NLRB to Businesses: Tell Employees they Can Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a new rule “requiring most private-sector employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act by posting a notice.” The NLRB’s new rule, in its background section, suggests which right the Board considers paramount:

The NLRA, enacted in 1935, is the Federal statute that regulates most private sector labor-management relations in the United States.1 Section 7 of the NLRA, 29 U.S.C 157, guarantees that

Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities[.]

In short, the ruling is part of the NLRB’s ongoing efforts to enact policy changes favorable to organized labor.

While the posting of a notice is hardly assured to send a flood of new members into union ranks, the new notice rule clearly fits into a pattern of pro-union activism by the NLRB — including proposals to shorten election periods and to allow unions to organize by remote electronic voting (essentially electronic card check), as well as the Board’s campaign against Boeing for opening a factory in a right to work state.

The notice rule’s impact may pale in comparison to those other actions, but it does suggest that the NLRB is throwing everything at the wall in the hope that something sticks well enough to keep Big Labor happy and on board, for political reasons. The Obama administration failed to enact pro-union legislation like the so-called Employee Free Choice Act when Democrats controlled the House, so now it is trying its hardest to get the unions something to keep them fully on board and engaged for the 2012 election.

The rule is scheduled to be posted in the Federal Register on August 30 and then to go into effect 75 days later, on November 14.

For more on the NLRB, see here.

For more on labor policy, see