The Public Interest in National Labor Policy

The Public Interest in National Labor Policy

The Public Interest in National Labor Policy

The Public Interest in National Labor Policy

Excerpt

A new look is being taken at industrial relations in the United States today, by many people, in many places, and from many points of view. The proposals for policy change contained in this Report emerge from our re-evaluations of contemporary problems and opportunities.

A generation ago, industrial relations in the United States were undergoing an historic transformation, moving from unilateral decisionmaking by management toward joint decision-making by management and organized workers. Collective bargaining, previously confined to a few segments of the economy, was in process of becoming a truly national institution.

In the quarter century that has elapsed since the mid-1930's, this form of industrial relations has been widely accepted in principle but is now being criticized more and more in practice. In recent years particularly, collective bargaining has been the target in a cross-fire of mounting complaints about its past and present consequences and of increasing reservations about its future serviceability. Indeed, the fashion today in many quarters is to point to a "crisis in collective bargaining" and to dispense policy prescription for drastic change.

In developing this Report, we, too, have subjected to careful scrutiny the practices of unions and managements, the processes of collective bargaining, and their combined consequences for the national interest. But what we find does not warrant so drastic a label as "crisis." Collective bargaining is, in many respects, working well today. Certainly it works better for some problems than others and in some places . . .

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