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The Labor Board CrewRemaking Worker-Employer Relations from Pearl Harbor to the Reagan Era$
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Ronald W. Schatz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043628

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043628.001.0001

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George Taylor and the War Labor Board, 1942–45

George Taylor and the War Labor Board, 1942–45

(p.27) 2 George Taylor and the War Labor Board, 1942–45
The Labor Board Crew

Ronald W. Schatz

University of Illinois Press

During World War II, the National War Labor Board served as the industrial equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court, issuing edicts of highly contentious labor-management disputes, and the Regional War Labor Boards and the board’s national staff resolved thousands of disputes at the local level and in specific industries. This chapter explains how the national and regional boards succeeded. It focuses on George W. Taylor, the NWLB’s vice chairman and mentor of the Labor Board staff, and Regional War Labor Board III headquartered in Philadelphia and chaired by Sylvester Garrett. It challenges earlier interpretations by Lichtenstein, Stone, Lynd, and others that the NWLB undermined unions and hurt workers. The opposite is more accurate. The board prevented Congress from passing draconian anti-union legislation, protected unions, helped the unions acquire many more members, and helped the United States produce the arms and other materiel needed to defeat the Axis powers.

Keywords:   industrial relations, conflict resolution, National War Labor Board, Regional War Labor Board, George W. Taylor, Sylvester Garrett, World War II, United States, Wages, labor unions

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