Resolution to Block NLRB’s ‘Quickie Election’ Rule Finalized, Heads to Obama
On Thursday, March 19, the House passed a joint resolution aimed to block the NLRB’s controversial so-called “quickie election” rule. Earlier this month, on March 3, the Senate passed its counterpart of the same joint resolution of disapproval that uses the Congressional Review Act to prevent the Board from implementing its revised representation election rules or even issuing a substantially similar rule absent authorization from Congress. The resolution will receive a very chilly reception at its next stop at the White House, though.
For their part, House Republican lawmakers prevailed on the joint resolution, H.J. Res. 29, which passed by a vote of 232-186, with three Republicans breaking rank to vote against the measure. The resolution had cleared the Senate with a 53-46 ballot also cast along party lines, with one Republican and two Independents joining the Democrats to oppose the measure.
The resolution is now headed to President Obama’s desk. The anticipated White House veto of the measure would require a two-thirds majority in both Chambers for an override.
White House opposition. In a previously issued Statement of Administration Policy, the White House made it clear that the president would not approve the resolution:
The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of S. J. Res. 8, which would overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s recently issued “representation case procedures” rule. The Board’s modest reforms will help simplify and streamline private sector union elections, thereby reducing delays before workers can have a free and fair vote on whether or not to form or join a union. The rule allows for electronic filing and transmission of documents, ensures that all parties receive timely information necessary to participate in the election process, reduces delays caused by frivolous litigation, unifies procedures across the country, requires additional contact information be included in voter lists, and consolidates appeals to the Board into a single process.
Instead of seeking to undermine a streamlined democratic process for American workers to vote on whether or not they want to be represented, the Congress should join the President in strengthening protections for American workers and giving them more of a voice in the workplace and the economy. Growing and sustaining the middle class requires strong and vital labor unions, which helped to build this Nation’s middle class and have been critical to raising workers’ wages and putting in place worker protections that we enjoy today. Giving workers greater voice can help ensure that the link is restored between hard work and opportunity and that the benefits of the current economic recovery are more broadly shared. The National Labor Relations Board’s representation case procedures rule helps to level the playing field for workers so they can more freely choose to make their voice heard. In doing so, it will help us build an economy that gives greater economic opportunities and security for middle-class families and those working to join the middle class.
Republican lawmakers determined. Republican lawmakers, well aware of the White House opposition, nonetheless pursued the joint resolution with confident determination. In a statement issued after the March 19 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) quickly praised House passage of the resolution to stop implementation of what they called the “ambush election” rule.
The statement pointed to McConnell’s earlier remarks on the Senate floor: “The Administration’s Ambush rule is designed with one purpose in mind: to fatten the wallets of powerful political bosses by weakening the rights of middle-class workers. Republicans believe workers have the right to make their own, informed choices when casting a ballot in a union election. We don’t think powerful political bosses should rush or force that decision on them. But that’s just what this rule aims to achieve.”
Alexander said that the NLRB’s rule allows “a union to force an election before an employer has a chance to figure out what is going on.” He also expressed hope that President Obama “will side with a majority in Congress—and fairness for American workplaces—and help stop this rule’s damaging effect on every employee’s right to privacy and every employer’s right to free speech.”
Source: By Pamela Wolf, J.D.
Reposted with permission from Wolters Kluwer.
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