A regulatory change promises to make the unionization of restaurants even easier

Working Lunch: The new process is already being used against single-unit operations.

If unions seem more active in the restaurant business than they’ve ever been, wait until the full impact of a recent regulatory change kicks in.

That warning is sounded loud and clear in this week’s episode of Working Lunch, a podcast that explores how the industry may be affected by legislative and regulatory issues at all levels of government. The new installment looks at the implications for the industry of the so-called Cemex decision, a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that upends the way businesses have historically been unionized. For nearly the last 100 years, employees had to vote for union representation in a monitored election. If at least half of them did, the union was recognized as their collective bargaining agent.

Now, as the result of a decision that was handed down by the NLRB nine months ago, an election isn’t necessary. If at least half the staff indicates it wants to be represented by a group like Workers United, the employer either has to accept their intentions of call for the election themself.

And if that employer shows even mild resistance during that process to the staff being organized, a judge can declare the union has won the right to represent the employees, with no vote needed. In that instance, it’s not even necessary for a majority of the employees to favor unionizing.

Working Lunch co-hosts Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley explain how that radical change in the organizing process is already being used by unions to organize single-unit restaurant operations.

Hit “Play” for an explanation of how employers got in this predicament and what they can do to avoid missteps.  

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