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UnionizeMe, NLRB Voter List, Elections and Labor Relations: Union kNOw – November 2016

UnionizeMe

With a few keystrokes, www.UnionizeMe.org is connecting like-minded employees of the same retail employers in a given area who are interested in forming a union. For an employee, the entire process may take no more than five minutes. UnionizeMe is a labor union and through its professionally developed and easy-to-use platform, segregates employees by employer, collects signed union authorization cards from employees, bundles them with cards signed by other employees from their store and employees of other nearby stores of the same retailer, and files a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board. It provides employees with information about the supposed economic advantages of unionization while excoriating the pay and benefit practices of several retailers that it says drives employees into poverty. The union is pushing for a $15-an-hour wage, increased full-time hours, and affordable health insurance.

Voter List

The NLRB’s “quickie election” rules requires employers, within two business days after the election details are finalized, to provide to the NLRB Regional Director and the union a list containing personal contact information about voters. The list may be “e-filed” on the Board’s website. E-filed documents must be filed by 11:59 p.m. unless a specific exception exists. No exception exists for the list. If a document is e-filed, it also must be provided to the union by email the same day. Clearly, 11:59 p.m. is the time by which an e-filed list must be e-filed and emailed to the union.

The NLRB acknowledges this leads to the conclusion the list is timely if e-filed and emailed by 11:59 p.m. on the due date, but it will not commit to that. Is this because making the due date time the close of business at the regional office will give the union several hours more to contact employees on the list?

Presidential Election Likely Will Have Major Impact on Labor Relations

A majority, but no more than three, members of the five-member NLRB belongs to the President’s political party. With two current vacancies, depending on the results of the presidential election, the Board may consist of a three-member Democratic or Republican majority for the next several years. (For the past several years, the Democratic Board members regularly have formed the majority on pro-labor decisions.)

Moreover, the Democratic and Republican platforms have radically different labor law agendas.

The Democratic platform, essentially, provides for resurrecting the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) by amending the National Labor Relations Act to require the NLRB to certify a union if a majority of eligible employees sign authorization cards and to require binding arbitration in connection with first contracts. The Republican platform focuses on individual employee rights — all employees, represented or not, should have the right “to accept raises and rewards without veto power from union officials.” Whether the NLRA is amended is not decided unilaterally by the President, so, whether changes in the platforms are enacted also will depend upon the composition of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

How Far Will the NLRB Go?

Despite a parade of NLRB decisions expanding employee and union rights during the past several years, employers have taken comfort that their private property could be kept free of employee picketing/protests. However, two recent NLRB decisions signal a troubling erosion of those property rights.

In Capital Medical Center, 364 NLRB No. 69 (Aug. 12, 2016), the NLRB ruled that off-duty employees have the right to picket on an employer’s premises, unless the employer can prove that a ban on picketing was necessary to prevent a disruption of healthcare operations. Similarly, in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 118 (Aug. 27, 2016), the Board decided that six employees who stopped work and engaged in an in-store protest over their alleged mistreatment by a supervisor, among other issues, were unlawfully disciplined for that action.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 314

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Philip B. Rosen Jackson Lewis  Preventive Practices Lawyer & Collective Bargaining Attorney
Principal

Philip B. Rosen is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a member of the firm's Board of Directors and co-leads the firm's Labor and Preventive Practices Group. He joined the firm in 1979 and served as Managing Partner of the New York City office from 1989 to 2009.

Mr. Rosen lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media, reorganizations and reductions-...

212-545-4000
Jonathan J. Spitz, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney, Atlanta
Shareholder

Jonathan J. Spitz is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the firm’s Labor and Preventive Practices Group.

Mr. Spitz lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media issues and the changing regulatory landscape. He understands the practical and operational needs of corporate America, helping design pragmatic strategies to minimize risk and maximize performance. He has represented management in dozens of counter-organizing drives and participated in countless unfair labor practice proceedings, discrimination charges and other matters before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal and state administrative agencies, as well as in collective bargaining, arbitration and in employment litigation before state and federal courts. Mr. Spitz regularly counsels employers in employee relations and discipline and discharge matters, and also assists employers in drafting employment policies and in complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act, drug testing laws and regulations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state employment laws.

404-586-1835
Howard Bloom, Jackson Lewis, labor union attorney, unfair practice investigations lawyer, employment legal counsel, bargaining law
Principal

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification...

617-367-0025
Patrick Egan, Labor Law Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Boston Law Firm
Patrick L. Egan

Patrick L. Egan is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Egan works in traditional labor law.

He has assisted employers in all industries in all phases of union organizing campaigns. Mr. Egan has represented employers in card-signing efforts and representation and decertification campaigns. He has conducted union awareness and positive employee relations training for hundreds of companies and employer groups. He has also assisted dozens of employers to preempt, prepare for and defend against union corporate campaigning....

617-367-0025