CONFLICT OVER LABOR
T HE WILSON ADMINISTRATION BELIEVED, FOR A VARIETY of reasons, that the necessary gains to big business should be balanced by equivalent gains for organized labor, and the Administration made several gestures to win worker sympathy and support. Wilson brought high-ranking representatives of organized labor into the inner councils of government for the first time, and did his best to implement the basic demands of the American Federation of Labor. This policy, however, ran counter to the avowed anti-union animus of several industries, but especially of steel. The determination of the steel operators to resist unionization of their workers and federal infringements upon their prerogatives concerning workmen made the industry the ultimate test of the Wilsonian position.
Woodrow Wilson's attitude toward organized labor prior to 1916 frequently had been antagonistic. The man who had once