World War and Class Politics

Peter A. Swenson

in Capitalists against Markets

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195142976
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872190 | DOI:
 World War and Class Politics

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Wraps up the analysis of labor market developments in the U.S. through the 1940s showing how and why employers abdicated their segmentalist autonomy and submitted temporarily to state‐imposed solidarism, including intersectoral wage compression similar to what Sweden's normal peace time system brought about. During the prewar and interwar periods, the same employers actively sought another kind of intersectoral control, especially over wages in the building and construction trades, because high wages in this sector disrupted major manufacturers’ otherwise workable system of labor market governance just as they did in Sweden. Unlike in Sweden, however, major American manufacturers were unable to find allies for a cross‐class alliance against the building trade unions, and thus political relations between capital and labor remained far more hostile than in Sweden despite the Swedish labor movement's explicitly anticapitalist ideology.

Keywords: building and construction; employers; labor unions; politics; segmentalism; solidarism; Sweden; United States; wages; World War I; World War II

Chapter.  10621 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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