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Ambush Elections Diminish the Understanding They Seek

Workers would have less time to study for their huge, life-changing test of whether to unionize, under a new, proposed Obama administration rule that nonsensically claims it would increase understanding of and participation in the unionization process. Currently, unionization elections occur an average of 38 days after they are called. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has now proposed to have elections in as few as 10 days. Thus, under the proposal, workers could have only about a quarter of the time to study the unionization material. Would a student feel more prepared for pop quizzes or for well-planned tests? Would cutting study time to one-fourth of the previous average improve understanding? Would cutting students’ inquiry and prep time by seventy-five percent increase or diminish participation? The labor board’s proposal follows the logic of Nancy Pelosi: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” As we have seen with the ObamaCare law, perhaps this is not the best way to create policy. The NLRB proposal is a purely partisan one, passed on a 3-to-2, party-line vote. Yet, as my colleague Trey Kovacs noted, NLRB Chair Mark Pearce glosses over this pure partisanship, emphasizing that the board is “unanimous” in support for “important,” “effective,” and “constructive” procedures. Americans also support important, effective, and constructive healthcare procedures, but Americans do not, however, unanimously support Obamacare. The Democrat labor proposal, termed “ambush elections,” has had a rollout worthy of comparison with Obamacare and quite arguably could be considered worse. At least the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the rollout of Obamacare mostly constitutional, while the ambush election proposal was deemed unconstitutional in its first go-around, after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued NLRB. The Wall Street Journal calls the ambush election proposal “unilateral,” and warns that “business is at the mercy of whatever the current NLRB wants to do.” It also notes this partisan proposal would “limit workers' freedom to discuss and debate whether their workforce should be unionized.” To address an ambush election in as few as 10 days, companies indeed would be forced to drop virtually everything, such as their focus on quality products and services. Thirty-eight days is not too much to listen, learn, and reflect on a vote that will cost workers thousands and thousands of their hard-earned dollars over a lifetime of union dues. Remember that student and legislator when asking yourself whether you believe limiting time to talk about big issues would achieve the labor board’s “goal” of increasing understanding. Any student will tell you this logic only makes sense in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” world or Nancy Pelosi’s world of enacting legislation before knowing what is in it.