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Ranking Member Cassidy Releases Troubling Report Detailing Weaponization of NLRB Against American Workers, Demands Accountability

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a troubling report detailing how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) weaponizes its enforcement power on behalf of unions, enabling American workers to be pressured and coerced into unionization. 

Alarming reports highlight that under the Biden administration, the NLRB ignored its statutory obligation of neutrality and abused its authority by influencing union elections in favor of union organizers. In early 2023, a whistleblower came forward with information and documents alleging that NLRB regional officials in St. Louis, MO improperly coordinated with Starbucks Workers United (SWU) to tip union elections in favor of SWU. Following an investigation into the claims, the NLRB Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that NLRB officials in St. Louis engaged in “gross mismanagement” in an attempt to promote a union election victory at a Starbucks retail location. Similar allegations of improper election management have also been made at the NLRB’s Buffalo, NY office.

As a result of its investigation, the OIG urged NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo to take steps to reform the NLRB’s regional offices engaged in improper conduct with SWU. To date, Abruzzo has not announced any efforts to reform or improve accountability for how the NLRB conducts elections to ensure neutrality and protect workers’ rights to unionize or not. Cassidy is demanding the NLRB provide information as to how it will address the concerns raised by the OIG and ensure that it will be a neutral arbiter between unions and businesses as mandated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

In addition to these egregious acts, the NLRB recently took steps to hinder workers’ freedom to choose to join a union or not. Specifically, the NLRB issued new rules that will force employers to begin negotiations with unions without an election, thus eliminating workers’ right to a secret ballot election in choosing whether a union represents them in the workplace. It also greatly shortened the period in which an employer can educate employees on the workplace and economic effects of unionizing before an election. The NLRB’s new rules further empower unions, obstructing workers’ ability to choose to remove union representation if the union fails to represent their interests through the filing of frivolous unfair labor practice charges.

“The Biden Board’s continuation of this lopsided preference for unions is unacceptable and further erodes the American people’s trust in the NLRB,” wrote Dr. Cassidy. “To hold the Board accountable to its statutory mission, the minority staff for the HELP Committee will continue to investigate the NLRB’s politicized conduct to ensure that the Board, General Counsel Abruzzo, and all regions make every reasonable effort to maintain neutrality and carry out their statutory mission of promoting all employee choice, and not just a choice for unions.”

In 2023, Cassidy introduced legislation to end extreme partisanship at the NLRB and prevent it from continuing to weaponize its enforcement power to target employers and implement policies exclusively favored by labor unions.

Read the full report here and the full letter to Abruzzo here.


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