Feds Seek To Make It Easier For Unions To Organize

As employees at a Long Island Target store try to organize and the likelihood that anti-labor union behemoth Walmart will soon try to bribe donate its way into NYC increases, the National Labor Relations Board has proposed a rule change that may make it easier for workers to collectively bargain with their bosses.

From NLRB’s website:

“One of the most important duties of the NLRB is conducting secret-ballot elections to determine whether employees want to be represented by a labor union,” said Chairman Wilma B. Liebman in a statement. “Resolving representation questions quickly, fairly, and accurately has been an overriding goal of American labor law for more than 75 years.” Click here to view her full statement.
If finally adopted after a public notice-and-comment process, the proposed amendments would:
  • Allow for electronic filing of election petitions and other documents.
  • Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process.
  • Standardize timeframes for parties to resolve or litigate issues before and after elections.
  • Require parties to identify issues and describe evidence soon after an election petition is filed to facilitate resolution and eliminate unnecessary litigation.
  • Defer litigation of most voter eligibility issues until after the election.
  • Require employers to provide a final voter list in electronic form soon after the scheduling of an election, including voters’ telephone numbers and email addresses when available.
  • Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process and thereby eliminate delay in holding elections currently attributable to the possibility of pre-election appeals.
  • Make Board review of post-election decisions discretionary rather than mandatory.
For details on the proposed amendments, view our fact sheet here and summary here.

Representative Jerrold Nadler released a statement on his own website supporting the measure:

“This year, as we marked the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, we are reminded of just how far we’ve come in enacting laws to protect workers, grant them due process through collective bargaining, and improve the quality of life for middle-class Americans.  I commend the NLRB for its proposed new rules that will further strengthen laborers’ right to negotiate and improve worker protections and safety nets.  Especially in light of recent attacks on labor from the Right, we must continue to ensure that workers and their families have ever resource they need to preserve the American Dream.”

Will pro-union action by the Federal Government help protect neighborhood residents from being exploited, or do you think will it hinder local growth and continue to chase jobs away? Please tell us why you’re for or against making it easier for workers to unionize in the comments below.