06.30.11

Enzi, Hatch and Isakson Call on NLRB to Delay “Quickie Union Election” Rule Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined with fellow committee members Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today to call on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to delay the public hearing on the agency’s proposed rules to allow “quickie elections” for unions and allow for an extension of time to prepare testimony and file comments.

“The current scheduling for the sole public hearing on this rulemaking does not provide sufficient time for stakeholders to determine if they will participate and prepare testimony,” the senators wrote.  “The Board announced on Monday, June 27 that interested stakeholders must notify the Board by Friday, July 1 of their intent to speak at the public hearing. This time period is unreasonable and without justification.  Interested stakeholders will require more time to become aware of and familiar with the proposed regulation and to prepare for the public hearing.  The time-frame you have established will prevent the views of stakeholders who were not aware of this rulemaking before it was announced from being heard.” 

The senators also requested an extension of time to file comments on the proposed rule.  Currently, comments are due on August 22.  They noted that these proposals involve highly complex issues that require stakeholders to spend time analyzing the effect these proposals have.  They said that limiting the time in which stakeholders can submit comments for such a complicated and irregular rulemaking and then providing stakeholders with less than five days to decide whether to participate in the public hearing is simply inappropriate.  

“Such a condensed timeline is also unparalleled among similarly significant rulemaking proposals from other federal agencies in recent years,” wrote the senators.  “The Board has not justified the need for an expedited comment period.  At a June 24 congressional staff briefing, an NLRB attorney stated that a 60-day comment period was appropriate because amending election procedure is a fairly routine practice of the Board.  Yet, you have stated publicly that the proposed rule is ‘controversial.’  We believe that, due to the significant legal questions involved and the controversial nature of the proposal, stakeholders should have more than minimal time to decide whether to participate in public hearings and to prepare comments for submission.”

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