Problems in Labor Relations - Benjamin M. Selekman; Sylvia Kopald Selekman; Stephen H. Fuller;McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1958, Hardback.
Condition: Good+. Gently faded at the spine. Edges of the text block lightly soiled and tanned. Text complete, clean and tight but a little age-tanned.
2nd edition. [First Edition: 1950] From the cover: “When the first edition of this book was written in the tense atmosphere of the immediate postwar years, the question may well have been asked whether collective bargaining was an enduring institution. The year 1946, for instance, was marked by repeated, costly strikes in one basic industry after another. Indeed, in a reaction against this thrust of power on the part of new, industry-wide unions, the Taft-Hartley Act was enacted in 1947. It marked a reversal of the trend started with the validation of the Wagner Act by the Supreme Court in 1937. For now trade unions, too, were under surveil lance and could be made subject to charges of unfair labor practices as only management had been under the Wagner Act. Other restrictions were placed upon them by the Federal law, and a number of states enacted even more stringent legislation in the form of so-called “right-to-work” laws.
At this writing, ten years later, it can safely be said that, whatever legisla tion may still be forthcoming, collective bargaining has nevertheless survived as a permanent institution. Hardly any responsible managements would be willing to say now, regardless of their feelings in the past, that they preferred to function without unions or that they could do so even if they so desired. Problems still continue, some of them serious in nature. Whereas in the first five or six years after the war it was repeated strikes, some of an emergency nature, that troubled the nation, now it is “creeping” inflation. Indeed, many observers think that the continuous inflationary trend can be traced in large part to the periodic wage settlements, including fringe benefits, entered into by large unions and large corporations which establish patterns for the econ omy as a whole. The debate goes on as to whether unions are the primary cause of the inflationary trend or whether it is caused by corporations when they translate wage increases into price increases which, it is charged, are greater than just the wage component. To this management replies, ‘Well, surely, prices must be greater than the amount of the wage increase because our wage increase creates a cycle which makes everything we buy cost more. It costs us many times more to replace plants and machinery we built before the inflationary cycle began, not to say anything about raw and semi-finished material’.
The truth of the matter is that problems will always be with us: this or that issue will continuously arise in the highly dynamic industrial environment that characterizes this nation. Collective bargaining does not in itself solve major economic and social problems. What it does provide is a procedure by means of which problems can be identified and handled.”