Many people are outraged over a new rule handed down by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today that not only makes unionization of private companies easier for unions but it forces employers to hand over private information of employees. Anyone who has seen unions in action knows nothing good will come of this. Their behavior often goes beyond bullying and is sometimes violent.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
Employers and worker advocates are blasting the National Labor Relations Board for tilting the union election process in Big Labor’s favor on Friday.
The NLRB finalized the so-called ambush election rules on Friday, which will speed up the timeframe of elections. The new set of rules passed on party lines with two Republican appointees on the five-member board dissenting. NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a former union attorney, hailed the decision as the path to modernization.
“Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all,” he said in a release.
Critics of the rule, ranging from employers to Republican lawmakers, have said that the policy gives labor an unfair advantage. While unions can spend years preparing for an election through petition campaigns, employers will have only a few weeks to address the potential consequences of unionization. Workers will not get to hear both sides of the issue, according to National Retail Federation vice president David French.
“These men and women will be forced to make a decision that could drastically change their workplace environment without adequate information and time to consider the issues before them,” French said in a release.
House Republicans said that the administration’s actions will have economic consequences for workers and employers. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R., Minn.) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chair Phil Roe (R., Tenn.) said in a statement that the rules “cripple workers’ free choice” and said that legislation is needed to curb executive “overreach.”
The new rule as reported by the NLRB:
December 12, 2014
The National Labor Relations Board has adopted a final rule amending its representation–case procedures to modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on December 15, and will take effect on April 14, 2015.
Of the final rule, Chairman Pearce said, “I am heartened that the Board has chosen to enact amendments that will modernize the representation case process and fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act. Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”
The final rule was approved by Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Members Kent Y. Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer. Board Members Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III dissented. The rule includes detailed explanations regarding the rule’s impact on current procedures and the views of the majority and dissenting members.
The Board believes the rule will enable the agency to more effectively administer the National Labor Relations Act by modernizing its rules in light of modern technology, making its procedures more transparent and uniform across regions, and eliminating unnecessary litigation and delay. With these amendments, the Board will be better able to fulfill its duty to protect employees’ rights by fairly, efficiently and expeditiously resolving questions of representation.
Thus, the final rule:
- Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
- Ensures that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
- Eliminates or reduces unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
- Adopts best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
- Requires that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and [emphasis added]
- Allows parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single appeals process.
The Daily Caller got the opinions of some who are against this rule as well:
Richard Berman, executive director at the Center for Union Facts, told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “Granting Big Labor access to employees’ personal contact information — including email addresses — highlights how the NLRB is willing to trample basic privacy rights in a desperate attempt to stem decades-long union membership losses.”
Berman added, “This ruling highlights why passing the Employee Rights Act, which would strengthen employees’ right to privacy by allowing employees to opt out of this information handover, is so important.”
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a statement, “Christmas came early for Big Labor as the Obama Labor Board has once again given union bosses increased power to ambush workers into dues-paying union ranks.”
“The NLRB’s new ambush union organizing election rules make union organizing campaigns even more one-sided and stifle the rights of employees who may oppose unionization in their workplace,” Mix concluded. “The rules also mandate that workers’ personal information be handed over to union officials.”
Randy Johnson, the senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits for the U.S Chamber of Commerce, also disagrees with the decision.
“[T]he NLRB has decided once again to issue a rule that will make it significantly more difficult for employers—especially those at small business—to respond to union campaigns,” Johnson declared in a statement provided to TheDCNF.
Clearly the NLRB doesn’t value the privacy of individuals.
To allow unions that are not part of a private organization to gather personal information about their employees is unconscionable.
It should be up to individual employees if they want to share that information, not some pro-union Democrats who head up the NLRB. It will be surprising if a lawsuit doesn’t emerge against them because of this part of the rule alone.