(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

American Unions

            Trace the evolution of the legal status of American unions. What activities were restricted by laws and courts? Did constraints increase or decline with time?.
             Organized workers in early America faced many legal challenges. The conspiracy doctrine effectively made most union activities unlawful. In 1842, the court ruled that membership alone was not unlawful. National trade unions began forming after 1850. The union movement over the last half of the 19th century almost became a revolution with strikes, brutal violence, political sabotage and assassinations. Violence became policy for both the unions and the management with which they disagreed. Using the Sherman Antitrust Act, employers charged that striking unions were illegally restraining trade and the courts agreed in many cases. .
             Several legal moves haled by the union leaders were passed and subsequently softened or defeated such as the Erdman Act and the Clayton Act. The Erdman act was found to be unconstitutional and the Clayton Act was so open to interpretation that it became untenable. This ruling was much like the Commonwealth vs. Hunt finding that while membership in a union was not illegal, the activities of members might be and were prosecutable as such. Courts ruled against almost all union activities until 1930's. The Wagner Act of 1935 specifically gave employees the right to organize and bargain collectively. The successful formation and subsequent joining of the AFL and CIO strengthened the union movement and gave it legitimacy in the U.S. .
             What were the advantages and disadvantages of taking a "business union" approach as opposed to advocating a labor political party?.
             Business unions are primarily interested in immediate gains. They have short term goals that are more easily attained that those of other union forms and political parties. Business unions do not threaten the fabric of society as it currently exists nor do they threaten the employment system as it exists.

Essays Related to American Unions

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question