Related BLS programs | Related articles
August 1983, Vol. 106, No. 8
The evolution of fair labor standards:
a study in class conflict
In a provocative new book entitled Wages and Hours: Labor Reform in the Twentieth Century,1 economist Ronnie Steinberg reviews the uneven development of minimum wage and maximum hours legislation in the United States. On the basis of quantitative evidence at both the Federal and State levels, Steinberg concludes that such protective laws have arisen from an ongoing class struggle in which the social rights of workers are pitted against employers' legal claims of equality of bargaining power under freedom of contract. Thus, passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 was an outgrowth of the political ascendancy of the worker during troubled economic times, as evident in the elections of 1936.
This excerpt is from an article published in the August 1983 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (324K)
1 Ronnie Steinberg, Wages and Hours: Labor and Reform in Twentieth Century America (New Brunswich, N.J., Rutgers University Press, 1982).
Related BLS programs
Collective Bargaining Agreements
Related Monthly Labor Review articles
Troubled passage: the labor movement and the Fair Labor Standards Act—Dec. 2000.
Cooperative provisions in collective bargaining agreements.—Jan. 1999.
How do labor and management view collective bargaining?—Oct. 1998.
A department to protect workers' equity.—Feb. 1988.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers