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Union Petitions Up 35%, Unfair Labor Practices Charge Filings Up 7% in the First Half of Fiscal Year 2024

Office of Public Affairs


During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2024 (October 1–March 31), union election petitions filed at NLRB field offices rose 35% over the same period in Fiscal Year 2023. Notably, this is driven by a spike in employer-filed RM-petitions, after the Board’s Cemex decision, accompanied by an uptick in employee-filed RC-petitions. In total, 1,618 petitions were filed during this time, compared with 1,199 in the first half of Fiscal Year 2023. Of the recent petitions, 1,137 were RC-petitions and 281 were RM-petitions. 

At the same time, unfair labor practice (ULP) charges filed across the NLRB’s field offices have increased 7%—from 9,612 to 10,278.  Accounting for union petitions and unfair labor practice charges, the NLRB received 11,896 cases in the first half of Fiscal Year 2024, up 10% over the first half of Fiscal Year 2023 when the field offices received 10,811 cases. 

This increase in filings continues the surge in NLRB caseload in recent years. In Fiscal Year 2023, ULP charges were up 10% and election petitions were up 3% over the previous year. In Fiscal Year 2022, union petitions were up 53% and ULP charges filed increased 19% over Fiscal Year 2021. 

The surge in caseload occurs as the Agency struggles with funding and staffing shortages. Last month, Congress flat-funded the NLRB at $299.2 million at a time when more resources are desperately needed. Last year, Congress gave the NLRB a $25 million increase, which ended a hiring freeze, prevented furloughs, and allowed the NLRB to backfill some critical staff vacancies. However, the Agency remains understaffed after flat funding in nine of the past 10 years. In the past two decades, staffing in field offices has shrunk by 50%.  

“As the NLRB’s case intake reflects a critical moment in our nation’s history, I’m proud of NLRB Field and Headquarters staff for processing cases with professionalism and care,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “However, Congress needs to fully fund the NLRB to effectively and efficiently comply with our Congressional mandate when providing quality service to the public in conducting hearings and elections, investigating charges, settling and litigating meritorious cases, and obtaining full and prompt remedies for workers whose rights are violated.” 

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.