NLRB's latest union bailout: quickie elections 

With union membership precipitously declining (it was less than 7 percent in the private sector last year), big labor has been desperate to expand its ranks by any means necessary. When they couldn't pass "card check" through Congress (which would have allowed them to rapidly unionize by intimidating workers into signing cards), they set their sights on the National Labor Relations Board, which Obama packed with union-friendly members. Today, the NLRB has come through once again. The Associated Press reports the labor regulatory board is set to issue new rules today that would speed up labor elections to make it easier to unionize.

As Peter Schaumber, former NLRB chairman, warned last week, "Imagine a political election in which only one party were given the opportunity to tell voters its side of the story, and could set an election date only days away, all without prior notice to the other side." 

In other words, unions can spend all the time they want collecting signatures and making their case to workers, but then surprise an employer by calling an election at any time, and the employer only has a matter of days or weeks to assess how unionization might affect business, consult with lawyers, and make its case to its workers.

The NLRB's guidance will be issued today, but was leaked ahead of time to the Associated Press, which reports:

Most labor elections currently take place within 45-60 days after a union gathers enough signatures to file a petition, a time many companies use to discourage workers from unionizing. The new plan could cut that time by days or even weeks—depending on the case—by simplifying procedures, deferring litigation and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings.

The board stopped short of granting a firm five to 10 day deadline that unions were hoping for, but the AP notes that:

The board's lone Republican, Brian Hayes, issued a vigorous dissent, saying the proposal would result in the type of "quickie elections" union leaders have long sought. Hayes claimed elections could be held in as little as 10 to 21 days from the filing of a petition, giving employers less of a chance to make their case.

"Make no mistake, the principal purpose for this radical manipulation of our election process is to minimize or, rather, to effectively eviscerate an employer's legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining," Hayes wrote.

Aside from being a bailout for big labor, the board's ruling is another example of the fact that the Obama administration has absolutely zero understanding of how the business world works. Among the new rules specifically proposed, the employer must "Set pre-election hearings to begin 7 days after a petition is filed" and "Reduce from 7 to 2 days the time for an employer to provide an electronic list of eligible voters." It's utterly insane to expect an employer to meet such ridiculous time mandates while trying to actually run a business, and this is especially destructive to small businesses, which don't have the large staffs to deal with all these compliance issues. With the Obama administration continuing to assault business owners at every turn, it's no wonder that the economy is still stuck in the doldrums two and a half years after the president took office.

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Philip Klein

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