English | 2010 | ISBN: 0813034655, 0813041694 | 190 pages | PDF | 2,3 MB
"Gauges & measures how railroad labor unions emerged from the World War I experience stronger & more vitally interested in improving their members' lives. Captures how well the railroad unions embarked on a path of reforming retirement systems & social security."--Colin J. Davis, University of Alabama, Birmingham "Makes an interesting argument that the leadership of the railroad unions, primarily the operating crafts, were leaders in the development of labor law & social policy that predates the founding of the CIO."--Mark A. Crouch, labor educator American historians tend to believe that labor activism was moribund in the years between the First World War & the New Deal. Jon Huibregtse challenges this perspective in his examination of the railroad unions of the time, arguing that not only were they active, but that they made a big difference in American Labor practices by helping to set legal precedents. Huibregtse explains how efforts by the Plumb Plan League & the Railroad Labor Executive Association created the Railroad Labor Act, its amendments, & the Railroad Retirement Act. These laws became models for the National Labor Relations Act & the Social Security Act. Unfortunately, the significant contributions of the railroad laws are, more often than not, overlooked when the NLRA or Social Security are discussed. Offering a new perspective on labor unions in the 1920s, Huibregtse describes how the railroad unions created a model for union activism that workers' organizations followed for the next two decades. Jon R. Huibregtse is professor & chair of the history department at Framingham State University.