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Bargaining for Social Rights: Unions and the Reemergence of Welfare Capitalism, 1945-1952
Michael K. Brown analyzes why American unions acted to put employee benefits on the bargaining table in the 1940s and why that strategy was supported by President Truman and northern Democrats in Congress. The author argues that union leaders were motivated to obtain private social benefits such as health insurance in order to ensure the security of union membership, a question that was reopened when the closed shop was outlawed by the Taft-Hartley Act. Paradoxically, this union policy helped defeat Truman's efforts to enact national health insurance.

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