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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted yesterday that “will make it tougher for employers to stall union organizing drives inside the workplace, one of the biggest changes in decades to how workers join unions.

“The changes, which take effect April 30, delay employers' ability to complete a legal challenge that can drag out the process of voting to form a union at a private-sector workplace. Companies often contend that certain workers aren't eligible to vote on union formation because they're actually management, or that certain part-time workers should be excluded from the vote. For some employers, these challenges keep unions from taking hold for months or years.”

Legal challenges, according to the new rules, now will have to take place after unionization votes. The two Democrats on the NLRB said that the change will eliminate “unnecessary litigation” that can interfere with the rights of organized labor. The one Republican on the NLRB abstained, which the Journal called a symbolic rejection of the premise.

According to the Journal,, “Although union participation has fallen steadily in recent years, the changes could speed up union-organizing efforts at companies in the health-care, communications, transportation and service industries. The changes also could prompt more workers and labor groups to hold union-organizing elections, with the hope of getting a better shot at a vote without delay.”

However, there could be a delay in the elimination of union vote delays.

The Journal also reports that “the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which counts three million members, said it filed a lawsuit Tuesday night to challenge what it called the ‘ambush election rule.’ The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, contends the rule deprives employers of a fair opportunity to explain to employees the costs of unionizing.”
KC's View:
This is one of those stories that I actually find hard to figure out.

On the one hand, it seems to me to be entirely fair that employers not be able to use various legal tactics to delay unionization votes.

On the other hand, employers also ought to have the ability to avail themselves of all legal options in arguing against unionization, and haste can be the mother to disaster.

That’s okay. I figure that next time a Republican becomes president, he or she will simply change the makeup of the NLRB, and that new panel will change the rule back.

Because that’s how politics work.