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Unions and the Public Interest:
The Degeneration of Collective Bargaining

- Abstract

Twenty-one years have gone by since the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act gave unions an affirmative legal base on which to build their membership and economic strength. This, then, should be the year in which American labor comes of age, and a good time to take stock of the extent to which unions have grown up.

If the measure is size, unions have certainly reached man’s estate. The biggest of big businesses is puny alongside the biggest union. Such giants as Walter P. Reuther’s United Automobile Workers, David J. McDonald’s United Steelworkers, or Dave Beck’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters are twice the size of the colossus of American industry—the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., with 700,000 employees.

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