Wagner Act, 1935
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), often referred to as the Wagner Act, was passed by Congress July 5, 1935. It established the right to
organize unions. The Wagner Act was the most important labor law in American history and earned the nickname "labor's bill of rights." It forbade
employers from engaging in five types of labor practices: interfering with or restraining employees exercising their right to organize and bargain
collectively; attempting to dominate or influence a labor union; refusing to bargain collectively and in "good faith" with unions representing their
employees; and, finally, encouraging or discouraging union membership through any special conditions of employment or through discrimination against
union or non-union members in hiring. Before the law, employers had liberty to spy upon, question, punish, blacklist, and fire union members. In the
1930s workers began to organize in large numbers. A great wave of work stoppages in 1933 and 1934 included citywide general strikes and factory
occupations by workers. Hostile skirmishes erupted between workers bent on organizing unions, and the police and hired security squads backing the
interests of factory owners who hated unionizing. Some historians maintain that Congress enacted the NLRA primarily to help stave off even more
serious — potentially revolutionary — labor unrest. Arriving at a time when organized labor had nearly lost faith in Roosevelt, the Wagner Act
required employers to acknowledge labor unions that were favored by a majority of their work forces. The Act established the National Labor Relations
Board (NLRB), with oversight over union elections and unfair labor practices by employers.
Taft-Hartley Act, 1947
The Taft-Hartley Act  was a major revision of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act) and represented the first major revision
of a New Deal act passed by a post-war Congress. In the mid-term elections of 1946, the Republican Party won control of the upcoming Eightieth
Congress, gaining majorities in both houses for the first time since 1931. On June 23, 1947, the Republican-controlled Congress passed, over President
Truman's veto, the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 The Taft-Hartley Act widely interpreted as anti-labor. Labor leaders dubbed it a "slave
labor" bill and twenty-eight Democratic members of Congress declared it a "new guarantee of industrial slavery."
“ Management always had the upper hand, of course; they had never lost it. But thanks to Taft-Hartley, the bosses could once again wage their war
with near impunity. ”
Martin Jay Levitt, 1993, Confessions of a Union Buster
Taft-Hartley Act established unfair labor practices which can be charged against unions and employers. It allows specific "employer rights" which
broadens an employer's arsenal during union organizing drives. It bans the closed shop, in which union membership is a precondition of employment at
an organized workplace. It encouraged state "right to work" laws which prohibit mandatory union dues. It perpetuated red baiting. It gave management
new weapons, while restricting fundamental union activities. For a time, Taft-Hartley instituted anti-communist loyalty oaths for union
Presidents have invoked the Taft-Hartley Act thirty-five times in attempts to halt work stoppages in labor disputes. All but two of those attempts
Landrum-Griffin Act, 1959
The Landrum Griffin Act of 1959 is also known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) defined financial reporting
requirements for both unions and management organizations. Pursuant to LMRDA Section 203(b) employers are required to disclose the costs of any
persuader activity as it regards consultants and potential bargaining unit employees.
Martin Levitt's interpretation is as follows:
The law regulates labor unions' internal affairs and union officials' relationships with employers. But the law also required companies to report
certain expenditures related to their anti-union activities. Fortunately for union busters, loopholes in the requirements allow management and their
agents to ignore the provisions aimed at reforming their behavior. The loopholes require consultants to file if they communicate with employees
either for the purpose of persuading them not to join a union, or to gain knowledge about the employees or the union that may be passed on to the
employer. However, most consultants accomplish these goals by indirect means, using supervisors and management as their first line of contact with
employees. Even before the Act was passed, labor consultants had identified front-line supervisors as the most effective lobbyists for
Landrum-Griffin also seeks to prevent consultants from spying on employees or the union. Information isn't to be compiled unless it is for the purpose
of a specific legal proceeding. According to Martin Levitt, "It is easy for consultants to use this provision as a cover for "all kinds of information
According to Martin Levitt, "because of Landrum-Griffin's vague language, attorneys are able to directly interfere in the union-organizing process
without any reporting requirements. Therefore, "young lawyers run bold anti-union wars and dance all over Landrum-Griffin." The provisions of
Landrum-Griffin allowing special rights for lawyers resulted in labor consultants working under the shield of labor attorneys, allowing them to easily
evade the intent of the law."
