What is the Wagner Act?
The Wagner Act, which is the name given to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, was passed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the New Deal. The act gives workers in private industry the right to organize unions, to bargain collectively, and to take collective actions such as strikes. The act also created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enforce the law and to investigate and correct unfair labor practices. THE NLRB can also require employers to bargain collectively with unions.
The Wagner Act helped achieve economic recovery because it provided safeguards for workers. In addition, it helped give workers purchasing power and job security. The decline in the purchasing power of workers, in combination with a dramatic increase in production, was one of the underlying causes of the Great Depression. While the New Deal also gave direct relief, or money and jobs, to the unemployed, it can be argued that the Wagner Act was a better way to achieve economic recovery because it addressed some of the underlying problems in the economy and also gave some protections to workers against future economic problems. In other words, the act addressed recovery, or improving the economy, and reform, the part of the New Deal meant to protect the country against future economic panics and depressions.