Today in labor history, August 14, 1935: President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act “to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws.”
Today in labor history, December 27, 1943: President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9412. “Railroad strikes by three Brotherhoods have been ordered for next Thursday,” Roosevelt said in a statement. “The Government will expect every railroad man to continue at his post of duty. The major military offensives now planned must not be delayed by the interruption of vital transportation facilities. If any employees of the railroads now strike, they will be striking against the Government of the United States.”
Today in labor history, June 25, 1938: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) into law. The FLSA applied to industries whose combined employment represented only about one-fifth of the labor force. In these industries, it banned certain types of child labor, established a minimum wage, and set a maximum workweek at 44 hours.
Today in labor history, June 18, 1941: Union leader A. Philip Randolph meets with President Franklin Roosevelt about the demonstration being organized for July 1 to protest discrimination in the military and defense industries. Randolph told the president that 100,000 people were planning to march on Washington, D.C., and Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802: “There shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”
Today in labor history, April 26, 1944: After management at Montgomery Ward repeatedly refuses to comply with an order by the National War Labor Board (created to avert strikes in critical war-support industries) to recognize the workers’ union and abide by the collective bargaining agreement that the board worked out, President Franklin Roosevelt orders the Army National Guard to seize the company’s property in Chicago and remove its chairman, Sewell Avery.