House to Vote on Amending Pro-union NLRB Rule

By:  Ann Shibler
House to Vote on Amending Pro-union NLRB Rule

UPDATE: The House passed H.R. 3094, which would amend the NLRB's new unionization elections rule, by 235-188.

UPDATE: The House passed H.R. 3094, which would amend the NLRB's new unionization elections rule, by 235-188.

There have been several serious attempts to rein in the decidedly pro-union National Labor Relations Board in 2011. While some bills were passed in the House, they stalled in the Senate. The result is that there’s been little real progress in trying to control an unaccountable, “independent,” but tax-payer funded federal agency that arbitrarily promotes rules and regulations that heavily favor unions.

The NLRB, which gained considerable notoriety for the Boeing incident, is currently engaged in trying to rush a new rule into effect that would reduce the time required for a unionization election process to as few as 10 days. Because of public outcry over complicated and controversial political techniques by the Board, the original NLRB union rule proposal has been scaled back somewhat. However, the principle that a federal agency residing in the Executive Branch shouldn’t legislate, as that is the sphere of the Legislative Branch, is still being violated. Congressman John Kline (R-Minn.) therefore, introduced new legislation that will be considered in the House on November 30 that counters the NLRB’s newest rule.

House Resolution 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, would “amend the National Labor Relations Act with respect to representation hearings and the timing of elections of labor organizations under that Act.” It also in effect, “reverses the NLRB's August 26, 2011, decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Mobile and its June 22, 2011, rulemaking regarding proposed changes to procedures involving the election of collective bargaining representation.”

Under H.R. 3094 employers would have at least 14 days to prepare their case for a NLRB election officer, and no union election could be held until at least 35 days after a petition is filed for an election. This legislation ensures that employers are able to participate in a fair union election process, guarantees workers have the ability to make a fully informed decision, reinstates the traditional standards for determining which employees will vote, and also safeguards privacy by allowing workers to decide how much personal information can be provided to a union.

After an October 12 congressional hearing regarding H.R. 3094, the Associated Builders and Contractors stated in a press release, “the NLRB’s ‘ambush’ elections proposal” would “significantly impede the ability of construction industry employers to protect their free speech rights” and “hinders the free choice of workers to make a fully informed decision in a union election campaign.” Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson described the NLRB proposal as an "abusive power grab by the NRLB.”

It’s difficult enough in today’s economic crisis to run a business that is often burdened by mountains of costly regulations from various government agencies without having unfair and unjust edicts from the NLRB to cope with as well. While H.R. 3094 certainly doesn’t fix all that is wrong with the NLRB, at least the latest and most blatant pro-union action by the NLRB can be rectified through passage of this bill.

Stop the NLRB from circumventing Congressional authority by contacting your Representative and Senators and asking them to support H.R. 3094. Tell them to help protect free enterprise by reducing the power of the NLRB, a federal agency that costs our nation jobs and hurts small businesses, as well as discounting and undermining workers' and employers’ rights.

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