As shown in the next section, this analysis is supported by the decline in the importance of the National Labor Relations Act after 1938. The Southerners turned against the act in 1937 when the new CIO unexpectedly tried to organize integrated industrial unions in the South, raising the possibility that they would make use of a tactic, the sit-down strike, that was proving to be very effect in the North. This sudden and very adamant change of heart on the part of Southern Democrats meant that the entire ownership class became united against the National Labor Relations Act. At the same time, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations entered into an intraclass war, which meant that the working class was divided at a time when the ownership class was united. When the Republicans gained enough seats in the House and Senate in 1938 to forge an effective conservative voting coalition with the Southern Democrats, which could stop any legislation that employers North and South did not want, the handwriting was on the wall for the development of a strong union movement in the United States. In fact, it was only World War II that saved the union movement and hampered the corporate community for the three decades after the war ended.


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