Labor Before the Law

LaborBefore the Law

Thesisstatement:The period of industrial revolution promoted accommodation andcoercion.

Qs.1.Why has this period been characterized as being both accommodatingand coercive?

Tuckerand fudge, in their book LabourBefore the Lawcompel arguments that regard lives and movement of workers. Theyargue of an increase in importance in the formation of law thatgoverns lives and movements of workers (Fudge &amp Tucker, 2004).They refer to this as industrial voluntarism. Industrial voluntarismhad its beginnings in the 20th century. During the period, campaignswere done to limit strikes and boycotts.

TheBritish state underpinned the unions by introducing civil actionsagainst them. The state law was also undermining citizen’s rights.For instance, the law scraped the rights of freedom of association(Fudge et al., 2004). The system of the industrial legality combinedcoercion and accommodation. They engaged mutual reinforcingstrategies. Their roles were mandatory and never used asalternatives. The criminal and civil war during this administrationprovided suitable legal weapons. The weapons were only available fora particular group of employers. For instance, those employers whowere liable in solving particular disputes received industriallegality (Fudge et al.,, 2004).

Theindustrial legality interventions at times had little effect. Caseswhere employer disputed with its workers were difficult to handle.The period had aspects of coercion. There emerged an uprisingmilitia’s deployment in various states in Canada. The militias werevery violent. The federal government was emphasizing on accommodationand conciliation. However, class conflicts remained an enduringfeature during this period. The accommodation of voluntarism wasacting contrary to the law governing unions. They facilitatedrecognition of unions through federal laws. Due to this, employersbenefited from fair statutory coercion cost (Fudge et al., 2004).

Theemployers decided to adopt the bargaining nature in place ofcompulsion regime. The accommodation and coercion balanced theindustrial voluntarism. For example, Canadian lawmakers encouragedits adoption. In addition, the government interventions became ofless necessity.

Qs.2Provide two illustrations of accommodation and two of coercion.Explain how you think they are accommodating or coercive.

Inthe 20th century, a major strike wave erupted in Canada. Workers werenot willing to support their employers towards second industrialrevolution. They decide to protest against poor working conditions,inadequate wages, and unsanitary conditions. The protest grewenormously throughout the cities (Fudge et al.,, 2004). The state,therefore, responded by introducing two prongs. They were theaccommodation and coercion.

Thecoercion involved various intervention and initiatives. Firstly, somerefinements were done by the act of the courts. Judiciary linkedtrade unions to be liable to any damages caused during strike (Fudgeet al., 2004). Employer’s property and rights were underprotection. In addition, the non-striking workers were to contractfreely. The non-striking teams had protection from abuse from thestriking counterparts. Secondly, state decided to involve police,militia raids, and even deportation to protect employers’ rightsand properties. Workers were to operate under the confines of law(Fudge et al., 2004). In the case of any breach, they faced police orauthority confrontation.

Promotionof conciliation and compromise was the second prong during theperiod. The initiative was to reduce industrial conflicts. Industrialconflicts had become the norm between unions and employers. Variouslaws were put to qualify for the treatment. For instance, unions hadto demonstrate full support to the judiciary. The union had to followindustrial legality regime by not violating set rules. The rulesdiscouraged violation of rights of property and avoided strikes andboycotts. Accommodation and conciliation also had a secondintervention tactic. For example, the federal government startedadopting legislative frameworks. The structures facilitatedsettlement of various disputes with minimal disruptions. Theconstitutional authority legislated residual powers. The powers wereorder, peace, and good government (Fudge et al., 2004).

Qs.3.To what degree is this similar to the present-day, and to what degreeare things different? Give an example of each.

Industrialvoluntarism seems similar to the present day at some point. In thepresent world, workers still strike for different reasons. Workersface poor wages, poor working conditions, and un-favored. Theconditions correspond to those experienced during the up rise ofsecond industrial revolution. They face the threat of replacement andrestrictions for joining unions. The complication of semi-skilledconforms to the challenges that faced workers during the coercionperiod. During this period, craft unions could not operatesuccessfully. The semi-skilled workers faced more difficulties andeven had threats for job replacements (Fudge et al., 2004).

Currentstates deploy police raids to curb worker`s strikes. Similarly, thosewho gear strikes face the law just as criminals. However, the policein most cases are not able to protect employer’s properties. Thetwo later rationales relate deeply with the coercion regime. Theaccommodation and conciliation initiatives rhyme a lot with currentlabor laws. Employer’s property and rights are under protection. Inaddition, the non-striking workers are to contract freely. Thenon-striking teams are protected from abuse from the strikingcounterparts.

Onthe contrary, some aspects seem different to the present labor laws.The current unions are not liable to any damages during strike. Theyeven go further supporting the vice. They promote downing the toolsonly as a workers plea for employers to meet their predicaments. Boththe law and unions adamantly protect workers. These aspectscontradict with those happened during the industrial voluntarism. Forinstance during this period, the union had to follow industriallegality regime by not violating set rules. The rules discouragedviolation of rights of property and avoided strikes and boycotts(Fudge et al., 2004).


Fudge,J., &amp Tucker, E. (2004). Laborbefore the Law:TheRegulation of Workers ‘Collective Action in Canada, 1900-1948. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.