Subject: Reorganizing Labor
From: Christopher W. Thomas (
Date: Wed June 23, 1999 at 2:00PM

Reorganizing Labor

On this day in nineteen hundred and forty-seven
The Senate overturned a veto by Harry Truman
Which the House of Representatives had, already
As Checks and Balances came into their own, steady

The National Labor Relations Act, passed in thirty-five
Provided rules to keep interstate commerce alive
But also gave significant advantages to union labor
Allowing employees collective bargaining to gain favor

The Wagner Act, named after the NY Senator, as it was known then
Was a protection designed to keep federal powers out of the hem
And, effectively, gave equal footing to both employers and employees
Which had been so missing in the years when the steel mills seized

Amended in nineteen forty-seven by Taft and Hartley
The new version provided other rulings ... partly ...
It was stipulated non-union employees couldn't be
Discriminated against ... for choosing to work free

... Of the limits placed on them by rigid-ruled unions
And thus, they could continue to work in unison
... Side-by-side with union-membered employees
And did not have to abide by the same agrees

This principle was hotly contested by all the unions
Who felt it would eventually destroy their communion
Something that has not happened to this very day
Which just goes to show - allowing fairness - pays ...

- Tristram

Christopher W. Thomas
1:15pm Wednesday, June 23rd, 1999

Wagner Act - passed by Congress in 1935
Taft-Hartley Act - passed by Congress in 1947

Amendments passed since:
1951 - gave employees the right to petition
the NLRB for a secret-ballot election in order
to rescind union's power to institute a union-shop
agreement ...
1959 - a provision was added banning the
secondary boycott, which had allowed unions
the right to prohibit dealings with non-union shops.