In a letter sent today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urged Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The bill is expected to be considered by the House on Friday.
The legislation would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from enforcing any action taken since January 4, 2012, or taking any further action, for which a quorum is required. The appointments of two of the three current members of the NLRB were ruled unconstitutional in January by a United States Court of Appeals.
“RILA fully supports the measures that would be taken by HR 1120 to prohibit the NLRB from enforcing any action taken since January 4, 2012, or taking any further action, for which a quorum is required,” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs. “HR 1120 would also help prevent the NLRB from further implementing decisions such as Specialty Healthcare, which currently allow unions to gerrymander a workplace to establish destructive micro-unions.”
Micro-unions were created as a result of the NLRB’s August 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision. The decision redefines what the NLRB views as a proper bargaining unit, allowing union organizers to gerrymander a workplace by cherry-picking small groups of employees within a larger workforce to form a micro-union.
NLRB officials have already begun to apply the new standard in a retail environment, recognizing a micro-bargaining unit made up of second and fifth floor contemporary and designer women’s shoe department employees at a New York Bergdorf Goodman store, and a unit comprised of cosmetics and fragrance employees at a Massachusetts Macy’s department store.
“The Specialty Healthcare decision overturns more than 50 years of precedent and would create division in the workplace, increase operational complexities and costs, while also depriving employees of the flexibility and cross-training opportunities they seek. Decisions such as this one are proving to be perilous for employers and employees alike,” added Hughes.
Below is a link to the full letter.
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.