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During the Roosevelt Administration, unions achieved legislation that was designed to regularize their functioning as a legitimize part of the American society and economy. It was a gigantic accomplishment, because unions had little or no legal standing before that.
The National Labor Relations Board was set up to regulate union/management conflicts. It worked out well, and unions in America had a tremendous growth period. It was probably the first major union expansion in American history that was not ended with bayonets. Union leaders, and even big corporation executives, thought of the NLRB as "unbiased" as they enforced labor law from organizing new unions to settling contract and grievance disputes. Even back in 1936, some union leaders warned against depending on the NLRB. They said workers would never be able to trust a capitalist government.
After 1980 the NLRB joined the "Reagan Revolution" against working people. Reagan actually went so far as to appoint an NLRB head who had been the leader of the infamous anti-labor National Right to Work Committee! From then to now, with minor exceptions when Clinton was President, NLRB rulings and the general trend of labor law has been against unions.
In the past few weeks, a new NLRB ruling makes it much harder to organize workplaces that have both "temporary" and "permanent" employees without the bosses' permission. That includes a tremendous number of workplaces nowadays, as "temps" are used extensively. Previously, we would organize them together and try to improve conditions for both categories of workers. "Temps" are used to provide flexibility for the bosses, and to help them avoid paying any kind of benefits. Using "temps" is also a great way to keep unions away, or to break a union that already exists. A majority vote of the NLRB just upheld the bosses' practice of exploiting the "temps" and using them against the "permanent" workers.
The Bush Administration has a lot more goodies for employers, too.