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The 1920s and 1930s Class 1 Labor Movement Issues in the 1920s and Public Policy.

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Presentation on theme: "The 1920s and 1930s Class 1 Labor Movement Issues in the 1920s and Public Policy."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 1920s and 1930s Class 1 Labor Movement Issues in the 1920s and Public Policy

2 Administrative Reading for next class –Atkins v. Childrens Hospital –Preamble to NLRA

3 Review Competition among AFL, IWW and Socialists in the Progressive Era Growing importance of labor injunctions, despite passage of the Clayton Act Growth of protective labor legislation Post-war period, Red Scare and Boston Police Strike

4 Today I.Developments in the AFL II.Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters III.Employer Approaches IV.Court Decisions in the 1920s and 30s V.The Railway Labor Act VI.The Norris-LaGuardia Act

5 I. Developments in the AFL AFL emerged unchallenged as the center of the trade union movement Philosophy unchanged Gompers died in 1924 Replaced by William Green of the United Mine Workers

6 AFL and African-Americans AFL found it could do little to prevent discrimination by its affiliates Unions usually discriminated African-Americans often served as strike breakers

7 II. Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Porters were almost entirely African- American Almost all worked for Pullman Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters decided to make an outsider president Chose A. Philip Randolph

8 Pullman Bargained with unions of white conductors but for blacks had company dominated employee representation plan When union began to organize, Pullman brought in Filipinos to replace them on best runs Fired those identified as BSCP ringleaders Company refused to acknowledge BSCP at all

9 III. Employer Approaches The American Plan Another name for the Open Shop Promoted by the National Association of Manufacturers

10 Implementation of the American Plan Discrimination and blacklist Yellow Dog Contract Injunction Espionage Strike breaking Use of Detective Agencies and private police systems Employer Associations Company Unions

11 Welfare Capitalism Grew out of Rockefeller and the Ludlow Massacre Harmony of Interest Doctrine In theory provided industrial democracy, better working conditions and better living conditions Key was still employee representation plans

12 IV. Court Decisions Truax v. Corrigan S.C Duplex v. Deering S.C.1921 Bedford Cut Stone S.C. 1927

13 Court Decisions Affecting African- Americans 1934 N.Y. court enjoined African-American boycott of shoe store 1938 Supreme Court finally upheld right of blacks to organize boycotts of businesses which would not hire them

14 V. The Railway Labor Act Issue of Federal Jurisdiction RLA was jointly drafted by labor and management Dislike of arbitration

15 Railway Labor Act Emphasis on worker representation through union's and voluntary bargaining Outlawed interference by either side in other's choice of representatives Required employer to negotiate with representatives of his/her employees Texas and New Orleans Railroad v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks S.C. 1930

16 VI. The Norris-LaGuardia Act 1932 Conservative legislation Intent clearly pro union and pro bargaining Philosophy clearly laissez faire

17 Provisions Most Important Made injunctions almost impossible to get from a federal court in a labor dispute Made Yellow dog contract unenforceable in federal court Protected specific self help measures

18 Next Time The National Labor Relations Act

19 1920s and the 1930s Lecture 2 NIRA and NLRA

20 Administrative Reading for next class –Two articles on War Labor Board –Womens Work in California Airplane –Arbitrator Harry Shulman –For following class read the first two essays

21 Review Supreme Court decisions undermining workers and unions Court decisions undermining any attempts by African-Americans to improve their employment situation Railway Labor Act (1926) Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act (1932)

22 Today I.Roosevelts approach and the National Industrial Recovery Act II.Background to the National Labor Relations Act III.Philosophy and Approach of the NLRA IV.Provisions of the NLRA V.Impact of the NLRA

23 I. Roosevelt and the National Industrial Recovery Act Roosevelts Campaign Promises National Industrial Recovery Act – June 1933 –Allowed industry to collude to raise prices –Provided for right to unionize Resulted in rapid union growth

24 II. Background to the National Labor Relations Act Senator Wagners bill Constitutionality – NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel, SC 1937 Based in part on the desire to eliminate organizational strikes

