THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
THE TAFT-HARTLEY ACT
SEVERAL important conclusions regarding the American labor movement and national politics can be drawn from a study of the early political history of the Taft-Hartley Act. When the act was passed, labor's immediate reaction was to call it a "Slave Labor Law" and to demand its repeal. But what appeared to be an unreasonable and groundless aversion to the law by organized labor was actually a deep‐ seated apprehension about the future. Although the slave‐ labor aspects of the statute failed to materialize, union officials were anxious lest, in a future period of possible mass unemployment, the act's more injurious provisions might be employed to destroy unionism and free collective bargaining, as was the alleged intent of some of the policy's sponsors. When repeal proved impossible, unions gradually began to accept the inevitable by insisting instead on removal of some of the statute's more objectionable features.