The Federal Government Hindered Rather Than Helped The Development Of Trade Union And Labour Rights

Topics: Trade union, Strike action, Employment Pages: 2 (1038 words) Published: March 5, 2015
‘The Federal government hindered rather than helped the development of trade union and labour rights.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1865 to 1992? I am not deep, but I am very wide-Throughout the period 1865 to 1992, the government was both a help and hindrance to the trade union movement. Roosevelt’s New Deal represented a brief turning point in the Federal government’s attitude towards labour rights, prior to which its laissez-faire approach to the economy had significantly favoured employers by granting them more power to abuse the rights of labourers. The New Deal of 1933 was set out with the intention of fostering better relations between the employers and the workforce, as well as helping establish new minimum wage and working hour agreements. Ultimately, Roosevelt proved to be ineffectual in helping improve the development of labour rights too, in that successive Democratic governments overwhelming reverted back to its anti-union policies, actively siding with employers in order to break up strike action. As a result of the actions of Presidents like Reagan and the Air Controllers strike, the momentum of the movement had all but disappeared, illustrating how Federal action was one of the greatest hindrances over the entire period to labour rights. In the early half of the time periods, the government’s laissez faire approach to the economy was one of the largest obstacles to trade unions in the development of labour rights. In not regulating the business practices of businesses, the government showed their clear bias towards the employers and by extension their opposition to the increasing rights of the unskilled worker. The lack of government intervention enabled companies to amass large fortunes at the expense of the worker, who had to suffer low pay and poor working conditions in order to minimise production cost, to the benefit of a few individuals like Carnegie. Thus, as industrialisation occurred in America in the late...
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