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Trump: Deny Employee List to Unions

NLRB rules that employers during organizing drives don't have to share excelsior list

Brian Young's picture
Jul 29, 2020

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is proposing their third change to how union elections are conducted under Trump. This change would limit the information that is available to unions when they are organizing a workplace.

Under the new rule, which was published on July 29th, employers would no longer be required to hand over workers’ personal email addresses, home telephone numbers, and cell phone numbers to the union. Currently, they need to provide this information as well as names and home addresses for all eligible voters within the bargaining unit. In proposing the new rule, the board claimed that they were doing it to protect worker privacy.

However, employers have been required to hand over information about their workers since 1966. The so-called Excelsior lists originally contained names and home addresses for the workers. In 2014 the NLRB expanded this to include email addresses and phone numbers.

In an interview with Bloomberg Law, AFL-CIO General Counsel Craig Becker said the latest proposal, like the Trump NLRB’s earlier rulemakings, is “aimed solely at satisfying employer demands to tilt the law in their favor.” There’s no evidence of abuse—or even complaints of abuse—related to worker information that’s required on eligible voter lists, he said.

This change could drastically affect organizing. Without access to phone numbers or emails, organizers would be at a severe disadvantage over the bosses who not only have the ability to call or email their workers but also have the ability to hold a captive audience meeting.

If the rule is implemented, unions are sure to sue. Earlier changes to election rules were met with lawsuits from the AFL-CIO. In one case, a judge struck down a large portion of the change, while the other case is still pending.

The board will now accept public comments on the rule change until September 27th. You can submit a comment by clicking here.

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