Unions 1947

America's Labor Unions - settling into a post-War America was taking some doing.

Union Meeeting 1947
America’s Unions – settling into a post-War America was taking some doing.
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June 19, 1947 – A relatively calm day. Or calm before the storm, depending on how you looked at it. The matter at hand had to do with Unions and America’s labor force – the issue of strikes and the quality of life as the nation continued to settle in to a post-war world.

On President Truman’s desk, for signing or vetoing were two bills; one was an anti-strike bill aimed at unions and the other was one regarding rent-control. The Anti-Strike, or Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, as it came to be known, prohibited unions from engaging in several “unfair labor practices.” Among the practices prohibited by the act are jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary boycotts, secondary and mass picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns. The NLRA also allowed states to pass right-to-work laws banning union shops. Enacted during the early stages of the Cold War, the law required union officers to sign non-communist affidavits with the government. The act provided for federal court jurisdiction to enforce collective bargaining agreements. Although Congress passed this section to empower federal courts to hold unions liable in damages for strikes violating a no-strike clause, this part of the act has instead served as the springboard for creation of a “federal common law” of collective bargaining agreements, which favored arbitration over litigation or strikes as the preferred means of resolving labor disputes.

The other one was Rent Control. Rent control as a national law was first enacted as a war measure in January, 1942, as part of an over-all price control and rationing program. This program was necessitated by the shortage of consumer goods resulting from the war. Provisions for the control of residential rents were contained in the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942.’ Under this Act, the Price Administrator was granted authority to set up defense-rental areas throughout the United States, its territories and possessions, and in the District of Columbia, where defense-activities were inflating rents. This Act further authorized the Price Administrator to establish and adjust maximum rents on residential property and to regulate the recovery of possession of housing accommodations. It specifically provided for administrative review of orders issued by the Price Administrator, and established the Emergency Court of Appeals with exclusive jurisdiction to review the actions of the Price Administrator. The Act was amended and extended from time to time and expired by its own terms on June 30, 1947. The present law, the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, was amended, and would become effective July 1, 1947.

Maybe not an earth-shattering day as far as news was concerned, but a day where what went on had an impact on American life for years and decades to come.

Further evidence there is no such thing as a day where nothing happened. Just like this one; June 19, 1947 from NBC Radio.

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