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Pamphlets in the
Fight Against Taft-Hartley

This cartoon, by Evelyn Atwood, is from the center spread of the pamphlet, Fight the Slave Labor Law

The Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act was passed by the United States Congress, with bipartisan support, in 1947 and amended the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. The complete text of the Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act is available at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell: http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/labor.html

For related labor and employment law websites, please see the Holt Labor Library "Labor and Employment Law" links: http://www.holtlaborlibrary.org/Links.html#Labor & Employment Law

Recently the Taft-Hartley law has been invoked against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. For more information, you can go to the Portworkers Solidarity Committee website: http://www.portsolidarity2002.org/

Also, see the "Current News" and "Periodicals" sections of the Holt Labor Library "Internet Links" page: http://www.holtlaborlibrary.org/Links.html

CIO says...

'the audacity and cynical contempt of the sponsors of this bill for the rights of the people have gone so far as to convert into crimes the exercise by workers and their unions of basic political rights......

'The Sponsors of this Legislation Have Attempted To Commit the Perfect Crime.'

'They seek to destroy labor unions, to degrade living standards, to extinguish and to cripple the exercise of basic rights, and forever to prevent the great mass of the people whose needs are thus to be sacrificed to reaction and privilege from shaking off this yoke of want and repression.'

(From the statement by the CIO National Executive Board, on the Taft-Hartley Law, June 27, 1947)"

--The 'Perfect Crime' of Mr. Taft and Mr. Hartley

Cover illustration signed by "P.D."

Cartoon by Fred Wright

This pamphlet was issued by the California CIO Council in July, 1947. The introduction states:

"Senator Taft and Congressman Hartley--and all the other senators and congressmen of the bi-partisan block who voted for the Taft-Hartley bill--tried to get away with the perfect crime.

"These hypocrites tried, in the name of 'equalizing the power' of employers and unions at the bargaining table, to destroy collective bargaining.

"They tried, in the name of 'equalizing the responsibility' of employers and unions, to expose labor organizations to criminal charges and damage suits, to break them morally and financially.

"They tried, in the name of 'protecting the rights of the individual worker', to open union doors to finks, spies and stool pigeons.

"They tried, in the name of 'regulating unions", to make them helpless to defend the wages and living standards of American workers.

"They tried in dozens of different ways--and always with a pious speech--to do a job for the big employers in the National Association of Manufacturers. That job is essentially to take money out of your pocket and put it into the pockets of the NAM.

"Common pickpockets are frowned upon in decent society. That's why it take something fancy, and even downright unreadable, like the Taft-Hartley law to make thievery appear respectable."

"But labor's house is built of bricks and won't blow in so easily. We have ways of fighting back."

This pamphlet, issued by the California CIO Council in August, 1948, one year after the enactment of Taft-Hartley, concludes with:

"We've learned that filing for the board's 'services' didn't pay. filing unions have been enjoined, sued, decertified, raided and red-baited....their picket lines have been cut down; their strikes smashed; their jurisdictions split up.

"We've learned that this Act encourages police violence, labor spies and provocation--union smashing, strike busting, and injunctions. The government has lined up with the employers.

"The Act has encouraged vicious raiding in the labor movement. It has practically stopped organizations of the unorganized....

"We've learned that employers must bargain with non-filing unions, that non-filing unions can defend themselves successfully against raids....

"We've learned that the only way to defend ourselves against the offensive of the employers is to fight....

"We've learned to recognize the non-communist affidavits as an attempt to red-bait the entire labor movement, to split and weaken the labor movement....

"We've learned a lot. First and foremost we've learned to recognize this Taft-Hartley plot for what it is--the first step toward fascism in the United States--and we've learned how to beat it."

Cartoon by Evelyn Atwood

Cover art uncredited

Pioneer Publishers, the publishing arm of the Socialist Workers Party, printed this pamphlet in July 1947. In the section entitled, "Why They Got Away with It," the pamphlet states:

"In the face of the workers' determination to resist Wall Street's attack, Congress nevertheless steamrollered through the savage Taft-Hartley Act....

"Truman's conduct on anti-labor legislation affords a striking example of how a Wall Street political chieftain operates. He took the lead in the labor-hating drive of 1946. He threatened the miners and seamen with military force. He smashed the railroad strike. He called a special joint session of Congress to demand shot-gun passage of a law to draft strikers and force them back on the job at the point of a bayonet....

"The Republicans and Democrats in Congress took their cue from Truman. As they vied with each other in cooking up the harshest anti-labor laws, Truman--looking ahead to the 1948 elections--changed his tactics....He became silent, uttering no protest as the Taft-Hartley Act was slicked through Congress.

"Then, at the last hour, Truman made his grandstand play for labor support by a belated veto....As for the Democrats in Congress...they gave a decisive majority to the Slave Labor Law--voting 106 to 71 in the House and 20 to 22 in the Senate."

The West Coast newspaper of the Communist Party (U.S.A.), Daily People's World, published this pamphlet in 1948. It ends with:

"The AFL has called for the defeat of the big business stooges who voted for the law. The AFL's preliminary analysis advises unions to continue political action.

