On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) containing proposed changes to the rules governing union representation elections. Read the proposal. This proposal appears to be very similar to the original “ambush” election ruled proposed in 2011. Comments are due to the NLRB by April 7, 2014. NSCA will work with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) to file comments. If you are interested in submitting your own comments, contact NSCA at email@example.com.
This “ambush” election rule favors the union representation election process through several measures, including:
- Limiting the time between petition and election (to as few as 10 days)
- Decreasing the time for employers and employees to communicate and research the effects of union representation to make an informed choice
- Limiting employers free speech and due process rights
- Allowing for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents
- Streamlining pre- and post-election procedures to facilitate agreement and eliminate unnecessary litigation
- Including telephone numbers and email addresses in voter lists to enable parties to the election to be able to communicate with voters using modern technology
- Consolidating all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process.
On average, the normal election process takes place across 38 days (from petition to election). More information about the impact of ambush elections can be found here.
Now that the NLRB has a complete five-member, Senate-approved board, small business and labor groups expect a push on labor issues surrounding the Card Check issue. The original proposal in 2011 saw many opponents, and the NLRB has committed to reviewing those comments as part of this new comment period. While this proposed rule saw legal delays in 2012-2013, the Board is determined to pursue the rules it was not able to complete without a full and approved board.
The Board’s continued efforts to tamper with the election processes appear to be creating a problem where there is none. The most recent NLRB stats (FY 2013) show the existing election rules are working for both employers and employees:
- Median number of days between petition and election is 38 days
- 94.3% of elections occurring within 56 days
- Unions won 64% of elections held (852 of 1,330)
CDW and NSCA are reviewing the proposal, and will provide you with more information in the coming days. Read the NLRB’s press release here.