The National Retail Federation (NRF) and other groups are taking aim at a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposal to use administrative procedures to implement what many believe are provisions similar to the controversial Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – commonly referred to as the “card check” bill – defeated in Congress four years ago.
While the NLRB is not proposing to eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections – the core component of the EFCA – the NRF said the agency’s proposal seeks to allow union elections to be held in as little as 10 days after a petition is filed.
The group added that the agency’s proposal would also place limits on the ability of employers to communicate with workers about an election, place new restrictions on law firms and consultants that would limit companies’ ability to receive legal counsel and other assistance, and potentially allow the formation of “micro-unions” to cherry-pick small units among a company’s workers.
“This is nothing but backdoor card check, the same as we’ve been warning about for more than a year,” said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president & CEO, in a statement. “Unions weren’t able to get the EFCA through Congress, so they’re using administrative procedures at the NLRB to turn as much of the bill into law as possible.”
J. Craig Sherman, NRF’s vp-government affairs, told Fleet Owner that the NLRB is accepting comments on its proposal starting with a two-day hearing this week through August, so none of these possible changes could be made for at least several months.
He also stressed that transportation, as well as other industries with large non-union workforces, would be affected if the NLRB makes these procedural changes.
“This proposal simply makes it easier to organize while at the same time restricting what employers can do,” Sherman said. “And this covers not just truck drivers but workers such as warehouse and dock personnel as well.”