A Tale of Two Administrations: A Stark Contrast for Working People and Unions at the NLRB and Beyond

May 24, 2022 | Politics & Legislative News

Regardless of your personal political beliefs, the facts illustrate how the Trump Administration’s actions weakened union members’ rights, while the Biden Administration has taken steps to empower unions.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a critical independent government agency that is charged with enforcing U.S. labor law. NLRB members and its general counsel are appointed by the president, and make many decisions that affect the lives of working people.

The Trump NLRB made a slew of rulings that weakened our rights, including:

  • Stripped flight line workers who voted for IAM representation of a union
  • Prevented union organizers from accessing cafeterias/public areas
  • Made it harder for unions to prove they have majority support
  • Gave employers more time to urge employees to not join a union without following standard procedure
  • And much more

The Trump Administration also took away workers’ rights to retain their jobs when a new service contractor was brought in, affecting thousands of IAM Service Contract Act workers who work on military bases.

The Trump Administration removed union access for federal sector employees and made bargaining in the federal workforce more difficult.

The Biden administration, on the other hand, showed its pro-union stance when the first step Biden took as president was to fire former NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb, who had pushed anti-worker cases and decisions at the agency. The Biden Administration has also created a first-of-its-kind Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment that expands union access for both federal workers and private sector workers who work on military bases and other federal property 

The Biden NLRB has taken a historically pro-union, pro-worker stance and invited briefs on:

  • Allowing unions to organize appropriate bargaining units, instead of only “wall-to-wall”
  • Expanding traditional make-whole remedies for unfair labor practice to include consequential damages
  • More rights for workers to engage in concerted activity
  • Expanding the definition of independent contractors to bring greater protections to workers
  • And much more

Click here to access the IAM Fact Sheet on the “Presidential Impact on Labor

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