Truman and Taft-Hartley: A Question of Mandate

By R. Alton Lee | Go to book overview

8
TRUMAN ALTERS
NLRB ADMINISTRATION

WHEN THE Truman administration failed in its assault on the Taft-Hartley Act in 1949 it turned to the use of flanking maneuvers to achieve its objective. Organized labor was convinced that the law was designed to hurt it and wanted to return to the policy of a paternalistic government under the Wagner Act. The Democrats, desirous of assisting unions, were unable to obtain the necessary congressional support to repeal the act outright, so they attempted to circumvent the intentions of the statute's framers. Congress had enacted the labor policy but the executive branch could, with discretion, administer that law in such a way as to lessen the harshness of its restrictive provisions against its constituency, the laborers.

The philosophy of the New Deal Wagner Act, created by Democrats, was to foster and promote union organization in order to elevate union power to the level of that of

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