Final Exam Review Sheet - Labor History Final Exam Review...

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1. Describe “business unionism” and what the term entails a. “push-button unionism” with bureaucratic practices i. Formal labor board elections ii.Routinized grievance practices iii.Automatic dues deduction b. “social contract” between capital and labor in which class conflict had been overcome c. Labor’s support (notably the AFL-CIO) of US foreign policy following WWII is a stance also lending support to US business interests abroad d. “official strike” vs. “wildcat strike” i. Official strike – union sanctioned; emphasizes better wages and benefits ii.Wildcat strike – rank and file / shop floor; emphasized immediate concerns such as speed ups and harassment iii.This conflict was due to the “blue-collar blues” and represented a practical critique of business unionism and the social contract between labor and capital e. However, business unionism could be effective when the economy is good. In an expanding economy monetary gains (wages and benefits) can be secured and this allowed business unionism to work for awhile. However, as the global manufacturing market caught up with the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s a steady erosion of purchasing power made business unionism impossible to maintain. 2. What are some of the causes of the labor movement’s decline in the second half of the 20 th century? When thinking about the answer to this, consider political , social/cultural , economic , and other factors! a. Labor underestimated business. In the postwar era business viewed the labor movement as an irrational movement that threatened property rights. b. Public opinion was against labor i. John L Lewis and other militant labor leaders made labor look bad ii.Media (radio/newspaper) had anti-union bias iii. The middle class feared the labor movement. Following WWII middle class America wanted to experience the benefits of economic growth in the American Superpower. However, production stoppages due to labor could prevent Americans from enjoying the benefits of being the wealthiest nation in the world. An example of this is if someone wanted to buy a new car, a strike at an auto plant could prevent any cars from being made, and thus prevent any cars from being bought and enjoying by American consumers. iv.Taft-Hartley Act rewrites labor relations laws against labor
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Final Exam Review Sheet - Labor History Final Exam Review...

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