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Senate, House Committee Leaders Urge Passage of Legislation to End NLRB’s Ambush Elections

After Senate Democrats refuse to allow vote on overriding the president’s veto of a CRA resolution to end ambush elections, Republicans call for passage of their legislation to ensure fair union elections

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6 – After Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a simple up or down vote to override President Obama’s veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ambush election rule, Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.), Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) urged passage of their legislation to ensure fair union elections by ending the board’s damaging rule. 

“Republicans have not finished the fight against the NLRB’s ambush election rule, which can force a union election in as little as 11 days—before an employer and many employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Chairman Alexander. “It’s unfortunate that Senate Democrats have obstructed an opportunity to overturn this damaging rule, which sacrifices every employer’s right to free speech and every worker’s right to privacy—but I intend to continue working in Congress to restore fairness to American workplaces.”

“The board’s ambush election rule will stifle employer free speech, cripple employee free choice, and threaten the privacy of workers and their families,” said Chairman Kline. “The American people deserve better, and that is precisely why this fight isn’t over. The legislative response we have proposed will ensure workers and employers have access to the fair union election process they deserve. It is time Washington Democrats stopped looking out for Big Labor’s interests and started focusing on what’s best for America’s hardworking men and women.”

“The National Labor Relations Board continues to skew the playing field between management and labor, and I am disappointed Senate Democrats are condoning that by blocking this vote,” said Sen. Isakson. “I have been fighting against these unfair rulings by the NLRB since President Obama took office. I will continue to fight to restore a level playing field, protect free speech and ensure that workers are afforded the opportunity to make informed decisions about their right to organize, while safeguarding their personal information and privacy.”

“While I am disappointed the Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto, I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to protect American workers from the NLRB’s overreach,” said Rep. Roe. “Workers and employers deserve better, and it’s a shame the president and his political appointees continue to put the interests of labor bosses above the rights of hardworking Americans.”

A Senate majority voted to stop the rule on March 4. A House majority voted to stop the rule on March 19. The president vetoed the resolution on March 31, but Democrats have objected yesterday to a simple up or down vote to override this veto.   

The NLRB’s rule – which went into effect on April 14 – can shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held to as little as 11 days. In 2014, more than 95 percent of union certification elections occurred within 56 days. Additionally, the median number of days from petition to election was 38 days. These numbers surpass the performance goals set by the NLRB itself. The rule gives employers essentially no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it forces employers to provide employees’ personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent.

The legislative response introduced following the president’s veto by Sens. Alexander and Isakson and Reps. Kline and Roe would:

  • Ensure workers have enough time to make an informed decision in a union election by prohibiting any election from taking place in less than 35 days.
  • Provide employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election officer and protect the right to raise additional concerns throughout the pre-election hearing.
  • Reassert the board’s responsibility to address critical issues before certifying a union, including voter eligibility and the appropriate unit of employees that will form the union.
  • Empower workers to control their personal information by allowing each employee to determine the personal contact information that is provided to union organizers.

To learn more about the legislation introduced in the House, click here.

To learn more about the legislation introduced in the Senate, click here.

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