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Taft-Hartley Act

Outlawed the closed shop, among other provisions, such as secondary boycotts; 1947; also called Management Relations Act; Major setback for unions.

Union Shop

A shop where the workers must join the union after a period of probation, usually ranging from 30 to 90 days.

Right To Work Laws

Laws that forbid forcing a worker to join a union.

Open Shop

It is entirely the workers option whether to join a union or not.

Working Conditions

Includes things like length of lunch and breaks, safety requirements to protect workers, and other environmental concerns.

Tentative Agreement

An agreement reached during contract negotiations where both parties have reached a compromise they can accept.

Rank and File

The members of the Union.


All the workers standing together to support a union.


The process used during the contract negotiations, when the union and owners agree to bring in a neutral third-party expert on labor relations, and he will try to negotiate a compromise between the two sides.

Secondary Boycott

When another union is affiliated with the striking union, joins the boycott and won't purchase goods and services or refuses to use the business that the original union is striking or boycotting.

Slowdown Strike

The workers only work at half speed or refuse overtime.

Sit-down Strike

When the workers report to work, but sit-down and refuse to work.

Walter Reuther

He led the sit-down strike in Flint that won the UAW recognition from General Motors in 1937.


The workers refuse to report to work and usually picket outside the company, carrying signs explaining their reasons why they are on strike.

Wildcat Strike

When a local Chapter of a union strikes without approval of the national or central union leadership.


When the company closes the doors and tells the workers not to report to work until they are ready to settle the contract in terms the owner will accept.


Eliminating jobs data firm and hiring another company to provide the workers.


Length of service a worker has given the company.

United Auto Workers

Famous Michigan union that has joined forces under the umbrella organization CIO.

Samuel Gompers

1st leader of the AFL.

Yellow Dog Contracts

Contract the employees signed with the employer promising not to join a union or they would be fired.

Replacement Workers

People who are willing to work for a firm for less pay than the union was demanding for wages at the time; called "Scabs".

Security Forces

Large companies would hire companied to provide security officers in an effort to stop unions and union organizers.


Factories with poor light, no safety devices, and tremendous pressure on workers to produce at a certain level or output or be fired.

Norris-LaGuardia Act

1932; made court injunctions and yellow dog contracts against labor unions illegal.

National Labor Relations Act

1935; also called Wagner Act; required businesses to accept unions if the majority of the workers employed at the firm voted by secret ballot create a union.

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