Taft-Hartley Act

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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required that union officers declare under oath that they did not belong to the Communist Party, but this provision was repealed in 1959.)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).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act permits state right-to-work (right-to-work) laws which prohibit compulsory payment of union dues.
Yet, as Mello's account makes clear, the capacity of workers to make gains was seriously undermined by interventions stretching back to the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, even as membership continued to grow.
Beneath his criticism of the Taft-Hartley Act and its inconsistent application by the NLRB, there is a subtext to Gross's analysis.
For instance, instead of advocating the repeal of the Wagner Act, which had created the problem of monopoly union power, conservatives were quick to support the Taft-Hartley Act in an effort to shackle American labor.
Between October 22 and December 23, 1962, James Hoffa was being tried in Federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, for a violation of the Taft-Hartley Act. During the trial, Hoffa occupied a three-room suite in the Andrew Jackson Hotel.
Although pension plans have existed since the Civil War, their real growth began with the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948, which authorized the organization of multiemployer plans with an equal number of trustees from both management and labor.
Yet amid this success, Congress passed the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, a measure that imposed new restrictions on unions and cut short a promising opportunity to amend the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act in pro-union ways.
Sympathy strikes, refusals to handle truck work, and boycotts are all secondary actions, and they are all illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399 challenged that law in federal court, arguing that the Taft-Hartley Act gives only states the authority to enact such laws.
After meeting with the nominee and gaining pledges of support for the Taft-Hartley Act and the principles defined in the Republican platform, Taft declared himself "completely satisfied" the general would give America an administration of "continued and expanding liberty" in opposition to "the continued growth of New Deal socialism." Ever the party loyalist, he campaigned for the Republican ticket, though the name at the top was, once again, not Taft.
The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 was a milestone in that anti-union battle.