The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By Robert Underhill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16. THE LABOR FRONT

“Politics is the science of how who gets what, when, and
why.”

—Sidney Hillman, President of the CIO

_______________

No one could be sure whether it was due to demands of the war in Europe or to programs of the New Deal, but throughout 1940 the U.S. the economy was on the upswing. Reports in the second week of February, 1941, revealed that 1940 earnings of the five biggest U.S. steelmakers had made a dizzy surge. U.S. Steel, biggest of the five, earned $102 million— its highest since 1930. Bethlehem Steel, number two company with earnings of $48 million, set an all-time record with income well over its 1929 high water mark. Republic Steel’s earnings of $21 million was twice as high as its best previous year. Jones and Laughlin with an income of more than $10 million was at its highest since 1929. National Steel—the only steel company to have shown a profit in 1932—gained a healthy 12% in 1940 over its 1939 earnings.

The year of 1940 had been relatively quiet on the labor front, but in the year that followed strikes broke out like freckles under a Kansan sun. In 1941 one out of every twelve workers would go out on strike—a percentage exceeded only in the years of 1919 and 1937. Disputes were not only over wages, but over work conditions, work loads, hours, and jurisdictional authority as well.

-113-

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The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Foreword 1
  • Chapter 1- Europe after the First World War 3
  • Chapter 2- America’s Great Depression 11
  • Chapter 3- Franklin Roosevelt- The Early Years 17
  • Chapter 4- FDR- Emerging Politician 23
  • Chapter 5- Seizing the Crown 27
  • Chapter 6- Advisors and Aides 31
  • Chapter 7- FDR- First Media President 39
  • Chapter 8- Supreme Court Imbroglio 43
  • Chapter 9- Europe’s War–1939 53
  • Chapter 10- Third Term 59
  • Chapter 11- Lend Lease 69
  • Chapter 12- Intervention or Isolation 77
  • Chapter 13- Barbarossa 91
  • Chapter 14- Troubled Waters 101
  • Chapter 15- Americana 1941 109
  • Chapter 16- The Labor Front 113
  • Chapter 17- From Marriage to Alliance 119
  • Chapter 18- Empire of the Rising Sun 127
  • Chapter 19- Atlantic Charter 133
  • Chapter 20- Enter the Scientists 141
  • Chapter 21- Undeclared War 1941 147
  • Chapter 22- Russia- The Enigma 153
  • Chapter 23- Japan- Expansion and Perfidy 161
  • Chapter 24- Infamy 171
  • Chapter 25- FDR- A Reckoning 179
  • Bibliography 195
  • Notes 199
  • Index 209
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