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Older photo of men holding signs on strike.
Labor Unions
  1. U.S. Labor Unions in the 1940s
  2. U.S. Unions in the Cold War
  3. Public worker unions in the United States
  4. Decline in Strike Activity in the US
  5. Union Membership Across the United States
  6. Right-to-Work Laws
  7. Types of Unions in the United States
  8. The AFL-CIO
  9. Labor Contracts in the United States
  10. Strikes in the United States
  11. What Happens During a Strike
  12. Long Strikes and Violence
  13. The 1964 Civil Rights Act
  14. Union Campaign Contributions and Political Influence
  15. Unions and Politics
  16. U.S. Unions in the 90s and Today
  17. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: George Meany
  18. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: John L. Lewis
  19. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Walter Reuther
  20. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: A. Philip Randolph
  21. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Jimmy Hoffa
  22. Important U.S. Labor Leaders: Caesar Chavez
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Hundreds of striking shipyard workers at a rally.
120,000 shipyard workers strike in 1947.
Photo from Labor Press Associates.
U.S. Labor Unions in the 1940s
The United States has the longest organized labor movement in the world. Labor unions have been in existence since the late 1800s. The main goals of labor unions in the U. S. have always been to improve wages, working conditions, and benefits for American workers. Following the end of World War II a huge wave of strikes swept across the United States. During wartime, unions had promised not to strike to keep defense production running smoothly. But soon after the war ended, unions across the nation began demanding new contracts. As a result, 1946 saw a record number of strikes. Congress worried that labor unions were becoming too powerful and in 1947 it passed the Taft-Hartley Act. This controversial legislation greatly reduced the power of labor unions and the number of strikes in the 1950s dropped considerably. Click on PICTURES below see an additional photo of a 1950 strike in Dayton, Ohio, where the Ohio National Guard was used to break up a labor demonstration.
Special Terms: strike  |  Congress  |  contract  |  Taft-Hartley Act

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