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Business groups do not like new NLRB conducted election rules beginning this month

04.17.15

APRIL 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Business groups do not like new NLRB conducted election rules beginning this month

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, April 4th- The labor community is applauding President Barack Obama’s veto of a Republican led resolution that would have overturned a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that will help expedite representation elections through the agency.

Mr. Obama vetoed the Republican attempt to overturn the NLRB rule that wil take effect on April 14th. The veto was seen as a victory for the labor community, and the Democrats in the United States Congress. The resolution was passed by both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate in March. The legislation was supported and passed by mainly members of the Republican party .

The new rules, which was created by the five-member NLRB in Washington in December, is entended to streamline NLRB conducted Representation Elections. The labor community has complained for years that the current process favors companies, mainly larger employers, that have used the procedures of the current system to often delay, sometimes for months or years, of having the election conducted by the NLRB, which oversees the election. The tactic often is used to stall NLRB elections, especially when it appears the union would likely win.

Republicans were unable to override President O’Bama’s vteo because there was not enough Senate Republicans in the chamber. There are 54 Republican seats in the Senate and 67 is needed to override a presidential veto.

Some trade groups waisted little time and have already filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia attempting to block the new rules. The groups are claiming the election rule violates law by not allowing enough time with employees to communicate with them is hoping to change their minds about voting for union representation for the purpose of collective bargaining. As expected, the United States Chamber of Commerence joined the law-suit.

Under NLRB rules, at least 30 percent of a unit of workers must request the agency conduct an election. During the election at least 50 percent plus one of the eligible to participate employees must vote to be represented by a labor organization to become their bargaining representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Richard Trumka, President of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC stated the changes are very modest to the election rules but will make it easier for workers to vote on forming a labor union in a timely manner.

Employers will be required to post an “NLRB Notice of Election,” which contains information about the representation petition that was filed, and advises the two parties their rights and obligations. A “Statement of Position” form will need to be submitted by the employer to the NLRB within seven days after the receipt of the petition.

The document must include a list of eligible voters, their job classifications, their shift schedules, and work locations. However, the employer can not present any opinion or evidence on the issue of the representation election or request a delay in the vote.

Under the rules, employers can not challenge voter eligibility before the election, often used to delay elections, and must wait for the post-election hearing. Also, pre-election hearings will be limited to ‘Statement of Position’ the employer submitted not questioning the election merit.

The eligible to participate employees list must be filed electronically two days after the election notice was filed and must include employees names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

The new rule has also been criticized by the anti-union Associated Building and Contractors (ABC) group, a nonunion contractors trade association. According to the ABC, shortening elections denies employers their rights to free speech and employees the opportunity to make a fully informed decision. However, the organization did not state why having a election several weeks after a petition was filed would be anti-free speech.