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1959 Landrum-Griffin Act
|President Eisenhower delivers radio and
television broadcast on the need for Landrum-
Griffin Act, August 1959.|
After passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, the number of union
victories in NLRB-conducted elections declined. During
the 12-year administration of the Wagner Act, unions won
victories in over 80 percent of elections. But in that first year
after passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, unions only won around
70 percent of the representation elections conducted by the
During the middle and late 1950's, the labor movement
was under intense Congressional scrutiny for corruption,
racketeering, and other misconduct. By 1959, Congress
concluded that further reforms were needed to address gaps
in both the Wagner Act and the Taft-Hartley Act. In the fall of
1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the new
Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Landrum-
Griffin Act) that amended Taft-Hartley so that:
- State courts and state labor relations boards were given jurisdiction over cases declined by the Board
under its jurisdictional standards.
- Secondary boycott prohibitions were tightened and hot cargo agreements (under which employers
committed themselves in advance to boycott any other employer involved in a dispute with the union)
- A new unfair labor practice made it unlawful for a union to picket for recognition or organizational
purposes in certain circumstances.
- Pre-hire and seven-day union shop contracts were legalized for the construction industry.
- Permanently replaced economic strikers were given the right to vote in representation elections within
one year of the beginning of the strike.
- The non-Communist affidavit provisions were repealed.
- The Board was authorized to delegate most of its authority to define bargaining units and to direct
elections to its regional directors, subject to discretionary review.
- Other parts of the new law established a code of conduct guaranteeing certain rights to union members
within their union, and imposed reporting requirements on unions, union officers, employers, and
consultants. These provisions were assigned for administration to the Department of Labor. Thus, the
Landrum-Griffin Act protected employees' union membership rights from unfair practices by unions,
while the National Labor Relations Act protected employee rights from unfair practices by employers
|Washington Post, September 3, 1959.|