Q1 Discuss the effects of the Wagner act on Industry and Employees either historically to the 1930s or from the 1980s to the 2020’s. How have the concerns for workers changed during those times.
Q2 What was the relationship between big business and the courts prior to the Wagner act? How did laws and the courts affect labor relations/unions and business?
The Wagner Act on Industry and Employees
The Wagner Act, also called the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, is the most notable law influential in the 20th century regarding employer-employee relationships (Lassabe, 2021). The purpose of the law was to ensure employees’ civil rights by forming trade unions for negotiating the employment terms with the companies jointly. However, the law excluded agricultural and domestic workers. However, the Wagner Act has helped the labour and unions, shifting the dynamic between employee unions and the federal government (Morgan, 2019). The Act successfully secured the employees’ rights, safeguarding their union membership. The Act fostered the formation of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which was government-supervised to avoid conflicts between the employees and employers during unionization in the work environments. The statute helped arbitrate employee-employer disagreements in organizations.
Following the Wagner Act, employees’ majority support for the union could enable a sole bargaining agent, forcing employers to negotiate employment terms with chosen employees’ representatives. The employment officers in firms that lack collective agreements tend to be very careful in creating awareness of compensation and working conditions for the employees in these work relationships. Individual employees’ rights and privileges are also crucial on these grounds, along with a clear understanding of the organization’s policies concerning employer-employee relationships. According to the Wagner Act, discharging an employee who is a labor union member is considered an unfair workplace practice (De Roeck & Farooq, 2018). Through collective bargaining sessions to negotiate the issues, the Wagner Act and collective bargaining approaches have reduced the issues of sixteen-hour workdays, harmful equipment, unhealthy working environments, and child labor. The Act has also promoted equal pay and ethical treatment of workers as the top concerns in labor relations. Other issues that are raising the government’s concern in employment relationships are job protection and employee pay equity (Morgan, 2019).The employee unions have focused on health care, short working weeks, employee training, and affirmative actions highlighted in the collective bargaining sessions.
Before developing the Magner Act, the relationship between big businesses and court laws showed a combative and unsure approach. The ties created a conspiracy doctrine that made the unions illegal, claiming that they were the source of a hostile work environment. At that time, businesses hindered unionization in work environments. However, the laws and courts affected labor relations in that employees enjoyed unionization rights, where the organization formed and joined labor organizations through collective bargaining through representation. The unionized labor improved working conditions, employees’ livelihoods, and challenged organizations. Laws like the NLRA have protected human rights (Lessabe, 2021). The unions have functioned like cartels to restrict the number of workers within an organization to raise pay. At the same time, the unions have destroyed jobs in organizations through increased business investment.
De Roeck, K., & Farooq, O. (2018). Corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership: Investigating their interactive effect on employees’ socially responsible behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 923-939.
Lassabe, L. (2021). Divided unions: the Wagner act, federalism, and organized labor.
Morgan, J. (2019). Will we work in twenty-first century capitalism? A critique of the fourth industrial revolution literature. Economy and Society, 48(3), 371-398.