July 6, 2020

House Republicans Oppose Efforts To Allow Electronic Union Elections

On June 30, Republican leaders on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-Va.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), sent a letter to the chairman and general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) opposing efforts to force the NLRB to hold union elections electronically.

Labor unions and some House lawmakers have been pushing for electronic union elections for years, but as the Republican letter explains, “Electronic voting would create one more opportunity for union organizers to intimidate and coerce workers at their homes, in public, and elsewhere, and provide another conduit for workers’ personal information to be compromised.”

The letter also argues changing current processes is unnecessary since the number of elections has not declined since the NLRB restarted holding elections on April 6 following the brief shutdown during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The lawmakers said imposing “a different, unreliable, and untested method that is bound to face a litany of logistical challenges and is likely to disrupt the ‘laboratory’ conditions the [National Labor Relations Act] requires” would be unwarranted and burdensome.

They also argue that “in-person, secret-ballot voting is the most reliable method for elections of any kind, and [they] strongly encourage the NLRB to ensure that all union elections under its jurisdiction be conducted in this manner to ensure a free and fair process.”