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NLRB Proposes New Regulations to Change Election Process

Reprinted from The Saqui Law Group

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed a set of regulatory changes to change the procedures for elections to determine union representation.  The primary effect of the new regulations would be to dramatically decrease the amount of time between filing a petition to create a union and the election.  Unions strongly support the proposed changes, and view faster elections as a path to more representation victories.  Employers have generally decried the regulatory proposals as an attempt to bypass the legislative process and make it more difficult for employers to communicate with employees during the electionprocess.                                                                             

Member Hayes was the lone dissenter in the Board’s 3-1 vote on the proposed regulations.  Hayes’ dissent was a strongly worded criticism of both the regulations and his fellow Board members.  In it he stated that “In truth, the ‘problem’ which my colleagues seek to address through these rule revisions is not that the representation election process generally takes too long.  It is that unions are not winning more elections.”  He went on to state that the changes will “effectively eviscerate an employer’s legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining.” 

The NLRB’s proposal comes just one day after the Department of Labor proposed a regulatory change that would require increased disclosures by employers who hire consultants during representation elections.  The two regulatory proposals signal a strong backing of the union agenda by the Obama Administration.

The NLRB has invited public comments on the proposed regulations.  Comments may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov/  There will be a public hearing on July 18-19 in Washington, DC.  Members of the public will be allowed to voice their opinion on the regulations at this hearing. 

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT: Even under current regulations employers must act quickly when faced with a representation election. It is vital that employers already have an understanding of their rights and obligations under the law, so that they can move quickly to legally communicate vital information to employees.

THE HUNGER STRIKE WITHOUT THE HUNGER

It has been one week since the UFW marched from Cesar Chavez park to the Capital in Sacramento in order to deliver SB 104, the ‘card-check’ bill, to Governor Brown for his signature.  Since that time the UFW has been participating in a ‘rolling’ hunger strike.  What is a ‘rolling’ hunger strike you might ask?  It is a series of hunger strikes participated in by a variety of people for one day at a time.  The hunger strike as a tool to support union causes was largely pioneered by Cesar Chavez, who once went on a 24 day hunger strike.