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Business groups sue to stop 'quickie' union elections

A coalition of trade groups has filed a lawsuit to overturn a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that enables a company’s employees to call a vote on unionizing in a mere two weeks.

Employers argue that the so-called ambush or quickie elections rule does not give them enough time to make their case that employees may not be better off if the facility unionizes.

The coalition contends in the suit that the NLRB is overstepping its legislative mandate and demonstrating a bias toward labor in changing a longstanding unionization convention.

“The NLRB has thrown objectivity and fairness out the window in its single-minded pursuit of Big Labor’s union-organizing goals,” National Retail Federation Senior Vice President David French said in a statement. “By upending well-established labor law and standards, the NLRB has walked away from its basic mission as an impartial arbiter in employer-employee relations and taken a clear rooting interest in outcomes that overwhelmingly favor organized labor at the expense of employers and employees.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a participant in the legal action, noted that 95 percent of union elections are held within two months of a motion, and unions win in two-thirds of those contests. “We question the need for the regulation,” said Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s SVP of labor, immigration and employee benefits.

The new regulation supplants the policy in place for 70 years of granting employees and employers what was adjudged a reasonable timeframe to hold union elections.

The NLRB issued a similar rule change in 2011. That decision was successfully challenged by a lawsuit filed by a business coalition that includes several of the new action’s plaintiffs.

“We will continue to use all available means to push back against the Board’s overreach,” Johnson said.

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