A previous federal law prohibiting the use of yellow dog contracts on the rail – the Erdman Act of 1898 – was overturned by the Supreme Court, which ruled that it was an unconstitutional violation of contractual freedom. Don`t confuse the term “yellow dog contract” with the “yellow-democratic dog,” which is a nickname for an ultra-democratic voter. (Image: scienceofthesouth.com) In the spring of 1921, the term “yellow dog” was first published in publications addressed to union members. The publisher of the United Mine Workers` Journal spoke for a lot when he commented that this case is becoming an example of a yellow canine contract that was ultimately successful, since the employer that created it was allowed to create them more and force employees to comply. It is important to note, however, that this case was heard years before the Norris-LaGuardia Act was passed. Although banned in the private sector in 1932 by the Norris-LaGuardia Act, yellow dog contracts were allowed in the public sector, including many government jobs, such as teachers, until the 1960s, from a precedent introduced in 1915 with Frederick v. Ownens.  A yellow dog contract (a yellow dog clause of a contract or an iron oath) is an agreement between an employer and a worker in which the worker accepts as a condition of employment not to be a member of a union. In the United States, until the 1930s, such contracts were widely used by employers to prevent the formation of unions, most often by allowing employers to take legal action against trade union organizations. In 1932, yellow dog contracts were banned in the United States under the Norris-LaGuardia Act.
  “This agreement was well named. It`s a safe yellow dog. He reduces to the level of a yellow dog every man who signs him, because he signs all the rights he possesses according to the Constitution and the laws of the country, and makes himself a truck slave, helpless slave of the employer. In the Adair case against the United States, the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the provision of the Erdman Dismissal Act, because it would require an employer to accept or maintain the personal services of another person against the employer`s wishes, was a violation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that no one can be deprived of liberty or property without proper legal proceedings. However, the Tribunal exercised caution in limiting the decision available to the discharge and not giving notice of the rest of the legislation. The erdman section of the Act, which makes it criminal to compel employees to sign anti-union agreements, has not been described. The term “yellow dog” was originally coined in the 1920s, which meant what employees were seen in the eyes of their colleagues for signing rights to them in the U.S. Constitution. For example, it was customary for people to say things like, “What kind of person is willing to be a “yellow dog” and sign up for their rights to get a job?” The Norris-LaGuardia Act, also known as the Anti-Injunction Bill, was a federal law passed in 1932.