Martiin Levitt stated:
“ With the help of our trusted attorneys, our anti-union activities were carried out [under Landrum-Griffin] in backstage secrecy; meanwhile we
gleefully showcased every detail of union finances that could be twisted into implications of impropriety or incompetence.
The Hoxie List
During the period from roughly 1910 to 1914, Robert Hoxie compiled a list of methods used by employers' associations to attack unions. The list was
published in 1921, as part of the book Trade Unionism in the United States:
* 1. Effective counter organization; employers parallel the union structure, trade against trade (local, district, and national), city against
city, state against state, national against national, and federation against federation.
* 2. Uncompromising war on the closed shop by asserting the right to hire and fire, to pay what the individual can be made to work for, and
therefore to destroy uniformity and control hours, speed, and the conditions of employment generally; by continuous propaganda, conventions, meetings,
literature and personal solicitations, showing the tyranny of the unions under closed shop rule, and the loss and waste in the closed shop from
inefficient workers forced by the union upon employers, from loafing on the job, restrictions on output, and on apprenticeship; showing that the union
label is a detriment rather than an advantage to the employer using it; urging employers not to use goods bearing the union label, nor to patronize
any concern which does; and opposing the union label on publications of any branch of government.
* 3. The expulsion of members who sign closed shop agreements, with forfeit of contributions to the reserve fund.
* 4. Giving financial aid to employers in trouble because of attempts to withstand closed shop demands or to establish the open shop, by inducing
banks to refund interest on loans during strikes, and getting owners not to enforce penalties on failure to live up to building contracts. The
National Metal Trades Association, for instance, advocates a plan for the cooperation of bankers' associations to extend aid on a wide scale.
* 5. Mutual aid in time of trial and trouble with unionism; taking orders of a struck shop and returning profit; furnishing men from shops of
other members and of outsiders; paying members out of the reserve fund for holding out against unions—a kind of strike benefit; and endeavoring to
secure special patronage for employers in trouble from members and outsiders.
* 6. Refusal of aid to any enterprise operating under the closed shop.
* 7. Advertisements in some newspapers and the withdrawal of advertisements from others friendly to unionism.
* 8. Detachment of union leaders by promotion or bribery, honorary positions and social advancement, thus constantly depriving unions of the
directive force of their strongest men.
* 9. Discrediting union leaders and unions by exploiting their mistakes in strikes, or mismanagement of funds; appealing to the public by the
prosecution of leaders; exposing records of fearful examples as types, e.g., Parks, O'Shea, and Madden, and by inciting to violence.
* 10. Weeding out agitators and plain union men by blacklists, card catalogs, lists of employees, and by identification systems, for example, the
Metal Trades' card catalog, and the Seaman's employment book. Employment agencies for employers' associations require lists of all formal employees,
examine their records and require certificates of membership.
* 11. Detaching workers from the union and the union's control by requiring an individual contract with penalties, i.e., the loss of unsettled
wages called deposit in case of strike; by welfare plans, insurance and pensions to the workers which depend upon long, continuous service and are
forfeited in case of strike; selling stock cheap, giving the feeling to the workers that they have a stake in the game, and also by bonus and premium
systems; and by "going the unions one better," i.e., paying above the union scale, giving special advantage to superior workers, requiring good
working conditions by the members of the association, establishing accident prevention bureaus, safety inspection, and giving care to the housing of
* 12. Conducting trade schools and agitating for continuation schools and vocational training; conducting trade schools themselves or helping to
support them; having cities conduct continuation schools as in Cincinnati and Hartford. The National Metal Trades' Association cooperates with the
University of Cincinnati in engineering courses there; providing "instructors" to teach the unskilled as does the National Founders' Association;
advocating trade schools supported at public expense generally, and separate vocational schools; attacking the present system of academic education;
donating sums to certain societies for promoting industrial education, e.g., the National Metal Trades Association has donated money to the National
Association for the Promotion of Industrial Education.
