Today in Labor History – July 31st

Pirate pitcher Luis Tiant reads about the end of the strike
Pirate pitcher Luis Tiant reads about the end of the strike

Members of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) went on strike. The strike lasted only two days, but inaugurated the NFLPA as a real union. The new agreement won the right for players to bargain through their own agents with the clubs, and minimum salaries were increased to $12,500 for rookies and $13,000 for veterans. Also, players’ pensions were improved and dental care was added to the players’ insurance plans. Players also gained the right to select representation on the league’s retirement board and the right to impartial arbitration for injury grievance. – 1970

A crippling fifty-day baseball player strike ended. The strike divided the season into two as owners adopted a split-season format with increased playoff participants. Purists were enraged, as several teams whose first-rate records somehow failed to qualify the for the postseason.  – 1981

The Great Shipyard Strike of 1999 ended after Steelworkers at Newport News Shipbuilding ratified a breakthrough agreement which nearly doubled pensions, increased security, ended inequality, and provided the highest wage increases in company and industry history to the nearly 10,000 workers at the yard. The strike lasted 15 weeks. – 1999

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