The Wagner Act Promotes Union Organization (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935, one of the most significant American labor laws, placed positive federal authority behind labor organizing and collective bargaining.
Summary of Event
Passage of the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) on July 5, 1935, signaled the beginning of a national labor policy, a prolabor reform policy that the first administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then preoccupied with the nation’s economic recovery, initially had not anticipated and about which it was ill informed. The Wagner Act was one of the most significant pieces of labor legislation ever enacted in the United States. Moreover, unlike the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932, which was prolabor in spirit and removed unions and their organizers from the danger of court injunctions, the Wagner Act actively placed that authority of the federal government behind economic coercions, such as strikes, believed to be essential to a vigorous and expansive labor movement. The Wagner Act also instantly provoked heated controversy both in the ranks of organized labor and in the boardrooms of many employers.
The novel presumption of the Wagner Act was that the profound labor unrest from 1933 into early 1935—much of it attended by bitter strikes, violence, critical disruptions of interstate commerce (a factor vital to federal jurisdiction), and in some quarters fears of civil...
(The entire section is 2089 words.)
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