On today’s labor calendar, find out Why the Supreme Court Matters to Workers today at the AFL-CIO at 12 noon. The discussion will focus on President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court and the impact of courts on issues affecting working people, from immigration to economic security, health care, and trade.
Here’s today's labor history, both of which illustrate the effect of court rulings on workers:
On this date in 1908, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the United Hatters Union violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by organizing a nationwide boycott of Danbury Hatters of Connecticut.
In 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Wages and Hours Act banning child labor and establishing the 40-hour work week.
Today’s labor quote is from the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which passed after the American Federation of Labor initiated an aggressive campaign to convince Congress to address labor concerns about the Sherman Act. As the Danbury Hatters case showed, employers were using the Sherman Act to weaken boycotts, which were an important and effective union tactic.
The Clayton Antitrust Act provided that "the labor of a human being is not a commodity or an article of commerce," and Section 20 of the act said that federal courts should not grant injunctions in labor disputes "unless necessary to prevent irreparable injury to property, or to a property right." Legal battles over union tactics like boycotts and strikes continue to this day.
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