There is news on the NLRB front. First, Boeing and its union have resolved the dispute that got the NLRB involved. Second, the NLRB voted yesterday to move forward with rules speeding up union certification elections. Third, House Republicans passed a bill to block the NLRB action to let workers vote on having a union, saying it would “hurt job creation” and that “job creators” would be hurt — but it won’t pass the Senate and the President won’t sign it.
Oh, and Mitt Romney blasted unions, the NLRB and President Obama.
Seattle Times; Boeing, union seal deal for jets, jobs, peace,
The landmark agreement unveiled Wednesday by the Machinists union and Boeing should secure thousands of local jobs, end the simmering NLRB lawsuit, and offer an unexpected Christmas bonus to start off a four-year contract extension.
Beyond all that, though, the surprise pact may signify a new era for two forces whose bitter adversarial relationship and recurring clashes have repeatedly shaken the region and endangered one of its economic cornerstones.
[. . .] If the contract is ratified, the Machinists will notify the NLRB that “our issues with the Boeing Company are behind us,” Wroblewski said.
Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel at the NLRB, issued a statement calling the deal “a very significant and hopeful development,” and suggesting he is ready to act once the deal is finalized.
Union Election Rules
The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday approved a scaled-back version of a proposal that would speed up union-organizing elections, in a vote marked by dissent from the board’s lone Republican.
The approval of the rules clears the way for the board to draft a final federal rule that would usher in some of the most sweeping changes to the union-organizing election process since 1947. The vote was 2-1, with the board’s two Democratic appointees approving a measure that was embraced by unions but opposed by business groups and congressional Republicans.
House Passes Bill To Block Union Elections Rule
The House passed legislation Wednesday to block a proposed rule by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would speed up union elections.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, passed the chamber 235-188. Only six Democrats voted for it, while eight Republicans voted against it.
… Other Republicans said the proposed rule would hurt job creation. “The rogue majority of the NLRB wants to set conditions that stifle job creation and expansion,” Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) said. “Job creators are terrified of the NLRB’s actions to create an ambush-style election process that will prevent employees from making an informed decision.”
But Democrats argued that the bill would do nothing to help create jobs, and would delay what should be a right that workers have to unionize.
H.R. 3094 would allow employers to continue to use the NLRB hearing process to essentially filibuster a union organizing effort by raising frivolous or meaningless issues, up to the final stages of the hearing process. During this period of delay, employers would have full access to workers with their anti-union message while the union would not have access to the workers on-site to counter the message.
Workers would also lose their ability to determine which employee positions—in labor law parlance, their “community of interest”— would be included in their bargaining unit. A common tactic used by employers to undermine union organizing drives is to attempt to involve employees with unrelated job functions in an effort to dilute support for the union. The NLRB had ruled that a health care facility that attempted to use this tactic to prevent nursing assistants from joining a union was out of bounds. This legislation puts this tactic back into employers’ anti-union toolbox.
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Oh, and in a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the coordinated corporate/conservative/lobbyist swarm, Coordinated Attack On Unions From Republicans And Corporate/Conservative Machine, this in the news:
The Hill: Romney blasts ‘out-of-control’ NLRB,
Republican Mitt Romney on Wednesday slammed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for their vote to proceed with a rule allowing “quickie” elections.
“President Obama’s out-of-control labor board continues to trample on the rights of workers, the interests of job creators, and the rule of law,” he said in a statement released by his presidential campaign. “The NLRB’s unprecedented proposal to force employees into ‘quickie’ union elections will benefit only union bosses, while preventing employees from making an informed decision about unionization and preventing employers from challenging illegal union activity.”
NLRB V. Boeing: Corporations Fear Law Itself