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Under The Trump Administration, The NLRB ‘Has Become A Hostile Work’ Environment - The Department ‘That Has Been Tasked With Protecting’ Labor ‘Is Now Breaking Labor Law’

Published Friday, November 29, 2019
by IBEW News Via UCOMM Blog
Under The Trump Administration, The NLRB ‘Has Become A Hostile Work’ Environment - The Department ‘That Has Been Tasked With Protecting’ Labor ‘Is Now Breaking Labor Law’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) own Workers have openly rallied against management abuses affecting their Union’s ability to represent them, signaling new depths of the agency’s Union-Busting agenda.

“This is an agency dedicated to promoting collective bargaining and protecting Workers’ right to organize, so it is especially shameful to see our leadership engage in such blatant conduct,” Karen Cook, the President of the NLRB Professional Association said in a statement.

Protesting outside the NLRB’s Washington headquarters, Career Staffers called out Board Chairman John Ring and General Counsel Peter Robb for unprecedented attacks on two Employee Unions, Bloomberg Law reported.

The conduct is in line with escalating action taken by the NLRB’s GOP majority that is targeting Private Sector Workers - nationwide

Decisions and new rules allow employers to eject Union Organizers from public spaces, more easily withdraw Union Recognition, discriminate against Union Members in the workplace, thwart protests and undermine the rights of Employees at subcontractors and franchises, among other rollbacks.

The latest challenge for Workers inside the NLRB, at headquarters and in satellite offices nationwide, are two Trump Administration Executive Orders designed to break Federal Unions and make it easier to fire Employees.

Union Leaders charge that management has exceeded the already-hostile scope of the orders, which, among other things, allow agencies to curtail the paid time and access to physical space at worksites that make effective representation possible.

“They’re doing it because they think they can get away with it.  There’s no recourse,” Michael Bilik, the Legislative Co-Chair of the NLRB Union, told Politico. “Going beyond the Executive Orders is an abuse of power that undermines the Civil Service.”

NLRB Staffers also take issue with the agency’s failure to spend its full budget the past two fiscal years, suggesting it is another sign of animus toward both Federal Employees and aggrieved Private Sector Workers who seek justice through the Board.

Bloomberg reported on the budget surpluses earlier in November, writing that Ring and Robb “recently implemented a number of changes to the way that the agency investigates Unfair Labor Practice cases and how the five-member Board issues decisions in those cases.  The Board has also offered Staff buyouts and left certain open positions unfilled, citing anticipated budget cuts.”

The leftover funds at the end of fiscal year 2019 on September 30th amounted to $5.7 million, out of the $274 million that has been allocated to the agency each of the past six years.

Federal Law generally requires agencies to spend their allocated resources as directed by Congress.

Last year’s surplus raised enough eyebrows that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated, but it closed the probe without issuing a public report of its findings.

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