NLRB Ruling Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Outrageous, General President Stepano Charges

With the nation and the world focusing all of their resources on waging war against a deadly disease — and as millions of courageous workers risk their lives to keep Americans safe and fed — the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided this was the perfect time to escalate its war on workers.

In a mind-boggling act of callousness and cruelty, the NLRB on March 31st issued a final rule making it harder for workers to empower themselves through union representation.

That this decision would take place at a time when the NLRB has delayed all elections and hearings nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic is absolutely outrageous.

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the health of all workers who must show up on the job every day to treat the sick, repair our roads, construct our buildings, collect the trash, staff our grocery stores, police our communities, operate our ambulances, and perform many more essential functions. Simultaneously, the pandemic is threatening the financial survival of tens of millions of workers who have been suddenly laid off. Now more than ever, workers need the right to union representation to protect their health and safety, their living standards and their job security.

Yet the NLRB has decided on the one hand to deny workers any recourse at the moment through the suspension of elections and hearings, and on the other hand to divert its resources to make voluntary recognition — the way to gain union representation without an election — more difficult. This is a bitter betrayal of America’s hard-working men and women that belongs in the annals of shame.

Daniel E. Stepano
General President