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Strengths and Limitations of the American Labor Movement

analytical Essay
1260 words
1260 words
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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 pro... ... middle of paper ... ...ires to help themselves gain back their wealth and power in which they had before making the concessions they did during the war. Unions also should have also realized they had many internal problems such as crime, corruption, discrimination and a weak solidarity for its base. For strength comes in numbers; numbers they did not have and the need for an alliance with a dominate, political party with members which shared the same vision of social equality and not a combination of right-left wing members. Since none of this happened, labor has been grabbing for straws in all directions since the 1940’s and not knowing exactly which direction to go, This has cause the downward spiral that has taken place and still continues today. Without a highly strategic plan encompassing all walks, continued failure will be the inevitable as we watch this downward spiral persist.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that franklin d. roosevelt brought in the first "new deal" in 1933, and the second in 1934, which instated political legislation and social institutions to help the working class.
  • Explains that the government realized they needed to enlist the help of corporations as well as the working class to produce a harmonious relationship between corporations, labor and the political government.
  • Analyzes how corporations and labor finally settled in and began to work together with government. they were happy because for the first time they felt as though they had wealth and power.
  • Explains that the war ended in 1945 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.
  • Explains that labor became strong-willed and thought they had developed enough power to enlist in demands as they desired from the government and corporations to serve their best interest.
  • Examines the strength unions realized, the limitations and obstacles they encountered, and what they could have done different to keep labor at its highest level of equality and power.
  • Explains that politics helped put regulatory conditions on corporations which helped labor achieve strength, bargaining power, and equalize wages amongst workers.
  • Explains that unions used collective bargaining to keep workers' wages, benefits, job descriptions, and labor management relations in order until after the war.
  • Analyzes how the introduction of the 1955 right-to-work became an enemy for labor and still exist today.
  • Analyzes how the corrupt and criminal happenings of the teamsters and jimmy hoffa's ordeals were another blow to the union image.
  • Explains that white southerners began to align with the unions until they realized or thought they were just trying to obtain minorities into becoming union members to raise their wages and reduce the profits of southern corporations.
  • Opines that civil rights were placed on union’s agenda. however, several unions still discriminated within their organizations.
  • Opines that unions aligned themselves with the democratic political party, which helped for a short time, but had and still continue the mixed majority of right, left and fence-sitting politicians within them.
  • Argues that labor should have refrained from being narrowly focused on trying to persuade corporations and the political parties to align with the labor party's ideas.
  • Opines that labor could have worked on getting strength in numbers, such as gaining an alliance and securing the relationship with the southern states.
  • Analyzes how the "new deal" and the development of world war ii helped unions gain working class equality, but their judgment and vision became clouded by the fact they thought they had more power than anyone.
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