Today in Labor History: Medical interns win right to unionize

On this date in 1999, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that medical interns could unionize and negotiate both their wages and working hours. Another decision, made just prior by the California Public Employment Relations Board, further opened the way for unionization.

The NLRB decision was based on a dispute between interns and residents at Boston University’s medical education center. The decision recognized the interns as employees, not students, guaranteeing them all rights given to other workers.

Bruce Elwell, with the Committee of Interns and Residents, said at the time that the decision would affect about 50,000 interns in the private sector. The PERB decision affected about 3,300 doctors-in-training at University of California teaching institutions.

Photo via Madison Guy // CC 2.0.



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.