WAGES: Pretty Damn Tough

On wages under $5,000 War Labor Board Chairman William H. Davis last week tightened screws that already were tight.

"Pretty damn tough" was his term for a new WLB policy that: 1) practically bars more raises for workers who—under the Little Steel formula—got 15% increases to offset higher living costs; 2) entirely ends raises that might boost prices, hamper the war effort and lure workers from one job to another.

One slim out: raises may be allowed unions in order to correct gross inequalities and substandards of living (which WLB left undefined), and to "aid in the effective prosecution of the...