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Trump's NLRB Makes it Harder to Join a Union

NLRB votes to repeal speedy election rule, giving companies more time to bust the union

Brian Young's picture
Dec 13, 2017

A new week, a new attack on labor from Trump’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In their continuing fight to make it harder to win a union election, the NLRB has voted to begin the repeal of the so called “speedy election” rule.

When a union files for an election, there are a few pieces of information that an employer is required to hand over. This info includes a list of all employees who are eligible to vote in the election as well as their address so the union can send them a ballot. In 2014 the NLRB, under Democratic rule, expanded the list to include phone numbers and email addresses. This expansion was known as the “speedy election” rule. The rule also limited an employer’s ability to file frivolous objections during the election and shortened the time period to schedule an election. Under the speedy election rule, the election must take place within 25 days of the filing.

The rule, put in place by President Obama, evened the playing field for the union that was spending resources to organize the workerforce. While the company still has the sole ability to hold a captive audience meeting, the union at least had the same contact info that the company does. They no longer needed to visit every member's house to be able to reach everyone. The rule also prevented the delay tactics that many companies use to prevent elections from happening until after the company has threatened enough employees to ensure that the union does not win.

UCOMM has previously reported that since the rule was put in place, unions have been winning more organizing victories, which is probably the reason that anti-union forces have pushed for the change. For workers, like those at JetBlue who just announced their intent to organize, the repeal of the speedy election rule will make it significantly harder to win.

As part of the repeal process, the NLRB will begin hearing public comments on changes to the rule beginning on December 14th. To provide a comment, please click here.


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