Will the National Labor Relations Board succeed in passing new rules that would speed up union elections? Or will the lone Republican member of the board resign in order to stop the move?
NLRB spokesmen had announced the board’s intention to pass new proposed procedures — commonly referred to as the “quickie election” rule — at a meeting Nov. 30.
But then came news that Brian Hayes, the only Republican member of the board, was threatening to quit. That would leave the NLRB with only two members; a Supreme Court ruling dictates that the board must have at least three members for a voting quorum.
The new election rules aren’t the only board action that would be blocked by Haye’s resignation. According to a story in the New York Times, if the board is denied a quorum, it will not be able to make an official ruling that could order Boeing to close its South Carolina production line.
Hayes has been vocal in his opposition to the NLRB’s recent approach to rulemaking. In a letter to Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, he complained of “a rulemaking process that is opaque, exclusionary and adversarial.”
What new rules would mean
Here’s a rundown of the original proposal to amend union election rules, courtesy of the employment law firm Jackson Lewis:
- They would accelerate the initial hearing date following the filing of a representation petition
- Significantly curtail the ability to litigate issues before an election
- Eliminate the right to file post-hearing briefs
- Bar pre-election requests to review regional decisions
- Require lists of eligible voters be filed within only two days, and
- Provide unions with voters’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Approximately 95 percent of all representation elections are held in 56 days, Jackson Lewis said. The new procedures, if adopted, could reduce this period by at least 30 days.