Wilcox’s first book, Waiting for an Army to Die, chronicles the effects of Agent Orange on American veterans. Many became sick or died from diseases that normally do not afflict young men, including rare cancers, while others reported that their children were born with birth defects similar to those seen in the offspring of female laboratory animals exposed to dioxin. The veterans considered themselves to have been guinea pigs in scientific experiments by their own government. They brought a class action lawsuit in 1980 against the government and Monsanto, which was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars.
Despite these apparent victories in the Supreme Court for the corporate community, the decisions did not go far enough to satisfy even the corporate moderates, who decided to join with ultraconservatives in an attempt to bring about changes in labor law through the legislative process. The outcome of this attempt was not what they originally hoped for, but it did set the stage for victory by another route in the 1970s. It is also important to describe this all-out effort so readers can decide for themselves if the reigning academic school of though on corporate power is right when its leaders say that business was not well organized until the early 1970s and did not really start to win on labor issues until the late 1970s or early 1980s. Put more specifically, political scientists David Vogel (1989) and Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson (2010), along with historian Kim Phillips-Fein (2009) seem to be nearly oblivious to the class conflict that went on in the 1960s at the legislative, regulatory, and factory levels, which was rendered all the more volatile and difficult because white pushback against the integration of neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces was at the same time weakening the unions at the ballot box.
Significantly, Teagle and Swope made very little effort to influence the legislation this time around, probably because they knew that they could not have any general impact. (Yes, the Rockefeller industrial relations network basically met defeat on this issue, but let's at least have their earlier efforts as part of the record, not just a bunch of superficial stuff about the power of liberals and labor.) In February 1935, Teagle sent Wagner a copy of a new booklet that Standard Oil of New Jersey had created to sing the praises of its employee representation plan and employee benefits. Wagner replied that the booklet was "quite helpful," adding "the need for social legislation would be much less pressing than it is" if "conditions everywhere were such as described in your booklet" (Wagner 1935b). On a more important note, Swope made a successful effort to amend a section of the bill pertaining to employee representation plans by sending Wagner a letter containing language suggested by Teagle. Creating an employee representation plan would not be prohibited, but dominating or interfering in one would be illegal. In addition, language was once again added to make it possible to pay workers for the time they spent in meetings with management as officers of an employee representation plan (Swope 1935). While this language did not stop the subsequent union onslaught, it did help Rockefeller oil companies and a few others companies, as noted later in this account.
Railroads were returned to private ownership after the war, but both owners and workers were forced to accept a Railway Labor Board in 1920, which had the power to issue non-binding proposals to resolve labor disputes (Nelson 1997, pp. 99-100). The result was several years of renewed conflict that led to a stalemate due to a combination of the skills of many rail workers, the need for timely delivery of industrial goods and passengers, and the vulnerability of expensive engines and train cars to sabotage and destruction. Faced with a standoff due to the government's involvement, the corporate executives in the Association of Railway Executives finally agreed in 1926 to accept legislation creating a government mediation board. The new board proved able to deal successfully with labor disputes in the industry. The representatives of the four railroad craft unions were not crazy about the idea of a mediation board either, but most of them realized it was the best they could do at the time. The new legislation passed against the wishes of the NAM, which opposed it on principle because it contained "the first explicit congressional endorsement of the right of collective bargaining" (Zieger 1986, p. 34). At the same time, the law in effect permitted the continuation of attacks by the railroad corporations on organizing efforts by the unskilled labor force in the railroad yards and on track repair crews, reinforcing the cleavage between skilled and unskilled workers.
Third, the legislation passed because of the newly developed electoral cohesion between the native-born craft workers and predominantly immigrant and African American industrial workers in the northern working class, who began to vote together for Democrats in the late 1920s, helping to overcome the divisions that had existed since at least the 1880s (e.g., Mink 1986; Voss 1993). Many of them also worked together in an effort to create industrial unions in heavy industry and almost all of them supported union leaders and liberal elected officials in their efforts on behalf of the National Labor Relations Act. The AFL leaders had some reservations about the act because they knew it would put them at the mercy of labor board decisions on voting procedures and on the determination of the size of bargaining units, but they backed the act even though none of their suggested amendments to the proposed legislation was incorporated (Tomlins 1985, pp. 139-140).
