Proposal to speed union votes draws fire from employers

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposal that would speed up unionization votes drew criticism July 18 during the first of two days of hearings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The proposal includes sweeping changes to federal rules governing union-organizing elections and could cut to as few as 10 days the gap between when a union files to hold an organizing election and when it is held.

Some of the NLRB's proposed changes aim to rein in unnecessary litigation, which unions say employers often file. NLRB has proposed handling much of election-related litigation after a vote instead of before it, as well as requiring employers to list their legal concerns before an election or else waive their right to launch a challenge after an election.

Business groups say the proposal would shorten the time leading up to elections so it unfairly would limit management's right to make a case against unionization. Unions say the proposal would allow employers sufficient time to make their cases but less time to intimidate employees into refusing the opportunity for representation.

Employers' representatives say employers often have valid reasons to challenge elections in advance, such as needing to challenge a union's list of eligible voters to ensure it doesn't include ineligible employees.

NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman suggested in the hearing's opening remarks that the board is open to modifying the proposal.

Date : 7/22/2011