By Jon R. Huibregtse
American historians are inclined to think that exertions activism used to be moribund within the years among the 1st international warfare and the hot Deal. Jon Huibregtse demanding situations this angle in his exam of the railroad unions of the time, arguing that not just have been they energetic, yet that they made a gigantic distinction in American hard work practices by way of assisting to set criminal precedents. Huibregtse explains how efforts through the Plumb Plan League and the Railroad exertions government organization created the Railroad hard work Act, its amendments, and the Railroad Retirements Act. those legislation turned types for the nationwide hard work family Act and the Social safeguard Act. regrettably, the numerous contributions of the railroad legislation are, typically, missed while the NLRA or Social safety are mentioned. delivering a brand new viewpoint on hard work unions within the Twenties, Huibregtse describes how the railroad unions created a version for union activism that staff' agencies for the subsequent 20 years.
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Additional info for American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919-1935
Unorganized workers quickly joined unions, but locals did not make agreements with the carriers; terms were set by government fiat. Labor leaders worried about maintaining their positions when federal control ended. This was, of course, the scenario that left some labor leaders, including Sam Gompers of the AFL, unenthusiastic about government regulation. Railroad workers benefited from federal control. 17 Women and African-Americans were still far from being treated equally in all aspects of the industry.
23 Early in 1922, labor leaders founded the RLEA. While the RLEA embraced Johnston’s arguments for increased political activity, it dismissed his more radical ideas concerning government ownership of the railroads and other quasi-public enterprises. Formation of the RLEA was the capstone of a gradual movement toward interunion cooperation. With the railroad unions mobilized, Johnston urged his peers to form a broader alliance. He argued that a “ . . coalition of all progressive forces including the minority parties, the labor unions, and other liberal groups” should be established.
The second resolution called for a Committee of Fifteen to coordinate the local committees’ activities. 28 The AFL leadership was not represented at the meeting. Gompers declined an invitation, which is curious since earlier he suggested an “offensive and defensive” political alliance between the rail unions and the AFL. The failure of the brotherhoods and the AFL to come together seems to lie in the relationship between Stone and Gompers, who were suspicious of each other. Neither man wanted to appear to be subordinate to the other.
American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919-1935 by Jon R. Huibregtse