Members of Senate and House Take on NLRB Ambush Elections Rule

By February 16, 2012Labor Unions

Today, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) introduced resolutions of disapproval (S.J. Res 36 and H.J. Res 103) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ambush elections rule.

The rule, finalized in December of 2011, would effectively strip employers of certain legal rights in cases where a petition for representation election has been filed. The rule also compresses the time between the petition and the election by eliminating the 25-day grace period resulting in elections being held in as few as 20-25 days.

Senator Enzi and Congressman Gingrey are invoking Congress’ right to review regulations issued by the federal government under the Congressional Review Act. The Act allows Congress to vote up or down on a final rule and is a privileged motion – meaning it cannot be filibustered and only needs a simple majority in each Chamber.

It is not just Congress who is upset about the NLRB’s ambush election rule.  The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, consisting of several businesses business organizations and which the NAM is a leading member, immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging this rule.

From the beginning, the NAM has taken the position that changing the rules of representation elections is not needed and will not only curtail employer rights of free speech, but it will also deprive employees of the information they need to make an important decision about whether to join a union.  In fact, President John F. Kennedy would agree with the NAM.  Then Senator Kennedy, when commenting on the 1959 amendments to the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), stated “there should be at least a 30-day interval between the request for an election and the holding of the election.”  Indeed, Senator Kennedy went on to oppose an amendment to the Act requiring less than 30 days for an election to take place.  Absent any evidence there is a problem with the current process, it seems that Board believes then Senator Kennedy, Members of the House and Senate, and the business community are all wrong.

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