The National Labor Relations Board issued its final “ambush election” rule today in what Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) called “perhaps the most pro-union action taken by the current administration, which is quite a feat in itself.”
The rule cuts the time period between the point employees file a petition to unionize to the election from a median 38 days to as few as 10 days.
“The Board believes the rule will enable the agency to more effectively administer the National Labor Relations Act by modernizing its rules in light of modern technology, making its procedures more transparent and uniform across regions, and eliminating unnecessary litigation and delay,” the NLRB said. “With these amendments, the Board will be better able to fulfill its duty to protect employees’ rights by fairly, efficiently and expeditiously resolving questions of representation.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a statement saying he was “very disappointed” in the rule.
“Instead of ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary information before casting a ballot in union elections, the NLRB decision will allow unions to rush the process on unsuspecting individuals in an effort to increase the number of dues paying members,” McConnell said. “Furthermore, the NLRB rule also poses serious privacy issues as it will force employers to provide private and sensitive employee information to union bosses without the employee’s permission.
McConnell joined with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on legislation attempting to prevent the NLRB from moving forward with the rule.
“This is another example of the board acting as an advocate rather than umpire,” McConnell added. “We need to reform the make-up of the board to make it more bipartisan and fair which is why Senator Alexander and I introduced the NLRB Reform Act earlier this year.”
Alexander said the NLRB “has grown into an advocate for whichever party has the White House, a trend that has worsened under this president.”
“The board’s ‘ambush election’ rule will sacrifice every employer’s right to free speech and every worker’s right to privacy for the sake of boosting organized labor, and I believe a new majority in the Senate will vote to disapprove this rule,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) agreed that the incoming Congress “should waste no time turning back the NLRB’s ambush election rule.”
“At a minimum, the union election process ought to at least be fair and transparent while ensuring employees are well-informed and have their privacy protected,” Flake said. “This rule would accomplish just the opposite.”
Scott noted that the NLRB is “also now placing burdensome requirements on employers that unions do not themselves have to comply with, providing an unfair advantage to union organizers.”
“Today’s rule simply reinforces the fact that the board must return to acting as the neutral arbiter it was intended to be.”