The National labour Relations Board on Tuesday released a host of regulatory changes aimed at speeding union organising votes, a move drawing fire from business groups.Among the proposed revisions, the board would allow organisers to file required forms electronically —previously all communication had to be conducted in writing — and requires employers to turn over email addresses for eligible voters instead of just physical addresses.
Additionally, the pre-election review process, which often resulted in nearly month-long delays before union votes, would be eliminated, and the time frame for counting votes would be shortened.
Board Chairman Wilma Liebman said in a statement that the changes, when finalised, “will result in rules that are simpler, that are clearer, and that come closer to achieving the aim of the National labour Relations Act: making sure that employees are free to choose whether or not they want to be represented at work, in a quick, fair, and accurate way.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the NLRB’s changes “a common sense approach to clean up an outdated system and help ensure that working women and men can make their own choice about whether to form a union.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of labour, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson criticised the proposed rules as a “blatant attempt to give unions the upper hand by limiting the ability of employers to exercise their free speech rights.”
NLRB board member Brian Hayes, an appointee of President Barack Obama, opposed the changes, arguing the rest of the board “acts in apparent furtherance of the interests of a narrow constituency, and at the great expense of undermining public trust in the fairness of Board elections.”
Comments on the proposed rule changes will be accepted for 60 days, and the board will hold an open hearing on the changes on July 18.
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