Are Antitrust Laws the Answer?
APRIL 01, 1960 by KEITH S. WOOD
Editor: The Wall Street Journal:
There have been a number of editorials in your paper about the need to apply antitrust regulations to the unions. However, I feel there is another side to this argument which needs to be explored. This is the fact that the antitrust laws are not necessarily a good solution.
It seems to me that the problem could be solved better by the enforcement of laws we already have. In particular, I mean the right of a company to continue to operate while its unionized employees are on strike.
There is one reason—and only one—why companies close down their plants when a union goes on strike. This is the fact that management and employees who continue to work are threatened and abused by those who go on strike. This is illegal, but it is tolerated by most police departments and local governments.
If this injustice were vigorously suppressed, no strike would be widely damaging to our economy. Then we wouldn’t need to try to define how big a union can be—just as it has been found difficult to define how big a business ought to be. As long as each individual and each organization of individuals is guaranteed equal justice under law, relative size is unimportant.
From "Letters to the Editor," Wall Street Journal, January 18, 1960. Mr. Wood is a businessman from Oregon, Illinois.