Washington Law Review


Lucile Lomen


No appraisal of the present-day labor situation can be complete without a discussion of union security, which is one of the most significant trends in modem labor relations. The concept was formulated before the war, but it owes its rapid development to the need for union protection resulting from present abnormal conditions and its immediate purpose is to preserve union morale. Even when considering post-war economic and social policies, this device is important as a basis for determining the position of unions in that era. If union security is widely employed in post-war labor contracts, the device will give unions a position of prominence never before held by any institution or organized group in American history. Whether the policy will be continued voluntarily after the war will be determined by the harmony of labor-employer relations during this period of governmental supervision. Over two years have passed since union security first received support from government agencies, and perhaps some fairly accurate conclusions can be drawn from a study of the evolution of this device under the war program. It is the purpose of this paper to summarize the policies of the National Defense Mediation Board and the War Labor Board with respect to union security, with emphasis on the practical aspects which may be helpful both in the promulgation of contracts and in furnishing a background for future policy development.

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