Frontiers of Collective Bargaining

Frontiers of Collective Bargaining

Frontiers of Collective Bargaining

Frontiers of Collective Bargaining

Excerpt

Robben W. Fleming

Thirty years ago, in the midst of a great economic depression, we embarked on a national policy of collective bargaining. The conditions at that time bear little resemblance to the situation today. Most of the mass production industries were unorganized, the coal mines were the center of violence and union thrust, the railroads were not only the hub of the transportation industry but the model for industrial relations, sweatshops characterized the garment industry, the injunction was the employer's principal legal weapon against union organization, the labor movement was engaged in a pitched battle over industrial versus craft unionism, and young social activists went forth to do battle against industrial injustice.

By the end of World War II the scene had changed but still looked quite different from today. The mass production industries were organized; sweatshops had largely disappeared; serious doubts were developing about the validity of the railroad model; the injunction was gone; memories of the depression were fading; white collar unionism was gaining ground; the public was concerned with emer-

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