The cause and effect essay explains what happens and why it The following example is an outline for a cause essay about the reasons for cities becoming.
Most fatefully in terms of the development of American labor relations, the Rockefellers owned Colorado Fuel & Iron, a mining company, with Rockefeller serving as a member of its board of directors, along with two or three of his personal employees. The company and Rockefeller became infamous because they played the central role in a prolonged and deadly labor dispute in 1913-1914, which came to be known as the Ludlow Massacre, after 20 people died in a daylong battle between the Colorado National Guard and striking miners. The total included ten women and two children. They burned to death after machine gun fire ignited the makeshift tent city in which they were living after being evicted from company housing by the company management. More generally, at least 66 people died in the open warfare between labor and mine operators in Colorado between May and September of 1914; the violence only ended when President Wilson sent Federal troops to the area (Zieger and Gall 2002, p. 23). Rockefeller's reaction to this disaster reshaped corporate-moderate policy thinking about labor relations over the next 15 years, and unlikely as it may sound at this juncture in the story, had a direct impact on labor policy in the early New Deal.
The arguments about inflation between the White House and the liberal-labor alliance were paralleled by similar debates within the aforementioned Committee for Economic Development, which is an ideal window into the mindset of corporate moderates. Established in 1942 by members of the Business Advisory Council, its primary focus was an effort to create conservative policies that would be good enough to guard against the return of depression-era economic conditions after World War II. Moreover, it was the most accessible, research-oriented, and transparent of several moderate policy-discussion organizations. Its published policy statements, along with its letters and memos in archives, reveal how corporate moderates dealt with ultraconservatives, the liberal-labor alliance, and government officials in its years of significant influence, from the 1940s to the early 1980s. Usually called the CED, its official policy statements are especially useful because they included memoranda of comment, reservation, or outright dissent that were crafted by individual trustees, and then sometimes joined by other trustees, which makes it possible to ascertain the nature and size of dissident coalitions within the moderate camp on specific issues.
The case concerned General Motors' right to sell a truck dealership to an independent company that would be doing business in space it leased from General Motors. (In other words, the independent company wasn't really very independent at all). But the majority ruled that General Motors only had to bargain about the "effects" of the sale, not about the sale itself. It drew that fine distinction because the sale "was financial and entrepreneurial in nature" (Gross 1995, p. 193). The difference may seem small, but the Democratic majority had ruled in the Fibreboard case in 1962 that there was a duty to bargain about the decision itself, which meant that it had to happen before the decision was made. Although the Supreme Court supported the labor board's Fibreboard decision on narrow grounds in its 1964 opinion, the Republican majority on the NLRB now focused upon the comment in Justice Potter Stewart's concurring decision about management control over decisions that were "at the core of entrepreneurial control" or were "fundamental to the basic direction of the corporate enterprise" (Gross 1995, pp. 225-227).
The renamed Labor Law Reform Committee continued to be chaired by Soutar, carrying on the effort initiated in 1965 to bring about changes in labor law and to influence appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The Construction Users Committee, chaired by an industrial relations lawyer at General Electric, continued the lobbying and legal work started by the Construction Users Anti-Inflation Roundtable. When the March Group was incorporated into the Business Roundtable several months later, it became in effect the Public Information Committee, which continued (without any luck) to try to shape the climate of opinion concerning corporations. These details aside, the Business Roundtable is worthy of mention in an account of the decline of the labor movement because of the anti-union substance of its founding manifesto and its coordinating role in a major anti-union legislative conflict a few years later. The Business Roiundtable was a sign of the times, and of things to come.