On July 5, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Wagner Act, which has come down through the ages as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the landmark legislation that codified workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain with employers.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is charged with enforcing provisions of the NLRA, is now celebrating the 75th anniversary of the law with a series of events and a special Web commemorative.

Prior to the NLRA, workers were largely at the mercy of their employers when it came to workplace rights and the freedom (or lack thereof) to organize into collective bargaining units.

“Both our country and our world have changed a great deal over the last eight decades, but the values reflected in the National Labor Relations Act – democracy in the workplace and fairness in the economy – are still vitally important,” said NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman.

In fiscal year 2009 alone, the Agency conducted 1,690 representation elections, received 22,941 charges of unfair labor practices, recovered more than $77 million in back pay and ensured that more than 1,500 wrongfully discharged employees were offered reinstatement to their jobs.

How the NLRA has been enforced through the decades, of course, largely has been a reflection of the administration in charge of the White House. After eight years of Republican ascendancy, during which the NLRB generally favored employers’ over employees’ rights, the Obama administration is now swinging the pendulum in the other direction in favor of workers’ rights.

A good example is the current administration’s issuance of Executive Order 13496, which pretty much reverses a Bush-era order that mandated federal contractors to inform employees–through workplace posters–of their rights not to join unions or pay union dues. E.O. 13496, which is now in full force, mandates just the opposite–that contractors inform their employees of their right to organize and bargain collectively.

Personnel Concepts offers what we’re still calling the Beck Law Poster for federal contractors and subcontractors to inform their employees of Executive Order 13496 and their union rights. If you’re a contractor, get yours today.