The National Labor Relations Board has proposed changes that would speed up elections to determine whether workers in construction and other industries will unionize.

Reaction to the proposed rule, announced on June 21, was sharply divided. Pro-union Democrats in Congress supported the plan, but business groups and Republicans criticized it. NLRB's three Democrats backed proposing the rule; its sole Republican dissented.

The proposal would allow electronic filing of election petitions and shorten the time firms have to produce lists of those eligible to vote in representation elections. It would set general uniform deadlines for pre-election and post-election hearings. Now, the scheduling of such hearings varies among NLRB's regional offices.