Capitol Hill

A tough fight

In December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final regulation that dramatically will change labor union election procedures. Unless the courts intervene, the regulation becomes effective this month and will transform the manner in which union-organizing campaigns are conducted.


The regulation is a major component of the Obama administration's policy of making it easier for employees to form unions. During the first two years of his presidency, President Obama supported legislation that would have allowed unions to use "card check" procedures rather than voting by secret ballot in union-organizing elections. However, the bill failed to pass a Democratic-controlled Congress after NRCA and other business groups launched a massive lobbying campaign to defeat the legislation and preserve a worker's right to a secret ballot.

After Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, effectively killing the card check bill for the near future, the Obama administration turned to the regulatory arena to advance policies to facilitate greater levels of union organizing. NLRB first proposed a regulation to dramatically change union representation procedures in 2011. Unfortunately, this regulation seriously could erode employers' due process rights. NRCA strongly opposes it.