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Examples of presidential intervention in labor disagreem

February 13, 1997

Examples of presidential intervention in labor disagreements:

_ April 1945. Harry S. Truman issued an executive order seizing the nation’s hard coal mines, making mine workers temporary government employees and ending a strike ordered by United Mine Workers President John L. Lewis. Truman argued the coal was needed for the war effort.

_ May 1946. In a national address, Truman threatened to draft all striking railroad workers and have the Army run the trains. They backed down and went back to work.

_ April 1952. Truman seized the nation’s steel mills and ordered the Commerce Department to operate them, contending a steel strike was jeopardizing the Korean War effort. The Supreme Court later held the seizure unconstitutional.

_ April 1962. President Kennedy denounced a large increase in prices by U.S. Steel to help it pay for a new wage agreement. He demanded the company roll back the increases, contending they violated price guidelines. U.S. Steel complied.

_ April 1964. President Johnson used personal persuasion to avert a rail strike and end a five-year dispute over work rules, bringing negotiators to the White House. It was one of many strikes Johnson averted or helped settle in his presidency, ranging from a 1964 New York plumbers’ strike to a 1966 strike by rail firemen and a 1968 strike by Memphis garbage workers.

_ October 1971. President Nixon invoked the ``back-to-work″ provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act to end a dock strike that tied up cargo on both coasts.

_ May 1974. Nixon signed an executive order requiring sheet metal workers who were striking the nation’s railroads to return to work.

_ March 1978. President Carter invoked the Taft-Hartley Act to end a three-month strike by soft coal workers.

_ September 1979. Carter ordered striking Rock Island railroad workers back to their jobs, ending a three-week walkout. He used his emergency powers under the National Railway Labor Act.

_ December 1979. Carter moved to end a weeklong strike by the Long Island Railroad and ordered workers back to work for 60 days.

_ July 1981. President Reagan directed Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan to intervene in a baseball strike. The players and owners settled after a 50-day walkout.

_ August 1981. Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers after they refused his order to return to work. Twelve years later, Clinton lifted the ban.

_ July 1982. Reagan invoked emergency provisions of the Railway Labor Act to avert a nationwide freight strike by a union of railroad engineers. The action began a 60-day ``cooling off″ period.

_ November 1982. Reagan named an emergency board to settle a yearlong dispute between the Long Island Railroad, the nation’s largest commuter line, and 14 unions.

_ June 1991. President Bush signed legislation to halt a nationwide rail shutdown and created a binding arbitration process to resolve the disputes. In August, he upheld the decision of the arbiters.

_ November 1993. Clinton intervened to end a five-day strike against American Airlines by flight attendants. Clinton and a top aide, Bruce Lindsey, who is also involved in discussions on the American Airlines pilots talks, got both sides to agree to binding arbitration.

_ August 1994. Clinton ordered striking Soo Line Railroad employes back to work while federal mediators worked at resolving a labor dispute that threatened to spread to other lines.

_ February 1995. Failing to end the Major League Baseball strike on his own, Clinton urged Congress to ``step up to the plate″ and end the dispute. The strike ended two months later without help from Washington.

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