Legislation of Management and Unions

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Legislation of Management and Unions

Labor unions have been a staple in many different industries. The purpose of a union is to organize workers, to act cooperatively together, requesting to promote and protect their mutual interests through collective bargaining. With the rise of unions across the United States came pieces of legislation to help define the rights of management and the members of the labor unions. There are three pieces of legislation that have played an important role in defining these rights.

The first piece of legislation that helped to define the rights of management and the members of the labor unions was the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, also known as the Wagner Act. The main purpose of the Wagner Act was to give employees the right to form and join unions, to engage in collective bargaining, strike against their employers, and to practice activities that supported their mutual interests. With the introduction of the Wagner Act came the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB is a governmental board that has five members who are appointed by the president of the United States, who are responsible for forming proper bargaining units, performing elections to determine union representation, and avoiding or correcting employer actions that could lead to unfair labor practices. The NLRB only had corrective action power so employers did not have to worry about any penalizing actions coming from the government. The Wagner Act provided unions with the legal identification that they were looking for as being a legitimate interest group within America’s labor industries. But with the Wagner Act there was public objection because the balance of power had shifted too far in favor of the employees (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2010).

This shift of power prompted the second piece of legislation that helped to define the rights of management and the members of unions to be introduced. This piece of legislation was the Taft-Hartley Act....
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