NLRB touts union election record

Michael P. Tremoglie Mar. 20, 2012, 2:24pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The National Labor Relations Board is implementing a controversial new rule April 30 to reduce "unnecessary litigation and "streamline" the election process.

Businesses owners say it will be more difficult to talk to employees about union representation.

When the rule was adopted in December the NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce said, "This rule is about giving all employees who have petitioned for an election the right to vote in a timely manner and without the impediment of needless litigation."

The rule, which some are calling the "ambush election" rule, makes it easier for unions to hold initial organizing elections. The NLRB explained, "Currently, questions concerning a small number of employees may be litigated at great length and expense despite having no effect on the final result, because the disputed individuals' eligibility to vote only becomes an issue if their votes would have made a difference in the final outcome of the election."

But the NLRB issued a communique March 9 touting that during 2011 unions did have speedy organizing elections. The announcement said, "Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon this week released a summary of activities for Fiscal Year 2011 .

Of special note: 91.7 percent of all initial elections were conducted within 56 days of the filing of the petition; Initial elections in union representation elections were conducted in a median of 38 days from the filing of the petition."

NLRB also said that they closed 84.7 percent of all representation cases within 100 days" Their target was 85 percent of cases.

Vincent Vernuccio is the Labor Policy Counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He found the NLRB's statement astonishing.

"The NLRB, in bragging about their election record, is contradicting itself when they say most unions do not have speedy elections," he said. "While they should rightly be commended on the speed of these elections, they must be called out on their hypocrisy for saying that most workers are not given a speedy election in order to justify their new ambush election rule."

The NLRB also touted its record in other areas announcing that it achieved a 93 percent settlement rate in the Regional Offices in meritorious unfair labor practice cases; Regional Offices won 87 percent of Board and Administrative Law Judge unfair labor practice and compliance decisions in whole or in part; a total of $60,514,922 was recovered on behalf of employees.

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