Civil Rights Trade Unions 1865-1992 detailed notes

  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 18-03-14 09:37

Trade Unions 1865-1992

Right to join a union:

  • Yellow-Dog Contracts: Contracts when signed prevented employees from joining a union, common from the end of the 19th century.
  • Haymarket, Homestead and Pullman Strikes: caused a suspicion of unions and strikers (ultimately that they were anarchists) and employers were fearful of employing those in unions, as a result people didn't join them.
  • WW1: Although unionism was tolerated more during WW1 and unions grew largely in size, the President was allowed to seize a plant where potential strike action threatened labour.
  • Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act) 1935: Gave employees the right to form trade unions and participate in collective bargaining.
  • Taft-Hartley Act 1947: Restricted trade union power and attempted to purge organised labour of the far-left.
  • Rise of the Service-Sector: White Collar jobs on the rise in the 50s onwards as industry became mechanised. No Strike Agreements and often barred from joining trade unions as part of their contracts.
  • President Kennedy: Executive Order 10988 allowed federal employees to form unions and participate in collective bargaining - however were not permitted to strike.
  • After the ATCS, union membership in the USA had declined greatly by 1992.


Individual Workers' Rights:

  • Lochner vs NY (1905): Law imposing a 10 hour working day deemed unconsititutional.
  • Welfare Capitalism: Henry Ford is a good example. A improvement in working conditions(increase wages, benefit schemes, lowered hours) by employers seems to be an example of an employer meeting the wants of their employees, however mostly action to avoid strikes and unionism.
  • The National Mediation Board: An US agency established to regulate labour relations within the workplace. Meant to keep strike action low by settling disputes.
  • National War Labour Board (WW1+2): Aimed to keep workers happy through better working conditions in order to keep war production high, wages increased. 
  • Wagner Act: Fair Labor Standards Act 1938: ammended between 1949-1996 to increase the minimum wage. In 1961 it was extended to school, hospital and nursing home employees.
  • Equal Pay Act 1963: made wage discrimination on basis of age illegal "equal pay for equal work".
  • The Civil Rights Act of July 1964: Prohibited discrimination in employment on the grounds of


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