o: All Unions in the United States engaged in the collective bargaining
process for their members
From: The Obama appointees to the National Labor Relations Board
Subject: Merry Christmas. Due to our recent decisions, you should
now be able to easily win more union organizing campaigns.
The information above is obviously a made up memorandum addressed
to the Unions in the United States from the NLRB. Unfortunately,
the sentiment it describes is very real. Recently, the NLRB has
made two decisions which will give Unions the upper hand during
any organizing efforts. In 2007, the NLRB rendered a decision which
stated that employees had no statutory right to use their employers’ e-mail
system for union organizing purposes. On December 11, 2014, the
present Board reversed that decision and stated that employees’ use
of an employers’ e-mail system for organizing purposes on
nonworking time must now be permitted. As a result, the Board is
saying that the rights of employees to engage in discussions of
wages, benefits, working conditions and other terms and conditions
of employment now trump the property rights of employers in almost
any circumstance. Now, union organizers in the workplace have a
very valuable organizing tool. This decision most likely will also
result in more unfair labor practice charges and litigation.
day later, on December 12, 2014 the NLRB released a statement that
on April 14, 2015 it will be implementing its long awaited ”ambush” or “quickie
election” rules which will expedite the period between the
representation petition and the actual election. This gives employers
very little time to educate their employees on the benefits of
maintaining a union free work environment. Additionally, employers
will now also have to provide the union with the personal email
addresses and the telephone numbers of all employees who are eligible
to vote for or against union representation. Companies may find
themselves quickly unionized due to the new speediness of the election
As a result of these two decisions, all employers
should start preparing for potential union organizing efforts and
elections now. Supervisors will need to be trained on how to recognize
the early warning signs of union activity and to know what they
can and cannot do and say during a union campaign under the complex
labor laws that govern the process.
These new procedures will undoubtedly increase the morale of union
organizers who are eager to stem the tide of recent membership
declines. It is anticipated that we will see an immediate increase
in union organizing activity as a result.
Paul Hilton Human Resources Consulting works with our clients to insure that all required documentation is correct and sufficient to successfully defend against a claim to any unemployment compensation commission.
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