The National Labor Relations Board has put forward a new rule that will result in what conservatives are calling “ambush elections,” in which union organizers can force an election within 10 days and have unprecedented access to employee information with which to conduct their campaign. Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on SJR 36, a measure that would overturn this rule through the little used “Congressional Review Act.” Writing in National Review, Del. Barbara Comstock says the vote is critical for right to work states like Virginia:
Because Virginia is a right-to-work state and we have a strong ban on collective bargaining signed into law by a Democratic governor (Doug Wilder) and a then-Democratic state legislature, some think that the labor-boss-directed mischief in Washington doesn’t impact Virginia. But the continued unprecedented actions of the National Labor Relations Board are a real threat.
While Virginia workers cannot be forced to pay union dues or become union members, an ambush election could result in their workplace being quickly unionized, in turn impacting their pay, their work rules, their vacations, their workplace flexibility, their retirement benefits, and other everyday practices at their workplace. That is why a deliberative process that provides for debate and hearing from both sides should continue.
According to Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, the sponsor of SJR 36, the new NLRB rule is rife with mischief:
Soon union leaders may be able to acquire and use even more personal contact information for employees of targeted businesses with the government’s stamp of approval. Under a new NLRB rule, employers will be required to turn over a list of email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses, shift hours and work locations for every employee to union organizers within two days. Employees will have no ability to opt-out of being contacted. The NLRB’s new chairman has stated repeatedly that he plans to push through this change as quickly as possible.
As if the release of private employee information to labor bosses were not bad enough, the rule will also force employees to make the critical decision about whether or not to form a union in as little as seven to 10 days. The goal of the NLRB’s “ambush election” rule is to keep employees from getting timely information from the employer and other sources. Under the new rules, the NLRB will not even sort out which employees should be included in which bargaining unit until after the union election. This means employees will not even know with whom they will be lumped when they are casting their votes.
The rule, then, is a gift to union organizers and a bane to employers, even in states that have right to work laws.
So far, Enzi’s resolution has 44 co-sponsors — all Republicans. As Comstock writes:
Virginia’s senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, have yet to say how they will vote and are not among the 44 committed to derailing this job-killing regulation. Democrat leadership has indicated that Democrats will hold together for this special favor for their union allies.
I’m sure they will. Still, it will be interesting to see where other Democrats come down on this matter — like Tim Kaine, for instance.
We’re familiar with Kaine’s recent union record…from the good old days of Danny LeBlanc, to his time at the DNC, when he funneled money into Organizing for America’s effort to bring down Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Kaine called Walker’s attempt to put the brakes on government employee unions a “declaration of war on public workers.”
I wonder how he feels about NLRB sanctioned ambushes on the private sector?