What Three Pieces of Legislation Have Been Most Important in Defining the Rights of Management and Unions? Why and What Role Did They Play?

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Labor Laws

Michael Clark

Grantham University


Throughout history change has occurred often because people witnessed something wrong and decided to take action. Not only is this the way systems improve but this is also the way laws are typically created, approved and governed. Society witnesses an injustice and government normally responds. At the beginning of last century three pieces of labor legislation were enacted and as a direct result the work environment that we are accustomed to is indebted as is society as a whole.

Labor Laws

Throughout history laws have been created to guide us in the never-ending quest to know right from wrong. From Biblical text to the Middle Ages until the present time, laws have shaped society for the better and for the worse. It is my opinion that in no other realm has law enactment created such vast amounts of change than when we discuss Labor. In this paper I will discuss what three pieces of legislation have been the most important in defining the rights of management and unions. Additionally I will discuss the roles that the legislation played.

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, also known as the Wagner Act is often referred to as the basic bill of rights for unions. This piece of legislation is important because it guarantees workers the right to organize and join unions, strike, bargain collectively and the opportunity to pursue activities that support their objectives (p. 346). The Wagner Act from a labor relations standpoint specifically calls for employers to negotiate in good faith over mandatory bargaining issues such as terms and conditions of employment, wages and hours.

With the creation of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Wagner Act is often credited with being the force that shifted the balance of power to favor unions for the first time in United States labor history (p. 346). The NLRB is an administrative body with five members that are appointed by the President of the...