Congressional Republicans considered using the Congressional Review Act Monday to stop implementation of the so-called “ambush election” rule, following protests from several business leaders.
“This Administration’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board released their so-called ‘ambush’ rule back in December,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared in a statement. “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.”
The rule shortens the amount of time between when a union files to represent workers at a company and when the election for representation is held. Detractors quickly denounced the rule, saying it was an attempt to jam unions down the throats of workers and business owners, and that the time span — effectively reduced from 38 days to just 10 days — left little room for honest debate about the impacts of unionizing.
Back in December, when the Ambush Election rule was issued, the National Labor Relations Board explained it was to help “modernize” the union election process, but already, several businesses groups have come together to challenge the ruling. Groups like the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have even sued over the rule.
“The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law,” House Speaker John Boehner added. “Yet under the president’s watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America’s workers and job creators.”
Philip Rosen, the chair of the Labor Practice Group at the national employment law firm Jackson Lewis, advised that businesses prepare now just in case the rule is not stopped in time.
“We are opposed to the ambush election rule,” Rosen told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “From my discussions with employers, it impacts every industry equally.”
Rosen argued that the rule takes the legal right of an employer away to explain their position during a union election. It is both unfair to them and the employees who may only get a full perspective from the union.
Rosen notes his group and businesses are optimistic that Congress is looking to get involved but fears anything they do could be vetoed by the president.
NLRB Chairman Mark G. Pearce defended the rule, arguing it will make a more effective and fair election process for both employees and employers.
“The Board remains committed to the critical work of this agency and fully carrying out the law,” Chairman Pearce noted. “As Congress considers this resolution, this Agency will continue productive conversations about the rule ensuring that our processes help fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act.”
“However, it is undeniable that modernizing and streamlining the representation-case process is far overdue,” he concluded. “Both businesses and workers deserve a process that is effective, fair, and free of unnecessary delays, which is exactly what this rule strives to accomplish.”
The rule is set to go into effect in late April.
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