Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Showdown at the NLRB Corral

The NLRB scheduled a vote for November 30, 2011 on its controversial new rule governing union representation elections, which would implement what some have referred to as "Quickie Elections."  Under the new rules, representation elections would be held within 10 to 21 days of filing a petition for an election.  This timeframe, reduced from an average of 42 days, would limit an employer's ability to communicate with its employees about what it means to be unionized before the employees vote.

Mark Pearce, chair of the NLRB, called for the vote, saying that some provisions of the proposal should be approved before the end of 2011, when the term of member Craig Becker is set to expire. When Becker's term expires, the Board would have only two members and would not have a quorum necessary to take official actions.  Member Hayes, the sole Republican member of the Board, has threatened to resign prior to the Board's vote to deprive the Board of the authority to implement the controversial and decidedly pro-labor rules.  It remains to be seen whether Member Hayes will actually resign to prevent the Board's action, but you can expect that the bullets at the NLRB Corral will continue to fly for the next several weeks.

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