Today the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to support an amendment submitted by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) designed to stop the application of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision regarding micro-unions.
The amendment will be considered Thursday when the Committee is scheduled to mark up the FY 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill.
“The NLRB has already started to pave the way for micro-unions within the retail workforce, creating unnecessary conflict and complexity that hurts employees and customers alike,” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs. “The manner in which the NLRB came to the micro-union decision provides those disenfranchised by it little recourse. The Graham amendment slows the application of the decision, allowing time for due process to run its course”
Micro-unions are a result of the 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, in which the NLRB redefined what could be considered a proper bargaining unit. This interpretation, pushed by the NLRB in spite of 50 years of precedent, allows organizers to gerrymander a workplace by cherry-picking groups of employees within a larger workforce to form micro-unions.
Originally applying to non-acute healthcare facilities, the NLRB and its regional directors have expanded the decision to other industries, allowing for the growth of micro-unions including the women’s shoe department at a New York Bergdorf Goodman store, maintenance employees at a Nestle-Dryer Ice Cream plant, and the cosmetics and fragrance department at a Macy’s department store.
“Micro-unions detract from the variety and flexibility that makes retail positions attractive to employees and inhibits the cross-training and nimbleness that forms the foundation of the customer service experience,” added Hughes.
RILA sent members of the Senate Appropriations Committee a letter Wednesday, urging them to support the Graham Amendment.
Additionally, RILA joined several other organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to address the micro-union 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.