6. Trade unions, labour and the New Deal

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 07-06-17 20:53
During periods of economic slump it would be expected position of workers would worsen.
Background to New Deal and trade unions
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High rate of unemployment would mean less demand for workers, which would usually weaken their position. Would result in less industrial conflict as workers would be frightened they would lose their jobs.
Background to New Deal and trade unions
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1930S were exception to pattern and legislation actually strengthened position of organised labor.
Background to New Deal and trade unions
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Gov passed number of acts, including National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA) in 1933 and National Recovery Administrations which helped improve relations between employers and employees with series of codes concerning production, wages and hours.
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Wagner Act of 1935 gave workers right to elect their own representatives to take part in collective bargaining and right to join unions.
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Minimum weekly wage was established by Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Improvements in position of organised labour
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National Labor Relations Board was established, which had power to bargain on behalf of workers
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Industries that had resisted recognising unions changed their positions - General Motors recognised United Automobile Workers' union in 1936 and US Steel recognised Steel Workers Organizing Committee in 1937
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Recognition of unions encouraged growth in union membership, which rose from 3.7 million in 1933 to 9 million in 1938
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Nature of unions also changed with establishment of Committee of Industrial Organizations in 1935, which became Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1937.
Improvements in position of organised labour
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CIO encouraged ethnic groups, such as AAs, to join unions
Improvements in position of organised labour
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Henry Ford did not recognise NIRA or Wagner Act
Challenges to position of organised labour
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NIRA was declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court in 1935
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Some employers, taking advantage of available workforce, intimidated workers, used violence against workers and took action to break strikes
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Unskilled workers, particularly those in agriculture or domestic work and at lower end of pay range, did not benefit from improvements
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Women did not make gains in pay, as pay differentials were upheld by NIRA and Fair Labor Standards Act
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Welfare reforms were not always successful in helping position of those on lower pay because of conflicts between state and federal rights.
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Changes meant that by end of 1930s there had been some improvement in position of workers, but extension of rights to all workers had not been achieved by start of WW2.
Conclusion of New Deal and Unions
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Continued use of violent strikes by workers was surprising during period where job security was limited and many were happy simply to still be in work.
Challenges to position of organised labour
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Background to New Deal and trade unions

Back

High rate of unemployment would mean less demand for workers, which would usually weaken their position. Would result in less industrial conflict as workers would be frightened they would lose their jobs.

Card 3

Front

Background to New Deal and trade unions

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Improvements in position of organised labour

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Improvements in position of organised labour

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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