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Strengths And Limitations Of The American Labor Movement

1499 words - 6 pages

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt brought in the first “New Deal.” This was first step in helping railroads and agriculture to help realign the economy toward producing more equality. The second “New Deal” came in 1934 which then instated political legislation and social institutions in order to help the working class. These institutions and political legislation come in the form of social security, unemployment, the Wagner Act, National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards. However during this time corporations as well as labor still learning to readjust still did not come without continuing battles.
Then in 1939 came World War II. The government realized they needed to enlist in the help of corporations as well as the working class. Because of the continued confrontations still happening between labor and the corporations, the government would have to do something to produce a harmonious relationship between corporations, labor and the political government. Government then began posing regulations upon corporations and enforcing labor standards bring in a more equitable relationship.
As the war continued corporations and labor finally settled in and began to work together with government. They were producing more than had ever been produced before. Labor was happy because for the first time they felt as though they had wealth and power. The corporations on the other hand had mixed emotions. Although their profits were rising and had to make concessions, they still were unhappy with the regulations that were placed upon them. They felt as even though workers were gaining wealth, they were being restricted to operate as they see fit. However, the government then put the idea out there to take their profits and begin to diversify in other areas. The latter is just what they did.
As with all things the war comes to an end in 1945. Political power began to back off and corporations realized they had a new-found way of wealth in diversity and began working on reducing the regulations that were placed on them during the war.
Labor on the other hand became strong-willed and thought they had developed enough power during this time to enlist in demands as they so desired from the government and corporations to serve their best interest. Labor soon found out how disillusioned they were. The labor movement at its highest point in history ever, now is heading in a downward spiral. Labor was willing to bargain but was finding it harder as time went by to find any willing partners.
What power did labor feel they had to continue this “mentality, what limitations did labor encounter causing this spiral affect and what possibly could have been done different to keep this downward spiral from happening? Below we will examine the strength unions realized, the limitations and obstacles they encountered and possibly what they could have done different to have kept labor at its highest level of equality and power....

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