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Latest News - June 2015

June 2, 2015
Judge upholds labor board rule bringing union representation elections into the 21st century

Here's something new: a court upholding a policy that business lobby groups say is unfairly pro-worker. The first of two legal challenges to the National Labor Relations Board's rule modernizing and streamlining union representation elections failed in court on Monday. The lawsuit, brought by the National Federation of Independent Business and Texas chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors (sometimes called the ALEC of the construction industry), was rejected by Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

“[The] plaintiffs point to nothing in the record which supports their conclusion that the board intended to favor organized labor,” he wrote.

Another lawsuit, from business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is still happening, and they may find the judge they want this time.

The rule the business groups are so upset about would cut waiting times for union representation elections, put off litigation—often filed by businesses to drag out the election process—until after the election, allow election petitions to be filed electronically, require businesses to share additional worker contact information with union organizers, and consolidate the post-election appeals process. Opponents of the rule have said it permits "ambush elections," and it's true that bosses would have less time to intimidate and fire workers for supporting the union. But "we want more time to break the law and file frivolous lawsuits" is not the most appealing reason to oppose a policy, you know?

Congressional Republicans previously tried to block the policy, but President Obama vetoed that attempt.



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