Union election petitions surge as U.S. workers organize

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - U.S. workers and labor groups filed 57% more petitions to be represented by unions in the last six months as high-profile organizing campaigns at Starbucks Corp, Amazon.com Inc and other companies have taken off.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) received 1,174 such requests during the first half of its fiscal year 2022, from Oct. 1 through March 31, versus 748 during the first half of fiscal 2021, it said on Wednesday.

If that pace continues for the full year, it would be the highest annual total in at least the last 10 years.

"There is a surge in labor activity nationwide," said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo in a statement.

Baristas at more than 170 U.S. Starbucks locations have asked the NLRB for union elections since August, with at least 10 locations voting in favor of the Workers United union. read more

And after employees won a vote to form a union at an Amazon warehouse in New York's Staten Island on Friday, workers at 50 more locations across the country contacted organizers. read more

Once employees petition the NLRB for an election, eligible workers can vote on whether they want to join the union.

Abruzzo said Congress needed to provide the agency with more staff and funding to handle the growing case loads, which also include an increase in unfair labor practice charges and other filings.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Hilary Russ writes about global restaurant chains including McDonald's and Starbucks. She previously covered sports betting, as well as municipal bonds, public finance and infrastructure. Hilary previously worked at Law360 covering corporate bankruptcies, white collar crime and the U.S. Supreme Court. At The Cape Cod Times and City Limits, she covered local courts, general news and social and public policy issues. She is an avid bird watcher.