Taft-Hartley Act

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Taft-Hartley Act

 

(Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947), a law passed in the USA in 1947 regulating labor activities. It is one of the principal statutes in the USA affecting labor, enacted under the pressure of reactionary, monopolistic circles with the object of undermining the trade-union and workers’ movement and infringing on the rights of workers. The act is named after its congressional sponsors, Senator R. A. Taft and Representative F. Hartley.

The Taft-Hartley Act, in effect, subjects trade unions to government control. Among its provisions, for example, is the requirement that unions submit annual reports to the Department of Labor on their organization and finances. (Originally, the act also required that union officers declare under oath that they did not belong to the Communist Party, but this provision was repealed in 1959.) More important, the right to strike is significantly restricted. Political strikes and sympathy strikes are outlawed, and courts are granted the right to issue injunctions against economic strikes. Otherwise, the Taft-Hartley Act stipulates that a union must notify an employer and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 60 days before an economic strike begins. The workers’ right to conclude collective agreements in closed-shop conditions is also restricted.

Certain sections of the Taft-Hartley Act were amended in 1959 by the Landrum-Griffin Act (seeLANDRUM-GRIFFIN ACT).