Public Control of Labor Relations: A Study of the National Labor Relations Board

By D. O. Bowman | Go to book overview

Chapter XX. CASE STATISTICS

A. The Flow of Cases

Mention has been made of the intensity with which the burden of cases struck the Board after the constitutionality of the Act was upheld in April, 1937. Chart A (p. 400) clearly shows why any agency would fall seriously behind in the disposition of cases, for even after the rush of 1937 had passed, the flow of cases remained well above what it had been in the early years of the Act. Even after six years the case load was still running regularly over five hundred per month; and although there were reduced and insufficient congressional appropriations, experience and better personnel were on the side of the Board.

Chart A also analyzes total cases by classifying the cases filed as representation cases and complaint cases. While the complaint cases are still important statistically, the representation cases are growing in importance. This is verified by Chart B (p. 401), which shows what proportion of total cases filed since the inception of the Act were representation cases, and this curve appears to be moving upward very gradually. It is probably a favorable sign, for it is likely that such a movement indicates that employers are violating the provisions of the Act less and that employee organizations are replacing charges of violations with petitions for certification of the bargaining agent. On the whole, the proportion of representation cases has been higher since the Act was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1937 than it was prior to that date.

That the Board gradually acquired an ability to render more decisions and orders and thereby reduce "delay" is shown by Chart C (p. 402), which traces the number of decisions and orders issued by the Board from its inception to June, 1941. The figures cover both representation and complaint cases and include stipu-

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