February 15, 2015

U.S. House, Senate Will Vote To Overturn NLRB “Ambush Elections” Rule

Last month, Connecting the Dots reported that two U.S. senators had introduced a bill aimed at reforming and de-politicizing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and, last week, efforts to improve oversight of the board continued as the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing examining the NLRB’s “ambush elections” rule, set to take effect April 14, 2015. (As a reminder, this rule would significantly speed up the timeline for labor union elections.) 

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), which, like MSCI, opposes the rule, Republicans on the panel came down squarely against the NLRB’s new policy. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made the same arguments many trade associations have made: that the rule is unnecessary because union elections are already held in a timely fashion and that compressing the timeline even further would make it nearly impossible for businesses to communicate with their employees in advance of the elections. 

Also last week: members of the U.S. House and Senate introduced resolutions that would disapprove of the “ambush elections” rule under the Congressional Review Act. (The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to oppose federal agency regulations through a simple majority vote.) However, in order for the resolutions to take effect and to overturn the rule President Barack Obama would have to sign the measures – a very unlikely outcome. As such, MSCI will continue to support and work with its allies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace on litigation to overturn or delay the “ambush elections” rule.