Thursday, April 24, 2014
   
Text Size

Overview:

Labor Related Issues of the Period

  • Though the timeline below does not show it, a growing trend developed and continues for the unification of unions in related occupations. In the 1990s, unions with no apparent connection are merging to form large associations. This mirrors the trend s in business consolidations for reasons of economy of resources.

Labor Related Events of the Period

1946
Largest strike wave in history as pent up labor troubles are unleashed by the end of war-time controls.
1947
Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act which restricts union activities and permits the states to pass "right-to-work" laws.
Th e Norris-La Guardia Act prohibition against injunctions in labor disputes was held to be inapplicable to the Government in U.S. v. John L. Lewis.
1948
General Motors and the United Auto Workers signed the first major contract with an escalator claus e, providing for wage increases based on the Consumer Price Index.
In Washington D.C., the Federal Governments first national conference on industrial safety met.
1949
An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 directly prohibited child labor for the first time.
The CIO anti-Communist drive led to the expulsion of two unions at its annual convention. Nine other unions expelled by mid-1950.
Free, democratic trade unions from various countries withdrew from the World Federation of T rade Unions which came to be dominated by communists. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions formed in London by labor representatives of 51 countries.
1950
A five year contract between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors granted pensions, automatic cost of living wage adjustments and a modified union shop.
1951
An amendment to the Taft-Hartly Act permitted the negotiation of union shop agreements without previous polls of employees.
1952
President Truman seiz ed the steel industry when companies reject the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendations. An 8 week strike followed when the Supreme Court found the president's action unconstitutional.
George Meany became president of the AFL following the death of William Green. Walter Ruether, former UAW president, became president of the CIO following the death of Philip Murray.
1955
Ford Motor Company and the UAW agreed to a supplementary unemployment compensation plan financed by company contributions.
The AFL and CIO reunited with George Meany as the first president. This brought together about 85% of all union members under one large union.
1957
AFL-CIO expelled Bakery Workers, Laundry Workers and Teamsters for corruption.
1959
The La ndrum-Griffen Act (Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act) passed by Congress which regulates the internal affairs of unions in order to lessen corruption.
1962
Federal employee's unions given the right to bargain collectively with government agencies as a result of President Kennedy's executive order.
1963
The Equal Pay Act prohibited wage differences for workers based on sex.
1964
The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
1966
Coalition bargaining occurred in negotiations between eleven unions and General Electric.
1968
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act went into effect. It made it illegal to discriminate in hiring or firing person bet ween 40-65 on the basis of age.
The UAW left the AFL-CIO and joined the Teamsters in forming the Alliance for Labor Action (ALA).
1969
The Department of Labor started to actively promote minority placement in the Philadelphia construction industr y.
1970
First mass postal strike in the history of the US Postal Service.
Hawaii became the first state to allow its state and local officials the right to strike.
Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
1973
The m ajor steel companies and the United Steelworkers of America approved an "Experimental Negotiation Agreement" where the union gave up the right to strike in favor of binding arbitration. The companies agreed to end stockpiling of products.
Washington b ecame the first state to allow the union shop for civil service employees.
1974
Coalition of Labor Union Women formed in Chicago.
Pension funds to be regulated by Congress under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
In response to the g rowth of public employee unionism, the AFL-CIO created a public employee department.
1975
80,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) went on strike in the first legal large scale strike of public empl oyees.
1977
President and the Congress raised minimum wage to $2.65.
1980
The first woman was appointed to the AFL-CIO executive board, Joyce Miller.
1981
Most of the nation's air traffic controllers fired by President Reagan who then de certified their union in reponse to an illegal strike.
1990
Population of the US: 248,709,873.

Important Concepts.

binding arbitration, coalition bargaining, consumer price index, Equal Pay Act, escalator clause, Landrum-Griffen Act, mr ight-to-work laws, supplementary unemployment compensation, union shop

Integrating Labor History into Effective Teaching of the Period.

Have students interview family members about their experiences in union or non-union shops. Some students may h ave relatives that helped organize or tried to organize unions in their workplace. Some may have relatives who have worked in both types of a workplace, union or non-union. See i-view.doc for a sample form students can use in their interview. Students c an present their interviews in an informal oral report format or prepare essays or posters.

"And I long to see the day when Labor will have the destiny of the nation in her own hands and she will stand as a united force and show the world what the workers can do." --- Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, 1830-1930
 

Get Involved

emaillist

commentsquestions
member
supportdonate
volunteerintern
quiz
ilhsfacebook
ILHSlogoIllinois Labor History Society
123 W. Madison St., Suite 905
Chicago, IL, 60602
312-663-4107
ilhs@prodigy.net
Copyright © 2010
by Illinois Labor History Society

Website by WebTrax Studio
based on a template by RocketTheme