The Watson-Parker bill, recently passed by the House and now pending before the Senate, represents an abandonment of the principles laid down in the Transportation Act of 1920 for the settlement of railway labor disputes, and a return to the principles which governed the adjustment of such disputes prior to the war.
The machinery of the Transportation Act was based upon wartime experience in the adjustment of labor controversies while the railroads were in Government operation. It rested, in the last analysis, upon the principle of compulsory arbitration. While submission of unsettled disputes to the Railroad Labor Board was made compulsory, it soon appeared that the Board was without power to enforce its awards. This lack of any power of enforcement was the most important ...