The High Speed Unionization Drive-Thru

The National Labor Relations Board, last seen attacking Boeing for having the unmitigated gall to open a production line in a right-to-work state, is hard at work on some other initiatives to assist the flagging union movement.  The NLRB just proposed some “sweeping new rules,” for union elections, as the Associated Press describes them.  These rules would “dramatically speed up the time frame for union elections.”

The elections in question are the votes that take place after organizers gather enough signatures from workers interested in joining a union.  At the moment, the delay between filing the petition and holding the election is 45-60 days.  The NLRB would “cut that time by days, or even weeks” by “simplifying procedures, deferring litigation, and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings.”

This would supposedly “better insure that employees’ votes may be recorded accurately, efficiently, and speedily,” according to the Board, which is composed of three Democrats and one Republican.  The Republican voted against the new rules.

Why would holding an election more swiftly lead to increased accuracy or efficiency in tabulating the votes?  One would think accuracy was improved by having more time to prepare for the big election.  Have there been a lot of complaints about incorrectly counted ballots?

The true purpose of the new drive-thru union election rules is to give employers less time to argue against the union.  As the AP points out, union bosses really wanted a firm, legislated deadline, such as the five to ten-day deadline in Canada.  The lone NLRB Republican, Brian Hayes, says the new “quickie elections” could be held in “as little as 10 to 21 days from the filing of a petition.”

“Make no mistake,” said Hayes, “the principal purpose for this radical manipulation of our election process is to minimize or, rather, to effectively eviscerate an employer’s legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining.”

Keep in mind that unions are also desperate to get “card check” legislation, which would eliminate secret balloting.  Couple that with the new drive-thru timetable, and those union elections would become… spirited affairs indeed. 

Washington is filled with questions about what it can do to address our hideous unemployment rates.  For starters, the Obama Administration could stop treating employers as enemies to be defeated in a blitzkrieg, using heavy-handed measures designed to drive up the cost of labor.