The National Labor Relations Act

The National Labor Relations Act

Congress enacted the NLRA on July 5, 1935. The Act significantly expanded the government’s powers to intervene in labor relations. Before the law, employers had liberty to spy upon, question, punish, blacklist, and fire union members. In the 1930s workers began to organize in large numbers. A great wave of work stoppages in 1933 and 1934 included citywide general strikes and factory occupations by workers. Hostile fights erupted between workers bent on organizing unions and the police who backed the interests of anti union factory owners who hated unionizing. Some historians maintain that Congress enacted the NLRA primarily to help stave off even more potentially serious revolutionary labor unrest.