Today in Labor History – August 5th

PATCO on Strike

PATCO on Strike

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

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established 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 set the tone for labor-management relations across the country for the ensuing 30 years, with employers beginning to take a tougher stance against unions and increasingly relying on strikebreakers and mass firings.  – 1981

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) took effect on this day. The first law signed by President Clinton, it required employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child. The FMLA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. – 1993

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