Bill overriding labor union rules passes


The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill that would override the National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling to shorten the time frame for union elections and allow for the formation of micro-unions in the workplace.

Restaurant industry officials voiced concern that the NLRB — which resolves labor and management disputes — was attempting to resurrect key elements of the Employee Free Choice, or Card Check, Act, which had been sidelined earlier by Congress.

“[The unions] couldn’t get the Employee Free Choice Act passed, so it appears that they are taking it one step at a time,” said Rob Green, president of the National Council of Chain Restaurants. “This is an important piece of legislation. It would overturn NLRB action.”

Sponsored by John Kline, R-Minn., The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, or H.R. 3094, was passed by a vote of 234 to 188.

The bill would block the NLRB from changing union election procedures and shrinking the time frame to hold union elections from the current 38 or so days to 10.

“The NLRB scheme would require union elections to be conducted under unjust and unrealistically short time frames which would unfairly restrict the ability of business owners, small and large, to discuss this vitally important issue with their employees,” said a letter sent by members of the National Council of Chain Restaurants to their congressmen urging them to support H.R. 3094.

The National Restaurant Association voiced similar concerns.

“H.R. 3094 blocks the NLRB from moving forward with its ‘ambush’ election proposal allowing union representation elections to be held in as few as 10 days after the filing of a union petition,” said Scott DeFife, executive president of policy and government affairs for the NRA.

“This move would shorten the period between petition and elections to such a degree that it would deny employees the time and information needed to make an informed decision on union representation,” he said.