Congress, NLRB to Vote on “Ambush Elections”

Washington, D.C., November 29, 2011 — Tomorrow may be a game-changing day for labor policy in America. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) is expected to come to the House floor for a vote. On the same day, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is scheduled to vote on whether to advance a controversial proposal to change union election rules.

In June, the NLRB announced plans to cut the amount of time allotted to employers and workers in union elections. Under the new rules, employers would have only seven days to prepare a case for an NLRB hearing, while workers would have as little as 10 days to decide whether to join a union or not.

To prevent the NLRB from passing these “ambush election” rules, U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-MN) drafted the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. This bill would ensure that the union election process guarantees fair periods of preparation and deliberation for employers and unions. Both the House vote on Rep. Kline’s bill and the NLRB vote on its proposed rules are scheduled for tomorrow.

CEI labor policy analysts will score the House vote on H.R. 3094 and incorporate the scores into CEI’s Congressional Labor Policy Scorecard, which is maintained and updated on The scorecard reflects Members’ voting records on all significant legislation affecting worker rights.

Below are statements by CEI policy analysts on tomorrow’s votes.

Labor Policy Counsel Vincent Vernuccio: “The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act will protect workers’ right to a make an informed decision on whether or not to join a union. However, if the NLRB has its way, employers would have almost no time to tell workers their side of the story. If the NLRB’s rule were applied to a presidential election, one candidate would have months to campaign while the other would only learn he was in the race a week before Election Day. The public knows this is unfair and that is why Obama’s board is trying to rush through their ambush election rule without due and careful consideration.” (For more from Vernuccio on this issue, watch his recent Fox News interview.)

Labor Policy Analyst Ivan Osorio: “The NLRB’s rush to impose ambush elections is but the latest in the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to circumvent Congress in order to provide political favors to organized labor. Having failed to enact unpopular pro-union legislation, such as card check, the administration is now pulling out all the stops to tilt the playing field to favor unionization, at the expense of the freedom of employers and workers.”