The National Association of Manufacturers on Tuesday sent letters
to all 435 members of the House urging support for a bill that essentially would block the National Labor Relations Board from implementing rules designed to make it easier for unions to organize.
In August, the NLRB allowed company employees to form micro-unions that represent subsets of workers with specialized tasks rather than a single bargaining unit across a facility or company. Business groups say that micro-bargaining units will pit employees against one another, prevent companies from cross-training personnel, and add cost and complexity for management that has to deal with multiple union entities and their associated rules.
The independent agency is also scheduled Wednesday to consider a "quickie election" rule that would significantly shorten the time between the filing of a petition for union certification and an election. Under the proposed rule, employers could have as few as seven days to find legal counsel, prepare their case for the LLRB pre-election hearing and communicate with employees. Employees would have as few as 10 days to vote on unionization.
"The NLRB’s efforts to overhaul long-agreed upon labor policy threaten to place an even greater burden on job creators. Manufacturers strongly oppose the implementation of this flawed rule because it will cause significant damage to the American workplace. If the NLRB goes forward with its desire for ambush elections and micro-unions, it will result in a lose-lose situation for employees and employers," NAM President Jay Timmons said in a written statement.
The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, sponsored by House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, would maintain the current five-week time frame for elections so that companies would have time to make a case for why a union would not be beneficial.
NAM said lawmakers that vote for H.R. 3094, or any related procedural votes, will get credit for a pro-manufacturing vote in the organization's ranking of who support the industry.
(This week's Washington Notebook commentary dealt with this subject and can be found here
.) -- Eric Kulisch