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The Age of the CIO:

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Jarod Roll

on 14 April 2016

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Transcript of The Age of the CIO:

The Age of the CIO:
New Deal and World War II

HIS 318
Dr. Roll
1934: year of labor uprisings
--Toledo, OH
--San Francisco
--National textile strike (began in Alabama)
--Southern Tenant Farmers' Union (began in Arkansas)
paragraph 7(a) of NIRA, 1933
--paragraph 7(a) excluded agricultural and domestic workers
--NIRA declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court in 1935
National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) passed in 1935:
--outlawed employer interference with union organizing
--outlawed company unions
--outlawed retaliation against union members
--provided federal mediation of union elections
--mandated collective bargaining with the winner of the union elections
--created National Labor Relations Board to oversee and enforce
Social Security Act passed in 1935
--an entitlement, paid for through payroll tax
--excluded agricultural, domestic, and unpaid household labor
Committee for Industrial Organization:
--set up by Lewis (UMW), Sidney Hillman (Amalgamated Clothing Workers), and David Dubinsky (ILGWU) within the AFL to pursue industrial organizing strategy
--after fistfight between John Lewis and William Hutcheson (AFL carpenters' union)
Industrial organizing strategy gaining momentum:
--National Negro Congress, 1936: umbrella organization for black workers
Efforts to shift AFL toward industrial strategy failed:
--eight CIO unions expelled from the AFL in 1937: UMW, Mine Mill (old WFM), ILGWU, ACW, United Textile Workers, Oil Workers Union, Hatters and Millinery Workers, International Typographical Union
--found independent Congress of Industrial Organizations (Lewis the leader)
CIO expanded into auto industry and rubber:
--United Auto Workers (UAW)
--United Rubber Workers
Backed re-election of FDR in 1936:
"first man in the White House to understand my boss is a son of a bitch"
--Wagner Act found constitutional in 1937
--Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938
--minimum wage, maximum hours, ban on child labor under 16
--did not include agricultural or domestic workers
CIO both pushed and used political gains to organize mass production industries:
--United Auto Workers, sit-down strike in Flint (1936-1937) won right to bargain with GM, led to organization of the auto industry
--Steel Workers' Organizing Committee (SWOC) got recognition from US Steel, became United Steelworkers; failed to organize "Little Steel"
--UAW organized Ford in 1941 after long, often bloody battle
--also, United Cannery, Agricultural, and Allied Packing Workers of America (UCAPAWA), organizing agribusiness from field to factory
World War II set entrenched New Deal labor law and labor union power from the late 1930s:
--War Labor Board established union provisions in all wartime contracts
--union contracts, good pay, grievance procedures
--maintenance of membership clauses
--in exchange for a "no strike pledge"
These provisions, in conjunction with new labor demands of the war years, led to important gains for women and African Americans in mass production industries
Still, discipline and acceptance difficult to maintain:
--hate strikes
--wildcat strikes: cotton and coal mines
--CIO established Political Action Committee in 1944, pushed for re-election of Roosevelt
Combination of perceived power of labor, esp. CIO, and unwieldiness of worker politics gave new opportunities to anti-labor politicians:
--first "right to work" law passed in Arkansas in 1944
Full transcript