Under Taft-Hartley, are you allowed to quit?

Are you?

Do you mean “you” personally, as in, “Are you allowed to quit your job in the middle of the dispute?”

Or “you” as in “the labor union”, “Is the labor union allowed to throw in the towel, buckle, back down, cave, etc.?”

I would assume so. Jobs you can’t quit, with a few exceptions, violate the 13th amendment.

I mean the individual worker. I keep hearing this called “The Taft-Hartley Slave Labor Act” and I wanted to know if you can quit or not.

Taft-Hartley applies to union labor disputes, so if you wanted to quit by yourself, no one would stop you. You might be liable for civil damages if you had a contract that you failed to fulfil, however.

Right. “Slave Labor Act” is a colorful euphemism, but anything that legally bound you to performing your job would in most instances be indentured servitude or slavery, definite constitutional no-nos.

So why is it derisively called a “Slave-Labor act”?

Because it restricted the rights of labor unions to strike. Labor unions are arguably a power shift back to a powerless worker; prior to labor unions employees had to work under whatever conditions industry owners demanded for whatever wages industry owners offered, and if they didn’t like it, they could starve to death. Put that way it doesn’t sound much better than, or even different from, slavery.

So, the strike is a wielding of economic power by the laborer, saying in effect “hey, we’re actually partners in this venture, and the partner supplying the labor feels it is getting the shaft.” The Taft-Hartley act shifted that balance of power held by the labor unions by limiting and regulating their power to strike, basically taking away a large portion of the economic power they felt they rightfully held as suppliers of labor. Many feared it heralded a return to the “slave labor conditions” workers were subject to prior to labor unions.

Nitpick: a euphemism is an expression that makes something bad sound better. Calling Taft-Hartley a “Slave Labor Act” is a dysphemism, just the opposite of a euphemism (i.e., makes something inoffensive sound bad).