Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) applauded the introduction of legislation aimed at curbing the activist agenda of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and their continued assault on employer and employee rights. Specifically, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (HR 4320; Senate bill not yet assigned) introduced by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the Employee Privacy Protection Act (HR 4321), introduced by House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), halt efforts by the NLRB to change existing union election procedures in favor of “ambush elections.”
The NLRB is attempting to bring significant and unnecessary changes to a well-functioning system that already results in 95 percent of elections taking place in under two months. Shortening the time frame of elections limits employee access to essential information necessary to cast an informed vote, while at the same time it restricts the ability of employers to exercise their right to free speech and address employee concerns.
When considering the long-documented history of the NLRB’s assault against business, the ambush election issue is cause for significant concern among retailers. Limiting the access of employees to critical information and muzzling employers has the potential to exasperate the negative impact of other NLRB directives, specifically a decision that allows unions to gerrymander a workplace to create micro-unions.
“We applaud Chairman Kline, Representative Roe and Senator Alexander for fighting back against the NLRB’s efforts to erode employer and employee rights. The proposed ambush election rule is deeply concerning as it jeopardizes employee access to information and silences employers’ dissent.” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president, government affairs at RILA. “Aside from trampling the rights of job creators, the proposal threatens the rights and privacy of employees, providing union officials access to personal information and creating ample opportunity for abuse. Ambush elections, coupled with another flawed NLRB decision that creates micro-unions, jeopardize job creation and employee advancement at a time when we can ill afford it. Congress must act to halt the activist agenda of a rogue NLRB.”
Earlier in the year, RILA joined several other associations in a letter to the NLRB seeking information regarding the rulemaking process and data on current union election procedures. The letter also urged the NLRB to delay the process on ambush elections until other, outstanding questions have been settled, including those centered on the implications of the Specialty Healthcare decision.
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.