With organized labor's growth in numerical strength and ascendancy in economic power came increased participation and effectiveness in political action. Efforts to advance the welfare of its members have been coordinated with vast political programs designed to effect broad national policy. For successful implementation of labor's economic programs depends on the fashioning of a legal climate favorable to the collective bargaining process.
However, while there has been development of striking proportions over the past century in this area, certain factors have presented and continue to present serious difficulties in effectuating planned political action. Primary among these are socio-economic factors — for example, lack of political solidarity among union members, their political apathy, and their ignorance stemming largely from inadequate union education programs. Also, there are factors relative to the American electoral system which have served to impede political action. A third obstacle has been recently introduced: the sweeping ban imposed by section 304 of the Taft-Hartley Act on contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections. In addition to questions as to scope and constitutionality, this provision has presented broader questions of policy which should be reanalyzed. What effect has it had on labor political action? Should unions be limited in their political role?
I. Unions in Politics …
II. Section 304 …
III. Section 304 Reexamined … l. The Issue of Constitutionality … 2. Repeal or Amendment …
IV. Labor and the Nation …
Don M. Chang,
Labor Political Action and the Taft-Hartley Act,
33 Neb. L. Rev. 554
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol33/iss4/5