"That, too, is an effective answer. The law will stay on the books--and employers will use it--until political action by labor and its allies gets rid of it.

"But political action of the old type is not enough. The majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress voted for the law, even as they support the Truman Doctrine, which is the Taft-Hartley law on an international scale.

"Labor must join with other progressive groups to build a third party, a people's party, a party controlled by working people, not by Wall Street.

"Those are the keys to defeat of the Taft-Hartley law--labor unity and a people's party. The Democrats and Republicans who put the handcuffs on are not eager to take them off. But a people's party, with AFL, CIO and Railroad Brotherhoods as its core, can smash the handcuffs and toss them on the junk heap."

Cover art by "Gilbert"

Illustration by Harold Price

The California State Council of Retail Clerks published this pamphlet in 1948. It begins:

"Let's get one fact straight from the start:

"The Taft-Hartley is aimed at you.

"It's aimed at your wages, at your hours and working conditions, at your job security. Its target is your pocketbook--your standard of living.

"It strikes at you through your union--by crippling your right to organize and maintain a union of your own choosing--limiting your right to strike and picket and boycott--by choking your rights of free speech and free press.

"You used these rights to organize your own union, to fight for a better standard of living. You used them to win higher wages, shorter hours, better conditions on the job. Your union has been your chief weapon.

"Now, the full force of the law has been turned against you--crippling your hard-won rights instead of strengthening them--weakening and, in the long run, destroying your union."

The National Maritime Union of America - Pilot, Education and Publicity Department published this pamphlet in December 1947. The forward states:

"You won't find it in your daily newspaper, but the war against fascism isn't over. Yes, military fascism has been destroyed. But an American brand of fascism has gained a foothold here--thanks to the 80th Congress.

"The seamen braved tin fish, mines and dive-bombers during the war. Today the tin fish--labeled the Taft-Hartley Law--are aimed at crippling and destroying not only our Union but all trade unions."

"The Taft-Hartley Slave Law smashes our hiring hall.

"It is a weapon of attack in the hands of the shipowners. The Wagner Act, which protected workers in their right to organize without employer interference, is gone. Maritime unions will not live under this law."

"...This pamphlet shows why we take this stand and what the seamen and the public can do to defeat this fascist assault on our democratic rights as American citizens and trade unionists."

Illustrations by Jules Brazelton, "Braz"

This pamphlet was published by the New York State Council of the International Association of Machinists in 1948. The author was the president of Local Lodge 402 and the New York State Council of Machinists. The pamphlet concludes with the list,
"These Congressmen and Senators Aided the Plotters; They Voted For the Taft-Hartley Law"

Boykin (D), Grant (D), Andrews (D), Hobbs (D), Rains (D), Jarman (D), Manasco (D), Jones (D), Battle (D)

*Fulbright (D), *McClellan (D), Gathings (D), Mills (D), Trimble (D), Cravens (D), Hays (D), Norrell (D), Harris (D)

*Knowland (R), Lea (D), Engle (D), Johnson (R), Allen, Jr. (R), Anderson (R), Gearhart (R), Elliott (D), Bramblett (R), Nixon (R), Poulson (R), McDonough (R), Jackson (R), King (D), Bradley (R), Hinshaw (R), Phillips (R), Fletcher (R)

*Millikin (R), Hill (R), Chenoweth (R), Rockwell (R)

*Baldwin (R), Miller (R), Seely-Brown (R), Foote (R), Lodge (R), Patterson (R), Sadlak (R)

*Buck (R), *Williams (R), Boggs (R)

*Holland (D), Peterson (D), Price (D), Sikes (D), Smathers (D), Hendricks (D), Rogers (D)

*George (D), *Russell (D), Preston (D), Cox (D), Pace (D), Camp (D), Davis (D), Vinson (D), Wheeler (D), Wood (D), Brown (D)

*Dworshak (R), Goff (R), Sanborn (R)

*Brooks (R), Vail (R), Busbey (R), Owens (R), Twyman (R), Church (R), Reed (R), Mason (R), Allen (R), Johnson (R), Chipenfield (R), Dirksen (R), Arends (R), Jenison (R), McMillen (R), Simpson (R), Howell (R), Vursell (R), Clippinger (R), Stratton (R)

*Capehart (R), *Jenner (R), Halleck (R), Grant (R), Gillie (R), Harness (R), Johnson (R), Landis (R), Mitchell (R), Wilson (R), Springer (R)

*Hickenlooper (R), *Wilson (R), Martin (R), Talle (R), Gwynne (R), LeCompte (R), Cunningham (R), Jensen (R), Hoeven (R)

*Capper (R), *Reed (R), Cole (R), Scrivner (R), Meyer (R), Rees (R), Hope (R), Smith (R)

*Cooper (R), Gregory (D), Morton (R), Chelf (D), Chapman (D), Meade (R), Robsion (R)

*Ellender (D), *Overton (D), Hebert (D), Boggs (D), Domengeaux (D), Brooks (D), Passman (D), Larcade, Jr. (D), Allen (D)

*Brewster (R), *White, Jr. (R), Hale (R), Smith (R), Fellows (R)

