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U.S. workers are not happy with their bosses — they filed 16% more complaints about unfair labor practices in the first half of the current fiscal year, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
The rise coincides with a nationwide increase in union organizing.
Employees can file charges against their employer for a lot of reasons, including “threats, interrogation, discharges, harassment,” said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She said that these charges often happen when workers try to unionize and employers try to stop them.
As union organizing drives have increased in the last few years, more companies have crossed the line, “And they’re going to do anything possible, including breaking the law, to quash the organizing campaigns,” Bronfenbrenner said.
The uptick means it’s taking the National Labor Relations Board longer to process charges, said general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo.
“We are woefully understaffed,” she said. “And the result of that is that the service to the public does suffer.”
That’s even after the NLRB got its first funding boost in nearly a decade last year. If the Biden administration gets its way, the agency could be in line for an even larger increase next year.
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