OFCCP Week in Review: April 2022 #2 | Direct Employers Association
Wednesday April 6, 2022: The NLRB reported a 57% increase in union representation petitions since October 2021
Yes, you would think so with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and now President Biden as well, acting as labor organizers criss-crossing the country encouraging workers to unionize. These are firsts, ladies and gentlemen. Not sure what this will mean when the Republicans regain the White House: anti-union statements by a Republican Secretary of Labor and the President? Takes things to a whole new level, since USDOL’s mission does not include proselytizing employees to join unions, as opposed to enforcing employee rights under the numerous federal laws of Congress that Congress and the President have entrusted to USDOL to enforce.
Details: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announcement that in the first six months of FY2022 (October 1 to March 31), applications for union representation filed with the NLRB increased by 57% (from 748 to 1,174). In addition, unfair labor practice charges increased by 14% (from 7,255 to 8,254).
The increased workload comes as staffing shortages plague the Agency, along with so many other organizations post-pandemic. The Agency’s workforce has fallen by 39% since FY2002 and the workforce in the field has fallen by 50%.
The NLRB received the same Congressional appropriation of $274.2 million for nine consecutive years. However, last week President Biden released his budget for fiscal year 2023, which calls for $319.4 million for the NLRB. This 16% increase hopes to modernize the agency’s technological infrastructure but will not fully meet staffing needs, according to the president. As detailed in his Justification of the Congress budget for the financial year 2023more than three-quarters (77%) of the NLRB’s budget goes directly to personnel costs (as is the case with most employment-related law enforcement agencies).
“Currently, there is an increase in union activity across the country, with workers organizing and filing petitions for more union elections than they have in the past ten years. This has resulted in a significant increase in the NLRB’s workload, and the Agency urgently needs more staff and resources to effectively comply with our congressional mandate.said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo.
To keep things in perspective, however, we reported in January 2022 that “Union membership falls to 2019 rate, 10.3% of employed workers: only 6.1% in the private sector.” However, this report was from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 Union Data Information, so it did not reflect the workload numbers that the NLRB cites above.
Petitions from union representatives
Employees, unions or employers may file a representation request with an NLRB field office to have the NLRB organize an election both certify and decertify unions. The local office investigates petitions and, if founded, holds an election to allow employees to decide if they want a union to represent them.
Unfair Labor Practices
Any member of the public can file an unfair labor practice complaint with an NLRB field office if they believe an employer or union has violated national labor relations law. Field offices investigate the accusation and may issue a complaint, in the absence of a resolution, if the Regional Director determines that the accusation is founded.