This chapter introduces industrial relations, which emphasizes reason over “emotion” in dealing with labor. Confronted with the failure of previous approaches, and facing a postwar strike wave and immigration restrictions, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) leaders adopted this more moderate, professional-industrial-relations approach to labor management in the 1920s. Still committed to a union-free workplace, NAM reconceived the open shop as good industrial relations. This paved the way for the employment of “nontraditional” workers, such as women, the disabled, and, later, people of color. While unions remained focused on skilled workers, this more modern approach to management was necessarily inclusive of all employees. Indeed, one of its hallmark features was attention to the social demographics of workforces in order to understand how employees might work better together.
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