Labor disputes

In 1894, American workers staged our first labor strike in Pullman, Illinois. Before it was over, more than 150,000 people were involved and federal troops would kill several protesters by indiscriminately shooting into crowds. Labor organizers say that throughout history, companies have employed harsh tactics including the use of force or replacement workers to punish strikers and end strikes. They claim company managers sometimes harass, intimidate and fire workers who attempt to organize co-workers or encourage strikes. As a bargaining chip, companies will sometimes suspend the health care benefits of striking workers. The 2019 United Auto Workers strike against General Motors provides the latest example of these tactics. After initially stating it would not pay for striking workers’ health care benefits, GM reversed its decision. Had it not done so, the burden of paying striking workers’ health insurance would have fallen on employees. This situation calls into question of who is responsible for the payment of the health insurance for workers who have stopped working to exercise their right to participate in a union strike.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of S.1549 - Labor Leave Act (116th Congress 2019-2020)
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. John Tester (MT)

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March 13, 2023
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March 19, 2023

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