Business Leaders And Unions React To Congress Ending Biased NLRB Rule

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House Republicans on Thursday struck down a labor board rule which critics say unfairly benefit unions.

The National Labor Relations Board rule, which was finalized in December, shortens the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held from the current median of 38 days to as little as 11 days.

Calling it the “ambush election” rule, critics argue it will deprive employees time to fully understand the impact of unionizing before they have to vote. Earlier this month, the Senate also voted on a resolution to stop the rule.

“Congress voted to stop an unelected board of bureaucrats from trampling on the rights of America’s workers and job creators,” Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, declared after the vote. “The board’s ambush election rule will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families.”

“The House and Senate have firmly rejected this radical scheme. I urge the president to put away his veto pen, and stand with workers and employers by supporting this important resolution,” Kline added.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka argued the resolution to end the NLRB rule will hurt workers. Many labor unions have supported the rule since it was announced.

“Working men and women want an agenda from their Congressional leaders that raises wages and grows our middle class,” Trumka declared in a statement. “Instead, they have gotten Republican policies that roll back progress and silence workers while protecting their biggest donors.”

“President Obama is right in his commitment to vetoing this harmful legislation, and Congressional Republicans should focus their efforts on lifting workers up instead of shutting them out,” he added.

However, others in the business community are praising Republican lawmakers for blocking the rule. Geoff Burr, vice president of Government Affairs at Associated Builders and Contractors, argued the rule benefits unions at the expense of employers and employees.

“We are encouraged by today’s vote in the House led by Chairman Kline and urge President Obama to support this resolution, which will take a big step toward protecting both the due process rights of employers and the privacy rights of employees,” Burr said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This failed policy from the NLRB is designed to suppress employers’ voices during union organizing campaigns, which is not only unfair to employers but also to employees who deserve the opportunity to hear from both sides and make a well-informed decision on whether or not to join a labor union,” he continued.

“This latest example of the NLRB’s devolution into a relentless advocate for Big Labor’s agenda is particularly troubling,” Burr concluded. “ABC has long been a vocal opponent of the ambush rule and we hope the President takes action to protect workplace rights by signing this resolution.”

Fred Wszolek, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute, also urged the president to respect the vote and not use his executive authority to stop it.

“Congress has acted and the elected representatives of the American people have spoken,” Wszolek noted in a statement to TheDCNF. “The Board wants to prevent employers from being able to make their case in union elections and block employees from hearing all the facts.”

“When Big Labor forces an ‘ambush’ election, everyone loses except the union bosses,” he concluded. “That’s precisely with whom President Obama and his NLRB have sided throughout the duration of this administration, but it is now time to stop these job-killing policies and stand with workers.”

Labor board officials have defended the new rule by noting it will help streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.

“I am heartened that the Board has chosen to enact amendments that will modernize the representation case process and fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act,” NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said in a statement. “Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”

The rule was approved by board members Pearce, Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer with Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III dissenting.

Though both the Republican controlled House and Senate voted to block the rule, many expect the president to intervene to save it with an executive order. If the rule goes forward, it is set to go into effect on Apr. 14.

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