WPB has declared a blanket MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operating Supplies) rating invalid for clock and watch repair materials, including mainsprings, and does not contemplate assigning any preference ratings for such materials on Form WPB-541, WPB representatives told committee members. This section was effected by amendment of Priority Regulation 3 on June 23. 1944, they said, and is expected to result in more widespread distribution of clock and watch repair materials.
The continuing: need for increased quantities of railroad watches for use by railroad time service employes was emphasized by a representative of the Office of Defense Transportation. Unless the labor shortage in the industry increases in severity, deliveries of railroad watches are expected to be stepped up in the latter part of 1944, industry members said.
The time required to make railroad watches, they explained, averages about nine months. Increased demands therefore cannot be met quickly.
The problem of maintaining production of watches for the armed forces was also discussed. lAC members emphasized the importance of receiving orders at least six to nine months in advance of the date on which delivery is expected. The many operations required in the production of a jeweled watch are performed over a period of six to twelve months, they explained. Each operation requires a special skill, and workers cannot be shifted from one department to another. This means that at least a skeleton force must be maintained in each department. Unless orders are scheduled long in advance, workers in all departments cannot be kept busy at all times, and they may leave for other jobs. If the staff of any department is depleted, operations in that department as well as all succeeding operations, are delayed, and delivery of future orders is jeopardized, committee members said.