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Perhaps the most important way in which the Wagner Act succeeded where other legislation failed was in that the Wagner Act protected unions’ ability to recruit workers. This made it so that unions could gain strength and it also made it so that unions did not have to be as radical as they once were.
Before the Wagner Act, strikes and labor unrest were much more likely to turn violent than they were after the act passed. One reason for this is that unions had much less protection before the act. Before the Wagner Act there was nothing to stop employers from firing workers for trying to organize unions or for belonging to unions. Workers could be blacklisted, essentially losing the ability to work in a given industry. Because of this, the right to collective bargaining was really not much of a right at all. This fact helped make unions and their members angrier and more radical. With the Wagner Act, union members had much greater protections. This allowed them to grow stronger, but it also allowed them to become less radical because they were allowed a position within the system. They no longer had to agitate to tear the system down because now they were a part of the system due to the ways in which the Wagner Act protected them.
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