Sunday, February 14, 2016
Text Size


Labor Related Issues of the Period

  • Women and blacks enter the work force in large numbers as the main work force of white males go to war.

Labor Related Events of the Period

In Apex Hosiery Co. v. Leader, the Supreme Court ruled that a sit-down strike is not an illegal restraint of trade under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in the absence of intent to control trade.
John L. Lewis resigned as CIO president to be rep laced by Philip Murray.
The United Auto Workers were recognized by Ford Motor Company. They sign a union-shop agreement- the first in the auto industry.
The United States entered World War II on December 8.
The AFL and the CIO announce a no-strike pledge for the duration of the war.
The United Steelworkers of America was created to replace the Steel Workers Organizing Committee first established in 1936 by the CIO.
President Roosevelt establishes the National War Labor Board to determine procedures for settling labor disputes.
The National War Labor Board establishes a procedure for wartime wage adjustments.
The Stabilization Act gives President Roosevelt the authority to stabilize wages based on September 15, 1942 levels.
Roosevelt made an executive order to create a Committee on Fair Employment Practices to eliminate employment discrimination in war industries based on race, creed, color or national origin.
The Smith-Connally (War Labor Disputes Act) authorized plant seizure if needed to avoid interference with the war effort.
There are 18,600,000 union workers in the US, 3,500,000 are women.
World War II ends.
The CIO affiliated with the newly created World Federation of Trade Unions. The AFL did not join because it felt the labor organizations of the Soviet Union were not "free and democratic".

Important Concepts.

Integrating Labor History into Effective Teaching of the Period.

Have students interview women relatives to learn more about the contribution of women labor during the war. Students should focus on the work done, conditions, makeup of the workforce and finally, on how demobilization affected their employment. See ww 2-iv.doc for a sample interview form. Students could report orally, or in a poster or essay format. Try to place the interview data into the context of what textbooks say about women's labor during the war.

"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



ILHSlogoIllinois Labor History Society
430 S. Michigan Ave. Room AUD 1361
Chicago, IL, 60605

Copyright © 2010
by Illinois Labor History Society

Website by WebTrax Studio
based on a template by RocketTheme