In the wake of the Taft-Hartley Act, which allowed individual states to pass “Right To Work” laws, Virginia joins eleven other states in passing “Right To Work”Read More

The years following World War II saw Union membership increase exponentially as American soldiers joined the construction workforce after their service to their country. In the post-WWII Boom, membership in the Brotherhood reached new heights with more than 833,000 members by 1973.Read More

In 1943 the first “Right To Work” lobbying groups create a narrative that the mere presence of picketers constituted a threat of violence and should be considered a felony. The Christian American Association (CAA) and the Arkansas Free Enterprise Association circulated petitions to enact a law forbidding labor unions and companies from signing agreements requiring union membership as a condition of employment..” The next year, the campaign was a success and the state’s voters approved the so-called “Right to Work” initiative in the fall of 1944.Read More

In the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s, both unemployed and union workers mobilized to successfully support the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established the first national minimum wage at $0.25/hour (equivalent to $4.31/hour in 2017 dollars). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.Read More

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) on July 5, 1935. The Act significantly expanded the government’s powers to intervene in labor relations. Before the law, employers had liberty to spy upon, question, punish, blacklist and fire Union members. In the 1930s, workers began to organize in large numbers. A great wave of work stoppages in 1933 and 1934 included citywide general strikes and factory occupations by workers. Hostile fights erupted between workers who sought to organize. Some historians maintain that Congress enacted the NLRA to stave off revolutionary labor unrest.Read More

The Davis-Bacon Act, introduced by Senator James J. Davis (R-PA) and Representative Robert L. Bacon (R-NY-1),  is passed in 1931 and establishes the requirement for paying prevailing wages on publicly funded projects. In 1931, laws were enacted both in Washington and in Wisconsin to guarantee fair competition on federal and state construction projects. Over the years these laws, the Davis-Bacon Act and the state Prevailing Wage law, have become recognized by workers both inside and outside the construction industry as important milestones in the history of organized labor.Read More

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters merged with the Union of Box Makers in 1916. This merger lead to the slow start for the creation of women’s rights within the UBC. While the UBC did not recognize women as members the Boxmakers did. Delegates voted in 1916 to classify women as associate members. Women were not provided full rights as union members until the UBC made the decision to rectify this wrong in 1935.Read More

Successfully organized the carpenters in Paramus, New Jersey. Was instrumental in bringing in the amalgamated carpenters of North Jersey into the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Arthur’s nickname was “Fair and Square” and would go on to lead the Building Trades in New Jersey for several years as well as a representative for the International Carpenters.Read More

In the 1890s, states across the Union began to recognize the Labor Day holiday. By 1894, 23 states had adopted the Labor Day holiday in recognition of workers. After years of lobbying from P.J. McGuire, on June 28th of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September each year a national holiday in the United States.Read More

The Famous Long Strike was conducted by carpenters out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during a year where several other strikes by unions were taking place. This strike though was not sanctioned by the United Brotherhood and failed under difficult striking conditions and no assistance from outside of Pittsburgh. The UB, out of “the feeling of sympathy and fraternity” rendered aid to the strikers after the strike was unsuccessful. The need to regroup was necessary and Pittsburgh Carpenters convinced former retired Business Agent,  A.M Swartz, to return to office and help bring a larger unity back to the union. Swartz served as a national convention delegate in 1892 and was elected to the General Executive Board.Read More