By Jon R. Huibregtse

ISBN-10: 0813034655

ISBN-13: 9780813034652

American historians are likely to think that exertions activism used to be moribund within the years among the 1st global struggle and the hot Deal. Jon Huibregtse demanding situations this attitude in his exam of the railroad unions of the time, arguing that not just have been they energetic, yet that they made a gigantic distinction in American hard work practices through assisting to set criminal precedents. Huibregtse explains how efforts via the Plumb Plan League and the Railroad exertions government organization created the Railroad hard work Act, its amendments, and the Railroad Retirements Act. those legislation grew to become types for the nationwide hard work relatives Act and the Social safeguard Act. regrettably, the numerous contributions of the railroad legislation are, ordinarily, ignored whilst the NLRA or Social protection are mentioned. supplying a brand new point of view on exertions unions within the Twenties, Huibregtse describes how the railroad unions created a version for union activism that employees' firms for the following twenty years.

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Extra info for American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919-1935

Example text

As European demand for American food and mate- 24 Chapter 3 rial increased, ton-mileage for freight traffic rose 43 percent during 1914 and 1915. Efficient operation was increasingly difficult. In 1917, the carriers appealed to the ICC for a freight-rate hike of 15 percent, but were granted only a token increase. 11 President Wilson acted quickly using power granted to him by the Federal Possession and Control Act; he placed the roads under federal control on December 28. Specific details were articulated in the Railroad Control Act, which Congress passed in March 1918.

14 Passengers were also at risk. In the 1880s Massachusetts averaged 208 deaths annually, and the accident rate was worse in other states. 15 Advanced technology such as air brakes, automatic couplers, and improved communications could not remove all hazards, but safety standards had generally improved by the twentieth century. Braking was one of the most dangerous jobs. 16 When the engineer blew the whistle calling for brakes down, brakemen were to scramble up ladders and over roofs to their assigned cars to set the brakes.

While they had engaged in lobbying, they had generally remained outside the fray of partisan politics. 1 The brotherhoods had broken with tradition in 1916 by endorsing President Wilson. While significant, it was not a harbinger of systemic change. The Democrats counted on labor support in 1918, but the unions, aside from urging members to vote, did little. Railroaders changed their political policy because their wartime gains were in jeopardy. Their goal was to elect enough pro-labor legislators to amend Title III of the Transportation Act, which created the RLB.

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American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919-1935 by Jon R. Huibregtse


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