A sweeping government spending deal Attained in Senate Early Tuesday is a great time to get some much-needed sunshine. funding boost The agency which oversees collective bargaining within the private sector.
Labor In recent weeks, unions have been pressuring lawmakers to direct more funds to the National. Labor Relations BoardIt conducts union elections, and examines labor abuses. The agency’s leaders recently said its financial situation had grown so dire that it would have to furlough employees, endangering its mission to protect workers’ rights.
The problem is that Senate’s new framework for an omnibus spending bill would hike the NLRB’s funding to $299 million, an increase of $25 million a year. The agency’s funding has remained stagnant at $274 million since 2014, meaning its funding has gone down in real dollars.
The labor board’s general counsel recently The Sunday Review that the agency’s work had become “unsustainable” Because of the flat funding. Unions are concerned about the possibility that an inept board might undermine recent organizing success by leaving employers free to bust illegal unions.
Organized labor has had a number of breakthroughs in the past year ― unionizing employees for the first time at Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Trader Joe’s, to name a few ― and workers are seeking union elections at a rate not seen in years.
“Unions have grown concerned that a poorly equipped board could threaten recent organizing successes by letting employers off the hook for illegal union busting.”
Due to the loss of staff, the agency is having difficulty keeping up. Since 2010, the NLRB’s total staffing has fallen 30%, from 1,733 employees full-time to only 1,207. The majority of these cuts were made to the regional offices, which conduct elections and investigate allegations against employers or unions that have violated the law.
Liz Shuler (President of AFL-CIO Labor Federation) stated Tuesday, that funding the labor boards was an issue. “workers’ rights issue.”
“For every employee who has faced retaliation, harassment or surveillance simply for wanting to join a union, strengthening the NLRB will make a difference,” Shuler stated this on Twitter.
Although the funding increase would be welcome, many believe it’s still not enough. Funding for this year was requested by the board at $319 Million, which is $20M more than last year. Senate Was willing to provide.
A group of progressive lawmakers had recently asked for a much higher level of NLRB funding ― $368 million ― but Republicans have opposed any increase at all for years.
Recently, business associations pressed lawmakers not to increase the NLRB’s funding, claiming it was targeting small businesses.
Republicans and business lobbies have attacked the board over the years when it aggressively enforced workers’ rights, typically under Democratic presidents. Biden appointed NLRB members that made it more welcoming to unions and workers. This move will be scrutinized by the incoming Republican majority.
After Senate released details of its deal, the union representing the agency’s staff tweeted It will be Tuesday morning “national nightmare” This could mean that the era of internet is over. “If passed by both chambers, the funding Armageddon we warned of has been avoided—for at least this year.”
The NLRB funding really is just a handful of peanuts in comparison to the Senate’s omnibus package, which includes $858 billion for the military and $772 billion for domestic programs. The House still has to approve the agreement, which is where Democrats are holding a slim majority. Republicans will be taking over next month.
Or, the government will shut down if lawmakers fail to pass either an omnibus budget deal or a short-term solution by Friday.