As a result of budgetary strains, the NLRB’s field staff has been cut by 37% since 2014 and 50% since 2002.
The NLRB has brought 19 formal complaints against Starbucks, alleging scores of illegal actions, and it is investigating more than 100 other charges that workers have brought alleging illegalities by Starbucks, including, spying on workers, intimidation and closing stores in retaliation for unionizing. All this has helped create a backlog in NLRB cases
Workers at the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop in Manhattan spent the last four months laying the groundwork to unionize their store. A small organizing committee met regularly to discuss strategy around building support to join the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and they planned to go public with their effort the week of Aug. 15.
But in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, Trader Joe’s abruptly informed them it was closing the popular wine shop, its only one in New York City.