On July 5th, 1935, the Wagner Act was signed into law in the United States. This law was officially titled the National Labor Relations Act. It was introduced by Senator Wagner and was a response to worker unrest from the Great Depression. The purpose of this law was to create an absolute right to collective bargaining, to protect workers from unfair labour practices, and to create an independent board to ensure this Act was enforced.

The Wagner Act guaranteed employees right to join and form a union and protected the right bargain with their employers. It also endorsed the principle of majority rules for certification. Restrictions and prohibited actions for employers were also set out in this law, including restricting employer interference with union activity.

The National Labor Relations Board was established through this Act for enforcement of the Act, and to prosecute for violations. The Board was also created to prevent and remedy unfair labour practices and to hold union elections.

The enactment of this Act helped establish much of the modern labour relations framework today, both in the United States and Canada, and hugely increased union membership.

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