Home » NLRB Announces Plans to Reissue Union Election Rule
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) plans to reissue a proposal to streamline the union representation election process.
The proposal, to be published in the Feb. 6 Federal Register, is virtually identical to a controversial rule first proposed in June 2011.
Employer-oriented construction and business groups opposed the original changes, saying that they would not give employers enough time to prepare for union representation elections.
The groups successfully challenged the 2011 rule in court. In May 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the rule, saying that the board lacked a quorum when the rule was issued. The court did not rule on the merits of the rule itself.
The board’s appeal to that ruling was dismissed in December 2013.
Now that the board has a full quorum, the board decided to reissue the rule, said NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat, in his Feb. 5 announcement.
Three of the of the board members: Pearce, Kent Hirozawa (D) and Nancy Schiffer (D) approved re-issuing the proposed rule; Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III, the two Republicans on the board, dissented.
However, Pearce said that despite the split vote, “the board is unanimous in its support for effective representation procedures.” He said that all five of the board members “share a commitment to constructive dialogue.”
Pearce added that the board will “fully consider” public comment on the proposed amendments, along with the comments previously received in 2011.
Construction groups blasted the re-release of the rule. Geoff Burr, vice president of government affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, says, “Shortening the election period does nothing to ensure a fairer election and it is clearly not necessary to help the NLRB meet its self-imposed goal for election timeframes.” Additionally, he said, “It denies employers their rights to free speech and employees the opportunity to make a fully informed decision.”
But Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta, a workers rights group, called the reforms “modest” and said under the current system, workers who petition for union election “encounter delays of months and even years before an election is held, and some never get to vote at all.”