Compulsory Settlement of Labor Disputes

January 30, 1946

Report Outline
Current Labor Strife and the Government
Compulsion in Handling of Labor Disputes
Compulsory Features of Bills in Congress
Experience in Use of Compulsory Methods

Current Labor Strife and the Government

Possibility of Break in Wave of Major Strikes

As the house of Representatives was about to take up, after a long delay, legislative proposals designed to strengthen the administration's hand in dealing with major industrial disputes, there was more hope than for weeks of a break in the current wave of labor strife. Spread of the General Motors strike to the plants of the two other principal automobile producers was averted, Jan. 26, when the Ford and Chrysler companies concluded a new wage agreement with the United Automobile Workers. On the same day the major railroads of the nation and 18 railroad brotherhoods agreed to submit union wage demands to arbitration. And members of the C. I. O. union in the meat-packing industry, who had announced they would not return to work after the government seized the plants, reversed that decision and agreed, as the A. F. L. union in the same industry had already done, to go back to their jobs. On Jan. 29, moreover, a federal conciliator arranged for resumption of wage negotiations between General Motors and the union.

Although the immediate outlook also seemed to favor early settlement of the industry-wide steel strike, there was still pressure in some quarters in Congress for passage of stringent labor legislation. After the House Labor Committee had watered down President Truman's moderate fact-finding bill, support developed for a stronger bill, introduced in a surprise move, Jan. 29, by Rep. Case (R., S. D.). The Case measure would require employers and employees to give a new tripartite mediation board five days' notice of an intended strike or lockout and would impose a 30-day cooling-off period enforceable by court injunctions. The bill also would deny collective bargaining rights to unions resorting to forceful picketing or boycotts, outlaw foremen's unions, and make employers and employees subject to civil liability for violation of contracts.

Delay in Passage of New Labor-Disputes Legislation

Probability of labor unrest during the reconversion period was clearly foreseen before the end of the war. Early in 1945 warnings came repeatedly from public, industry, and labor officials that the end of military hostilities might open the door to industrial conflict, and that accordingly a national labor policy should be forged in advance. But the only definite step taken in this direction, and that an unofficial one, was the signature on Mar. 28, 1945, by the presidents of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the A. F. L., and the C. I. O., of a “New Charter for Labor and Management.” The charter outlined seven principles to govern relations between employers and employees, but it made no new contribution to the question of how differences were to be settled once they came into the open.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Nov. 06, 1981  Labor Under Siege
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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”
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