Lecture 18- Rise of the C.I.O Part 1
November 12, 2013
Breakthrough in U.S.
- Most of the time people assume that labour activism happens during good years, and
often that is the case, however, not always
- In times of depression workers feel like they have nothing to lose and get more politically
- Surprising trend: union surge in Depression Era
- Wide Gulf between Canada and U.S.
- F.D.R.- Franklin Rosedale
- A lot of people of the ground level simply decide they want a better deal
- Female strikes
- A lot of workers do not want to wait, and want a better deal right away
- Particularly effective leaders
- Sidney Hillman – head of garment workers in the U.S.
- Walter Reuther – eventually became president of the Auto Workers
- John L. Lewis – in the 30’s Lewis is the main man, he was head of the minors union.
- Political changes that have a transformative effect
- These changes will lay a foundation that will last for the rest of the 20 century
- The New Deal is trying to cope with the depression and get the economy back on its feet
- John Maynard Keynes was a fundamentally transformative figure. He looked at what
caused the depression and for him, the cause goes back to under consumption and over
- He was the creator of Keynesian Economics – “You cannot have mass production
without mass consumption”.
- N.D. Liberalism = Active Government
• The government has to ‘Save Capitalism from Capitalists’. Capitalists may not like
this and agree with it and they won’t like governments telling them what to do. Initiate
programs that push people to buy. Consumer confident- whether you are confident
about spending and if you think the economy will stay good. Social Security- system
to support those who need it and help them feel secure • Stimulus – putting government money toward building things that creates jobs and
build up the capacity of the economy. The Works Progress Administration launches
all kinds of projects across the state so people have money in their pockets. When
private/personal money isn’t there, the government helps out people.
• Reviving Democracy – democracies had to prove they could deliver otherwise
people would turn to communism and other things. A sense that the nature of
democracy would have to change and governments would need to get more active.
Union Role in N.D.
- Collective bargaining – becomes established as one of the ways that workers could
make more money. If workers could bargain to get higher wages, more average people
would have money in their pockets.
- Industrial democracy – when a lot of average workers went out on strike, it wasn’t just for
collective bargaining but industrial democracy too. This means that basically the union is
also about having an organization in the workplace that you get to elect and that can
represent you. There has to be more democracy within the workplace. Therefore, you
don’t have workers feeling like they are not free in the workplace.
- Wagner Act – the Wagner model becomes the established model. This establishes
unions as little democracies. All of the functions of a union, there is a kind of democratic
- Is this Fordism?
- Some of it is.
- Fordism is viewing workers as consumers
- Ford wanted to pay his workers enough so they could consume enough including his
- Ford did not believe i