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Taft-Hartley, Or The Slave-Labor Law Of 1947

(Oddly, still is) Since its enactment in 1947, the famous (or infamous) Taft-Hartley Act (or Slave-Labor Bill as some call it) has been in an almost constant state of proposed revision. But never getting off the ground. Initially vetoed by
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(Oddly, still is)

Since its enactment in 1947, the famous (or infamous) Taft-Hartley Act (or Slave-Labor Bill as some call it) has been in an almost constant state of proposed revision. But never getting off the ground. Initially vetoed by Truman in 1947, it was overridden and set into law by the Republican led 80th Congress. Amendments have been proposed ever since.

In 1949, part of the America United Series, moderated by David Brinkley, approached a panel consisting of a young Eugene McCarthy newly elected Congressman, Thruston Morton, Anthony P. Alfino from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Tom Harris who represented the CIO.

Tom Harris (CIO): “The question you ask, ‘How Should The Taft-Hartley Act Be Amended’ is an easy one in our judgment to answer. It shouldn’t be amended at all but should be replaced with an entirely different statute, along the lines of the Wagner Act. That is essentially what the Thomas-Lezinsky Bill does. We think that should be done because the approach of the Wagner Act to industrial relations was sound. While that of the Taft-Hartley Act is wholly wrong. The ideas behind the Wagner Act were very simple; they were first, to permit workers to form strong unions if they wanted to. Secondly, to require employers to deal with those unions on wages, hours and so on. The authors of the Wagner Act hoped by these means to promote industrial peace and to raise the living standards of workers. With consequent benefit to the entire community. The idea behind the Taft-Hartley Act is also very simple; it’s to weaken unions. The men who wrote the Taft-Hartley Act just didn’t believe in labor unions. The Taft-Hartley Act is a composite of all the anti-union devices which reactionary congressmen were able to think up during the years of the New Deal. When they got into power, briefly as it turned out, in the 80th Congress, they wrote these numerous devices into law. That’s the Taft-Hartley law. And its bad in its entirety and should be stricken from the books.”

In 1949 they wanted to amend it. Still waiting.

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