Prior to the enactment of federal labor legislation the negotiation and execution of union and closed shop contracts raised many legal questions of which compulsory payment of union dues and assessments was but one. Where an employer agreed to a closed' or union shop, few legal problems arose. Frequently, the employer only agreed to a closed or union shop after considerable pressure had been exerted, thus presenting the problem of the legality of economic pressure for such an objective. In the absence of statute, some state courts held that the closed or union shop was illegal,while others took the view that a strike by a union to obtain a closed or union shop clause in a contract was a strike for an illegal purpose, even though the closed shop would have been valid had it been freely negotiated. Still other courts held that a closed shop was only illegal if such an agreement restrained trade in the particular locality.
Edwin R. Render,
Constitutional Questions Involved in the Expenditure of Compulsorily Paid Union Dues Under the Railway Labor Act,
15 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol15/iss4/10