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Wagner Act

Franklin D Roosevelt

Wagner Act: Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. One of the important events during his presidency was the Wagner Act. The law was passed as part of FDR's New Deal Programs that encompassed his strategies of Relief, Recovery and Reform to combat the problems and effects of the Great Depression.

Definition and Summary of the Wagner Act
Summary and definition:
The Wagner Act, also known as the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), was passed by Congress, signed into law by President Roosevelt, and became effective on July 5, 1935.  New York Senator Robert F. Wagner introduced the legislation, hence the name of the Wagner Act.

The law was part of FDR's New Deal programs and guaranteed workers the right to organize Unions and to bargain collectively. The National Labor Relations Board was set up under the National Labor Relations Act to enforce the act and guarantee workers' rights to organize and to prevent unfair labor practices.

Why was the Wagner Act passed? The Wagner Act, also known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was passed as part of FDR's series of New Deal Programs. Its purpose was to guarantee workers the right to organize Unions and to bargain collectively

What did the Wagner Act do? The law set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and established an arbitration process

Why was the Wagner Act significant? The Wagner Act was significant because it established the rights of employees to organize, join, or assist labor unions and to participate in collective bargaining through their representatives. The act prevented employers engaging in unfair labor practices. The effects of new law also prompted a burst of labor activity that resulted in the formation of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) that organized labor into unions

When was the Wagner Act passed? The date the Wagner Act was passed was on July 5, 1935 as part of FDR's Second New Deal

Facts about Wagner Act
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Wagner Act.

The history of the Wagner Act, or National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), began on May 27, 1935 when the Supreme Court unanimously declared that the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was unconstitutional.

History: The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) had established codes to address many issues including working hours, productivity, minimum wages and union membership. Section 7a of NIRA stipulated that workers should have the right to organize and bargain collectively through their own labor representatives and that no one should be banned from joining an independent union.

History: When the Supreme Court decided that NIRA was unconstitutional it struck down the section that established labor's right to organize. In response to the ruling FDR, with the support of Congress, pushed through new labor legislation

Following the furor surrounding the "Court Packing Plan" the Wagner Act was upheld by the Supreme Court in April 1937. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), or Wagner law, was passed on July 5, 1935 and made the rights previously set forth in Section 7a legally enforceable.

The new legislation was highly supported by FDR and the Democrats who knew that it would attract the important working class vote in the coming election of 1936. President Roosevelt believed that the higher wages negotiated by the Unions would enable workers to spend more money, increasing the demand for goods, creating more jobs and thereby boost the economy

The law established the rights of employees to join, organize, or aid labor unions and to participate in collective bargaining through their labor representatives of their own choosing without obstruction from employers

The process of collective bargaining means that wages, hours and working conditions are negotiated and agreed upon by an employer with a union which represents all employees and able to bargain collectively.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), or Wagner law, created the National Labor Relations Board to enforce legal rights to organize, bargain collectively and engage in concerted or coordinated action

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) consisted of three members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The first chairman of the Wagner National Labor Relations Board was J. Warren Madden, an American lawyer, judge and civil servant.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) organized factory elections by secret ballot to determine whether workers wanted a union

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was also empowered to hold hearings and resolve questions of representation. The Wagner legislation also authorized the Board to prevent any persons from engaging in any unfair labor practices and to take action that including the issue of "cease and desist" notices and the reinstatement of employees who had been unfairly treated

The new law also established an arbitration process. Arbitration is an alternative to litigation and often used in collective agreements between employers and employees as the way to resolve disputes. During the process of Arbitration the two parties select a neutral third party (called an arbiter) to hold a hearing on the disagreement. The arbiter then issues a decision binding on the parties.

The effects of National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), or Wagner law prompted a burst of labor activity  and interest that resulted in the formation of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) that organized labor into unions. The founding of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) marked the beginning of a movement away from “trade” unionism, which divided workers according to their jobs. The CIO organized Unions to include all workers in a particular industry - both skilled and unskilled.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), or Wagner law was the origin of modern American labor law was one of the most dramatic legislative measures of the New Deal.

The Taft Hartley Act, officially known as the Labor-Management Relations Act was enacted by Congress on June 23, 1947 and was a major revision of the Wagner Act.

US American History
1929-1945: Depression & WW2

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