*O'Conor (D), *Tydings (D), Miller (R), Meade (D), Fallon (D), Sasscer (D), Beall (R)

*Lodge, Jr. (R), *Saltonstall (R), Hesselton (R), Clason (R), Rogers (R), Bates (R), Lane (D), Goodwin (R), Herter (R), Wigglesworth (R)

*Ferguson (R), *Vandenberg (R), Michener (R), Shafer (R), Hoffman (R), Jonkman (R), Blackney (R), Wolcott (R), Crawford (R), Engel (R), Woodruff (R), Coffin (R), Youngblood (R), Dondero (R)

*Ball (R), *Thye (R), Andresen (R), O'Hara (R), MacKinnon (R), Devitt (R), Judd (R), Knutson (R), Andersen (R), Hagen (R)

*Eastland (D), Rankin (D), Whitten (D), Whittington (D), Abernethy (D), Colmer (D), Williams (D)

*Donnell (R), *Kem (R), Arnold (R), Schwabe (R), Cole (R), Bell (D), Reeves, Jr. (R), Bennett (R), Short (R), Banta (R), Zimmerman (D), Blackwell (R), Ploeser (R)


*Ecton (R), D'Ewart (R)

*Butler (R), *Wherry (R), Curtis (R), Buffett (R), Stefan (R), Miller (R)

Russell (R)

New Hampshire
*Bridges (R), *Tobey (R), Merrow (R), Cotton (R)

New Jersey
*Hawkes (R), *Smith (R), Wolverton (R), Hand (R), Auchincloss (R), Matthews, Jr. (R), Eaton (R), Case (R), Thomas (R), Canfield (R), Towe (R), Hartley, Jr. (R), Sundstrom (R), Kean (R)

New Mexico
*Hatch (D), Fernandez (D)

New York
*Ives (R), Macy (R), Hall (R), Latham (R), McMahon (R), Ross (R), Nodar, Jr. (R), Buck (R), Coudert, Jr. (R), Potts (R), Gwinn (R), Gamble (R), St. George (R), LeFevre (R), Kearney (R), Taylor (R), Kilburn (R), Riehlman (R), Hall (R), Taber (R), Cole (R), Keating (R), Wadsworth (R), Andrews (R), Elsaesser (R), Reed (R)

North Carolina
*Umstead (D), *Hoey (D), Bonner (D), Kerr (D), Barden (D), Cooley (D), Durham (D), Clark (D), Deane (D), Doughton (D), Jones (D), Bulwinkle (D), Redden (D)

North Dakota
*Young (R), Robertson (R)

*Bricker (R), *Taft (R), Elston (R), Hess (R), Burke (R), Jones (R), Clevenger (R), McCowen (R), Brown (R), Ramey (R), Jenkins (R), Brehm (R), Vorys (R), Weichel (R), Griffiths (R), Carson (R), McGregor (R), Lewis (R), Bolton (R), Bender (R)

*Moore (R), *Schwabe (R), Stigler (D), Albert (D), Monroney (D), Peden (D), Rizley (R)

*Cordon (R), Norblad (R), Stockman (R), Ellsworth (R)

*Martin (R), Gallagher (R), McGarvey (R), Scott (R), Maloney (R), Sarbacher, Jr. (R), Scott, Jr. (R), Chadwick (R), Dague (R), Scoblick (R), Jenkins (R), Fentor (R), Muhlenberg (R), Gillette (R), Rich (R), McConnell, Jr. (R), Simpson (R), Kunkel (R), Gavin (R), Gross (R), Crow (R), Graham (R), Tibbott (R), Kearns (R), McDowell (R), Corbett (R), Fulton (R)

South Carolina
*Maybank (D), Rivers (D), Riley (D), Dorn (D), Bryson (D), Richards (D)

South Dakota
*Bushfield (R), *Gurney (R), Mundt (R), Case (R)

*McKellar (D), *Stewart (D), Jennings, Jr. (R), Gore (D), Evins (D), Priest (D), Courtney (D), Murray (D), Cooper (D), Davis (D)

*Connally (D), *O'Daniel (D), Beckworth (D), Wilson (D), Teague (D), Pickett (D), Johnson (D), Poage (D), Lucas (D), Gossett (D), Lyle (D), West (D), Burleson (D), Worley (D), Mahon (D), Kilday (D), Fisher (D)

*Watkins (R), Dawson (R)

*Aiken (R), *Flanders (R), Plumley (R),

*Byrd (D), *Robertson (D), Bland (D), Hardy, Jr. (D), Gary (D), Drewry (D), Stanley (D), Almond, Jr. (D), Harrison (D), Smith (D)

*Cain (R), Holmes (R), Horan (R)

West Virginia
*Revercomb (R), Love (R), Snyder (R), Rohrbough (R), Ellis (R)

*McCarthy (R), *Wiley (R), Smith (R), Davis (R), Stevenson (R), Kersten (R), Keefe (R), Murray (R), Byrnes (R), O'Konski (R)

*Robertson (R), Barrett (R)

* Senators

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rev. 03/11/09