Open vs Closed Shop:

Open Shop- a shop in which no worker could be required to join a unionEfforts by the workers of the 1920's to gain protection from unions were known as the "American Plan." The plan received the endorsement of the National Association of Manufacturers in 1920 and became a cause for the harsh campaign for unions across the nation. Unions saw it as an attempt to drive unions out of industries. They also felt it would lead to firm opposition to collective bargaining of any sort. Open shops were an imperative source of democratic capitalism, and corporate leaders supported the idea of downsizing unions. Union membership fell from more than 5 million in 1920 to under 3 million in 1929 as a result of these developments.
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Closed Shop- a shop in which the employer agrees to hire union members only,
and they must remain members of the union at all times
This is the most extreme form of union control in which collective bargaining would supply employees with greater benefits than if they were individual employees. Closed shops became legal under the Commonwealth v Hunt (1842) ruling of the case. Lemuel Shaw, the man behind the case, also ruled that a trade union was lawful, and its members were not responsible for the illegal acts committed. Restrictions to union shops were created through the Taft-Hartley Act, in which closed shops became illegal.unions.jpg
Taft-Hartley Act of 1947The purpose of this act under Robert A. Taft and Fred A. Hartley was to amend much of the National Labor Regulations Act of 1935, and was passed on June 23, 1947. The president at the time, Harry Truman, was not a supporter of the act. It was the first major revision to the Wagner Act. Not only did it declare all closed shops illegal, but monitored activities involving labor unions. The Taft-Hartley Act was not highly supported among its people (mostly workers), and many tried to repeal it. The Act required union leaders to take an oath stating they were not communists.tafthartley1.JPG