No-Strike Pledge

October 12, 1944

Report Outline
Waning Force of Labor's No-Strike Pledge
Strike Controls in World War I
Strike Controls in Britain and Dominions
Operation of the No-Strike Pledge in United States
Special Focus

Waning Force of Labor's No-Strike Pledge

The binding force of the no-strike pledge given by organized labor for the duration of the war will be severely tested after the termination of hostilities with Germany. It has been estimated that 30 to 40 per cent of the plants now engaged in war work will be released for the manufacture of civilian goods when the war in Europe comes to a close; workers in these plants may well feel that the no-strike pledge does not cover production of ordinary goods not essential to prosecution of the war. Strong minorities in several major unions have already urged abrogation of the pledge—at least in non-war production—on the ground that management is not keeping its side of the bargain and that the War Labor Board is not giving adequate protection to labor's rights.

President Green of the American Federation of Labor has pledged continued observance of the no-strike agreement “until the American flag floats over the ramparts of Berlin and Tokyo.” President Murray of the C. I. O. has reaffirmed the agreement for the entire duration of the war and the last national convention of the C. I. 0., in November, 1943, declared “without any qualifications or conditions that for the duration of the war there must not be any strike or stoppage of work.” Nevertheless, the national leaders of organized labor may have difficulty in holding union members to the no-strike pledge in industries which have ceased to produce munitions of war—and successful strikes in nonessential industries would undoubtedly aggravate labor unrest in industries still engaged in war production.

Temptations to Renewed Use of Strike Weapon

The prospect that the President will shortly authorize an upward revision in wage ceilings imposed by the Little Steel formula suggests that organized labor will soon have a new basis for demanding increased wage rates. Additional impetus to strikes would be given by & more generous War Labor Board wage policy if management proved reluctant, in the face of anticipated costs of reconversion, to accede to wage demands. George Meany, A. F. of L. member of the W. L. E., said, Sept. 26, that unless wage increases were granted and administered while the board was still in firm control of Industrial relations, the question of wages would be decided by economic force: “Strikes, strife, and economic chaos will result.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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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
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