NLRB Hands Employee Info to Organizers

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has regulated in favor of union bosses.  New representation election rules could deny companies the opportunity to communicate with their employees about union representation, and hands over employee personal information to union organizers.  Bill McMorris has the story in the Washington Free Beacon.

Controversial new union election regulations went into effect on Tuesday, curtailing the ability of employers to educate workers about the effects of unionization.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees the union ballot process, will begin implementing new rules that could force companies to hold elections within two weeks of a petition being filed.

Professional labor organizers can spend months and even years persuading employees about the benefits of unionization. Employers are limited to the time between the petition’s acceptance and the day of the election to mount a campaign explaining the potential downsides of organizing, according to David French, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“This change will significantly restrict both employees’ and employers’ participation in the union organizing process and severely compress the union election cycle,” he said in a release. “It muzzles the rights and voices of employees who want to understand the benefits and consequences of union organizing as well as employers who want to rebut and respond to union-backed charges.”

The Republican-controlled House and Senate each passed resolutions that would have blocked the NLRB’s amendments to the process, but President Obama used a procedural veto to secure the rule in March. Congressional leaders decried interference from the White House.

“The President’s partisan veto will further empower powerful political bosses at the expense of the rights of middle-class workers,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in a statement.

Labor regulators have spent weeks getting ready for the new rules. NLRB officials even held a March training event at the Manhattan headquarters of the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest and most politically powerful labor groups in the country.

“I’m disappointed the president wasted this opportunity to prevent the board’s rule from infringing on every employee’s right to privacy and every employer’s right to free speech,” Senate Labor Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) said in a release.

Having been blocked in Congress, employers are seeking relief in the courts. The NRF and Chamber of Commerce have formed a coalition to sue the NLRB over the rules, while the National Federation of Independent Business has filed a separate suit.