House Report: Government ‘Misconduct’ Is Widespread In Union Elections

A damning report released by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce sheds light on significant irregularities in union elections overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The report, issued Thursday, reveals a pattern of mismanagement, misconduct and procedural flaws within the agency, particularly in the handling of mail ballot elections.

The NLRB’s decision in November 2020 to expand the use of mail ballots for union elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been met with criticism, as evidenced by the findings of the report. Since the implementation of this decision, voter turnout has plummeted, while instances of interference and integrity breaches have surged.

The investigation, spurred by a former NLRB employee’s cooperation, uncovered numerous instances of irregularities across 15 NLRB regions and 33 representation cases.

Committee Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) condemned the NLRB’s actions, stating that the agency’s mismanagement has undermined the integrity of union elections, once considered the gold standard of secret ballot voting. Foxx attributed these issues to the NLRB’s expansion of authority and administrative changes, which have empowered regional directors but disenfranchised voters.

Cases highlighted in the report include an NLRB official in Buffalo, New York, allegedly allowing voters to hand-deliver their ballots, contrary to election agreements. Another instance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saw an NLRB agent offering to deliver a ballot in person, potentially leading to prohibited conversations.

The committee’s efforts to obtain information from the NLRB faced obstacles, with delays in responses and inadequate disclosures until August 2023.

Internal emails revealed instances of ballot tampering and mismanagement, including changing ballot numbers and sending ballots to ineligible voters, as detailed in the report.

These revelations come amid broader scrutiny of the NLRB’s practices, with a separate report by the Inspector General highlighting mismanagement in a union election at Starbucks. The NLRB’s actions have drawn criticism, with accusations of colluding with unions, particularly following legal action against Amazon’s CEO for labor law violations.

The NLRB’s conduct under the Biden administration’s pro-union stance raises concerns about the agency’s commitment to fair and transparent union elections.