Today the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new regulation that would speed up the union election process from 45-60 days to about 10-21 days. So called "quickie elections" will result in workers not being given all the information they need to make a decision on whether or not to join a union. Employers generally do not know if a union is trying to organize them until a majority of the workers sign cards. During the election process the employer has an opportunity to make their case to their workers -- this is after the union has likely campaigned for months. Shortening the election will decrease the employers ability to make their case. If the process were an election for president, Candidate A has could have over six months to campaign, while Candidate B would only get around 45-60 days. The new rule would only give Candidate B 10-21 days to campaign. The results would be heavily skewed in the union's favor. Congressional Republicans have already blasted the new regulations. U.S. House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) released a statement saying:
“In a direct affront to the millions of Americans desperate for jobs and opportunities, the Obama NLRB continues to push an activist agenda at the expense of our nation’s workforce. Big Labor has found faithful friends on the Obama NLRB who are working hard to ‘fix’ a process that isn’t broken. Not only will this misguided proposal to expedite union elections undermine an employer’s lawful right to communicate with his or her employees, it will cripple a worker’s ability to make an informed decision. Employers and employees have a right to speak their mind and vote their conscience; I will continue to oppose any effort to undermine these fundamental principles. The board is rushing a flawed proposal through a flawed process that will result in limited public scrutiny and congressional input. For the sake of the nation’s workers and job creators, I urge the board to scrap this reckless proposal and abandon its job-destroying agenda.”Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee echoed:
“The NLRB’s new proposed regulations amount to nothing more than a gift to organized labor and an outrageous assault on America’s job creators and workers,” said Senator Enzi. “The question everyone should be asking is – why the need to rush? Is it because union membership is at an all-time low? If employees want to unionize they should be allowed to do so, but to ram elections through before important questions are asked and answered does a disservice to everyone involved. An open and transparent process that will allow workers to weigh both the pros and cons of joining a union should be the goal, instead of speeding up the process to keep workers from making informed decisions. This is just the latest outrage from a runaway agency.”The rule change is just another giveaway by the NLRB to Big Labor.