Amendments/Acts/Policies of the Federal Government

How did Congress react to the trade union movement?

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- Policy adopted by the government in the late 1800s.

- It allowed for giant corporations like Rockefeller and Carnegie to make big profits.

- Capitalists became powerful being unfeterred by restrictive legislation.

- Manufacturers could and did cut wages, lay off workers and change working hours without consulting workers.

- This was the period when unions were the weakest.

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Clayton Antitrust Act

- Passed by Wilson in 1914.

- It would limit the use of court injunctions by employers against striking workers.

- Although, workers couldn't damage property but allowed peaceful protest/picketing.

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Welfare Capitalism

- A period (1920s) when employers improved working conditions, working hours and gave many benefits.

- Involved Yellow Dog Contracts- workers signed up for not joining unions- employers took advantage of workers.

- Included setting up company unions.

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Closed Shop

- Term used to describe a factory or workplace that is dominated by one trade union.

- All workers had to be part of the one union.

- Many companies operated this policy to keep tails on strikers.

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New Deal Acts

- National Industrial Relations Act- set up a board to foster cooperation between employers and employees discussing different issues like wage rates, rights and working hours etc... (1933)

- Wagner Act (1935): more successful than the above act- it aimed to regulate and reduce labour disputes by providing structure for collective bargaining. So strikes would be avoided and less disruption in production.

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New Frontier and Great Society

- Advocated by Kennedy.

- Aimed to boost the economy.

- The Equal Pay Act in 1963 made wage discrimination illegal on the basis of gender and racial origin.

-LBJ's idea implemented the following acts:

  • Civil Rights Act 1964- prohibited discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, religion etc..
  • Economic Opportunity Act 1964- established Office of E.O. to fund and co-ordinate job corps to attract and train young people in vocational skills or provide education preparing for further edu, increase employability.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968- covered promotions, wage levels and lay offs.

Johnson's acts were more effective in the movement for worker rights.

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Occupational Safety and Health Act

- Introduced in 1970 by Nixon.

- Aimed to ensure employers provided employees with a hazard-free environment.

- Possibly the first act that ensure the health and safety by legislation.

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