The relationship between political democracy and ..
The usual pattern was most dramatically demonstrated when the National Metal Trades Association, which included a wide range of manufacturers that made use of metal in their production processes, broke its agreement with the International Association of Machinists only 13 months after signing it in May, 1900. The turnabout occurred when the machinists tried to place limits on the number of apprentices in a shop and resisted piece rates and doubling up on machines (Swenson 2002, pp. 49-52). The angry employers announced in a Declaration of Principles "we will not admit of any interference with the management of our business" (Brody 1980, p. 25). The failure of the attempt to employ collective bargaining to resolves disputes is also demonstrated by the refusal of steel unions even to consider the terms offered in 1901 by J P. Morgan, the most powerful financier of the day, for his acceptance of already established unions in subsidiaries of his newly organized behemoth, U.S. Steel. Instead, the union actually "called a general strike against the corporation to force immediate agreements on its entire tin plate, sheet steel, and steel hoop operations, thus breaking current agreements in some of them" (Swenson 2002, p. 51). The corporation then crushed the strike and the union. More generally, at least 198 people were killed and 1,966 were injured between 1902 and 1904 in the other labor disputes that soon followed in a variety of industries (Archer 2007, p. 121). Nevertheless, union membership grew an average of 2% a year from 1904 to 1915 despite the renewed warfare (Nelson 1997, pp. 92-93; Zieger and Gall 2002, pp. 18-19).
The relationship between political democracy and economic growth ..
The outbreak of World War I changed the power balance between business and organized labor. Supplies of new labor from Europe virtually dried up, the war fueled an economic boom, and the federal government expanded its role in the economy. Many AFL unions took advantage of the situation by calling strikes to gain union recognition, leading President Wilson to support the right of unions to exist and bargain collectively in exchange for a no-strike pledge. To insure a smooth flow of production and secure the loyalty of workers in the face of the many socialist critics of the war, government officials, with the acquiescence of major corporate leaders, instituted a National War Labor Board in 1918 to mediate corporate/union conflicts. Composed of corporate and trade union leaders, it was co-chaired by former President Taft and Frank P. Walsh, the intrepid investigator who had served as chair of the recently disbanded Commission on Industrial Relations. AFL membership increased from two million in 1916 to 3.2 million in 1919, mostly in unions that had existed since 1897, with the ten largest national unions accounting for nearly half the increase (Dubofsky and Dulles 2004, p. 191). While all this was going on, anti-war dissenters from radical unions and the Socialist Party were put in jail.
But after 1877 American labor relations were the most violent in the Western world with the exception of Russia (Mann 1993). It is one of those superficial paradoxes of history that the most democratic and the most despotic countries in the Western world would have the most violent labor clashes. The strongly held American belief in the right of business owners to have complete control over their property, along with business dominance of both political parties and a history of violence in dealing with Native Americans and slaves, not to mention the horrendous casualty rate in the Civil War, made the pitched labor battles seem as normal and expectable to most Americans as they were to Russians with their totally different history. Between 1877 and 1900, American presidents sent the U.S. Army into 11 strikes, governors mobilized the National Guard in somewhere between 118 and 160 labor disputes, and mayors called out the police on numerous occasions to maintain "public order" (Archer 2007, p. 120; Cooper 1980, pp. 13-16; Lambert 2005, p. 44).
Essay Labor - Management Relationship ..
Disruption or no disruption, Wagner was determined to continue his work towards legislation that would give workers the right to unions and collective bargaining. His revised version of the National Labor Relations Act, introduced in February of 1935, benefitted greatly from the experience of the temporary board appointed by Roosevelt in the summer of 1934. The new version also may have had more legitimacy with political leaders through Biddle's numerous speeches to business groups and middle-class voluntary associations across the country about the proposed legislation's sensible approach based in long experience and many legal precedents (Biddle 1962). With Biddle and other board members overseeing their efforts, the key provisions in the act came from the board's legal staff, led by former Harvard Law School professor Calvert Magruder (Gross 1974). Wagner's only staff member at the time, Leon Keyserling, a 24-year-old Columbia law school graduate, then put these ideas into traditional legislative language (Casebeer 1987). Keyserling is often given too much credit for the substance of the act, which he gladly accepted, but that's a separate story. However, from my point of view, the credit he is given is further evidence about how little some authors really know about the origins of the act; it shows they have not bothered to read the definitive work on the matter by James A. Gross (1974) decades ago.
describe the struggle between big business and labor …
Third, the legislation passed because of the newly developed electoral cohesion between the native-born craft workers and predominantly immigrant and African American industrial workers in the northern working class, who began to vote together for Democrats in the late 1920s, helping to overcome the divisions that had existed since at least the 1880s (e.g., Mink 1986; Voss 1993). Many of them also worked together in an effort to create industrial unions in heavy industry and almost all of them supported union leaders and liberal elected officials in their efforts on behalf of the National Labor Relations Act. The AFL leaders had some reservations about the act because they knew it would put them at the mercy of labor board decisions on voting procedures and on the determination of the size of bargaining units, but they backed the act even though none of their suggested amendments to the proposed legislation was incorporated (Tomlins 1985, pp. 139-140).