Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NLRB election changes help workers

Reforms made to the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) union election rules last April are paying dividends for workers seeking to organize around the country, according to a new report.

According to statistics compiled by Bloomberg BNA, during the first four months following when the NLRB instituted the changes, the agency fit 31 more resolved elections in compared to the same period in 2014. And all of those additional elections ended in a victory for the union.

What's more, the median length of time it took a union's representation petition to reach the election stage fell from 38 days in May-August 2014 to 24 days during the same four months last year.
As a BNA Bloomberg blog stated:
This is significant, the report says, because quicker elections have favored labor over management for many years. Calendar years 2014 and 2015 were no exceptions: Elections that were resolved within 24 days went the union’s way 88 percent of the time in 2014, and 75 percent of the time in 2015. But because about half of the elections in the 2015 sample clocked in at 24 days or less, this translated to 140 union wins—compared with only 21 union wins in 2014.
The Teamsters are strong advocates of the rule change. Back in August 2011, General President Jim Hoffa filed comments saying the changes would streamline the process and make election rules more fair for workers looking to organize.

But not surprisingly, there have been plenty of opponents who have been looking to rein in the NLRB's action. Republicans in Congress took aim at trying to stop the implementation of the changes last year but failed.

But overturning the rule changes through the courts remains a possibility. The Fifth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court in New Orleans is due to hear the case Feb. 29, and if they side with the plaintiff, it could invalidate the results of all those elections.