New Deal Labor Policy and the Containment of Radical Union Activity
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Hurd, Richard W.
New Deal labor policies were designed with the stability of the capitalist economy in mind. Their pro-union provisions responded to labor militance and served to head off the formation of a radical working-class movement. The National Labor Relations Act established procedures which encouraged unions to pursue peaceful collective bargaining rather than a more activist course. Although the enforcement of pro-union policies was weak, the fact that they were adopted gave the impression that the state was sensitive to worker interests. When the crisis ended with the onset of World War II, the state reverted to an approach which more directly restricted worker militance.
New Deal; National Labor Relations Act; labor movement; labor unions
Required Publisher Statement: © SAGE. Final version published as: Hurd, R. W. (1976). New Deal labor policy and the containment of radical union activity. Review of Radical Political Economics, 8(3), 32-43. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.