World War Two: The Good War. Rosie the Riveter. Everybody pitching in to beat the Nazis and Japanese. The American economy was the Arsenal of Democracy. Labor came through with a no strike pledge. Tanks, planes, trucks and parts were cranked out for all of the Allies by our manufacturing prowess. Everoyne was focused on beating those fascists as soon as possible. Except for the millions of labor days lost due to strikes at factories and in the coal mines.
Strikes had been on a tear in the run up to official involvement in WW2. They would return with a vengeance directly after WW2 ended (three days after the Japanese surrendered). The most fiercely communist were taking advantage of the ramp up in production to supply the allies to secure more favorable terms of employment. When WW2 began, the most fervently communist became the most docile and pro-war effort. The alliance with their Soviet brothers-in-arms had a galvanizing effect on output. The braintrust of the leading unions declared a no strike pledge, but this did not work. In a short period of time, the union mindset had so infected American workers that factory floor control was impossible.
There were many union strikes during WW2. Thousands of wild cat strikes that cost millions of labor days lost, but always in the words of our historians having "no impact on the war effort". Despite the no strike pledge, control at the factory level was not complete and many union workers went on strike during WW2. There were roughly 3,000 strikes in 1942 that idled over 800,000 workers. Even the coal miners (not part of the no strike pledge fraternity) got in on the act, causing FDR to plead with them in 1943. The Smith-Connally Act was passed to stop strikes that interfered with war production as well as force strikers to give warnings. It still did not slow them down as there were more strikes in 1944 than any previous year in US history. Check some of the links for the antics of the union men in America who worked in "awful" factory conditions while your grandfather served on a submarine, manned a tank or was a belly gunner in an unescorted bomber.
The US was not alone. Those Brits enduring the Blitz and at greater risk compared to mainland America saw unions fight for their rights and strike often. The Aussies had a major problem with this as well, with their union battle involving sabotaged ships and unloaded boats adn planes. Hidden for seventy years, the Aussie sabotage and acts of treason are recounted in a new book (hat tip Lead + Gold). Australian and American servicemen died because of them, and authorities had to call off the Allied military men from beating the longshoremen to death. This has been covered up under the cloak of a unified home front for decades. The white union vote was the backbone of the early Democrat machine when the focus was on economic egalitarian policy. They still are a huge campaign contributor today. The problem arises that historians and academics love to trumpet the victories of labor, so there is a Catch-22 about covering treasonous union actions. It gets swept under the rug, but even labor's records fo their great deeds records such events like "In September 1944, 20,000 workers struck for two days at the Ford Willow Run bomber plant against the transfer of workers in violation of seniority rules". Remember, no effect on the war effort.
Is it treason? Is this hyperbole? The war was won, tanks and planes were built and the war effort was not affected by this per the academics aligned with the unions. Maybe a day's work stoppage does not sound like much, but in aggregate, the stoppages of just one year amounted to what could have been 2,000 bombers if all workers were concentrated in bomber production. For perspective, the most B-17s the US had in commission at one time was 4,000. Those were the Flying Fortresses; the symbol of American power. Does an extra B-17 end the war sooner? No, but an extra 100 or 1000 could. Even spread out it can be a day or three difference in a breakout from Normandy. Tank spare parts, rifles, and even simple screw production for fighter planes all could make a difference. If every life and every miliary casualty is a tragedy, then what factory workers with draft exemptions, surrounded by women writing "Dear John" letters, did was treason.