If we understand where we have been, we are more likely to have an appreciation of where we are and where we are heading. It is desirable, therefore, to place a discussion of municipal employee collective bargaining within an historical framework. Everyone is familiar with the revolution that took place in industrial relations in the private sector following the enactment of the Wagner Act. In 1933 trade union membership was a scant 3,000,000. Between 1933 and 1937 union membership doubled. By 1956 trade union membership peaked 17.5 million members constituting approximately one-fourth of the total labor force. Between 1956 and 1962 the trade union movement lost almost 900,000 members in the private sector as a result of automation and the occupational shift that has been steadily taking place from blue collar to white collar workers.