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LBJ: 'Must Be 4.5%'
President Lyndon B. Johnson, himself, is now doing everything possible to prevent any wage increase of government workers beyond 4.5%. In addition to urging to "holding the line" on pay increases at the time he asked for a surtax increase, Mr. Johnson has each day this week summoned to the White House select groups of Congressmen for the purpose of urging enactment of his pay recommendations. He has asked many members of the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee in the strongest terms to not exceed the pay recommendations.
In addition to the Chief Executive expressing personal opposition to higher level pay, the Washington press corps, as well as The Wall Street Journal, have been lodging violent attacks against certain members of the House PO&CS Committee. These stories have indirectly affected pay legislation presently under consideration.
The press has gone to the extreme of head lining a so-called "secret meeting" in which NALC leaders participated. This meeting was a normal function of the NALC leadership who have had the right since 1913 under the Lloyd-LaFollette Act to consult Congressmen on matters of interest to the welfare of postal workers. What's the difference between a so-called "secret" meeting between a group of Congressmen and NALC officers, and a "secret" meeting between the Congressmen and the President? Both the President of the United States and the President of the NALC were "lobbying" on opposite sides of the same controversy.
It is evident that the greatest legislative battle in the history of postal trade unionism is now being waged. The administration is powerful because of its tax increase proposals and the worldwide problems, as well as the problems involving civil disorders. Congress must determine whether or not pay legislation is to be written at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or on Capitol Hill.
In 1966 Congress permitted the White House to designate most of the pay legislation which was enacted. Again this year they are being asked to merely "hand stamp" the pay recommendations.
NALC officers are determined to fight to the end for the justified and meritorious objective - Level 5. It is hoped that the entire membership intends to involve themselves in the fight for this objective.