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Transcript
The Labor-Management Relations Act (or the Taft-Hartley Act) is a
U.S. federal law that monitors the activities and power of labor unions.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE [ edit ]
Explain the purpose of the Labor-Management Relations Act
KEY POINTS [ edit ]
The Taft–Hartley Act amended the National Labor Relations Act (informally the Wagner Act),
which Congress passed in 1935. The principal author of the Taft–Hartley Act was J. Mack Swigert
of the Cincinnati law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister.
The Taft–Hartley Act added a list of unfair labor practices on the part of unions to the National
Labor Relations Act. It was seen, by some, as a means of demobilizing the labor movement by
imposing limits on labor's ability to strike and by prohibiting radicals from their leadership.
Despite President Truman arguing that it would "conflict with important principles of our
democratic society" and his attempted veto, he would subsequently use it 12 times during his
presidency.
TERMS [ edit ]
Taft-Hartley Act
The Taft-Hartley Act is a United States federal law that monitors the activities and power of labor
unions.
Labor Management Relations Act
The official name of the Taft-Hartley Act.
EXAMPLE [ edit ]
The Taft-Hartley Act makes it illegal for federal government employees or workers
in corporations owned by the government to strike. Those who do so can expect to be met with
harsh sanctions. An example of the consequences can be seen in theoutcome of the Professional
Air Traffic Controllers Organization's (PATCO) strike in 1981. Workers were fired; some were
jailed and in the end, the (PATCO) was dismantled.
Give us feedback on this content: FULL TEXT [edit ]
History of the LaborManagement Relations Act
Enacted June 23, 1947, the LaborManagement Relations Act (informally
the Taft-Hartley Act) is a United States
federal law that monitors the activities and
power of labor unions. The act, still
effective, was sponsored by Senator
Robert Taft and Representative Fred A.
Hartley, Jr. and became law by overriding
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U.S. President Harry S. Truman's veto on June 23, 1947 ; labor leaders called it the "slavelabor bill," while President Truman argued that it was a "dangerous intrusion on free speech,"
and that it would "conflict with important principles of our democratic society. "
Nevertheless, Truman would subsequently use it 12 times during his presidency. The Taft–
Hartley Act amended the National Labor Relations Act (informally, the Wagner Act), which
Congress passed in 1935. The principal author of the Taft–Hartley Act was J. Mack Swigert of
the Cincinnati law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister.
President Harry S. Truman
A portrait of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman who failed in his attempted veto of the 1947 Labor­
Management Relations Act.
Taft–Hartley was one of more than 250 union-related bills pending in both houses of
Congress in 1947. As a response to the rising union movement and Cold War hostilities, the
bill could be seen as a response by business to the post-World War II labor upsurge of 1946.
During the year after D-Day, more than five million American workers were involved in
strikes, which lasted on average four times longer than those during the war. The Taft–
Hartley Act was seen as a means of demobilizing the labor movement by imposing limits on
labor's ability to strike and by prohibiting radicals from their leadership.
Purpose of the Labor-Management Relations Act
The National Labor Relations Act was enacted for a number of reasons, including to promote
the full flow of commerce, prescribe the legitimate rights of both employees and employers in
their relations affecting commerce, provide orderly and peaceful procedures for preventing
the interference by either with the legitimate rights of the other, protect the rights of
individual employees in their relations with labor organizations whose activities affect
commerce, define and proscribe practices on the part of labor and management which affect
commerce and are inimical to the general welfare, and to protect the rights of the public in
connection with labor disputes affecting commerce.
The amendments enacted in the Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley) added a list
of prohibited actions, or unfairlabor practices, on the part of unions to the NLRA, which had
previously only prohibited unfair labor practices committed by employers. The Taft–Hartley
Act prohibited jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary
boycotts, secondary and mass picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to
federal political campaigns. It also required union officers to sign non-communist affidavits
with the government. Union shops were heavily restricted, and states were allowed to pass
right-to-work laws that outlawed closed union shops. Furthermore, the executive branch of
the Federal government could obtain legal strikebreakinginjunctions if an impending or
current strike imperiled the national health or safety, a test that has been interpreted broadly
by the courts.