By Clive Jenkins, J. E. Mortimer, R Brown, G. Chandler and W. A. Davis (Auth.)

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The term "yellow dog" was given to any individual contract which prohibited a worker from joining a trade union. The Norris-La Guardia Act was a curtain-raiser for much progressive legislation on industrial relations during the 1930s. In 1933 new legislation was passed, including the National Industrial Recovery Act, which, among other things, sought to encourage trade union organisation and effective collective bargaining. Some time afterwards this Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States on the grounds that it unlawfully delegated legislative power to the President.

Even in occupations where for periods there is a shortage of 40 BRITISH TRADE UNIONS TODAY labour, the worker is still at a disadvantage if he seeks individually to negotiate his own conditions of employment. His economic power does not in any respect start to match that of a large-scale, modern employer. The employer has wealth on his side, and may have few competitors of equal standing in the district where his factory is located. If the worker wants another job he may have to travel a long distance to the factory or office of his new employer, or even, in some circumstances, to move his home.

Even if he quickly finds one he has then to adjust himself to his new work and surroundings. If he finds it necessary to move to another town he will be put to the expense of moving and to the inevitable costs, for example, for curtains and carpets which are always incurred when there is a change of dwelling. His wife will also have to adjust herself to new surroundings, and if there are children new schools will have to be found for them. In some cases of redundancy, where other work is readily available in the same locality, few of these problems may arise.

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