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1931. Bacon-Davis Act (46 Stat. 1494). Provision for minimum wage
on public projects. 1932. Norris-La Guardia Act (47 Stat. 70, ch. 90).
Forbade the use of injunctions in labor disputes and repudiated "yellow-dog” contracts as a basis for legal or equitable relief. 1933. National Industrial Recovery Act (48 Stat. 198 $ 7a).
An attempt to develop, in peacetime, a national policy favorable to trade unions. 1933. Emergency Railroad Transportation Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 211).
Creation of office of Federal Coordinator of Transportation. As the result of a questionnaire sent out by the Coordinator in September 1933 to all railroads not dealing with the standard unions, he concluded that although most roads were complying with the law to some extent, various roads were sponsoring company unions and otherwise interfering with the freedom of choice of their employees as to representatives. See Twentieth Century
Fund, Inc., “Labor and the Government,” 187–189 (1935). 1934. Railway Labor Act Amendments of 1934 (48 Stat. 1185).
By clarifying the right to organize and bargain collectively, the principle of "majority rule” with respect to representation was expressly adopted. 1934. The First National Labor Relations Board was established
pursuant to a joint resolution of Congress (Pub. Res. No. 44, 73d Cong.; 48 Stat. 1183), to effectuate the policies of the Na
tional Industrial Recovery Act. 1934. Railroad Retirement Act of 1934. (48 Stat. 1283).
Established a compulsory retirement and pension system for all interstate carriers by railroad. 1935. Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Railroad Co., 295 U.S. 330.
The Railroad Retirement Act of 1934 is declared unconstitutional because it violates the due process clause of the fifth amendment and because it is not in purpose or effect a regulation of interstate commerce within the meaning of article 1 $ 8 of the U.S. Constitution (pp. 347, 362). 1935. Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 967).
This act was a substitute for the 1934 act and avoided the legal pitfalls of the prior act. 1935. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. U.S., 295 U.S. 495.
National Industrial Recovery Act invalidated by United States Supreme Court, and National Labor Relations Board ceases to function. 1935. (Original) National Labor Relations Act enacted (49 Stat. 449).
This act declared it to be “the policy of the United States” to encourage the practice of collective bargaining and full freedom of worker self-organization. The statute placed the full power and influence of the national government behind trade unionism. For details, see Labor Law, Cases and materials, by Russell A. Smith, 2d ed., p. 23.
1935. Social Security Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 620).
This statute and its amendments are the foundation for a comprehensive system of old-age and survivors' insurance benefits, and unemployment compensation financed by means of payroll taxes on employers and employees. 1936. The provisions of the Railway Labor Act of 1933 are extended
to cover interstate air carriers (49 Stat. 1189). 1936. Walsh-Healey Act enacted (49 Stat. 2036.
Wage, hour, and child labor standards required in public contracts. 1937. Virginia Railway Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U.S. 515.
United States Supreme Court upholds the validity of provisions of Railway Labor Act outlawing employer domination of unions. 1937. National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel
Corp., 301 U.S. 1. The United States Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act. 1937. New York enacts a "little Wagner" act, modeled on the original
National Labor Relations Act (Laws of N.Y., 1937, ch. 443), and Massachusetts enacts its original labor act providing for
union restrictions (Acts of Mass., 1937, ch. 436). 1938. Fair Labor Standards Act (52 Stat. 1060).
Prescribes minimum wages and overtime rates and prohibits child labor, with respect to employees engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce. 1941. United States v. Hutchinson, 312 U.S. 219.
This decision substantially freed unions of the restraints of the Sherman Act and crystalized the sentiment which resulted in agitation for legislative "reforms." 1946. Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, “Portal-to
Portal" decision. United States Supreme Court concludes that time spent by an employee in walking on an employer's premises to a work station and time spent in certain preliminary and incidental activities must be included in the compensable workweek. 1947. "Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 84) enacted as an
amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The act counteracted the effects of the Supreme Court decision in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680 (1946), by withdrawing from Federal courts the jurisdiction to entertain lawsuits covering claims based on time spent by an employee in walking on an employer's premises to a work station and on time spent by an
employee in certain preliminary and incidental activities. 1947. The Labor-Management Relations Act (61 Stat. 136).
Restrictions concerning unfair labor practices are now placed upon unions as well as upon employers. 1949. Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 910).
The coverage of the act is broadened, and the minimum 40-cent hourly rate is increased to 75 cents.
1951. The Railway Labor Act is amended to authorize the union shop
and the checkoff under certain conditions (64 Stat. 1238). 1955. Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1955 (69 Stat. 711, ch.
867). The minimum hourly rate of 75 cents is increased to $1. 1959. Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959,
Landrum-Griffin Act (Public Law 86-257). Federal control over union activities is tightened. Act contains a "Bill of Rights” for union members in regard to their unions. Persons with certain criminal and Communist records are prohibited from holding union office. Unions and union officials are required to file financial reports. Act requires the bonding of union officers and bans excessive loans by the unions to their officers, prohibits extortionate picketing, and tightens restrictions on secondary boycotts.
A HISTORY OF PROPOSALS WHICH HAVE RECEIVED
UNITED STATES (1789–1960)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PREPARED IN THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
By HELEN A. MILLER
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education and Labor