believed this case to be a good one to before the newly established Arbitration Commission and obtained the backing of President Calderón Guardia.
According to Mr. Gehrels, the President called him to his office to request him to re hire the 16 men in question. Mr. Gehrels refused on the grounds that he would not be able to make adequate excuses to his Company, and also on the grounds that he would be letting down the other managers