Trump Budget Proposes 18 Percent Worker Cut at NLRB

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Republican President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the year starting Oct. 1 proposes cutting workers at the National Labor Relations Board by 18 percent, detailed figures show. The reduction would be from 1,596 workers in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, to 1,320 in the following year.

If the GOP-run Congress agrees, the board’s budget would also decline slightly, from $274 million this fiscal year, to $258 million in fiscal 2018. The board oversees and rules on labor-management conflicts from the private sector, except for railroads and airlines.

The budget blueprint also says the Trump administration wants to ban the board from instituting a rule to permit electronic voting in union representation elections. Workers and their allies have been pushing for electronic voting to take advantage of new technology and to lessen the potential for boss’ intimidation at voting sites.

The budget did not justify the deep cut in NLRB workers, other than to forecast the agency’s caseload would decline. It also did not specify which workers would be let go.

But the budget predicts the board would handle 19,809 labor law-breaking – formally called unfair labor practices – cases in the new fiscal year, some 1,500 fewer complaints than this year. ULP complaints and cases account for the overwhelming majority of NLRB actions.

An AFL-CIO spokeswoman, told of the cuts, said the federation would have a more-detailed budget analysis next week. Pro-worker lawyers’ organizations had yet to comment.

The National Mediation Board, which oversees airline and railroad labor-management relations, would not suffer any cuts under Trump’s budget blueprint. NMB covers some 746 rail and airline firms with 795,000 workers, the budget notes.  NMB’s budget would stay the same at $13.2 million. Its workforce would stay at 51, but they’d be handling 7,432 cases in fiscal 2018, up almost 20 percent from this year, the budget forecasts.    

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Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Press Associates

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work