Sponsors of “NLRB Reform Act” blast latest board decision allowing union elections in as little as 10 days
Posted on December 12, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 12 – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statements after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final rule today authorizing “ambush elections,” which shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification is held—currently a median 38 days—to as little as 10 days:
“I was very disappointed to see that the NLRB finalized a rule to significantly cut the amount of time available to conduct union elections,” McConnell said. “Instead of ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary information before casting a ballot in union elections, the NLRB decision will allow unions to rush the process on unsuspecting individuals in an effort to increase the number of dues paying members. Furthermore, the NLRB rule also poses serious privacy issues as it will force employers to provide private and sensitive employee information to union bosses without the employee’s permission.
He continued, “Given that the NLRB has tried this tactic before, I was proud to join Senator Alexander and others to propose legislation preventing the board from moving forward with this onerous rule. This is another example of the board acting as an advocate rather than umpire. We need to reform the make-up of the board to make it more bipartisan and fair which is why Senator Alexander and I introduced the NLRB Reform Act earlier this year.”
“The NRLB was established to be an impartial umpire in labor disputes, but has grown into an advocate for whichever party has the White House, a trend that has worsened under this president,” said Alexander, the top Republican on the Senate labor committee. “The board’s ‘ambush election’ rule will sacrifice every employer’s right to free speech and every worker’s right to privacy for the sake of boosting organized labor, and I believe a new majority in the Senate will vote to disapprove this rule.”
In September, McConnell and Alexander introduced the NLRB Reform Act, legislation intended to end partisan advocacy at the NLRB.
Nearly identical to a rule introduced in 2011 that was rejected by a D.C. Federal District Court, today’s final rule changes long-standing labor policies in an attempt to speed up union elections. The rule provides employers only seven days to find legal counsel and appear before an NLRB regional officer at a pre-election hearing and limits the ability to settle important issues such as which employees would be in a union bargaining unit until after the election has been held. The proposed rule also jeopardizes worker privacy by providing employees’ names, home and email addresses, work schedules, phone numbers, and other personal information to union organizers.
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