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Kline Challenges NLRB’s Backdoor Ambush Election Scheme

U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today sent a letter to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon demanding additional information on newly implemented policies that require NLRB regional offices to schedule pre-election union representation hearings just seven days after receiving notice of an election petition.

“The NLRB’s unelected and unaccountable acting general counsel recently imposed a significant change on union election procedures without the consent of Congress and without the endorsement of President Obama’s labor board,” said Chairman Kline. “With this change, Acting General Counsel Solomon has taken another step toward implementing a backdoor ambush election scheme that will overwhelm small business owners and deny workers an opportunity to make a fully informed decision in a union election. At a time when job creators are struggling to get by and millions of workers are unemployed, the Obama NLRB continues to put the priorities of union bosses before national interests.”

The NLRB has been pushing to implement an ambush election scheme since June of 2011, when the Obama labor board proposed a plan that would have allowed union elections to occur in as few as 10 days.

Last December, ignoring objections raised by countless organizations representing workers and employers, the board approved several components of its ambush election scheme. However, the NLRB stated at the time that the proposed seven day pre-election hearing requirement merited additional deliberation.

As Chairman Kline notes in the letter:

Despite this clear statement that further deliberation by the board was necessary, on April 26, 2012, you implemented a similar seven day pre-hearing requirement…Under the new guidance, a postponement of seven days or less “will not be granted unless good and sufficient grounds are shown,” and a postponement of more than seven days will only be granted in “extraordinary circumstances.” This new requirement could impede a fair pre-election hearing, particularly for small employers; reduce opportunities for compromise and agreement; and undermine a worker’s ability to make an informed decision.

To read the full letter, click here.

Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved bipartisan legislation to protect the rights of workers and employers during a union organizing campaign. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) would ensure no pre-election hearing is held in fewer than 14 days and no union election is held fewer than 35 days from the filing of an election petition. To learn more about H.R. 3094, click here.  

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