Taft-Hartley Labor Relations Act 61 Stat. 136 (1947)

Author:Paul L. Murphy

Page 2642

Passed over President HARRY S. TRUMAN'S veto, the Taft-Hartley Act represented Republican hostility to the power of labor unions and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB); its provisions limit the authority and conduct of unions and their officials and curtail the Board's authority.

In amending the WAGNER (NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS) ACT, the measure banned the CLOSED SHOP; permitted employers to sue unions for strike-incurred damages; forbade union contributions to political campaigns; required public disclosure of union finances; required unions to give sixty days notice before inaugurating strikes; and allowed the President to halt a major strike by seeking a court INJUNCTION for an eighty-day "cooling off" period. Although the right to COLLECTIVE BARGAINING was further guaranteed, section 14b permitted states to adopt RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS, forbidding any requirement that workers join unions to hold jobs. Most constitutionally suspect were provisions requiring labor union officials, in order to use the facilities of the NLRB, to sign affidavits denying communist party membership or belief. These noncommunist oath provisions were unsuccessfully challenged in the courts in AMERICAN COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION V. DOUDS (19...

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