Unions before the Bar: Historic Trials Showing the Evolution of Labor Rights in the United States

By Elias Lieberman | Go to book overview

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There Are No Rights Without Duties (1942-1944)

WALLACE CORPORATION V. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

I

With the New Deal, organized labor grew in numbers and power. Unions came to many industries which had never been unionized before. Under the slogan of industrial unionism, in place of craft unionism, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) came to the forefront. The CIO at first concentrated on the mass production industries. Its unionization campaign had been successful in the steel industry and in the automobile industry and moderately effective in textiles and the utility fields. Gradually, the CIO extended its activities into other industrial areas. Before long it became embroiled in various jurisdictional disputes with the long-established AFL unions.

One of the new CIO unions was the United Construction Workers Organizing Committee (UCWOC). This union had no hesitation in invading the traditional jurisdiction of the AFL unions in the building trades. The UCWOC was bent on organizing whatever plant came its way. Raiding one another's jurisdiction became a common occurrence between the unions belonging to the competing parent organizations -- the AFL and the CIO. Occasionally both such unions were confronted with the opposition of "company unions," which usually came into being at the behest or with the blessing of the company employer. These company unions usually were formed for the purpose of combating the activities of "outside" unions. As a rule company unions were limited to the plant or plants of a single

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