New Union Election Rules Boost Workers’ Rights
May 10, 2012
A new National Labor Relations Board rule that went into effect April 30 will streamline the union election process and uphold the right of employees to hold a secret vote in a timely manner.
Under the old rule, it took months – sometimes years – between the time when workers petitioned for a union election and the election itself, allowing management to hold up the process by filing frivolous charges and bringing in union busting consultants to sow discord.
But under the new rule, the board:
The changes also cut down on excessive paperwork, allowing workers to submit signed petitions online, as well as making workplace elections more transparent, requiring employers to provide workers with an up-to-date voter list in electronic format soon after an election date is set.
The U.S. Senate rejected Republican efforts to overturn the changes April 24.
Sen. Tom Harkin told the Associated Press:
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) broke with her party to support the regulations, which were announced by the NLRB last summer.
Says International President Edwin D. Hill:
Another new board rule that went into effect April 30 requires employers to post public notices informing employees of their right to join a union, similar to those already required for safety and minimum wage laws.
Both rules are under attack from the Chamber of Commerce and the anti-union Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which filed lawsuits against the board over the changes.
Since last year, the congressional GOP have launched more than 50 separate attacks on the NLRB – which has seen a revitalization under President Obama – from legislative efforts to limit the board’s authority to threats of defunding.