NLRB approves 'ambush elections' for unions

The Obama administration gave its union cronies a big Christmas present on Friday when the National Labor Relations Board issued a set of rules that will handicap employers during union elections.

Washington Free Beacon:

Employers and worker advocates are blasting the National Labor Relations Board for tilting the union election process in Big Labor’s favor on Friday.

The NLRB finalized the so-called ambush election rules on Friday, which will speed up the timeframe of elections. The new set of rules passed on party lines with two Republican appointees on the five-member board dissenting. NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a former union attorney, hailed the decision as the path to modernization.

“Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all,” he said in a release.

Critics of the rule, ranging from employers to Republican lawmakers, have said that the policy gives labor an unfair advantage. While unions can spend years preparing for an election through petition campaigns, employers will have only a few weeks to address the potential consequences of unionization. Workers will not get to hear both sides of the issue, according to National Retail Federation vice president David French.

“These men and women will be forced to make a decision that could drastically change their workplace environment without adequate information and time to consider the issues before them,” French said in a release.

House Republicans said that the administration’s actions will have economic consequences for workers and employers. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R., Minn.) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chair Phil Roe (R., Tenn.) said in a statement that the rules “cripple workers’ free choice” and said that legislation is needed to curb executive “overreach.”

“The American people want policies that will set us on the path to a stronger economy, more jobs, and higher wages for working families. This misguided ambush election rule will pull our country in the opposite direction. Congress cannot stand by and let that happen. The committee has been leading the fight against the president’s radical labor board, and rest assured, we will continue to do so,” they said in a statement.

French said that the rule is “unnecessary and unfair” since the election system already gives adequate time for employees to make an informed choice.

The deck is already stacked in the union's favor when it comes to elections, so this is just gravy.  With this kind of head start, union propaganda will be very difficult to counter, and employers may end up caving in just to avoid a costly battle.

The real target of this new rule isn't old-line manufacturing businesses, but service and retail outlets.  Outfits like SEIU have been salivating to get this rule approved, as their drive to organize outlets like Walmart and other big-box retaliers will now get some momentum.  It should be interesting to see how employers counter this ruling.