It comes as no surprise that, today, the President vetoed Congress’ disapproval of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “Ambush” Election Rule, finalized by the Board late last year and which goes into effect on April 14.
In the Memorandum accompanying the pocket veto (a veto occurring while Congress is adjourned), the President states that Congress’s Resolution of Disapproval would “block modest, but overdue reforms to simplify and streamline private sector union elections.” The word “streamline,” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means “to make simpler or more efficient.” However, when looking at the NLRB’s own data, I am confused as to what needs to be “made simpler or more efficient.” Currently, in over 95 percent of election petitions filed, a union election is held in 60 days or less. That is two months, which when you compare to our political campaign cycles, is merely a blink of an eye. So what exactly needs to be streamlined with this process?
Further, the President also made the statement that “And one of the freedoms of folks here in the United States is, is that if they choose to join a union, they should be able to do so. And we shouldn’t be making it impossible for that to happen.” Looking again to Merriam-Webster, “impossible” is defined as “unable to be done or to happen: not possible.” Again I am confused when I look again at the NLRB’s own statistics unions are successful in their campaigns over 60 percent of the time. To me, it doesn’t seem “impossible” to petition for a union, to have an election, or to ultimately be a part of the union. So what exactly is not “able to be done, or possible” in this situation?
What this really boils down is the fact that the NLRB rule is a solution in search of a problem. Congress seems to have recognized that, but unfortunately the Administration does not.
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