Facing the prospect of draconian budget cuts, the National Labor Relations Board warned today that it would be forced to furlough all 1,665 employees for nearly three months between now and the end of September if a House of Representatives funding proposal passes.
The House is expected to vote today or tomorrow on a continuing resolution to fund the government for the remainder of the year. The funding proposal would eliminate $50 million, or 18%, of the NLRB’s budget — a reduction that would be squeezed into the final seven months of the fiscal year.
“Nearly all of the agency's budget is spent on salaries and rents; there are no programs to eliminate or postpone,” said NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman and Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon in a written statement. “The only way to meet this extreme and immediate reduction would be to furlough all of the NLRB's 1,665 employees for 55 workdays.”
The majority of employees do not work in Washington D.C., but rather in 51 local offices in 33 states.
“If enacted, the House proposal could force the NLRB to curtail all agency operations, including investigating alleged illegal practices by private-sector employers and unions, conducting workplace elections, and helping to settle election-related disputes,” according to Liebman and Solomon.
A House proposal that would have eliminated all NLRB funding for the remainder of the year was defeated during debate on amendments on Thursday, although it garnered 176 votes.