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Trump Permits Decert's in 45 days

New NLRB rule makes it impossible to win a union election

Brian Young's picture
Apr 03, 2020

While most non-essential services are shut down, union elections are suspended, and most of America is working from home worrying about a global pandemic, Trump’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was passing a rule to make it harder to win a union election.

The proposed rule was published on April 1 and contains several anti-union changes. The new rule would eliminate the NLRB's "blocking charge policy," which permits the delay of union election results if the employer is accused of union-busting or coercion. It would also allow a decertification campaign to start just 45 days after an election and with as few as 30% of the workforce supporting a decertification effort.

This would give bosses much more power over a union election. They could union-bust without fear of an election being delayed and without the union getting a chance to inoculate the workers against the illegal activity. If the boss loses the election, they then can start organizing a minority of the workforce to file for a quick decertification further slowing down the bargaining process.

“The Trump NLRB takes this moment to publish a rule that will make it harder both for workers to unionize and to keep unions they have," tweeted Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). "Shameful does not even begin to describe this."

The new rule will be in place starting May 31st.

This is the second time that the Trump administration has used the coronavirus pandemic as cover for changing labor law. At the end of February, Trump’s Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced that federal employees would now be able to opt-out of their union whenever they wanted instead of during a limited window during the year.

“In two weeks time, in the middle of a pandemic, President Trump’s NLRB suspended representation elections and then made it harder for employers to voluntarily recognize unions,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “In other words, the board is effectively sealing off any viable path to unionization at a time when workers need a voice on the job more than ever. Donald Trump’s caustic hostility to collective bargaining has manifested itself in the most anti-worker NLRB in America’s history. The labor movement will fight these actions with everything we have.”

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