On April 10 and 11, ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin testified in front of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., on the board’s proposed “ambush” elections rule.  In his testimony, Baskin asked the NLRB to withdraw the proposed rule, which would shorten the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place to as few as 10 days.

“The credibility of this board as a neutral administrator of the Labor Act is at stake here….These are the most radical and sweeping proposed changes to the board’s election case handling regulations in at least 50 years,” Baskin said. “Since no serious problems with the current system have been identified, many employers understandably think that there is a nefarious purpose behind these proposals.” 

The hearing consisted of 10 issue panels and Baskin testified on the three related to portions of the rule that would shorten the time between the petition being filed and the pre-election hearing, require employers to produce a written statement of position prior to the pre-election hearing or risk waiving their right to raise issues, and require employers to turn over voter eligibility lists on two days’ notice, including employee emails and phone numbers.

ABC has expressed concerns since the rule was proposed about the privacy issues raised by requiring employers to submit their employees’ personal contact information to union organizers. Baskin echoed those concerns in his testimony.

“We object strongly to shortening the time for employers to issue the voter eligibility list and we object to the added burden and invasion of employee privacy of the newly required, deeply personal information that the board wants employers to include,” Baskin said. “It is also grossly unfair of the board to put the kind of time pressure on employers that you are proposing here and then to punish employers for errors caused by your unreasonable deadlines.”

“The proposal has faced increasing opposition. The comment period on the proposal ended April 7 and ABC and more than 1,200 members filed comments requesting the NLRB  withdraw  this proposed rule in its entirety. The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace also filed comments opposing the proposed rule, which were joined by more than 140 local organizations, including over 40 ABC chapters.”

In addition, The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce took action to counteract key elements of the ambush rule by considering two ABC-supported bills on April 9. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act and the Employee Privacy Protection Act both have passed the committee and will now move to the full House for passage at a time and date yet to be determined.

For more information these bills and ABC’s opposition, read the April 9 Newsline article, “Opposition to Ambush Election Proposal Grows.”