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Section 7(a) of the National Industrial Recovery Act declared that workers had a right to “organize and bargain collectively … free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of employers.” Activists in the labor movement used the legislation as a springboard for recruiting support.

Describe how unions gained momentum and evolved during the New Deal Era.


Boris, Eileen and Nelson Lichtenstein, Major Problems in the History of American Workers. New York: Houghton Mifflin 2003 (MP)

Murolo, Priscilla and A.B. Chitty, From the Folks Who Brought You the weekend: Revised and Updated. New York: The New Press, 2018.

  • Read Murolo and Chitty – Ch. 7 and 8
  • Read Boris and Lichtenstein – Ch. 9 – Documents 1, 2, 4 through 8
  • Read Boris and Lichtenstein – Ch. 10 – Documents 1, 3 through 5
  • Watch PBS video on The Crash of 1929 and The Great Depression