* 13. Securing foreknowledge of union plans by the spy system, use of detective agencies, spies in the union, the shadowing of leaders, gaining
their confidence or using the dictagraph.
* 14. Systematic organizations and use of strike breakers and counter-sluggers.
* 15. Organization of counter-unions.
* 16. Use of the police and militia. The unions, not having been able to enact the rules of the game into law, cannot gain their ends by the
assertion of their rights. With the law on the side of property, indorsing [sic] individual liberty, to gain their ends they resort to force.
* 17. Systematic appeal to the courts, the use of the injunction, systematic prosecution for violence, the employment of large corps of legal
talent, the bringing into play of law and order leagues, suits for damages in case of strikes, and systematic attacks on the constitutionality of
* 18. Opposition to labor legislation by organizing lobbies to appear before both state and national bodies; by a system of calling upon members
of association to send in letters and telegrams in great numbers; by having employers who will be most affected but who have good labor conditions
appear before legislative committees to oppose labor legislation; and by having advertisements in many newspapers denouncing labor bills and calling
upon citizens to write to legislators not to support them.
* 19. Political agitation and action such as urging employers to neglect party lines and to vote for safe and sane men only; supporting antilabor
statesmen and opposing labor politicians and demagogues, by sending funds, men, and literature into the districts of candidates; exposing the
weaknesses of the labor vote and the failure of labor to defeat men the association supports; preventing the adoption of anti-injunction planks or
other class legislation, or allowing only meaningless ones in party platforms; denouncing the initiative, referendum, and recall, especially the
recall of judges and judicial decisions; and defending the courts and the constitution.
* 20. Appealing to the public by the use of the press, publishing bulletins, and condemning papers which are unfriendly; systematically attacking
unions and exploiting their violence; preventing the publication of seditious articles like those in the Los Angeles papers; giving statements to the
press during strikes, pointing out that the strike for recognition and for the closed shop and not for better wages and conditions; pointing out, in
case the strike is merely a matter of wages, that the trade can stand no more but is now paying higher than elsewhere, also that should wages be
advanced prices would be higher, and the consumer would have to pay more in the face of the increased cost of living, and exploiting the losses of the
workers in strikes, thus showing the folly of strikes; sending out circulars to educators and clergy; sending publications to the workers; for
example, the National Founders' Association and the National Metal Trades' Association send their review to molders and machinists free; attacking
Socialism and socialists and lauding ministers, educators, judges, and economists who show the fallacies of unionism and set forth the eternal
Hoxie summarized the underlying theories, assumptions, and attitudes of employers' associations of the period. These include the supposition that
employers' interests are always identical to society's interests, such that unions should be condemned when they interfere; that the employers'
interests are always harmonious with the workers' interests, and unions therefore try to mislead workers; that workers should be grateful to
employers, and are therefore ungrateful and immoral when they join unions; that the business is solely the employer's to manage; that unions are
operated by non-employees, and they are therefore necessarily outsiders; that unions restrict the right of employees to work when, where, and how they
wish; and that the law, the courts, and the police represent absolute and impartial rights and justice, and therefore unions are to be condemned when
they violate the law or oppose the police.
Given the proliferation of employers' associations created primarily for the purpose of opposing unions, Hoxie poses counter-questions. For example,
if every employer has a right to manage his own business without interference from outside workers, then why hasn't a group of workers at a particular
company the right to manage their own affairs without interference from outside employers?
This list and summarys were published 90 years ago and nothing has changed not even the lies
the anti-union corporate mouth pieces spew.
Business employ ,liars, thieves, murders, spys, missionarys,saboteurs,lawyers, phycholgists and elected
officials. Funny how elected officials are exempt from insider trading. A solid stock can fill next elections coffers and there is no money trail.
Where is the advantage the unions have ?
edit on 26-3-2011 by OLD HIPPY DUDE because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-3-2011 by
OLD HIPPY DUDE because: (no reason given)