Policy Position Statement on NLRB's Rulemaking Regarding Unionization

BACKGROUND:

Since 2009, the Lancaster Chamber has been on record against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or "Card Check." As such, the Chamber was pleased to play a role in card check's legislative defeat. However, it is increasingly clear that the defeat of that legislation has not stopped the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from attempting to enact portions of the original bill. For example, in June 2011, the NLRB proposed rulemaking governing the filing and processing of election petitions that would bypass legislative protocol. Even more recently, the NLRB mandated workplace postings that suggest a pro-union bias.

The proposed rulemaking would permit parties to file electronic petitions, shorten the time period for producing documents, reduce the minimum time period between posting of the Board's final notice and the election and expedite the hearing process. The adoption of this rule would take the average time between petition and election from its current 38 days to approximately 20-23 days. This will partially accomplish what was intended by the EFCA in that it will give employers less time to communicate with employees, presumably boosting the likelihood that a union could win an NLRB election. It is worth noting that unions already win recognition in over 60% of elections.

The proposal would deny business owners the appropriate amount of time to hold conversations on decisions that would greatly impact the future of the workplace. It is also unfair to employees - some who do not want union representation and are unaware that a union campaign is underway - because they would be less likely to hear both sides of the debate.

The more recent mandate requires workplace postings that must note the right of employees: to act together to improve wages and other terms and conditions of employment; to form, join or assist unions; to collectively bargain with employers; to engage in strikes or picketing; and to refrain from engaging in such activities.

Taken together, this extension of authority by the NLRB demonstrates a clear bias to circumvent the legislative process and subject employers to additional mandates that simply offer a distraction to creating jobs and promoting growth.

POLICY POSITION:

The Board of Directors of The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry opposes the NLRB's attempts to bypass the legislative process through rulemaking in regard to the unionization process.

It is our firmly held opinion that both the proposed and finalized rules undermine the long-standing principles of workplace democracy and fairness by restricting 60 years of labor law in a negative way for business.

The Chamber will remain vigilant against NLRB attempts to accomplish through regulation what can not be achieved through the legislative process.

 

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