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Thursday and Friday, October 28 and 29, 2010
GW Law School
Lerner Hall, First Floor
2000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
The National Labor Relations Board is celebrating 75 years of enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between employers and employees in the private sector, which was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5, 1935.
It was a time of high unemployment and severe economic distress for many workers, and President Roosevelt declared that the new law was intended to achieve "common justice and economic advance." In the ensuing years, millions of employees have voted in workplace elections and millions more have bargained collectively with their employers under the NLRA’s protection. Since its inception, the law has been controversial, and it continues to evoke strongly held views by advocates for labor and management.
On October 28 and 29, the National Labor Relations Board and the George Washington University Law School will sponsor a conference examining the contributions the NLRA has made to the nation’s economic and social life, while asking the questions: Can this 1935 law, which first established the rights of American workers to join a union, adapt to a dramatically changed global environment? Is there a better model?
Panels will feature some of the top thinkers in labor and related studies, including legal scholars, economists, and historians, and will be moderated by current and former members of the NLRB, as well as the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The keynote luncheon address will be given by Ron Bloom, White House Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy.
The conference will open with remarks by Frederick M. Lawrence, Dean of the George Washington School of Law, and NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman. “Both our country and our world have changed a great deal over the last eight decades,” Chairman Liebman said in announcing the event, “but the values reflected in the National Labor Relations Act – democracy in the workplace and fairness in the economy – are still vitally important.”