Oh, snap: NLRB shortens union election campaign period

posted at 11:20 am on June 22, 2011 by Tina Korbe

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.

Most labor elections currently take place within 45-60 days after a union gathers enough signatures to file a petition, a time many companies use to discourage workers from unionizing. The new plan could cut that time by days or even weeks – depending on the case – by simplifying procedures, deferring litigation and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings. …

Passage would be a victory for labor unions that have long complained about employers using procedural delays and litigation to hold up elections and intimidate workers.

The problems with snap elections are patently obvious. Heritage Foundation labor analyst James Sherk explains:

Snap elections short-circuit employers’ ability to make their case. If the election takes place in a matter of days workers will base their decision (largely) on information received from the union. This does not benefit workers.

Union organizers do not impartially advocate workers’ best interests. They are salesmen. They get paid to persuade workers to become dues-paying union members. Unions may legally use any number of misleading tactics to win worker support. … Unions also train organizers to avoid the potential downsides to unionization, like strike histories or dues increases.

Employees only get the full story when they hear from management. Employers are the ones who explain that unions often do not achieve their promised wage increases but always take 1-2 percent of wages in dues. Employers point out patterns of union corruption and clauses in union constitutions that levy stiff fines against workers who stray from union rules. Employers tell workers what the union organizers do not.

Not surprisingly, the four-member NLRB decided this by a partisan vote of 3 to 1. The only GOP member of the board, Brian E. Hayes, was also the lone objector. In his dissenting opinion, Hayes lays bare the true motivations for the board’s sweeping changes:

Today, my colleagues undertake an expedited rulemaking process in order to implement an expedited representation election process.  Neither process is appropriate or necessary.  Both processes, however, share a common purpose: to stifle full debate on matters that demand it, in furtherance of a belief that employers should have little or no involvement in the resolution of questions concerning representation. …

Make no mistake, the principal purpose for this radical manipulation of our election process is to minimize, or rather, to effectively eviscerate an employer’s legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining.

The NLRB opaquely proceeded with this new proposal without seeking feedback from those who will be affected by the change in rules — a fact that further confirms the decision aims to please a narrow constituency rather than to solve widely recognized problems. And, indeed, the board proposed these rules on its own initiative — not in response to complaints. Similarly, the public comment period on the new proposal will be brief, leaving objectors with little time to respond.

The NLRB betrays its insecurity. The desirability of unions must be very in doubt to prompt the board to issue these rules — for, surely, if it is in workers’ best interest to join a union, workers will discern that even after they hear their employer’s side of the story.

Unfortunately, this might be just the first in a series of “reforms.” According to Hayes’ dissenting opinion, the same academics who suggested these rules also favor requiring an employer to provide access to employees on its premises and conducting elections off-site, by mail ballot or by electronic vote.


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Federal law! – crr6

lorien1973 on June 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

This is like step 1 in “how to encourage businesses to hire more employees” right?

lorien1973 on June 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

The next Union rule change will involve a blank piece of paper each Union member will have to put their signature on. Then the Union official will fill in the blank section later.

portlandon on June 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Hope and change! Wait…what????

SPGuy on June 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The Obamaton NLRB is an advocacy operation for unions. Nothing more and nothing less. They must be gutted.

Jaibones on June 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Can’t congress defund the NLRB?

Akzed on June 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

….Board yesterday proposed new rules to speed up the union election process…

I’d love to see some large employer say “Rules? Whew! I heard they were gonna be laws.”

Patrick S on June 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

This, Gunwalker, Hillary’s closest aide with ties to Muslim Brotherhood, revelations of more Obamacare fraud, a new document drop from ICE indicating backdoor implementation of the DREAM act, EPA gone amok… what Republican is even responding? Where’s the RNC chairman? The latest candidate for president calls Obama a “remarkable leader”? Will we even have a constitution in another year? The GOP isn’t pathetic, it’s criminally negligent — that or comatose.

rrpjr on June 22, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Now democrats can continue to do ads saying it is the Republicans who force jobs oversea

BroncosRock on June 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

I can’t wait until Perry runs for president and uses this and other horrible things in his ads.

BroncosRock on June 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

You have to vote for the union so that you’ll know what they’re going to do. Didn’t anyone learn anything from obambicare?

jdkchem on June 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Yet another step towards fascism.

rbj on June 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Sue the NLRB. Use the left’s favorite weapon of choice against them.

Hopefully in 2012 we’ll have enough numbers to get rid of the act and disband this fascist board.

darwin on June 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The union got voted down in a Target store but they didn’t like the results so they are “protesting” the vote.

Got to love liberals.

Can we get rid of this board with a new president?

gophergirl on June 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

More and more people now see unions what what they are and despise them.

darwin on June 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Name one idea borne from the Left that can thrive alone, on its own merits, in the market of free will.

anuts on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

a decision that will ultimately leave workers with less time to learn the facts before they vote to join a union.

Because learning the facts is detrimental to the union’s chances of winning the vote. Ignorance promotes union membership? So it seems.

iurockhead on June 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Yet another step towards fascism.

rbj on June 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I only disagree on the most pedantic level. It’s a step towards authoritarianism by fascistic methods.

anuts on June 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Name one idea borne from the Left that can thrive alone, on its own merits, in the market of free will.

anuts on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Now wait a minute! There’s ….ummmm….uhhhh……Amtra…oh wait, no….ummmm…..uhhhh….nevermind!

