According to news reports, the final rule “would expand on sweeping regulations approved in December that speed up the process for holding union elections at work sites.” By adopting additional and original elements of the proposed rule, Obama’s labor board could limit the amount of time for union elections to as little as 10 to 14 days. This would complete organized labor’s goal of minimizing – to the maximum extent possible – the employer voice in a Board election.
The “quickie” election rule is only one element of the Obama labor board’s extreme partisan union agenda. Coupled with other actions it has taken, unions will have easy access into any workplace they target. For example, last August, the NLRB turned 76 years of American labor law on its head and announced that unions could petition to represent “micro-units,” essentially collective bargaining units with as few as two or more employees doing the same job in the same location. Its unstated reason: it is easier to organize two or four employees than it is 20 or 40.
This change in the law threatens to balkanize the workplace, increase discord not harmony among employees as different unions with conflicting goals represent various small groups of employees, and it will dramatically increase an employer’s labor relations costs.
Recognizing the deleterious impact the NLRB’s quickie election rule will have on workplace democracy and employee free choice, Senator Mike Enzi, the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has oversight over the regulatory agency, announced that he would use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to undo the “ambush” election rule.
According to the Senator’s Web site, “[t]he CRA allows either the Senate or the House to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval with the full force of law to stop a federal agency from implementing a recent rule or regulation. A resolution of disapproval introduced under the CRA cannot be filibustered and needs only a simple majority in the Senate to pass if acted upon during a 60-day window.”
It is our hope and expectation that both houses of Congress will have the opportunity to vote on the CRA to demonstrate their support for or opposition to this misguided “quickie” election rule.
There is simply no need to expedite the union election process as most already take place in about a month, but this is about “payback” to union bosses, not good policy making or standing up for workers. As a result, members of the House and Senate should enthusiastically support Enzi’s CRA and send a message to Obama’s labor board that this Congress will use every tool at its disposal to end the job-killing giveaways to Big Labor.
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