WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 13, 2013
Unions have long tried to organize small groups or “units” of employees as an incremental step toward organizing an entire workplace. A standard used for decades by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) required a different approach, one that promoted unity in workplaces by including in the proposed unit all employees that had a “community of interest.” The board considered basic criteria such as wages, benefits, skills, and similarity of job functions to ensure workers who shared similar interests were included in any proposed union; only employees with distinct interests were not included in the same union.
In 2011 President Obama’s NLRB seized upon a routine case in order to discard this long-standing policy. Under its Specialty Healthcare decision, the board imposed a new standard that ensures the NLRB approves virtually every unit of employees handpicked by the union – no matter how small the group of employees may be. As a result, union bosses are empowered to gerrymander workplaces and “micro-unions” will proliferate across the workforce.
While the NLRB’s decision benefits its union allies, it also imposes devastating consequences on workers and job creators by:
- Creating division and discord in workplaces. Unions will compete against other unions within a single business over wages, benefits, work hours, and other issues. Employees will also have fewer opportunities to advance in their careers, as future job opportunities within the business may be represented by a competing union.
- Burying businesses under costly union red tape. Employers will be forced to bargain with multiple unions and engaged in almost constant labor negotiations. This is especially harmful to small businesses that do not hire a full-time staff of lawyers and human resource managers. Raising employers’ labor costs will destroy jobs.
Congress cannot allow an unelected board to wreak havoc on workplaces. Introduced by Representative Tom Price (R-GA), the Representation Fairness Restoration Act will rein in the board’s activist agenda and restore policies developed through years of careful consideration and congressional guidance.
H.R. 2347 - REPRESENTATION FAIRNESS RESTORATION ACT:
- Rolls back the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision, replacing the board’s micro-union scheme with policies that encourage unity and harmony in the workplace.
- Reinstates the traditional standard for determining the appropriate group of employees that will vote in a union election. Among other criteria, the board is required to look at similarity of wages, skills, working conditions, and job functions when determining which unit of employees is appropriate.
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