NLRB Proposes New Union Election Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed new union representation rules that ensure workers can freely exercise one basic right we hold dear in this country – the right to vote.

The new rules would make union representation elections fairer by simplifying procedures, deferring litigation and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings. Currently when workers petition the NLRB for an election, it can take months and even years before they can cast a vote. Companies often use this time to threaten, scare and discourage workers from voting. Many hire “union busting” consulting firms who assist the company in deterring employees.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released a statement in response to the NLRB proposal saying the new rules are about fairness and rebuilding the middle class. “A key part of rebuilding the middle class is ensuring that every American worker has the same right that powerful CEOs take for granted—the right to sign a contract ensuring fair treatment on the job,” said Sen. Harkin. “The rules don’t encourage unionization or discourage it —workers get to make the decision that is best for them. But preserving this right brings some balance to the system, so that the deck isn’t always stacked against ordinary working people and in favor of the wealthy and the powerful.”

The NLRB will take 75 days to review comments and replies before making a decision on whether the rules should become final.