House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) are working to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing its “ambush election” rule, which was finalized in December to shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held — currently a median 38 days — to as little as 11 days.
Leaders in the House and Senate have authored a joint resolution of Congress that would halt implementation of the rule through the Congressional Review Act.
“The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law,” said House Speaker Boehner. “Yet under the president’s watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America’s workers and job creators. The recent ambush election rule will deny workers their right to make fully informed decisions in union elections. Congress will not stand idly by and let that happen.”
“This administration’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board released their so-called ‘ambush’ rule back in December,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s designed with one purpose in mind — to fatten the wallets of powerful political bosses by threatening the rights of middle-class workers to make informed decisions of their own. Republicans think an employee’s personal information is none of the business of powerful political bosses. But the administration’s ‘ambush’ rule would allow these bosses to access things like personal email addresses and cell numbers — without permission from the employee.”
“The Obama labor board is moving forward with a radical plan that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families,” said Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “Congress must use every available tool to stop this flawed regulatory scheme. I am pleased to join my House and Senate colleagues in authoring this resolution and hope Congress will send it to the president as soon as possible.”
“This rule allows a union to force an election before an employee has a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee. “It also jeopardizes employees’ privacy by requiring employees to turn over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers, shift hours, and locations to union organizers.”
“It is prudent that Congress protect employees from this activist NLRB,” said Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “For far too long, we’ve seen this out-of-control board violate the rights of American workers and employers by regulatory overreach, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with my colleagues.”
“The National Labor Relations Board has lost its way. Instead of fairly enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the board has made up a new rule out of thin air that only helps political organizations and special interests,” said Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “This ‘ambush election’ rule is an example. I’m pleased to join with my colleagues in this effort to make sure employees can have the information and time they need to make informed decisions.”
Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to stop, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation or issuing a substantially similar regulation without congressional authorization. A resolution of disapproval only needs a simple majority to pass and cannot be filibustered or amended.
The rule gives employers only seven days to find legal counsel and prepare for a pre-election hearing before an NLRB regional officer. During those seven days, employers will have to identify every legal concern or forfeit the ability to raise the concern at all. The ambush election rule will go into effect April 14, 2015.