The Federal Government Hindered Rather Than Helped The Development Of Trade Union And Labour Rights
‘The Federal government hindered rather than helped the development of trade union and labour rights.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1865 to 1992?
I am not deep, but I am very wide-Throughout the period 1865 to 1992, the government was both a help and hindrance to the trade union movement. Roosevelt’s New Deal represented a brief turning point in the Federal government’s attitude towards labour rights, prior to which its laissez-faire approach to the economy had significantly favoured employers by granting them more power to abuse the rights of labourers. The New Deal of 1933 was set out with the intention of fostering better relations between the employers and the workforce, as well as helping establish new
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Hence, whilst the New deal was fundamentally undermined by the likes of Supreme Court, the government was being more helpful than ever before in improving employer- employee relationships. Similarly, the Wagner Act was dismissed on similar grounds but also showed the New Deal to be a positive impact on the rights of workers. It proposed the creation of a new independent agency—the National Labor Relations Board, made up of three members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate-to enforce employee rights rather than to mediate disputes. It gave employees the right, under Section 7, to form and join unions, and it obligated employers to bargain collectively with unions selected by a majority of the employees in an appropriate bargaining union. The success of the bill in passing through the town houses of Federal government, like NIRA, illustrate that whilst there was undoubtedly a more positive outlook on the trade union movement as a whole, the actual effect of the government in improving rights was limited.
The Second World War is considered to be the point after which the government was once again a hindrance to the labour rights movement. During the war, the Government once again relied on the cooperation of unions in order to increase output needed for the armament of people on the front line. Trade unions in this period therefore experienced a significant reduction in power, as non-striking policies