25 III. Philosophy and Approach of the National Labor Relations Act Philosophy Unionism is good – unions and bargaining will help promote recovery and labor peace Workers should have the choice of which union, if any, represents them Workers have a right to withhold their labor

26 Approach of the NLRA Government will intervene to protect the right to unionize, the right to bargain, and the right to strike Government will limit employer anti-union and anti-bargaining tactics

27 IV. Provisions of the NLRA Heart of the Act is section 7 "Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection"

28 Provisions of the NLRA Created NLRB to oversee and enforce the Act Unfair labor practices

29 Provisions - ULPs Employers may not restrain or coerce employees exercising their rights No company unions No discrimination to discourage union membership Refusal to bargain

30 Provisions - Representation Exclusive Representation Uniqueness of this method Replaced the practice of employers avoiding unions where they could and recognizing them where they had no choice

31 V. Impact of the NLRA In the late 1930's the N.L.R.B. held 1000's of elections with millions of workers participating By 1941 company unions had all but disappeared Courts went on to enhance worker rights

32 Next Time The New Deal Racial Issues Developments in the Union Movement The Sit-down strikes Employers in the 1930s

33 The 1920s and 1930s Class 3 Workers and Trade Unions in the 1930s

34 Administrative Reading for next time –For class after (World War II) do the two readings on the War Labor Board and the one on Womens Work in a California Warplanes Factory

35 Review National Labor Relations Act – the Wagner Act Rights of workers to organize, to bargain and to strike Right of workers to elect their own representative if they want one Unfair labor practices and their consequences

36 Today I.The New Deal II.Race at Work III.Unions in the Depression IV.CIO Challenge to the AFL V.Sit-down Era VI.Employers in the 1930s

37 I. The New Deal What was the New Deal? What programs did it involve? How successful was it? How did the depression end?

38 II. Race at Work In depression groups of whites tried to take over traditional black jobs and insisted employers fire blacks Much of New Deal accepted local segregationist practices National Industrial Recovery Act Impact of Wagner Act

39 Race in the Unions Blacks formed sharecropper unions in south but little success Unions affiliated with Trade Union Unity League often fought for equal pay for the races and the sexes 1934 AFL appointed committee to study racial discrimination

40 III. Unions in the Depression Depression initially crippled unions as a collective bargaining instrument A.F.L. Philosophy Depression forced reconsideration of voluntarism

41 Organizing Boom Begins 1880's and 1930's only two periods in U.S. history of organization from below –Initially spurred by passage of N.I.R.A. –Industrial unions made greatest gains 1934 amendments to Railway Labor Act specifically included Pullman 1934 west coast maritime strike

42 IV. CIO Challenge to the AFL CIO began as caucus within the AFL – Committee for Industrial Organization Fought in AFL for industrial charters When member unions expelled from AFL, reconstituted itself as the Congress of Industrial Organizations

43 IV. CIO Challenge to the AFL Basic Reasons for the split? Power Principles Personality

44 CIO Never really radical Never advocated voluntarism Believed in organizing across racial lines

45 V. Sit-down Era Wave of organizing strikes against employers who simply wouldnt talk to unions Began in rubber industry and spread to automobiles and steel

46 Steel Organizing Campaign in steel begun by the CIO in 1936 Steel Workers Organizing Committee Presence of communists among CIO organizers gave employers a propaganda tool

47 Little Steel Strike Response to offensive by the virulently anti-labor and reactionary president of Republic Steel, Tom Girdler Police fired on a peaceful picnic of strikers and their families in Chicago killing ten of them

48 VI. Employers Ignored the National Industrial Recovery Act Ignored the Wagner Act as long as they could Influenced state and local government

49 Mohawk Valley Formula Encouraged by N.A.M. Systematic campaign to oppose union organizing and strikes Important to understand most of this was illegal

50 LaFollette Civil Liberties Committee Reported on Found employer tactics involved frequent total disregard for legal and constitutional rights of employees

51 Next Time Labor during the War Period


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