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Lecture 11

Labour Studies - Lecture 11 Notes.docx

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Department
Labour Studies
Course Code
LABRST 1A03
Professor
David Goutor

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Hayley Dawson March 26 , 2013 Rise of the C.I.O. (Part One) Breakthrough in US  Biggest breakthrough in American labour movement was during the depression  Surprising trend: union surge in depression era  Wild gulf between Canada and US o Canada is not always more progressive than the US o Been times when the US has been more progressive than Canada o 1930s is a time like that o Working class mobilization, popular mobilization  FDR o President starting in 1933 when depression is at its worst o Launches the New Deal Bottom-up Activism  Average workers were bottom-up activists  Were just fed up with bad conditions  Workers decided they had enough of bad conditions and wanted better  Want say in how work is run  Tired of level of control and power that employers have over them  Living in constant insecurity  1932-33: people were less willing to trust business people to know what they were doing, less willing to listen to what economists were saying Labour Leadership  Generation of labour leaders who come through in the 1930s  Were extremely effective leaders and organizers  Had a sense that this was the moment, wanted to seize the moment  In order of prominence at the time (third to first) Sidney Hillman  Third most prominant  ILGWU  Garment workers union  Lead the union to more organizing in the garment industry and spread to other industries as well Walter Reuther  Second most important  Main figure in Autoworkers Union  Lead the wave of organizing industries that had not been organized before John L. Lewis Hayley Dawson March 26 , 2013  Most important figure  President of the United Mine Workers (UMWA  Was biggest union already organized on industrial lines  Lewis becomes extremely prominent figure leading and organizing new industrial unions  Famous for being tough  Impossible to be intimidated by employers  Main figure of new industrial unions New Deal  Shift in policy  New Deal is a program launched by the administration of Eleanor Roosevelt  Goal of the New Deal is twofold 1. To keep stability so people do not become too attractive to radical action 2. Economically to deal with the depression Keynesian Economics  John Maynard Keynes: o Economist with a particular approach to economics that is embraced in the US to deal with depression  For the government to become more proactive to deal with the economy  Need to spend money to boost the economy  Problem is there is not enough money in the average person’s pocket  Government had to do things to make sure there was enough money in average person’s pockets to keep economy from depression  Have to allow for mass-consumption  Cannot have mass production without mass consumption N.D. Liberalism = Active Government  ‘Saving Capitalism from Capitalists’ o Liberalism will lead to a collapse of the economy o Industrial economy requires government support o Governments have to provide this support o Not an anti-capitalist position o Have to save capitalism from itself o Need to get government active to maintain capitalist system o Capitalists might not like it but it is necessary o Must regulate what banks do, what business does  Stimulus o Injecting money into the economy to keep it alive o Doing things that put money into the pockets of average people o Ex. Social Security (pension fund) so money is there in the long-run o Making sure there will be a certain amount of money there o If people do not feel secure they do not consume Hayley Dawson March 26 , 2013 o Works Progress Administration: major construction projects that put people to work and built up the economic structure o Government needed to instill a sense of confident so people would be more confident about spending  Reviving Democracy o Concerns about democracy become increasingly urgent in 1930s o Average people have less power than every before o Sense that democracy might not work at all o Turning to more radical movements o New Deal wanted to show that a democratic government could actually do enough for people o Was not just going to sit back o Cannot just sit back while people starve o Give people more of a sense of power (including at work) Rise of the C.I.O. (Part Two) Union Role in the N.D. Collective Bargaining  If unions got established and through collective bargaining got a raise in wages, this would put more money in the average person’s pocket  Union collective bargaining was positive  A way to force businesses to give average consumers more money  Unions are good in this way  Boosting spending power of average people would be a benefit Industrial Democracy  People wanted a say in their lives  Growing sense of powerlessness and had no say to influence events  Meaningful democracy had to mean having a say in things  Industrial democracy means got a say on the job  Had an organization that speaks for you in the workplace  That sticks up for you when going against the employer on a day-to-day basis  To vote for things you wanted to happen  Did not want workers to feel like they had no power and turn to more radical actions Wagner Act  Passed in 1935  American law establishing a new industrial relations system  Allow for collective bargaining  Vote for bargaining demands, strike votes, voting on major events, voting on whether you organized, voting on who represented you Hayley Dawson March 26 , 2013  All of those things designed to make you feel like you have an organization representing you  Do not feel completely powerless in your job/in the economy Fordism?  The thinking of Henry Ford  Ford was the biggest person who saw his workers as consumers  Paid workers $5 a day (more than what everyone else was paying)  Wanted own workers to make enough to be able to buy products  One of first people to see workers as workers and consumers  But Ford hated unions and thought companies should be able to do whatever they wanted  Ford had no interest in industrial democracy  Get paid well but do what he tells you  Somewhat Fordism and somewhat not Socialism?  The New Deal was the opposite of socialism  Wanted to save capitalism  To pull people away from the ide of revolution  Make people feel like the existing system still had a lot to offer  If America was going to have democracy, workplace should have democracy  Middle of 1930s: o Unions in united states claimed that they are the embodiment of American businesses o Unions said they were representing best ideas of Americans o Different kind of patriotism Roadblocks  1933-34: industrial unions start to organize  Steel, rubber, electrical, chemicals, auto  Creation of unions was not simple  Faced two roadblocks Craft Union Resi
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