Monday, November 1, 2010
Steven Greenhouse at the New York Times provides a glimpse of Republican plans for labor matters if, as expected, they make signficant gains after the midterm elections. I find discussion of the expected legislative bills--including a prohibition against voluntary recognition and a requirement that all employees opt-in to political spending--to be a bit silly, as even if the Republican control both houses, such bills are a dead letter in the near-term (a little thing called "presidential veto" still exists). Far more interesting is this insight by former GC Ron Meisburg, who predicted:
that if a Republican-controlled House cripples labor-backed legislative efforts to make it easier for workers to unionize, the Democratic-controlled labor board might take administrative steps. Mr. Meisburg, a lawyer at Proskauer Rose, noted that one Democratic labor-board member recently proposed making a change in the timing of workplace elections after employees file a petition to hold a unionization vote, reducing the delay to just five or 10 days. Unions want an accelerated schedule because they say employers have too much time to ply workers with antiunion propaganda, but employers complain that such quick elections would deny employers an adequate opportunity to campaign against unionizing.
I think that's exactly right, and it will be interesting to see if the Board moves on quick elections and other related matters. Either way, these will be interesting times for sure.