In the coming weeks, S.J. Res. 36, a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act will come to the floor of the U.S. Senate. If passed in both houses of Congress and signed by President Obama, this resolution of disapproval will nullify the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent rule amending its election procedures limiting the ability of employers, particularly small businesses, to obtain the legal counsel and fair representation they need to express their views on unionization. The new rule is deeply unfair. It deprives workers of their right to hear all views and make an informed choice during organizing elections ensuring the only story they hear is the union one.
This reckless “ambush” election rule rushes employees into making an uninformed decision on an issue that is critically important to their livelihoods. It makes a mockery of secret ballot elections. Business owners will struggle to get access to the resources they need to make a fair case against paid, professional union organizers. As a result, both the U.S. House and Senate have sought to rein in the out-of-control agenda of government bureaucrats in the Obama Administration by acting under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows either body to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval, which would stop a rule or regulation promulgated by a federal agency. The CRA requires a simple majority, must be acted upon during a 60-day window and has the full force of law once passed by Congress and signed by the President.
Therefore, the stage in set in the United States Senate for a very rare vote on a must pass legislative item dealing with basic fairness during union elections in American workplaces. The new NLRB “ambush” election rule affects millions of employees and employers and gags them by closing the window for elections from the median time of just over a month prohibiting businesses from obtaining legal assistance to ensure they can adequately adhere to complex labor laws. The new rule is anything but fair as employers may not have the resources to communicate their side of the story in time, while union organizers with financing and legal expertise would have been working in some cases for months or years to establish a collective bargaining unit.
The vote against the Obama labor board’s “ambush” election rule will send an important message to government bureaucrats insistent on doing the bidding of Big Labor bosses that the Congress will not stand by and watch as they eliminate worker freedoms in support of job-killing policies that reward a special interest that invested half a billion dollars in the 2008 elections and is seeking to match that in 2012.