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July 27, 2015

Data Spotlight: NLRB “Ambush Elections” Ruling Continues To Speed Up Union Elections

In June, Connecting the Dots looked at the results so far of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush elections” ruling, which took effect in mid-April. We noted employer advocates, including MSCI, were “right to worry” about the ruling. Along with our partners at the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, we had argued the NRLB’s action would quicken the pace of union elections. Last week, Hector Barreto of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute offered additional commentary and data on this issue that proves MSCI’s worries were legitimate. 

Calling the ruling “perhaps one of the most egregious” NLRB rulings “to date,” Barreto notes filings for union elections increased 15 percent between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of this year. Additionally, the average length for the 20 elections that have taken place since the ruling took effect is 25 days, down from a previous average of 38 days. The shortest election, in New Jersey, took just nine days, Barreto reports. 

With less time for employers and employees to educate themselves about union petitions, it’s more likely that employees will approve them. According to Barreto, “History shows that the shorter the amount of time an election takes place after the petition is filed, the greater the likelihood that a company will unionize. From 2004 to 2014, unions won 86 percent of elections that took place in less than 21 days, while they only won 60 percent of those that occurred within 36 to 42 days.” 

As a reminder, MSCI continues to support litigation making its way through the courts that will overturn this rule. As that lawsuit moves forward, we would love for you to tell us if this rule has impacted you and your company.