National Labor Relations Act

The National Labor Relations Act is a law enacted in 1935 that protects the right for employees to join a Union without the fear of being fired or intimidated by their employers.  It calls for employers to agree to collective bargaining with the Unions.   This was a huge step for employees because they became protected from unfair labor practices and allowed them to take part in strikes without the risking their jobs.  It also caused a huge increase in the amount of people who became members of Unions up to 35% of the workforce.  It was also thought that the law was enacted due to the fear that the U.S.  workforce would possibly rise up in some sort of rebellion if they were not allowed to fight for their rights as workers.  I got this information from a website titled “The National Labor Relations Act.” http://www.ibew1613.org/stewards/nlra.html

1997 Teamster Strike

The 1997 Teamster Strike at UPS was a strike that occurred when the semi-new President of the Teamster’s Union, Ron Carey, called for UPS workers to strike across the nation due to the UPS company’s change in policy.  The UPS Company had a previous contract stating that workers would not have to lift packages more than seventy pounds, but they then they changed that amount to one hundred and fifty pounds.  This broke their agreement and Carey tried to discuss it with the UPS Company, but they would not budge.  The strike involved 70,000 workers and got UPS to back down.  It is significant because it was the first strike to continue even after a court injunction since the 70’s.  Strikes were thought to be ineffective but this showed that they could be extremely effective when they were carried out properly and efficiently.  I got this information from an article titled “Lessons of the 1997 Teamster Strike at UPS Part 1”, by Bill Leumer. http://workerscompass.org/rl/robleum2007/teamsters1997_1_leumer.html