VIII. Employment, Labor & Wages

A. The Labor Movement

1. Unions and the Labor Force

a. Significant role in United States history

b. Responsible for minimum wage legislation

c. Responsible for working conditions

d. Substantial presence in American industry

2. Early Union Development

a. Primarily skilled labor

1. Strong bargaining power

b. Up to 1820, most of the American workforce was farm based

1. As immigration increased, working conditions decreased

2. Workers were exploited for means of "necessity"

3. Unions were seen as troublemakers

3. Civil War to the 1930's

a. Types of Unions

1. Craft/Trade Union- An association of skilled workers who perform the same kind of work (ex: Cigar Makers Union)

a. Protect the skilled labor force

2. Industrial Union- An association of all workers in a given industry, regardless of the job each person performs (ex: Coal Miners Union)

a. Protect the unskilled labor force

b. Union Activities- Faced with little job security and constant turnover, Unions would try to aid the worker

1. Improve working conditions

2. Negotiate for higher pay

3. Strike- Refusal to work until an agreement was made

4. Picket- Public display of activities

5. Boycott- Mass refusal to purchase products from particular employers

c. Employer Resistance

1. Lockout- Refusal to let employees work until management demands were met

2. Scab laborers

3. Company Unions- Unions organized, supported, or run by employers to head off efforts by others to organize workers

d. Attitude of the Courts

1. Initially against Unions

a. Conspiracies against business (English Common Law)

4. Labor During the Great Depression

a. Unemployment and Wages

1. Common problems forces laborers to stand together and fight for a living wage (minimum wage)

b. Pro Union Legislation

1. Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932- Prevented federal courts from issuing rulings against unions that were engaged in peaceful strikes, picketing, or boycotts. Companies therefore had to negotiate with the union.

2. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) or Wagner Act of 1935- Gave workers the right to join unions and to bargain collectively through their own chosen representatives.

a. Responsible for taking complaints

b. Power to oversee union elections

3. Fair Labor Standards Act

a. Sets a minimum wage

b. Establishes a 40 hour work week as the maximum amount of hours

c. Child labor laws defined

5. Labor Since World War II

a. Anti Union Legislation

1. Taft-Hartley Act (1947)- Act that put limits as to what unions could do in labor-management disputes

a. Employers were given the right to sue the unions for breaking contracts

b. Prohibits unions from making membership a condition of employment

c. 60-day notice before strikes

d. Federal government could use "cooling off " period of 80 days to prevent strikes

b. AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Committee for Industrial Organization)

1. Largest union

c. Independent Unions

B Resolving Union and Management Differences

1. Kinds of Union Arrangements

a. Closed Shops- An arrangement in which the employer agrees to hire only union members

b. Union Shops- Whereas workers do not have to be a member of the union to be hired, but upon hiring they must become a member of the union

c. Modified Union Shops- Workers do not have to belong to a union to be hired and cannot be made to join one to keep their job

d. Agency Shops- Under this kind of union arrangement, workers need not be union members to be hired or to keep their jobs; they must pay dues to the union, however to help pay the costs of collective bargaining

2. Collective Bargaining- When both sides come together

a. Mediation- Process of bringing in a third party to settle disputes

b. Arbitration- A final decision is made by an independent third party

c. Fact-Finding- Third party investigation

d. Injunction (court order not to act) and Seizure (temporary takeover of operations)

e. Presidential Intervention

C. Labor and Wages

1. Categories of Labor

a. Unskilled labor- No skills

b. Semi-skilled labor- Mechanical skills

c. Skilled labor- Operation of complex tasks and machinery with no supervision

d. Professional labor- High level skills and training

2. Non-competing Labor Grades

a. Cost of Education and Training

1. Barrier

b. Lack of Opportunity

1. Education limitations

c. Lack of Initiative

1. Unwillingness to perform the extra effort

3. Wage Determination

a. Traditional Theory of Wages- The more skills, the higher the wage

1. Exceptions- Ethnic, cultural, political and family influence

b. Theory of Negotiated Wages

1. Labor Unions

2. Seniority

4. Regional Wage Differences

a. Labor Mobility (Relocation)

b. Cost of Living

1. What is the cost of living in Hawaii vs. Orange County?

2. Trade-offs

c. Location

1. City vs. Suburbs

D. Employment Trends and Issues

1. Decline of Union Influence

a. Reasons for Decline

1. Employers have "banned" unions

2. Employers have made workers a part of the process

3. New additions to the labor force (teens and women) have steadily accepted lower wages regardless of union efforts

4. Victim of their own success

b. Renegotiating Union Wages

1. Giveback policies

2. Two tier wage system

2. Lower Pay for Women

a. Gender and Occupation

b. Discrimination

1. Glass ceiling

c. Comparable Worth- Equal pay for equal worth

d. Set-Aside Contracts

3. The Minimum Wage

a. Debate Over the Minimum Wage

b. Measured in Current Dollars (in conjunction with the standard of living)

c. Adjusted for Inflation (real dollars)

d. Compared to Manufacturing Wages