What the Landrum-Griffin-Kennedy Bill Really Means to Labor and Management

by Richard Hoss



The Landrum-Griffin-Kennedy bill was the climax of two years of effort to make the first major change in federal labor statutes in twelve years. The 1958 bill, economist Kennedy-Ives proposal, contained many elements of labor reform legislation and also some Taft-Hartley Act amendments, which were less pleasing to management spokesmen than to union officials. Management sponsored proposals had met defeat in most states where they appeared on the ballot and candidates identified with them had been swept out of office. It appeared that no legislation objectionable to labor would be passed by this friendly congress. Economist Taft-Hartley attempted a return to the earlier doctrine of protecting neutral employers and, although not referring to it as such, made the secondary boycott illegal by defining as an unfair labor practice the ability to induce or encourage the employees of a third-party employer to refuse to work with, or handle materials from a struck plant. The portion of the new law, dealing with reporting by unions and employers follows Landrum-Griffin more closely than it follows the Senate version. Labor union officials view the new law with considerable displeasure, but so far have limited their activities to a promise to purge from congress, those legislators who were responsible for the new legislation.

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