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Labor Unions
  1. Why May Day is Celebrated by Labor in Japan
  2. Japanese Automobile Companies in the United States
  3. American Auto Companies Borrow Japanese Methods
  4. Japanese Labor Unions and The Wagner Act
  5. Labor Unions and The Taft-Hartley Act
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Japanese Labor Unions and The Wagner Act
After World War II, Japan was occupied from 1945 to 1952 by what was called SCAP, the Supreme Commander Allied Powers, personified by General Douglas MacArthur. SCAP encouraged the formation of labor unions. Japan’s Trade Union Law of December 1945 was based on a law passed in the United States in 1935 called the Wagner Act. It said that all workers in the public and private sectors, except firemen, policemen, and prison guards, could belong to unions, bargain collectively, and take part in strikes. In 1946 and 1947 two more laws based on the Wagner Act were passed in Japan. The Labor Relations Adjustment Act prohibited management from taking part in unfair practices, such as refusing to recognize unions or discriminating against workers involved in unions. The Labor Standards Law went into effect in 1947. It dealt with minimum wage, the length of the work week, paid holidays, safety, and the employment of women and children. Japanese workers were stunned when SCAP prohibited a general strike the day before it was to occur in 1947. This was the beginning of restrictions on the rights of Japanese workers and was based to some extent on another American law, the Taft-Hartley Act. For more information on the Taft Hartley Act and is impact on Japan, go to the next content unit.
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