VegasRick on June 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Now I can understand how Barack can get his $ Billions

BroncosRock on June 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Why is the GOP and all business-friendly groups taking this lying down? It is time to mount a huge offensive against the NLRB!

Why should an unelected board get to dictate what businesses can and cannot do. The GOP House should move to defund the NLRB and the GOP members in the Senate should refuse to confirm any Obama nominee until a check is put to the NLRB and this and other rules rescinded!

TheRightMan on June 22, 2011 at 11:47 AM

How in the fark does 12% of the freaking work force have this much pull????????

Why do the other 88% of us workers just let these morons do this? They’ve helped ruin our way of life and 88% of us other workers just keep letting them get away with it…WTF????

Tim Zank on June 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Not surprisingly, the four-member NLRB decided this by a partisan vote of 3 to 1.

And aren’t at least two of those three that voted for this Obama recess appointments? Talk about facism.

tommyboy on June 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

conducting elections off-site, by mail ballot or by electronic vote

What do you mean you didn’t vote? It says right here that you voted electronically in favor of the union. Here’s where you clicked your electronic signature.

John Deaux on June 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Another reason for companies to move off-shore.

GarandFan on June 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

The GOP should also request to have the board membership criteria amended. If they wish to keep the 4 members, then by necessity – two should represent business interests and the other two the unions.

Otherwise, they should just rename it to the National Union Board and be done with it.

TheRightMan on June 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

They should change the name to National Labor Restrictions Board.

If you don’t use union labor, they’ll restrict you!

novaculus on June 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

All this crap is going to backfire on them…..big time. The good folks have awoken and are standing up. The bachlash will be delicious.

VegasRick on June 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

If Beohner and the GOP had any cajones, they would step on the EPA and the NLRB….. but they don’t, so this crap happens to us.

ultracon on June 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Defund ‘em.

Between this and the Boeing crap, they’ve not only crossed the line but taken a giant dump on it.

teke184 on June 22, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I suggest that employers simply ignore the NLRB. I want to see the union thugs and their democrat co-conspirators demanding that troops be sent in to shut down corporations.

Vashta.Nerada on June 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM

There are two ways to beat this but they will take time to be put in place. The first is a national Right to Work Law. the second is for clear minded states to pass their own such laws. Eventually, the closed shop unions will be confined to the bluest states and the jobs will dry up. This is already happening and New Hampshire may be the next state to join the party.

Annar on June 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

the same academics who suggested these rules also favor requiring an employer to provide access to employees on its premises and conducting elections off-site, by mail ballot or by electronic vote.

As far as I am concerned, nobody has access to my employees on my premises, and elections held offsite will be ignored. In fact, any election held in regard to unionization will be ignored. Sue me.

Vashta.Nerada on June 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

A century ago 12 year old children working 12 hours a day needed unions now Democrats need unions.

Speakup on June 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Obama’s NLRB is taking choice away from middle-class workers. What of all the women workers who deserve the right to be informed, to choose? The women managers too, have been tossed under the bus.

Heck of a job, Barack. /s

TN Mom on June 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

This is also an xtremely good look at the entire Democratic party’s outlook on life.
They paint themselves as victims at every opportunity.
They believe they are entitled to more than they really are.
They work against progress, making our companies AND our labor less competitive.
They create an “us vs them” mentality within the workforce – making their employer into an enemy.

How does any of this help the individuals in the unions??? Why are union reps making so much money, and trying to control information, rules of employment and rules of union membership?? Are union members just not able to understand these things??

KMC1 on June 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Name one idea borne from the Left that can thrive alone, on its own merits, in the market of free will.

anuts on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I give up. I can’t.

Mirimichi on June 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Name one idea borne from the Left that can thrive alone, on its own merits, in the market of free will.

anuts on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I give up. I can’t.

Mirimichi on June 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

But…but..but.. they Care About people!

And Obama got Osama!

/Oppressive Left

Chip on June 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

This thing needs to be disbanded.

WisCon on June 22, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Why is the GOP and all business-friendly groups taking this lying down? It is time to mount a huge offensive against the NLRB!

TheRightMan

Because it just happened yesterday?

xblade on June 22, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Union thugs to back maliciously inept Obama.

May both go to the trash heep of history, soon.

Schadenfreude on June 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

John Galt, would you please stand up?

WashingtonsWake on June 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Thugs get’n mo gubment cheeze!

ClanDerson on June 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Workers don’t need unions. Disgusting democrat politicians are another story.

ClanDerson on June 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Well, I am not an expert on Union Law but I do believe that the LRB is overstepping their role a bit. Many of the Department are doing this under Obama. Coincidence? I think not.

old war horse on June 22, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I specifically recall a conversation with coworkers and a supervisor at a job I had 15 years ago where everyone was in clear agreement that we [were] not a union shop, and we would close our doors before we became one. We all knew that the cost burden was simply too great.
 
The company had a generous pay and benefits package and supported its employees, so the employees supported them right back.

CLaFarge on June 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

A century ago 12 year old children working 12 hours a day needed unions now Democrats need unions.

Speakup on June 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

It was not the unions, that passed child labor laws.

Slowburn on June 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM

It was not the unions, that passed child labor laws.

Slowburn on June 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Left to the unions, they would be okay with kids working as long as they paid their dues.

slickwillie2001 on June 22, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Good lord, there’s so much fail in this post.

crr6 on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM