“Ambush” election rule sees controversy

27 Jan

Unions may become more common because of the ambush election rule.

The National Labor Relations Board was notified on Jan. 6, 2015 that it was being sued because of its new streamlined union election rule, according to the Daily Caller. The new rule is called the "ambush election rule" by those who oppose it. It was intended to make it easier and faster for employees to unionize. Critics argue that the rule accelerates union elections so much that employers aren't able to explain to employees what would happen if they chose to unionize.

"Furthermore, we question the need for the regulation given that 95 percent of all elections are now conducted within two months and that unions win more than two-thirds of them," said Randy Johnson, member of the Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

What this means for managers
The law goes into effect April 14, 2015, JD Supra stated. Provided the legislation passes, its rules will make it harder for employers to explain to employees who want to unionize the significance of their actions. Employers must therefore take caution and make sure they stay on top of what employees want. At the first sign that people begin talking about unions, it would be a good idea to make sure employees understand the full repercussions of such a choice. Employers won't have as much time as they had before to argue in favor of a non-union resolution, which makes it that much more critical to use every moment to explain why unions aren't necessary. It also serves to put much more control in the hands of employees, who could unionize quickly if they aren't reaching a satisfactory resolution from discussing things with management.

Additional employee rights
JD Supra reported that under the NLRB, employees with work email can use this to communicate their ideas for unionizing freely. Employers thus have a difficult time now when it comes to preventing unions from occurring as part of an employee management system. The best likely solution is to talk to workers about their thoughts and feelings regarding unionization and whether it is in their best interest to form unions. Remember that relying on lagging indicators, such as an email advocating for a union, isn't as useful as paying attention to leading indicators like a feeling of overall dissatisfaction in the office. When workers aren't happy, they may not immediately think of unions, but the concept is on the horizon and should be addressed quickly before it becomes a major issue.

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