November 29, 2022

The Honorable Charles Schumer
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senate
Washington, D.C., 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Leahy, and Chair DeLauro:

As organizations committed to workers’ rights, civil rights, and the ongoing ability of working people to organize into unions, we call on you to address the urgent funding crisis facing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by increasing agency funding before the end of the year to $368 million dollars.

Over the last nine years, Congress has passed legislation to fund the government but has done so without once raising the amount of funding allocated to the NLRB. Because of inflation, this has amounted to a budget decrease of 25 percent in real dollars, adjusted for inflation. This is untenable. The agency is now in dire financial straits, unable to efficiently carry out its basic functions, including timely processing of union representation petitions, union elections, and investigating and prosecuting unfair labor practices and similar work.

At the same time as the agency is experiencing a financial crisis, it is also facing a wave of case intakes. Last month, the Board reported the largest single-year increase (from 2021 to 2022) of ULP and representation petitions since FY1976 and the largest percentage increase since FY1959. This matches the massive energy from workers organizing across the country at record rates. Public approval of unions is at its highest point since 1965. In the past few weeks, tens of thousands of workers participated in strikes, from the University of California to Starbucks, to Warrior Met Coal, to HarperCollins.

It is critical that Congress respond to this wave of worker organizing with the resources to fund the agency charged with upholding our nation’s labor law. Far too often, worker organizing is met with virulent and illegal anti-union organizing. Workers may be fired or subjected to scare tactics to convince them to vote against the union. When violations of the law occur, the NLRB must be equipped to efficiently and fully investigate and hold employers accountable. If the Board is unable to fulfill its functions and hold employers accountable for illegal anti-union behavior, workers attempting to organize could lose faith in the entire process of trying to form a union and collectively bargain with their employers.

Now is the time to strengthen the NLRB, not let it wither. An agency that can fairly adjudicate labor disputes and swiftly process petitions for new union elections is critical for ensuring that workers are not undercut as they seek to organize into unions. Unions are important in many ways: unions strengthen our democracy by boosting civic participation and lowering inequality; unions improve wages for all workers, not just unionized workers; unions lessen gender and racial wage gaps; and unions empower workers to bargain and win affordable healthcare, paid sick leave, retirement benefits, paid vacation, and more.

As you approach end of the year funding negotiations, we urge you to prioritize an increase in funding for the NLRB, to ensure that the critical work of the agency can continue.


A Better Balance Administrative District Counsel 1 of IL (Bricklayers Union)
Alabama Arise
Arise Chicago
Arizona Jobs with Justice
Burgess Law Offices
Caring Across Generations
Catholic Labor Network
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Center for Law and Social Policy
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Progressive Reform
Central Valley Roofers and Waterproofers JATC
Cleveland Job with Justice
Coalition of Labor Union Women/USW
Colorado Fiscal Institute
Common Good Iowa
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Connecticut Voices for Children
Dowd, Bloch, Bennett, Cervone, Auerbach & Yokich, LLP
Economic Opportunity Institute
Economic Policy Institute
Equal Justice Center
Fair Work Center
Florida Policy Institute
Government Accountability Project
Harvard Graduate Students Union – UAW Local 5118
IATSE Local 154
IFPTE Local 98
In the Public Interest
Iron Workers
Jobs to Move America
Jobs With Justice
Jobs with Justice of East Tennessee
Justice at Work Pennsylvania
Justice in Motion
Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor & the Working Poor, Georgetown University
Legal Aid Justice Center
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein
Local 153 Roofers
Local 2110 UAW
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Maine Center for Economic Policy
MANA, A National Latina Organization
Michigan League for Public Policy
National Black Worker Center
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Council of Jewish Women
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Employment Law Project
National Immigration Law Center
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
North Carolina Justice Center
Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice
Northwest Workers’ Justice Project
OPEIU Local 1794
Oregon Center for Public Policy
Oxfam America
Pride at Work
Public Citizen
ROC United
Roofers Local 210
Roofers Local #203
Roofers & Waterproofers Local 44
Roofers & Waterproofers Local 96
Roofers & Waterproofers Union Local #81
Roofers & Waterproofers Union Local 95
Roofers & Waterproofers, Local 8 NYC
Roofers and Waterproofers Local 11
Roofers and Waterproofers local 54
Roofers and Waterproofers Local 81
Roofers Local #30
Roofers Local #9
Roofers Local #91
Roofers Local 106
Roofers Local 119
Roofers Local 119
Roofers Local 136
Roofers Local 154
Roofers Local 185
Roofers Local 195
Roofers Local 22
Roofers Local 242
Roofers Local 26
Roofers Local 317
Roofers Local 34
Roofers Local 4
Roofers Local 70
Roofers Local 74 Buffalo, New York
Roofers local 97
Roofer’s Local No.149
Roofers Local Union No. 40
Roofers Union Local 2
Roofers Union
Roofers Union Local #88
Roofers Union Local 221
Roofers Union Local 58
Roofers Waterproofers Local 182
Roofers, Waterproofers Local Union #45
Roofers, Waterproofers Union Local 241
Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition
Shriver Center on Poverty Law
The National Education Association
The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
The Workers Circle
UAW Community Action Program, Massachusetts
Unemployment Law Project
United Union of Roofers Local 69
United Union of Roofers Local 75
United Union of Roofers Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 10
United Union of Roofers Waterproofers and Allied Wokers Local 32
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local #20
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local #210
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 36
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local No. 27
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local No.134
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, & Allied Workers Local 12
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 150
United Union of Roofers,Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 162
UURWAW Local 142
Western District Council of Roofers & Waterproofers
Women’s Law Project
Worker Power Coalition
Workers’ Rights Institute/ Georgetown Law
workplace justice lab@Rutgers University