Unless or until it’s stopped, the National Labor Relations Board regulation that denies employees time to consider whether to join a union by putting union elections on an inappropriately fast track will go into effect on April 14th. This is troubling to manufacturers because there is scant evidence anywhere that the union election process needs to be sped up at all and the regulation would force employers to turn over closely guarded personal information such as an employee’s cell phone number and work schedule.
The National Association of Manufacturers, in concert with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a number of allies, filed a lawsuit early in January to try to prevent the regulation from going into effect. The lawsuit will take time to reach a conclusion, but Congress has an option to stop this rule from going into effect that it is undertaking now. Later this week, the House of Representatives will be voting on a Joint Resolution to nullify the regulation under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to disapprove of final regulations issued by federal agencies. The Senate already voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval over two weeks ago and once the House votes on Thursday, it will be sent to the President for his consideration.
While it’s a certainty the President will veto Senate Joint Resolution 8, there is importance to Congress putting themselves on record as supporting or opposing the rule the NLRB came up with. It demonstrates that the President’s appointees and opponents of the resolution are out of synch with what the majority of Americans and their representatives in Congress want – a fair union election process that gives them time to consider a very important decision – whether or not to join a union. It also puts our lawmakers on the record as to whether or not they believe it is appropriate to force disclosure of sensitive personal information to third parties without consent, which is what the regulation requires. That is a fight worth having – even if we know the President will veto the resolution.
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