NLRB APPROVES "AMBUSH ELECTION" RULES, MAKING IT MUCH EASIER FOR UNIONS TO ORGANIZE NONUNION COMPANIES
The National Labor Relations Board has begun the implementation of an array of rules changes that will make it much easier for unions to successfully unionize employers – especially smaller employers without in-house human resources personnel with expertise in unionization issues.
The most dangerous aspect of the new rules is to shorten the “campaign period” – the number of days between the date a union first seeks a union election and the date of the election itself. In a typical unionization effort, union organizers will have spent months operating behind the scenes, convincing employees to vote in favor of unionization, before they seek an election. Under current procedures, a company would then have approximately six weeks to mount its own campaign in opposition to the union – but under the new rules, that period will be much shorter, perhaps only two weeks, not nearly enough time for an employer to gather its forces, assemble its arguments, and effectively state its case to its employees.
For that reason, many experts accuse the NLRB of promoting “ambush elections” or “quickie elections” for the benefit of organized labor – and the dissenting members of the NLRB call the new rules a “vote now, understand later” procedure.
The lesson in all of this is that employers need to prepare now, so that they are not caught short later, without the time or the knowledge to get their message to the employees who will vote pro or con on the unionization question.
In particular, there are tried and true methodologies by which to create employer-employee relationships that have historically proven effective in making employees much less susceptible to a unionization campaign. And, very important, there is a set of non-commonsensical “do’s and don’ts” to which employers must strictly subscribe – some of the things that employers think they can say and do in the effort to fend off a unionization campaign are absolutely prohibited by the law, and employer personnel, from executives through supervisors, need to be educated.
To assist its members, MEA will be offering a short webinar on April 8, 2014, at 9 AM, “The NLRB’s New ‘Ambush Election’ Rules: How to Avoid Unionization, Before It’s Too Late.”
Michael G. Trachtman
Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle & Lombardo, P.C.
MEA General Counsel
*This Alert is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.