How Many Democrats Voted for Taft-Hartley?
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN Fifty-seven years ago, on June 23, 1947, over-riding President Harry Truman’s veto, Congress voted for the Taft-Hartley Act. It was a savage counter-attack on Labor’s great legislative achievement of the Roosevelt years, the Wagner Act. As Taft-Hartley came before Congress Truman denounced it as a “slave-labor bill”. Taft-Hartley still said strikes were legal, up to a point. It just made it far harder to win them. It declared the closed shop illegal and permitted the union shop only after a vote of a majority of the employees. It forbade jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts. Other aspects of the legislation included the right of employers to be exempted from bargaining with unions unless they wished to. The act forbade unions from contributing to political campaigns and required union leaders to affirm they were not supporters of the Communist Party. This section of the act was upheld by the Supreme Court on 8th May, 1950. The Taft-Hartley Act also gave t