Public Regulation of Trade Unions

April 9, 1943

Report Outline
New Demand for Regulation of Labor Unions
Lack of Union Responsibility to Rank and File
Anti-Social Effects of Arbitrary Rules
Legislation to Enforce Union Responsibility

New Demand for Regulation of Labor Unions

Legislation for public regulation of trade unions has been pressed with renewed vigor at 1943 sessions of state legislatures and may shortly receive attention from the National Legislature at Washington. A growing public impatience with any group, whether of workers or employers, which is thought to be hampering the war effort is responsible for the present widespread demand that legal checks be imposed upon the conduct of labor organizations.

Public concern over the activities of trade unions has been heightened during recent weeks by the threat of a stoppage to coal production which is inherent in the present deadlock between the coal operators and the United Mine Workers. Chairman May (D., Ky.) of the House Military Affairs Committee said at Washington, March 30, that if the miners resorted to a strike to enforce their demand for a $2 a day wage increase, there would almost certainly be “a wave of anti-labor legislation brought to the House floor.” Rep. Ramspeck (D., Ga.) warned the miners that Congress might write both anti-strike and regulatory provisions into the Bituminous Coal Act when that measure, now scheduled to expire on April 26, is taken up for renewal.

Equal Responsibilities for Labor and Employers

Beyond the immediate factors giving rise to demands for legal restraints on trade unions is the long-standing opinion of many persons that the increased power which labor organizations have gained under New Deal legislation must be balanced with a corresponding degree of union responsibility. It is contended that big business has been forced to submit to regulation for the public good and that the trade union movement has become as much “big business” as any combination of industrial corporations. Moreover, earnest supporters of the labor movement, including some leading trade unionists, advocate legislation which will increase the responsibility of unions to their members by extending democratic processes within the unions themselves on such matters as election of officers, use of disciplinary powers, and control of trade union funds.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jun. 14, 1985  Organized Labor in the 1980s
Nov. 06, 1981  Labor Under Siege
Mar. 24, 1978  Labor's Southern Strategy
Aug. 20, 1976  Labor's Options
Oct. 27, 1971  Organized Labor After the Freeze
Oct. 19, 1966  Labor Strife and the Public Interest
Jan. 30, 1963  Strike Action and the Law
Sep. 20, 1961  Conflicts in Organized Labor
Aug. 04, 1960  Labor, Management, and the National Interest
Dec. 16, 1959  Future of Free Collective Bargaining
Nov. 04, 1959  Featherbedding and Union Work Rules
Feb. 18, 1959  Public Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 09, 1958  Suits Against Labor Unions
Nov. 13, 1957  Right-To-Work Laws
Oct. 31, 1956  Union Organizing
May 01, 1954  State Powers in Labor Relations
Oct. 02, 1953  Toward Labor Unity
Apr. 11, 1953  Industry-Wide Bargaining and Industry-Wide Strikes
Sep. 03, 1952  Labor and Politics
Mar. 25, 1950  Labor Injunctions
Jan. 25, 1950  Trade Unions and Productivity
Sep. 26, 1949  Fact-Finding Boards in Labor Disputes
Mar. 05, 1949  Closed Shop
Dec. 01, 1948  Revision of the Taft-Hartley Act
Jan. 01, 1947  Labor Unions, the Public and the Law
Oct. 09, 1946  Revision of the Wagner Act
Sep. 25, 1946  Labor Productivity
May 29, 1946  Labor Organization in the South
Jan. 30, 1946  Compulsory Settlement of Labor Disputes
May 18, 1945  Labor Policy After the War
Mar. 29, 1945  Union Maintenance
Feb. 02, 1945  Labor Relations in Coal Mining
Oct. 12, 1944  No-Strike Pledge
Sep. 16, 1944  Political Action by Organized Labor
May 30, 1944  Unionization of Foremen
Apr. 01, 1944  Dismissal Pay
Apr. 29, 1943  Labor in Government
Apr. 09, 1943  Public Regulation of Trade Unions
Nov. 19, 1941  Labor Policies of the Roosevelt Administration
Oct. 23, 1941  Closed Shop Issue in Labor Relations
Mar. 29, 1941  Labor as Partner in Production
Feb. 12, 1941  Labor and the Defense Program
Feb. 23, 1940  Labor in Politics
Jan. 17, 1939  Settlement of Disputes Between Labor Unions
Jul. 01, 1938  Three Years of National Labor Relations Act
Nov. 12, 1937  State Regulation of Labor Relations
Jul. 10, 1937  Restrictions on the Right to Strike
Apr. 28, 1937  The Labor Market and the Unemployed
Mar. 26, 1937  Control of the Sit-Down Strike
Mar. 13, 1937  Collective Bargaining in the Soft-Coal Industry
Jan. 22, 1937  Responsibility of Labor Unions
Nov. 11, 1936  Industrial Unionism and the A.F. of L.
Jul. 30, 1936  Federal Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 14, 1936  Labor Relations in the Steel Industry
Apr. 17, 1934  Company Unions and Collective Bargaining
Feb. 07, 1934  Settlement of Labor Disputes
Sep. 12, 1933  Trade Unionism Under the Recovery Program
Feb. 17, 1932  Wage Concessions by Trade Unions
Oct. 01, 1929  Status of the American Labor Movement
Jul. 20, 1929  Trade Unionism in the South
Aug. 31, 1928  Organized Labor in National Politics
Feb. 04, 1928  The Use of Injunctions in Labor Disputes
Sep. 09, 1927  Organized Labor and the Works Council Movement
Oct. 12, 1923  The A.F. of L. and the “New Radicalism”
Regulation and Deregulation
Regulation and Deregulation
Unions and Labor-Management Relations