Workers are voting to join unions at record high rates

As autoworkers, baristas, package carriers, Hollywood writers and actors, and thousands of other workers fight for and win new unions and new union contracts, Biden administration appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are helping prevent anti-union employers from undermining worker organizing.

However, these gains are under threat from The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 — a playbook with strategies for eroding checks and balances across the government that offers instructions for gutting the NLRB’s enforcement capacity. This would threaten workers’ ability to come together in unions to bargain for better wages and working conditions.

In 2023, workers’ win rate in NLRB elections broke 70 percent for the first time in 15 years. The percentage of election victories have generally hovered between the low to high 60s since 2008, but, so far, 2024 is shaping up to be another historic high with the current success rate coming in at 73 percent.

And workers aren’t just winning more elections to form unions, NLRB data shows that there are also more filings than at any other time since 2015. In the past two years, the number of elections held have increased beyond even pre-COVID-19 levels, with 1,777 total certification elections overseen by the NLRB in 2023.

This means that more and more workers are participating in representation elections — 2023 marked the first year since 2017 when more than 100,000 workers voted on whether to join a union.

While this uptick is due to a number of factors, the Center for American Progress points out that it’s partially the result of the Biden administration’s efforts to appoint real advocates for working people to the NLRB like General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. The number of workers who voted in a union election in 2023 was a 10-year high and a 93 percent increase since the Biden administration took office in 2021.

(Center for American Progress)

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