Today in Labor History – August 5th

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Using clubs, police rout 1,500 jobless men who had stormed the plant of the Fruit Growers Express Co. in Indiana Harbor, Indiana, demanding jobs – 1931

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the National Labor Board to enforce the right of collective bargaining. Ultimately declared illegal by the Supreme Court, it was replaced two years later by the National Labor Relations Board – 1933

President Ronald Reagan fired the striking members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), declaring the work stoppage illegal. Reagan’s action crushed the union and sets the tone for labor-management relations across the country for the ensuing 30 years, with employers beginning to take tougher stands against unions and increasingly relying on strikebreakers and mass firings. It also hastened the decline in union membership – 1981

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) took effect today. The first law signed by President Clinton, it allows many workers time off each year due to serious health conditions or to care for a family member – 1993

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