Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Information

35 Notre Dame L. 591 (1959-1960)


Power to bring the nation's economy to a virtual standstill cannot be immune from legal accountability. That such power is lodged in some, at least, of the great national and international labor unions has been demonstrated repeatedly, most recently by the United Steelworkers. One can be wholly sympathetic with labor's aspirations and still reject the notion that the nation's economic health and safety should be dependent upon unilateral decisions by a group of private individuals—union members and their leaders—decisions taken for their own ends, however legitimate. So vast a power—terrifying in its potentialities—must be brought under reasonable legal controls.

The reason is simple and, in other contexts, long has been taken for granted: the public interest is paramount. Hence the law must intervene to protect the whole from the consequences of private action designed to benefit a few.

Partisans can be expected to dissent, but I believe most Americans will agree with the proposition I have just put forward. That, at any rate, represents the thinking behind this Symposium, whose purpose is to explore the sources and extent of labor-union power, its effects in terms of the public interest and how best to deal with the complex and difficult problems it raises.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.