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Today in Labor History
Oct. 20, 1980: Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan writes to PATCO President Robert Poli with this promise: if the union endorses Reagan, "I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety." He got the endorsement. Nine months after the election, he fires the air traffic controllers for engaging in an illegal walkout over staffing levels and working conditions.
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Updated: Oct. 20 (12:43)

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Minimum wage: Who Decided Workers Should Fall Behind?
Posted On: Feb 25, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013 | The federal minimum wage was first put in place in 1938. From that year until 1968 when its value peaked, the purchasing power of the minimum wage increased by more than 140%. As a result, minimum wage workers saw a sharp increase in their living standards. Over this 30-year period, low wage workers shared in the gains of the economy as a whole as the minimum wage rose in step with productivity growth. If workers at the bottom had continued to share in the economy's growth in the years since 1968 as they had in the three decades before 1968, we would be looking at a very different economy and society. Read the full story here.


 
 
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