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Management and unions have been at odds with each other from the very beginning. Management wants to control labor costs, benefits, working conditions etc. while unions want to bargain for the betterment of the union. This includes higher wages, better and safer working conditions, better benefits and the like. 

The three major pieces of legislation that have impacted this relationship are the Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890, The Wagner Act of 1935 and finally the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. The Sherman Anti-trust Act was passed so that commerce was allowed across state lines. The act also allowed for unions to be able to strike against employers.

The most sweeping piece of labor legislation is the Wagner Act that really gave unions their “bill of rights” (DeCenzo 2016) The Wagner Act also created the National Labor Relations Board which certifies and approves the establishing of a union for collective bargaining purposes. The problem with the act is that it gave too much power to the unions and did not protect employers from wildcat strikes.

The final piece of legislation is the Taft-Hartley Act which tried to swing the balance of power back to the middle and give some protection to employers against the unions. It also created the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to assist both sides in settling disputes.

When putting the presentations together I feel that between 10 to 20 slides will be appropriate to cover the topic in detail without getting bogged down with too much information. If this is a presentation to senior management then fewer slides should be needed since they should have an adequate understanding of labor negotiations. The audience will certainly dictate the length of the presentation. 


DeCenzo, 2016, Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, Wiley

Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Law in History of Labor Unions. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from https://www.shmoop.com/history-labor-unions/law.html


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