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American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935$
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Jon R. Huibregtse

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034652

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034652.001.0001

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Grassroots Political Organization

Grassroots Political Organization

(p.34) 4 Grassroots Political Organization
American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935

Jon R. Huibregtse

University Press of Florida

This chapter addresses the unions' actions between the midterm elections of 1922 and the presidential election two years later. During this interval, labor was busy pushing its version of a railroad labor relations bill, working closely with members of Congress and also the Association of Railroad Executives to craft legislation that was acceptable to all parties. For the first time, labor was intimately involved in the creation of statutes that would govern the railroads. The proposed Howell-Barkley Bill laid the foundation for what later became the Railway Labor Act. In 1923, the unions began to work vigorously with their congressional allies to amend the Transportation Act and abolish the Railroad Labor Board. By the election of 1924, the railroad unions were moving away from their progressive allies because they recognized that their best chance of influencing labor policy was to work within the mainstream of American politics.

Keywords:   Association of Railroad Executives, Congress, Howell-Barkley Bill, Railway Labor Act, Railroad Labor Board

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