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A New Non-Partisan Report From The Government Accountability Office Says NLRB Field Staff ‘Shrank By One-Third’ In The Last Decade

Published Tuesday, April 6, 2021
by Mark Gruenberg/Via People’s World
A New Non-Partisan Report From The Government Accountability Office Says NLRB Field Staff ‘Shrank By One-Third’ In The Last Decade

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The Field Staff for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - the Workers who actually investigate and hold hearings on bosses’ Labor Law-breaking and run Union Recognition Elections - shrank by one-third in the last decade and one-fifth during the recent reign of Trump-era NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb, a new non-partisan report says.

Not only that, but Robb sat on dollars lawmakers allotted to the agency to enforce the Nation’s Labor Laws, and his actions - or inactions - resulted in plummeting Staff numbers and Worker morale at the NLRB, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) added.

The study, requested by two influential Pro-Worker lawmakers, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (Democrat-Connecticut) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (Democrat-Washington) paints a dismal picture at the agency since Robb became General Counsel, its top Administrator and top Enforcement Officer.

On his first day as President, Democrat Joe Biden fired the Union and Worker-hating Robb, who protested that breaks Labor Law.

Biden nominated veteran Communications Workers of America (CWA) Attorney Jennifer Abruzzo as General Counsel.

Meantime, Peter Sung Ohr, the agency’s activist Chicago Regional Director, is Acting General Counsel.

The bad news at the NLRB is important for Workers since the agency’s prime task is to enforce Labor Law - and bosses account for the overwhelming majority of Labor law-breaking complaints the Board handles.

But with a one-third decline in Field Staffing since 2010, from 1,228 to 824, the NLRB doesn’t handle as many cases, the report says: A 22% decline.

The decimated Field Staff also manages Union Recognition Elections, such as the one where NLRB Workers are now counting votes from up to 5,805 Amazon Warehouse Workers in Bessemer, Alabama for or against the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)/United Food & Commercials Workers (UFCW).

“Declining Staff numbers and recent policy changes have prompted concerns about how NLRB can accomplish its mission.  Also, a Federal survey indicates NLRB Employees are increasingly dissatisfied,” says the report, which is available on the GAO’s website.

Murray and DeLauro blame Robb, given his key role at the NLRB.

Their comments are important: The two chair the Congressional Appropriations Subcommittees that dole out the NLRB’s dollars.

DeLauro also chairs the full House Appropriations Committee and Murray also chairs the Senate Labor Committee, which writes Labor Laws and oversees the agency.

“It was clear long before” the GAO report that “Robb was unfit to manage a Federal Agency,” DeLauro said in a statement.

GAO’s findings “illustrate how Robb decimated and demoralized the NLRB’s Federal Workforce while wasting taxpayer dollars and pursuing an ideological Anti-Worker agenda.  He should have never been allowed to serve in this role.  A good manager would have used the resources he allowed to expire to create a better work environment for existing Staff and hire additional Employees,” DeLauro said.

“The NLRB is supposed to protect the right of Workers to join together and collectively bargain for high wages, better benefits and safer workplaces,” Murray said. “This report makes clear that under” former GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump, “the NLRB went out of their way to dismantle Worker Protections - allowing critical funds to go unused, shrinking and demoralizing Staff, and pursuing an Anti-Worker agenda.

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