While the NLRB attacks on Boeing and their ongoing effort to institute “ambush” elections have been well publicized, the creation of micro-unions slipped through quietly. In fact, the prospect of multiple mini-unions within a larger workforce would have a dramatic effect on businesses by undermining employee morale, and stifling job creation at a time when we can least afford it.
The National Labor Relations Board’s August 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare gives unions the ability to cherry pick small subsets of employees who are inclined to organize, regardless of whether those employees constitute a practical bargaining unit (e.g., cashiers, stock room personnel or other job categories). The Board’s ruling in that case reversed 50 years of well-established law and radically changed the standard for determining which employees should be included in a bargaining unit represented by a union.
The decision affects all of the estimated six million workplaces covered by the National Labor Relations Act and paves the way for floods of micro-unions that disenfranchise employees, undermine job creators and hurt the customer experience.