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The Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor of the House Committee on Education and Labor began public hearings on the question of legislative regulation of labor-management relations in agriculture on March 23, 1972. Pending before the subcommittee as of that date were seven different bill texts in this area. Counting identical bills, and cosponsorship, 16 Members of the House have introduced bills. These bills range from simple repeal of the agricultural exemption in the National Labor Relations Act to the creation of wholly new agencies and the application of unique principles of law to apply to farm labor-management relations.

This document contains summaries of the proposals before the subcommittee, a tabular comparison of the major provisions of the bills, and the texts of the bills themselves. In addition to the bill texts, the document includes the text of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended.

This study was prepared for the committee by Mr. Joseph Fulton, Specialist in Labor Economics and Relations, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, and by the staff of the Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor.





A total of 13 bills (involving seven different texts) dealing with labor-management relations in agriculture have been introduced in the House and referred to the Committee on Education and Labor during the 92d Congress, through April 1972. Brief descriptions of these bills appear below, followed by a tabular presentation of their major provisions.


Since all of these bills either amend present labor law or contain substantial parallels to it, a quick outline of the current law will be useful at this point.

In 1935, the Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act, (NLRA)(July 5, 1935, ch. 372, 49 Stat. 449) which created the National Labor Relations Board, and provided the first nationwide mechanism for the conduct and regulation of labor-management relations. The rights to organize, to bargain collectively and to strike did not arise from this enactment, but they were thereafter to be exercised in accordance with its provisions, when applicable.

In 1947, the Congress enacted the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, (known as the Taft-Hartley Act or LMRA). (June 23, 1947, ch. 120, 61 Stat. 136). This legislation substantially amended the National Labor Relations Act, which became title I of LMRA. In 1959, another set of major amendments to the basic labor law were enacted. These amendments are usually referred to as the "LandrumGriffin amendments”. (Sept. 14, 1959, Pub. Law 86,257j 73 Stat. 519).

The present law, briefly summarized, recognizes the right of employees to self-organization, and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to refrain from such activities except in certain union shop situations. The NLRA as it now reads establishes a National Labor Relations Board consisting of five members with staggered 5-year terms, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board has authority to determine bargaining units, and conduct secret ballot representation elections, and to investigate and judge the validity of charges of unfair labor practices. Where the Board determines that such practices exist, it may issue cease-and-desist orders, enforceable through the Federal courts.

NLRA spells out unfair labor practices by both employers and labor organizations. The former consist of interference with employees' rights of organization and collective bargaining, maintaining company unions, discrimination against union members, discrimination against persons filing charges or giving testimony under the act, and refusal to bargain. Unfair labor practices by unions include restraint or coercion of employees or employers in the exercise of their respective rights under the act, refusal to bargain, demands for illegal union security provisions, secondary boycotts (that is, boycotts or other activities directed against an employer for the purpose of inducing


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