Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) praised the Senate for passing a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 8) disapproving of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ambush elections rule. The resolution passed the Senate 53 to 46, and retailers are urging the House to quickly follow suit. Absent Congressional action, the rule is scheduled to go into effect on April 14.
"The NLRB's decision to dramatically shorten the period before a union election while limiting the issues and evidence that can be presented erodes employers' rights and denies employees access to critical information and time to consider the issues," said Kelly Kolb, vice president for government affairs. "In addition, this new rule will force employers to disclose the private phone numbers and email addresses of their employees, which raises significant privacy concerns for both parties."
The NLRB's own statistics show that the median time from petition to election is 38 days. Estimates suggest that the NLRB's ambush election decision could reduce that time to as little as 14 days, denying employees accesses to information from both sides before making their decision.
"Today's Senate vote is a victory for employers and workers that value an open and honest dialogue about workforce development," said Kolb. "Workers and employers shouldn't have their rights trampled by a politically motivated NLRB."
The resolution relies upon the Congressional Review Act to overturn the ambush elections decision. Unlike typical bills that require a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate, the Congressional Review Act would require only a simple 51-vote majority to pass and would be considered under expedited procedures.
In a letter to lawmakers earlier this week, Kolb warned that if allowed to take effect, new ambush election rules could have a significant impact on hiring and workforce development in the retail sector.
"Retailers recognize the value of a workforce that is cross-trained, and employees appreciate the variety in their day-to-day work activities. It is especially important in the current economy, when many employees are looking for additional shifts, which are more available when free movement between departments can take place. If the recent NLRB decisions on ambush elections and micro-bargaining units are allowed to stand, today's front line employees will be denied the cross-training and advancement opportunities enjoyed by their predecessors," said Kolb.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.