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Social Movements Final

Social Movements Final - Sociology Final Wagner Act...

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Sociology Final Wagner Act Referred to as the Magna Carta for labor Up until this point, workers had to fight just to assert their constitutional rights This act provides an articulated national right to assemble unions and bargain on their own benefit. Some people aren’t covered 1. Railroad & Airline Industry- already covered by the railroad act of 1928ish. Later applied to airline industry. 2. Public Employees - tend to be protected by civil services. 3. Agricultural Workers - they didn’t have any political clout. Therefore the congressman, etc. felt no inclination to include them. Agricultural issues still a huge issue in the South. Workers migrated a lot no political power. 4. Domestic Workers - these people tend to work for the wealthiest people in the country. Maids, butlers, etc. Political power at its rawest. Their bosses had political power and of course aren’t going to include their employees. 5. Supervisors - problem is how do you define supervisor? Companies try to be creative in designating work and job titles so that more people would not be protected. Definition of supervisor today that they must be required to make independent choices in the workplace. Ability to hire and fire independently. Suspend people, transfer people, etc. by individual decision. 6. Family Members - family of company owners that work for the company have to be excluded from the bargaining table. Why? they have access to the boss union members wouldn’t trust them. 7. Contractors - independent contractors not covered. People today tend to use independent contractors to avoid having them connected to unions. 8. Confidential employees - CEO Secretaries, etc. They are understood to have access to confidential company information.
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Reaction to Wagner Act Labor loved it. Businesses generally opposed and created huge resistance to it. Business feared not just organized labor, they feared more the intrusion of government in the workplace (especially on the labor’s behalf). Businesses thought they could no longer count on the government to be on their side and it would create a landslide. Slippery slope Government could begin further intrusion into business. What did the Wagner Act really do? Didn’t really transform relations Union density has always been low. No radical transformation of capitalism workers got the right to bargain companies have always bargained, it just led to a new layer of bargaining. Did wages really increase? Yes. Marginal wage raises customers really pay for that. No small raise is going to sink a company. Union combativeness generally dissipated. Wrapping Up Wagner Made it legal to organize strike elect leaders to bargain. Things businesses did that were illegal under Wagner/ways businesses struggled against Wagner Act/ union activity 1. Prohibited distribution of flyers, newsletters, etc. at the workplace- Wagner allows posters to be put up and flyers to be passed out on company grounds as long as you weren’t working.
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