Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today in Labor History

The 40-hour work week goes into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act, signed by President Roosevelt two years earlier - 1940

2013.10.21history-laborlaw-source(The Labor Law Source Book: Texts of 20 Federal Labor Laws is a handy collection that puts the full texts of all the major U.S. labor laws into one book. Includes the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and 15 more. The full, actual language of each law is presented—without elaboration by the editor—and a helpful topic finder at the back of the book tells you which laws apply to basic concerns and classes of workers.)

U.S. minimum wage increases to 40¢ an hour - 1945

October 23

President Theodore Roosevelt establishes a fact-finding commission that suspends a nine-months-long strike by Western Pennsylvania coal miners fighting for better pay, shorter workdays and union recognition.  The strikers ended up winning more pay for fewer hours, but failed to get union recognition.   It was the first time that the federal government had intervened as a neutral arbitrator in a labor dispute - 1902

Explosion and fire at Phillips Petroleum refinery in Pasadena, Texas, kills 23 and injures 314 - 1989

Postal workers Joseph Curseen and Thomas Morris die nearly a month after having inhaled anthrax at the Brentwood mail sorting center in Washington, D.C.  Other postal workers had been made ill but survived. Letters containing the deadly spores had been addressed to U.S. Senate offices and media outlets - 2001

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