It’s been just shy of a century since the National Labor Relations Act was signed into law, guaranteeing workers nationwide the right to bargain collectively. A crucial component of that was ensuring that it was the individual worker’s right to decide whether to belong to a union or not.
That’s not what you are likely to hear today from the White House and its regulatory agencies, however.
“Since 1935, when the National Labor Relations Act [NLRA] was enacted, the policy of the federal government has been to encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining, not to merely allow or tolerate them,” President Biden has claimed.
Biden is wrong. New York Sen. Robert Wagner, author of the Depression-era law, said that the government was neutral on the issue. “That’s all that this bill does, so far as I can see: It leaves the worker a free man to organize or not to organize as he chooses,” he said during the 1934 Senate hearings on the legislation, subsequently dubbed “The Wagner Act.”
In fact, the NLRA was intended in part to prevent workers from being pushed against their wishes into unions. The NLRA was actually the second law to ensure collective bargaining rights for all private-sector workers; the first was the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, though that law had some flaws.
Read the full article on The Hill.