Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


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 Repeal Taft-Hartley




. . . some in the labor movement believe that the rules governing labor relations have to be changed if unions are to become strong again. Specifically, they want to repeal the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which dealt a crippling blow to labor unions when it outlawed secondary boycotts, allowed management to work against a union-organizing drive, and allowed the president to force strikers back to work for up to eighty days when the nation’s “safety and health” were at stake, along with a series of other policies that fundamentally altered the balance of power in favor of business.

Cesar Chavez noted that when the Taft-Hartley bill passed over the veto of President Truman, labor leaders called it the “slave labor act.” Reflecting on how Taft-Hartley affected the United Farm Workers (UFW), Chavez stated:

“it seems to me that the capitalists are at least twenty-five years ahead of most of the unions in this country. Coming from a background of not knowing anything about injunctions and Taft-Hartley and so forth, it seems to me very difficult to understand. For instance, if I am on strike here, how come my brother, who belongs to this other union, cannot do something in direct action to help me or vice versa. . . . For instance, why do we have so many laws to control the activities of unions?”

Myers-Lipton, p.

 (Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)



How Did the Taft-Hartley Act Come About?
Mr. Wagner, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of History, Department of Social Science, Missouri Southern State College.



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