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Labor Board Accelerates Process For Unionization
Aug 20, 2021

By RACHEL ABRAMS -- DEC. 12, 2014

Several prominent business groups attacked new rules that the National Labor Relations Board issued on Friday that have the potential to speed up the
unionization process.

The regulations ease several delays in unionization elections. They remove the 25- to 30-day waiting period between when workers file a petition to form a union and when they can vote in a unionization election.

And while employers can still file challenges about who is eligible to vote, resolving such a challenge will far less frequently delay an election to unionize. In the past, such challenges often delayed elections for weeks.

The labor board, which is controlled by democrats, approved the new rules 3 to 2, along partisan lines.
Employers fear that any effort to accelerate such elections will help unions by giving businesses less time to campaign against unionization.

"This rule is the latest attempt by the Obama administration to aid their allies in big labor at the expense of employers and employees," the National Retail Federation said in statement. "The only winners here are union organizers."

The National Retail Federation said it would consider a "legal and legislative strategy" to fight the rules. Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.0., the nation's main labor federation, called the reforms "modest but important."

The ruling received resounding endorsements from labor unions, which have long asserted that corporations have an unfair advantage in unionization elections because employers have far more ability to communicate with workers than unions do.

"Too often, anti-worker employers use every trick in the book - including filing frivolous litigation - to delay union elections as they work behind the scenes to sabotage the outcome," Joseph T. Hansen, international president of the United
Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said in a statement. "When a majority of workers want to form a union, they should be able to do so in a fair and timely fashion."

The changes are scheduled to take effect April 14.
Since the labor board first proposed new rules in late 2011 to speed up unionization elections, business groups have vigorously criticized the idea.
"This rule adds unnecessary pressure to employers and deprives employees of valuable time needed to make a well-informed decision," said Associated Builders and Contractors, a construction trade group. In their dissenting opinion, the board's Republican members, Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III, said, "The final rule has become the Mount Everest of regulations: massive in scale and unforgiving in its effect."

They also said that under the shortened time frame, workers are encouraged to "vote now, understand later." But supporters of the rules say corporations have long exerted their power to
unfairly stall elections and block unionization.
"The changes announced by the N.L.R.B. are modest in scope, but we are hopeful that they will help working men and women push back against the 40-year assault on their well-being," Mary Kay Henry, the Service Employees International
Union's international president, said in a statement.
The new regulations also require employers, after workers petition for a unionization election, to give organizers the email addresses of all workers in the
potential union. Previously, employers had to give the names and home addresses of those workers.

The new rules are the second major victory for organized labor this week. On Thursday, the board ruled, 4-1, that employers could not ban employees from using their company's email in union organizing activities.


A version of this article appears in print on December 13, 2014, on page 83 of the New York edition with the headline: Labor Board Accelerates Process for Unionization.
© 2014 The New York Times Company

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