National War Labor Board (1942–1945)

The National War Labor Board, commonly the War Labor Board (NWLB or WLB) was an agency of the United States government established January 12, 1942 by executive order to mediate labor disputes during World War II.

National War Labor Board
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 12, 1942
Preceding agency
DissolvedDecember 31, 1945
Superseding agency
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Agency executive
Parent agencyOffice for Emergency Management


The NWLB was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt under Executive Order 9017, with William Hammatt Davis as its chair.[1] It was charged with acting as an arbitration tribunal in labor-management dispute cases in order to prevent work stoppages which might hinder the war effort. It administered wage control in national industries such as automobiles, shipping, railways, airlines, telegraph lines, and mining.

The Board was originally divided into twelve Regional Administrative Boards which handled both labor dispute settlement and wage stabilization functions for specific geographic regions. The national Board further decentralized in 1943, when it established special tripartite commissions and panels to deal with specific industries on a national basis.

Roosevelt's successor Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9672 ceasing operations of the National War Labor Board on December 31, 1945.[2] Labor disputes were thereafter arbitrated by the National Labor Relations Board, the predecessor agency that had been set up in 1935.


  1. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Executive Order 9017 - Establishing the National War Labor Board," January 12, 1942". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara.
  2. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Harry S. Truman: "Executive Order 9672 - Establishing the National Wage Stabilization Board and Terminating the National War Labor Board," December 31, 1945". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara.

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