Aftermath of Wagner Act
The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 or famously known as Wagner Act was hailed by Senator Robert Wagner, and his advisor, Leon Keyserling. This law granted employees the democratic rights to organize, bargain collectively, and engage in concerted activity to contest for higher wages, appropriate working hours, and better working conditions. However, the fundamental point of Wagner Act is to uphold the morality and rights of the American workers in the private sectors. Did the law help the workers? Yes, it certainly did. It gave the American employees chance to exercise what they rightfully deserved during the Depression Era. Wagner Act is principally based on human rights and through this, the paradigm of power was shifted from the powerful to the powerless. It is not a neutral legislation that is why it gained a lot of criticisms, most especially from the affected party- the employers. James Gross, in his essay, quoted the first chairman of the Wagner Act National J. Warren Madden to have "expected the employers to dislike the act because it reduced their power". For the first time, the American constitution paid attention to the rights of the workers, and the need to exercise it. For the first time, worker rights are parallel with human rights. American workers already realized their rights long before Wagner Act came into the scene as evident in charges, labor strikes, picketing, etc., but no one really took their plead for fair treatment seriously. It was only until the implementation of Wagner Act that employers and industrial conglomerates decide to respect the rights of their workers. The act liberated the workers from oppression- small wages, long working hours and poor working conditions. The act gave American workers the protection and encouragement they badly needed from their leaders. The act made the workers feel that they were important, too. The act proved that America is indeed a democratic country, giving out fair share of freedom to its people, including the oppressed and the powerless.