Truman’s First Term -- domestic policy
A. Taft-Hartley Act -- June 1947 (passed by Congress over Truman’s veto)
1. Conservative response to powerful labor unions (Republicans gained Congress in 1946)
a. In 1946, over 4 million workers went on strike demanding higher wages.
b. Shutdowns in the auto, steel, electric, railroad, and maritime industries ensued.
c. Much striking activity orchestrated by John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, who demanded higher pay, safer work conditions, and a small tax on coal to fund worker pensions.
2. Major provisions of Taft-Hartley Act
a. Most important: 80 day cooling-off period for strikers in key industries b. Outlawed the "closed-shop" (process of hiring only union members) -- "union shop" allowed (obligated new workers to become union members)
c. Unions still flourished; AFL had 8 million in 1950; CIO 6 million
3. By 1954, 15 states passed