Labor Strife and the Public Interest

October 19, 1966

Report Outline
Concern Over Strikes or National Impacts
Past Attempts to Reduce Strike Toll
Search for New Ways to Protect Public
Special Focus

Concern Over Strikes or National Impacts

The american public—still smarting from a year of turmoil on the labor-management front that caused several transport crises, killed a major city newspaper, shut down schools and hospitals in various communities and contributed to mounting inflationary pressures—faces a great deal more of the same during the 15 months ahead. Next year more than two million workers will be involved in contract negotiations between unions and employers of 5,000 or more persons—twice the number involved in major negotiations in 1966. Among unions which will launch contract talks before the end of 1967 are telephone workers, regional construction unions, all major rail unions, the Teamsters, auto workers in car, truck and farm machinery plants, rubber industry workers, and garment workers. The year 1967 will end where 1966 began, with expiration of the contract between the New York City Transit Authority and the subway workers of the metropolis.

National concern focuses on two aspects of the labor picture. First, the settlements obtained by labor unions during the current year have gone well beyond what the government's economic advisers consider reasonable. If the trend continues—and all observers believe it will—rising labor costs will feed the already worrisome inflation. Second, the 43-day tie-up of five major airlines by striking mechanics—and the union members' refusal to accept the first settlement agreed to by their leaders—revealed clearly how vulnerable the American economy is to strikes in certain vital areas.

Rising Losses from Work Stoppages Since 1963

Unrest on the labor front began in the last four months of 1964, following four years of relatively smooth relations between workers and business and industry. The lack of strife was most marked in 1963, when nearly every official measure of work stoppages set a postwar low. For the only time since 1945, fewer than a million workers were involved in strikes during the year. Furthermore, there were only seven major strikes—those involving 10,000 or more workers.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Labor Unions
Aug. 07, 2015  Unions at a Crossroads
Sep. 02, 2005  Labor Unions' Future Updated
Jun. 28, 1996  Labor Movement's Future
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”
Unions and Labor-Management Relations