Trace the evolution of the legal status of the American unions. What activities were restricted by laws and courts? Did constraints increase or decline with time?
Many inhabitants particularly Workers faced permissible challenges. This created a good basis for the need to form unions. We have the formation of national war labor board -1918-which was created under one objective; to see vicious activities reduced such as strikes, vicious cruelty, assassinations and opinionated disruption. These brutal activities were completely restricted by laws and courts and hence the need for the introduction of this board-national war labor board. The courts were against almost all union activities until 1930’s, under the Wagner act of 1935 that recognized the labor’s right to negotiate and categorize collectively.
The Wagner act re-secured organizing rights and précised employer illegitimate activities that had been lined unconstitutionally-when part of the national industrial recovery act of 1933that led to the concept of exclusive in the organization connection between the union and the employees. Then, the flourishing creation and successive joining of the AFL and CIO strengthened and gave authenticity in the U.S.-under the leadership of John. L. Lewis.
We can say that constraints declined with time as a result of the introduction of Wagner act and the ruling by the Supreme Court in its favor (Sloane, 1977).
What were the major contributing causes to the failure of uplift unionism?
The major contributing causes to the failure of uplift unionism are the fact that, it was viewed by many as unrealistic. Members did not totally believe in it and this made many of them to withdraw from its continuous activities such as involvement in strikes thereby leading to lack of participation and commitment from its member states. Uplift unionism is also class-conscious and aspires to promote the thinker, ethical and social life of the worker but the employers were not willing to buy this idea. They preferred cheap labor so as to maximize their returns. A good example of a group that practice uplift unionism is the knight of labor program (fossum, 2012).
What were the advantages and disadvantages of taking a business union approach as opposed to advocating a labor political party?
Business union approach is mainly concerned on the objectives of maximizing returns. These goals are basically short term goals unlike labor political parties that have no effects on the employment system and they merely press for wage. By adopting a business union approach, it would attract more members and end up winning their confidence since this approach is more realistic compared to labor political party that seems to benefit only the working class-a small group of individuals. A business union approach would be time consuming and a lot of resources would be used when trying to sell out it resources unlike labor political party.
Who were the leading personalities in the labor relations? Which ones contributed to the definition of relations in the United States?
The leading personalities in labor relations are the employers and the employees (Sloane, 1977). The phrase, labor relations are used interchangeably with the industrial relation. Labor relations are defined as the relations between management and workers meaning that, both the workers and management contributed to the definition of labor relation.
Who were the most effective union leaders during the 1930s and 1940s? What are your criteria for effectiveness? Would these same leaders be effective now?
According to my stand, I would vote John .l. Lewis as the most effective leaders of that time. John l. Lewis as a labor leader in the AFL-1935- sensed the want for change in a fresh form of unionism normally known as industrial unionism. The AFL was concerned purely on organizing skilled labor so as to minimize risk associated with unskilled labor force and he wanted this altered to industrial unionism (fossum, 2012).
Lewis felt that organizing mass production workers was the new form of unionism and this opinion was not accepted by William Green who was the president of the AFL. This disagreement-between him and the president of AFL- did not prevent him from carrying on, and was finally able to organize industrial workers. He achieved this through the use of speeches that were more realistic and touching, for example he could be noticed saying that the idea was finally at hand and the time was ripe for industrial unionism. He finally organized industrial unions, in the process splitting from the AFL, creating the committee for industrial organizations .which later changed to the congress of industrial organizations (Sloane, 1977).
Sidney Hillman is another effective leader who came up with the political action committee with the intention of organizing workers politically. Hillman was willing to work together with communists inside the labor movement in quest of universal goals. Hillman was a great planner since he was able to use CIO-PAC to move all workforces to support democratic political party.
We also have Terry Pettus who is identified as an enthusiastic warrior for unions, for better housing, ending of racial discrimination and rights for the poor and working people. His achievement came about when he finally made William Randolph to formally recognize the Seattle chapter of the American newspaper guild. Many benefits came as a result of his enthusiastic fight such as sick leaves with full pay; two week vacations for employees of more than one year (Sloane, 1977). These leaders were all effective in carrying out their goals since they never abandoned their role. They stuck to their position and no one was to shake them. I believe these leaders could have given the same result in today’s generation-leaders who do not quit when things gets tough-our leaders should learn from them.
Dilts, D. A., & Deitsch, C.R. (1983).Labor relations. New York: Macmillan.
Sloane, A. A.,& Whitney, F .(1977).Labor relations (3rd ed.).Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Fossum, J.A. (2012). Labor relations: Development, structure, process (11th ed).New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.