Labor Issues Of The First 150 Years Of U.S. History

Reviews the history & impact of the labor movement in the United States. Focuses on government involvement in labor relations.

Government involvement in labor relations has been varied in form over the history of the country. In the nineteenth century, the government often sided with management as a matter of course, protecting the rights of owners and refusing to admit that the labor force had any right to organize for the protection of its rights. After a century of struggle over this issue, Congress settled the matter with the National Labor Relations Act, also known as the Wagner Act, in 1935. The underlying conception of the Wagner Act was affirmed in subsequent legislation, notably the Taft-Hartley Act of 1949 and the Landrum-Griffin changes of 1959. Morris (1987) writes: Although there may be room for wide debate as to the extent of the influence which labor legislation has on shaping the(…)

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