First introduced in the Employee Free Choice Act as an alternative to card check, the quickie election has been brought back as part of the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) rulemaking process. On June 21, 2011, the NLRB, with Board Member Brian Hayes dissenting, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting numerous changes to the procedures governing union elections. These proposed changes are significant and if accepted would both alter the landscape of secret ballot elections and place employers at a severe disadvantage.
In a recent case called Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (New Star General Contractors, Inc.), the National Labor Relations Board upheld a fairly common Union street tactic of calling attention to the Union’s dispute with a so-called “primary” employer by displaying a large banner in front of the worksite of a “secondary” employer who happens to be utilizing workers from the “primary” employer. Typically, the dispute between the Union and the “primary” employer is over the “primary” employer’s failure to use Union workers or pay Union-scale wages. By publically advertising its dispute with banners in front of the “secondary” employer, the Union hopes to “shame” the “secondary” employer. The NLRB held that hanging a banner outside in front of the “secondary” employer’s worksite with this clear purpose of simply shaming the “secondary” employer does not constitute what is known as “signal picketing” (sending a signal or inducement to workers at the “secondary” employer to engage in any kind of work stoppage or slowdown), nor does it constitute any kind of an unlawful threat, restraint or coercion against the “secondary” employer. See generally Southwest Reg’l Council of Carpenters (New Star Gen. Contractors, Inc.), 356 N.L.R.B. No. 88, 2/3/11 (released 2/4/11) (New Star). The NLRB’s decision appears consistent with a series of decisions in the fall of 2010 in which the Board determined that a stationary display set up by a Union in front of the worksite of a “secondary” employer does not constitute unlawful picketing of the “secondary” employer because a stationary or fixed sign does not include “the element of confrontation.” See e.g. Carpenters & Joiners of America (Eliason & Knuth of Arizona, Inc.), 355 N.L.R.B. No. 159 (2010) (Eliason).
Continue Reading Unions May Engage In “Bannering” To “Shame” A Secondary Employer
Employers who thought the hotly contested issue of card check recognition had been side-lined along with EFCA should take notice of a recent decision announced by the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”). As predicted earlier in light of its new composition, the Board has begun to lay the groundwork to overturn established precedent giving employees the right to demand a secret ballot election in the face of voluntary card-based union recognition.
Continue Reading Newly Constituted NLRB Set To Revisit Employees’ Rights After Card-Based Recognition
The NLRB’s General Counsel, Ron Meisburg, recently announced his anticipated resignation, effective June 20, 2010. Meisburg’s departure now frees President Obama to appoint Meisburg’s successor. While a number of names as replacement GC have surfaced, no clear front runner has emerged.
In a move sure to draw fire from Republican lawmakers and segments of the business community, President Obama on Saturday issued recess appointments to place controversial candidates on the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Presidents have constitutional authority to fill vacancies without the advice and consent of the Senate when Congress is in recess, as it is now.
Continue Reading President Makes Controversial Recess Appointments To NLRB And EEOC
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Nominee Craig Becker needed 60 Senate votes to overcome the Republican-led filibuster blocking his confirmation, but he only received 52 votes on Tuesday. Two Democrats, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), went against their party to vote him down in the cloture vote, which failed 52-33.