The government passed many acts and legislation to combat the mass strike movement going to during the Depression. How the government reacted was just as important (if not more) to the massive efforts the strikers were making. The Wagner Act was the most effective piece of labor legislation that came out of the New Deal.

Throughout the past centuries, workers and the unions they belonged to were trying to get the government and their employers to recognize unions, so that things such as overtime pay and eight hour workdays would be an enforced
On July 9 of 1935, Roosevelt signed the approved Wagner Act.
part of labor. Unions had been allowed partially; but only in the skilled industries such as construction, railroad, and truck delivery industries, leaving out the unskilled, yet major industries like automobiles and steel. During the Depression, not only was this a big part of strikes and labor unrest, but the crisis of the whole Depression made every strike even more tense and violent than before. Strikes and labor unrest reached such a bad level in 1934 that the government knew something had to be done. In 1935, the New Deal program proposed the Wagner Act, which granted workers the right to belong to a union. With it came the National Labor Relations Board to settle any issues that occurred and unfair guidelines in the labor industry.

At first, the Wagner Act caused more trouble than it was worth. Heads of corporations who were against unions had no patience dealing with this act, so more strikes sprung up. Many of these strikes, however, were peacefully handled, like the sit-down strike of Flint Michigan. (This particular strike got people to notice the Wagner Act and see how the government would react). Since it turned out well, other corporations, such as U.S. Steel, honored the movement without a fight. Some still promised not to recognize the Wagner Act, like "Little Steel" industries, causing 75,000 workers to simply quit. The strike was ended after police opened fire on these strikers in May of 1937, but the workers did not come back to work until the 1940s, when "Little Steel"finally agreed to respect the Wagner Act.

When thinking of the Depression, many would believe no positive moment could have happened. The common workers of the labor industry had been working towards making unions legal since the 1800s, and getting the right to do so was one of the best things for this industry. Unions are still in use and are a big part of our workplaces today.