A fight over how quickly workers can unionize

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Mar 5, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A fight over how quickly workers can unionize

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Mar 5, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

There’s tons of emotional rhetoric on a new rule from the National Labor Relations Board to govern unionization votes.

The rule addresses a seemingly simple issue: How much time should there be between a union’s request to represent workers, and the workers’ vote on unionization?

Under the new rule, elections could be held as soon as 11 days after the union request. Employers say that’s too quick. 

“It simply ambushes the employer and doesn’t give them the amount of time that we need for a rational discussion,” says Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Brewer says employers need more time to discuss the impact of unionization on things like worker training, and flexibility on what roles workers can fill. But unions say employers drag out the process for months, with what they call frivolous lawsuits. 

“This frivolous litigation is brought by employers in the hope that workers in the meantime will give up and actually never get to vote on whether or not they want a union,” says Nicole Berner, deputy general counsel of the Service Employees International Union.  

The rule is set to go into effect April 14. The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to rescind it, and that measure is now in the House’s hands; President Obama has promised a veto.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.