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CB Paper copy - 3 CIO unions successfully launched an...

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3. CIO unions successfully launched an unprecedented wave of unionization after 1935 by confronting and overcoming the limitations of AFL unionism. However, the ultimate extent and nature of CIO success was also determined by CIO strategies for dealing with their own limitations. Analyze the impact of the CIO on organized labor’s capacity to advance the unionization of labor relations, by comparing CIO successes with CIO defeats between 1935 and 1965. The limitations that the AFL placed on unionization encouraged the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Within in the AFL, the Committee for Industrial Organization felt that they would only succeed if they took on the largest businesses, a strategy that the AFL strongly opposed. The Congress of Industrial Organizations was founded in 1938, and industrial unionism was a new strategy implemented in order to unionize workers more effectively. The obstacles that surrounded the CIO pressured their strategic, thoroughly developed actions from 1935-1970, ultimately augmenting unionization to protect a vast population of workers. The years following the Great Depression were defined by reform and renewal of the American economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the New Deal in 1933 to bring relief to the American people. The CIO strongly supported FDR and his programs and created the Non-Partisan League to further support their president. As a result of FDR’s policies, the CIO was able to enter the post-depression years with a positive relationship with government. The relationship between FDR and the CIO was promising due to the CIO’s positive responses to FDR’s New Deal, and resulted in the CIO’s organizing success. When FDR won the presidential election, he acknowledged the CIO for their support and efforts. Such a positive relationship provided a strong foundation for the upsurge of unionization that was to follow. The passing of the National Labor Relations act in 1935 was a successful piece of legislation that promoted the rights of employees. The Wagner Act was one of the factors responsible for the CIO’s growth because now workers were given a voice through collective bargaining. The idea of unionization was now appealing to more workers because unions were seen as a legitimate bargaining voice. By 1938, the CIO had focused on a new organizing strategy centered around industrial unionism. The CIO focused on new strategies for organizing all workers and realized that representing workers in big businesses like the steel, oil and automobile companies would make them successful. The autoworkers strike at General Motors in 1937 was significant in the CIO’s unionization success. Since General Motors was one of
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2008 for the course ILRCB 1100 taught by Professor Danielc during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

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CB Paper copy - 3 CIO unions successfully launched an...

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