AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and the presidents of more than 40 unions call upon Congress to increase funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) so the agency can fulfill its mandated task: supporting and protecting workers' right to organize.
NLRB funding has remained stagnant since 2014, despite the board's vast and growing mandate:
A robust NLRB is critical as workers’ organizing surges nationwide. In fiscal year (FY) 2022, workers filed 2,510 union representation petitions—a 53% increase from the number in FY 2021 and the highest number of union representation petitions since FY 2016. Workers and their unions also filed 19% more [unfair labor practice (ULP)] charges this year than they filed in the previous year. The total caseload (both ULP and union representation cases) increased by 23%—the single largest case increase in 46 years and largest percentage increase in more than 60 years.
The NLRB faces a funding crisis as the agency's staffing levels have fallen behind the growth of the private-sector workforce. The number of full-time NLRB employees has declined by more than 30% since 2006. At current funding levels, the problem will get worse.
Shuler and the union leaders continued, offering next steps:
Congress must fund the NLRB so the agency can hire staff and procure the necessary resources to conduct hearings and elections, investigate ULP charges, and obtain full and prompt remedies for workers whose rights are violated. It is important to note that the lack of NLRB staff and delays in processing contribute to a hostile environment for organizing unions and filing ULPs. Workers are far more hesitant to engage with the agency to enforce their rights or form a union when they think their case may take a year or two to be resolved.
The letter was signed by: Elizabeth H. Shuler (AFL-CIO), Fredrick D. Redmond (AFL-CIO), Stuart Appelbaum (RWDSU-UFCW), Matthew Biggs (IFPTE), James T. Callahan (IUOE), Bonnie Castillo, RN (NNU), Frank J. Christensen (IUEC), Thomas M. Conway (USW), John A. Costa (ATU), Ray Curry (UAW), Capt. Joe DePete (ALPA), Eric Dean (Ironworkers), Fran Drescher (SAG-AFTRA), Timothy J. Driscoll (BAC), Carlo Fiorletta (GIAA), James A. Hadel (Roofers), Paul V. Hogrogian (NPMHU), Newton B. Jones (IBB), Edward A. Kelly (IAFF), Richard Lanigan (OPEIU), Matthew D. Loeb (IATSE), Arthur Maratea (TCU/IAM), Donald Marcus (MM&P), Robert Martinez Jr. (IAM), Mark McManus (UA), Raymond Menard (AGMA), Sara Nelson (AFA-CWA), Terry O’Sullivan (LIUNA), Marc Perrone (UFCW), Cecil E. Roberts (UMWA), Fredric V. Rolando (NALC), John Samuelsen (TWU), Rich Santa (NATCA), Lee Saunders (AFSCME), Joseph Sellers Jr. (SMART), Anthony Shelton (BCTGM), Christopher M. Shelton (CWA), James T. Slevin (UWUA), Mark Spano (Novelty and Production Workers), Lonnie R. Stephenson (IBEW), Robert Suplee (IPPDSPM&E), D. Taylor (UNITE HERE), Adam Vokac (MEBA), Randi Weingarten (AFT), and James A. Williams Jr. (IUPAT).