Republican Budget Proposal Would Shut Labor Board, Chairman Says

A Republican plan to cut $50 million, or 18 percent, from the National Labor Relations Board’s budget would force furloughs, shutting the agency that handles labor-management disputes, the chairman said.

The measure pending in the Republican-led U.S. House also would curtail investigations of illegal practices by employers and unions and halt oversight of workplace union elections, NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman said today in an e-mailed statement.

The proposed cut would “occur at a great cost to working people and responsible employers trying to survive the difficult economic climate, and would have the potential to destabilize relations between labor and business,” she said.

Lawmakers are considering a House bill that would eliminate at least $61 billion in spending. A vote may occur as soon as today, sending the measure to the Senate where a Democratic majority is likely to reject the plan. Failure to pass the bill, which would continue spending when temporary authority expires, raises the possibility of a government shutdown.

Republicans have said the labor board has become pro-union at a time when the Obama administration has tried to help businesses and grow the economy.

The proposed funding cut would would require the board to furlough all its staff for 55 days, Liebman said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Holly Rosenkrantz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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