|← Nissan Skyline||Tourism →|
The New Deal had a positive impact on the organized labor. Organized labor gained a space during 1930s in national political life, as labor relations became a legitimate ground for federal action and intervention. The dramatic growth of labor was one of the most important economic and social changes in 1930s. Labor was in a demoralized state in 1920s but this state changed completely in 1930s. Some of the factors which encouraged the labor growth include New Deal legislation such as Wagner act, the rise of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the growing militancy of rank and file workers, and the inadequacy of welfare capitalism in the face of the depression (Henretta & Brody 837). Organized labor also contributed to union recognition as well as higher wages, grievances procedures and seniority systems (841). The 1930s can therefore be said to constitute one of the most active period of labor solidarity in the US.
Women did not benefit a lot from the New Deal although there were some improvements here and there. For instance, for the first time a number of women were offered positions in the Roosevelt administration. Some of the positions they occupied included middle-level bureaucrats and policy makers. Most of these females were close friends and they cooperated in an informal manner to fight for feminist reform causes. Women received minimum wages compared to men, moreover some New Deal agencies were giving jobs to men only (862). There was a perception that some jobs were only meant for men. Some agencies like the public work administration could not offer construction work to women because this work was considered unsuitable to them. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) however played a great role in empowering women. It created a great number of programs to put women to work with an aim of reinforcing gender and racial attitudes.
The New Deal also did little concerning racial discrimination. Many of the New Deal programs encouraged racist attitudes. For instance, CCC camps segregated blacks and many NRA codes did not protect the black workers whatsoever (917). The New Deal relief programs which were supposed to help poor Americans regardless of race or ethnicity did not help the blacks. There were a few positive changes of the New Deal on different races and the minorities. For example, some blacks were appointed to federal office and Mexican Americans were allowed to join the CIO.