NLRB Enacts "Quickie Election" Rules, Making it Much Easier to Unionize Employees
On December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) changed union election procedures, effective April 14, 2015. The result is that while unions can take many months, or even years, to convince a company’s employees to vote in favor of unionization, once the union files a petition for an election, the company will have only a very short period – perhaps as short as 14 to 20 days – to mount its own campaign against unionization.
The rule change places employers at an extreme disadvantage, and will make it much easier for unions to wage and win a unionization campaign. It is expected to lead to a massive increase in unionization efforts.
MEA’s general counsel, Michael G. Trachtman, recommends that employers take the following actions:
- Employers begin to design and implement union prevention programs tailored to their specific situations. The key is a structured and specific set of initiatives that will convince employees that they will be treated fairly and that their input will be respected;
- Employers develop response plans and campaign strategies and materials, in advance, so as to be able to quickly respond if a union begins the unionization process. Employers who wait may be caught flat-footed – a vote may be scheduled before they have the opportunity to effectively state their case to their employees;
- However, he cautions that labor law strictly (and, often, counter-intuitively) controls what employers are permitted to say and do as part of their union prevention efforts and campaign tactics. For instance, threatening to fire or discipline union activists, or to close or relocate the company, can cause serious legal repercussions – even including a court order that will impose a union on a company without a vote.
This MEA Member Alert was provided by Michael G. Trachtman, Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle & Lombardo, P.C.