Corporations Lose Love Of Secret Ballot After NLRB Proposal For Fair Union Elections

Dave Johnson

The NLRB proposes streamlining union elections. Companies that were for secret ballots last year are now against it. Conservatives say removing barriers to elections “rams elections through” and ” foist unions on workers” and that We, the People (government) shouldn’t be allowed to tell companies what to do — instead companies (“job-creators”) should be telling us what to do.

Yesterday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” proposing modest rule changes for union certification elections. These rules would strengthen a basic right for workers to vote. The new rules eliminate voting delays and modernize an outdated system, removing unfair obstacles so workers can vote on whether to form a union if they want to. These new rules would be a step in the right direction toward giving more workers a voice on the job, rebalancing our economy and rebuilding the middle class.

Progressives understand that the right of employees to join together on the job is one of the few ways to rebalance our economy and ensure that workers have good jobs that can support a family. Right now it is very difficult for workers who want to to form a union. They face delays, bureaucracy, and lawsuits by companies trying to keep unions out so employees won’t have a voice.Employees encounter delays of months and even years and some never get to vote at all. The proposed rule changes fix some of this, providing stability and a level playing field.

According to the NLRB:

“The proposed amendments are intended to reduce unnecessary litigation, streamline pre- and post-election procedures, and facilitate the use of electronic communications and document filing.”

“If finally adopted after a public notice-and-comment process, the proposed amendments would:”

  • Allow for electronic filing of election petitions and other documents.
  • Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process.
  • Standardize timeframes for parties to resolve or litigate issues before and after elections.
  • Require parties to identify issues and describe evidence soon after an election petition is filed to facilitate resolution and eliminate unnecessary litigation.
  • Defer litigation of most voter eligibility issues until after the election.
  • Require employers to provide a final voter list in electronic form soon after the scheduling of an election, including voters’ telephone numbers and email addresses when available.
  • Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process and thereby eliminate delay in holding elections currently attributable to the possibility of pre-election appeals.
  • Make Board review of post-election decisions discretionary rather than mandatory.

Click here for NLRB’s details on the proposed amendments and a fact sheet and summary.

Conservatives Opposed

Conservatives, who last year opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, claiming that it keps workers from having a secret ballot, now oppose these rule changes that enable secret ballots. They say the proposed rules are “union bailouts” that “ram elections through” and ” foist unions on workers.”

Fox, Obama Agencies Announce Massive Attack on American Job Creators,

Over the last year, the Obama Administration, through its regulatory agencies, has been conducting a quiet war on American business-those enterprises that are the nation’s job creators. Earlier this week, the union extremists in Obama’s Department of Labor and the “independent” National Labor Relations Board (the same agency that may cause 1,000 Boeing employees in South Carolina to lose their jobs) launched an all-out offensive designed to maximize unions’ ability to unionize the 93.1% of America’s private-sector employees who are union free.

Examiner, NLRB’s latest union bailout: quickie elections,

… big labor has been desperate to expand its ranks by any means necessary. When they couldn’t pass “card check” through Congress (which would have allowed them to rapidly unionize by intimidating workers into signing cards), they set their sights on the National Labor Relations Board, which Obama packed with union-friendly members. Today, the NLRB has come through once again. The Associated Press reports the labor regulatory board is set to issue new rules today that would speed up labor elections to make it easier to unionize.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/06/nlrbs-latest-union-bailout-quickie-elections#ixzz1Q1dVfaZa

Heritage Foundation calls this “snap elections”:

Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been aggressively reinterpreting the law to foist unions on workers—whether they want them or not. The Board famously filed charges against Boeing for creating jobs at a nonunion plant in South Carolina. Today the Board announced its most aggressive move yet: snap elections.

WSJ in a roundup of reactions of supporters and critics,

Brian Hayes, the sole Republican on the four-member board.

“The NLRB seems determined to make the jobs picture worse. Encouraging ‘quickie elections’ will incentivize employers to send jobs overseas instead of creating them at home.”

Joe Trauger, vice president for human resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers

“This is another not so cleverly disguised effort to restrict the ability of employers to express their views during an election campaign, to inform employees of the pros and cons of unionization. These guttings of statutory rights, however disguised, will be strenuously opposed by the Chamber.”

Hot Air,

In what is arguably its most aggressive move to date, the National Labor Relations Board yesterday proposed new rules to speed up the union election process — a decision that will ultimately leave workers with less time to learn the facts before they vote to join a union.

Here is a sample anti-union video, from Target:

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