Union elections sped up, less time for legal action
The NLRB has spent the past year doing their best to make it easier for union organizers to force workers into union membership. Their McDonald’s ruling brought us closer to mass unionization, and a new rule that was just passed seeks to speed up the union elections process:
The rule will require businesses to postpone virtually all litigation over eligibility issues until after workers vote on whether to join the union, thereby depriving management of a stall tactic that unions widely claim benefits the employer. In effect, regional NLRB directors will be given broad discretion to rule such litigation unnecessary until an election takes place.
The regulation will eliminate a previously-required 25-day period between the time an election is ordered and the election itself, and it will require employers to furnish union organizers with all available personal email addresses and phone numbers of workers eligible to vote in a union election. An NLRB decision handed down yesterday essentially prohibited employers from denying union organizers access to company email. The rule will also, for the first time, allow for the electronic filing and transmission of union election petitions.
You can call it a stall tactic, but it’s certainly a valid one, considering the demands union organizers make not only on employers, but on the personal privacy of employees. Now, employees won’t even have a choice when it comes to participating in the conversation.
Obviously, businesses and unions are at odds with each other over whether or not this new rule will help workers, or make it impossible for them to make an informed choice about unionization:
“Too often, lengthy and unnecessary litigation over minor issues bogs down the election process and prevents workers from getting the vote they want,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. “We commend the NLRB’s efforts to streamline the process and reduce unnecessary delay.”
Trumka said the union election rule will give workers an opportunity to vote “in a timely manner.”
But business groups say the rule is unfair because it will not give them enough time to prepare for union elections. They say it also say it prevents employees from taking time to consider all the facts.
They have coined terms “ambush” and “quickie” elections to express their frustration with the rule.
“Shortening the time frame before an election robs employees of the ability to gather the facts they need to make an important and informed decisions like whether or not to join a union and denies employers adequate time to prepare,” Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a statement.
What union organizers have never understood is the right of the worker to protect his own interests. Employees should be screaming about this rule not because it’s pro-union, but because it automatically assumes that a private citizen wishes to surrender their personal information, support, and decisionmaking power to an undeniably liberal private entity. Eliminating the waiting period between the election announcement and the election itself isn’t “eliminating unnecessary delay;” all it does is hand the union a trump card to pressure employees to get with the program.
We aren’t living in Upton Sinclair’s jungle anymore, but if the unions ultimately have their way, that’s where we’re heading.
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