(48) As Herman Benson explained, "[I]f you are a loyal unionist, and you need assistance against arrogant officials to keep your union honest and democratic, you search in vain for an influential ally." (49) Consequently, there is no entity to pressure the Department of Labor to effectively enforce the Landrum-Griffin Act
. (50) Moreover, rank-and-file reformers typically lack sources of legal assistance and moral support.
Changing the reporting regulations for financial disclosure forms under the Landrum-Griffin Act
would still require hearings and periods of public comment.
The chapter on labor union investigation, by contrast, provides a helpful overview of the significant laws and statutes, such as the Landrum-Griffin Act
, the Taft-Hartley Act, ERISA, and the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act.
Finally, Joel Rogers attributes the post-Second World War decline in union memberships, not to missed opportunities or to faulty union leadership, but to the Landrum-Griffin Act
of 1959, which kept the costs of organizing new membership very high and encouraged union officials to concentrate on maintaining their influence in areas already organized.
Further amendments to the NLRA, contained in the Landrum-Griffin Act
of 1959, were intended to regulate the internal conduct of unions and strengthen other provisions of the Act.
In their introductory chapter, Schlossberg and Scott quote selected passages from the Taft-Hartley Act and the Landrum-Griffin Act
, with side-by-side paraphrasing.
"A federal law, the Landrum-Griffin Act
of 1959, prohibits convicted felons from holding union office for five years following conviction.
Taft-Hartley would eventually be part of three major legislative defeats from which American unions suffered in the post-World War II decades, with the 1955 Landrum-Griffin Act
and the failure of the 1978 Labour Law Reform Act being the other two.
The result of his effort is an able account of the background, legislative history, and passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act
. Lee outlines the various proposals, some sponsored or endorsed by organized labor itself, to correct abuses in unions' governance and fiduciary activities as revealed in the hearings conducted by the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor-Management Field (the McClellan Committee) in the period 1957-60.
Ironically, while labor's electoral strength at the state level was increasing, the prestige of its national leaders was waning because of the McClellan Committee investigations and the debate surrounding the passage in 1959 of the Landrum-Griffin Act
. The negative image of unions and their leaders, whipped up by conservative Republican politics and their business allies, contributed significantly to the failure of the AFL-CIO to achieve repeal of section 14(b) in the 1960s despite a liberal Congress and support from President Johnson.