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Republicans Expected To Kill Union ‘Ambush Rule’

With congressional Republicans expected to overturn a new union election rule Thursday, business leaders are making their views known.

The National Labor Relations Board rule, which was finalized in December, shortens the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held from the current median of 38 days to as little as 11 days. Opponents, who dubbed the decision the “Ambush Election” rule, argue it will deprive employers of their right to explain the impacts of unionizing.

Earlier this month, the Senate voted on a resolution to stop the rule with Republicans noting their concern that it unfairly benefits unions at the expense of employers and their employees.

“These regulations should be repealed for several reasons,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a letter to lawmakers, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“First, they fail to recognize that under long-standing rules, the vast majority of cases were processed   efficiently,” the letter continued. “In 2013 over 94% of all elections occurred within 56 days. However,   rather than look at targeted solutions for the small percentage of cases that take too long, the NLRB made sweeping changes that will apply to all elections.”

“Employees deserve a fair campaign period to hear from all sides and employers deserve an opportunity to have critical election-related questions settled before an election occurs,” the letter added. “Organized labor has long sought to radically reduce or even eliminate this campaign period.”

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the National Retail Federation also warned of the damage the rule could have on employer and employee rights. Additional, NRF argued NLRB is showing clear bias in favor of unions.

“The truth is that the NLRB’s rule is not about efficiency, but rather a naked attempt by the Board to tip the scales in favor of union organizing by holding representation elections before employers can communicate with their employees,” its letter stated.

“This is particularly problematic as the law allows unions to secretly campaign for months or years prior to the election and make unrealistic promises and allegations as part of that campaign,” NRF added.

The NRF and the Chamber, along with other business associations, are also challenging the rule in court, arguing that it violates the National Labor Relations Act.

Aloysius Hogan, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, argued the rule is a violation of worker privacy rights.

“The ill-conceived National Labor Relations Board rule foists an unfair ‘vote now; understand later’ procedure on workers,” Hogan noted in a statement to TheDCNF. “And in this digital age, we should be safeguarding workers’ privacy, not wrenching information from workers against their will.”

“The CRA resolution seeks to defend legitimate debate and expression regarding workers’ freedom of association, specifically debate about whether workers want to pay union dues and relinquish their freedom of expression in favor of a union’s monopoly on bargaining,” he concluded.

Labor board officials have defended the new rule by noting it will help streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.

“I am heartened that the Board has chosen to enact amendments that will modernize the representation case process and fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act,” NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said in a statement. “Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”

The rule was approved by board members Pearce, Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer with Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III dissenting.

If the rule is allowed to go forward, it is set to go into effect on Apr. 14. Though the resolution to overturn the rule has already passed the Republicans controlled Senate and is expected to pass the Republican controlled House, many experts including CEI note it is likely the president will veto it.

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