Talks start over union elections

Boeing machinists vote at their union hall on whether to acccept the latest proposal from the company.

Stacey Vanek Smith: The National Labor Relations Board, which makes rules governing the workplace is holding hearings today on new rules for union elections. Namely, unions say it takes too long to organize worker votes.

Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: The NLRB says the new rules would make the union voting process more efficient for workers and employers. Peter Kirsanow will represent the National Association of Manufacturers at the hearings. He says, if union elections are streamlined, employers won't have enough time to make their case to workers.

Peter Kirsanow: It's not mere streamlining, it's not mere tweaking. This will make it profoundly easier for unions to organize.

Right now, it takes an average of 57 days to organize a unionization vote. Kate Bronfenbrenner is a labor expert at Cornell University. She says employers often create disputes with unions to delay these elections. She says they use that time to convince workers to vote no.

Kate Bronfenbrenner: If you do not streamline and have the elections happen as soon as possible, workers are going to give up.

More than 60 people are scheduled to testify at the hearings.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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