National Labor Relations Board:

Activities of the Philadelphia Regional Office

HRD-86-59FS: Published: Feb 10, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed several union representatives' allegations that the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) Philadelphia Regional Office had, in the past 2 years, functioned in a biased manner in investigating and processing unfair labor practice cases.

GAO found that: (1) the percentage of cases against labor unions that were found to have merit decreased from 40 percent in fiscal year (FY) 1983 to 34 percent in FY 1985; (2) over the same period, the percentage of cases against employers also decreased; (3) NLRB routinely reviews many cases in which its regional offices make determinations as a further check on a region's case-handling performance; and (4) annual quality reviews of the Philadelphia Office for 1979 through 1985 showed that it processed its cases in a high-quality manner and in conformance with NLRB policies and procedures. GAO also found that: (1) regional offices play a limited role in the enforcement processes that may result in the imposition of fines and penalties; (2) a region's role, in connection with the imposition of fines and penalties, consists of identifying a party's noncompliance with an NLRB order and making recommendations to NLRB to institute a contempt proceeding against the violator; (3) if a preliminary investigation of a case shows that there is reasonable cause to believe a charge is true and that the parties are not willing to settle the case, the regional office must petition the court for an injunction; and (4) the Philadelphia Office has not sought injunctive relief more frequently in recent years.

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