D.C. Hotline: Ruling voids ambush elections
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauded the Federal Court decision voiding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) move to curb employer and employee rights by speeding up union elections. The rule change had gone into effect on April 30 and cut in half the amount of time permitted for voting on unionization. With as few as 15 days notice, employers would have insufficient time to seek counsel and freely speak and negotiate with employees ahead of a vote. A February report by Bloomberg Government found that unions win 87% of elections held within 15 days of a request, while only 58% of workplaces stand by their decision to unionize when they have the time to debate and vote after 36 to 40 days.
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., found that the NLRB’s December 2011 vote on the “ambush-election” rule was null and void because a quorum of three was not present. The union election rules in force before April 30 will be restored until NLRB takes further action. The court case was brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. The NLRB is now expected to revote and re-implement rules that have long been pushed for by large labor unions as they face dwindling membership.