Government and Collective Sargalning
The history of labor unions reminds us that the legal framework is an important determinant of economic organization. Two hundred years ago, when labor first tried to organize in England and America, common-law doctrines against “conspiracy in restraint of trade” were used to block unions. In the early 19005, un,ions and their were con viced by courts, fined, jailed, and harassed by various conjunctive procedures. The Supreme Court repeatedly struck down acts designed to improve working conditions for women and .children and other reform legislation on hours and wages.
The most important labor legislation of all was . the National Labor Relations (or Wagner) act of 1935. This law stated “Employees shall have the right to join organizations, to bargain collectively and to engage in concerted activities,” Spurred by pro-labor legislation, union membership , rose from less than one-tenth of the labor force in the 19205 ton of the workforce by the end of World War n. The decline of American unions be in the early 19708. In essence, the monopoly power of unions was eroded by the deregulation of many industries, increased international competition, and a more conservative government attitude toward unions.
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