Jon R. Huibregtse's American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, PDF

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 international battle and the hot Deal. Jon Huibregtse demanding situations this angle 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 by way of assisting to set criminal precedents. Huibregtse explains how efforts through the Plumb Plan League and the Railroad hard work government organization created the Railroad exertions Act, its amendments, and the Railroad Retirements Act. those legislation turned types for the nationwide hard work kin Act and the Social defense Act. regrettably, the numerous contributions of the railroad legislation are, in general, missed whilst the NLRA or Social defense are mentioned. providing a brand new standpoint on hard work unions within the Twenties, Huibregtse describes how the railroad unions created a version for union activism that staff' organisations for the following twenty years.

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Example text

He also faced rain, high winds, and darkness. Brakemen had to remain vigilant to avoid the most dangerous hazards: overhead obstructions that often knocked them from cars, breaking their limbs and worse. Another dangerous job was coupling cars. While the task could be deadly, the men who performed it were more likely to suffer severed fingers when they handled coupling devices that did not line up perfectly. Using the older link-and-pin system, switchmen often had to jimmy one side or the other so that it lined up properly with the other side.

Cooperation in the Plumb Plan League, creation of Labor, and the call to political arms in the 1920 elections were new to the operating brotherhoods. In June 1920 the BLEJ told its readers that labor had for too long kept in the background “ . . 43 However, railroad labor wanted a voice in the industry and was applying the lessons of industrial democracy. For them, the war was in some respects just beginning as the election of 1920 drew nearer. •4• Grassroots Political Organization T he election of 1920 was a reversal of traditional political strategy for railroad unions.

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. The brakeman on top of a car was in an extremely vulnerable position. In winter, ice and snow posed severe hazards. He also faced rain, high winds, and darkness. Brakemen had to remain vigilant to avoid the most dangerous hazards: overhead obstructions that often knocked them from cars, breaking their limbs and worse.

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


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