NLRB Quickens the Union Voting Process

HR Resource
February 14, 2014 — 2,479 views  
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The National Labor Relations Board once again revived its effort of implementing new rules of making it simple for employees to form their unions. The recently proposed rules are quite similar to the ones that were given out in 2011, before they were quashed by a federal court due to procedural issues. The key to this new proposal is the 'quickies election rule' that will allow quick voting for union representation. The voting can take place in as less as ten days once the petition for organizing the polls is filed. On the other hand, it took around 42 days previously for the same, under the old guidelines of the NLRB for holding these elections.

Was this new rule actually required?

So the bottom line is that employers will be left with little time to persuade employees that supporting a union may not be in their best interest. For years, organized workers have been arguing that employers have been dragging their feet for holding elections. They have also said that employers have been using the time gap between elections to come up with anti-union campaigns with the help of meetings and distribution of pro-company literature. The press release by NLRD mentioned that these new rules will help in modernizing the current process, enhancing the transparency and eliminating unnecessary delay and litigation.

However not everyone looks at this as a good sign. Harold P. Coxson, who is a well known lawyer, took to his blog to express his feelings on this rule. He wrote that currently unions are created with the help of overwhelming support in representation elections. These elections mostly take place under 60 days after the petition is filed. For example, unions won around 65 percent of the total 643 private sector elections that were held in the first half of 2013 compared to nearly 62 percent of around 700 elections of 2012's first half. As unions are on the positive side of the deal anyway, the judgment of rushing the whole process baffles Harold.

Not good news for the employers

He believes the reason behind this to be desire of the unions to have the 'quickie election' option imposed by the NLRB, which gives them the benefit of winning elections more quickly and with a larger success rate. NLRB justified its decision as being aimed at making the federal labor laws more effectively implementable. But it can be clearly seen that its main motive is to minimize or perhaps even undermine the chances of the employers in exercising their rights of 'free speech' and putting forward their thoughts in front of the employees. 


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