Government Regulation of Industrial Relations

Government Regulation of Industrial Relations

Government Regulation of Industrial Relations

Government Regulation of Industrial Relations

Excerpt

Ever since the rights of employees to organize and to have representatives of their own choosing were given governmental protection by the Wagner Act, the great industrial-relations challenge has been the effectuation of collective bargaining as a constructive social institution. Governmental encouragement of collective bargaining was looked upon, during the struggle to overcome the consequences of the 1929 depression, as necessary to assure that the determination of employment conditions would be retained in private hands. The task of actually fashioning collective bargaining, however, devolved primarily upon unions and management.

Employees were to be assisted in their efforts to create an organized strength so they would be better able than in times past to take care of their own interests, particularly in dealings with employers. Unions and management would then be free to. work out their own problems in their own way and by their own devices. Industrial self-government was the ideal that was sought. In arguments over whether or not too much organizational assistance was provided to the employees, there has been a disposition to lose sight of these fundamental objectives.

Significant progress has been made since 1935, nevertheless, in the development of collective bargaining as a mechanism of industrial self-government. In many plants and industries, unions and management met the challenge with distinction. They were able to work out mutually satisfactory relationships without recourse to work stoppages and with a proper regard for consumer necessities. Had the . . .

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