Union Organizing

Senate Votes to Rescind NLRB Ambush Election Rule; House to Vote Later this Month

Mar 6, 2015
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As previously reported in our last HR Issues Update, legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to block the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) “ambush” election rule. The rule gets its nickname because of its focus on speeding up the union election process at the expense of both employees and employers, which SHRM has argued will result in both parties having insufficient time to convey and understand the consequences of unionization in the workplace.

In a vote on March 4, the U.S. Senate passed S. J. Res. 8 by a vote of 53-46. The resolution now moves on to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is expected to consider it or its House counterpart sometime later this month.

SHRM has executed a robust advocacy strategy in opposition to the ambush election rule, including direct lobbying, member advocacy and the filing of a federal lawsuit. Key activities include:

  1. Lobbying – SHRM’s Government Affairs staff conducted more than 25 direct lobbying meetings with congressional offices and sent letters in support of the resolution to both the Senate and House. During Senate debate, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, specifically cited SHRM as a key employer stakeholder concerned about the NLRB ambush election rule. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO1pqcqiY9c (see minute 1:47)
  2. Member Advocacy – In less than 24 hours, nearly 600 SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) members sent letters of support for the Senate resolution to nullify the NLRB rule. During the NLRB comment period on the representation election rule, over 4,600 SHRM members and 96 SHRM state councils and chapters lent their names in support of SHRM’s regulatory comments.
  3. Judicial Action – In addition to the legislative and regulatory actions mentioned above, SHRM efforts to block the ambush election rule include judicial action. Earlier this year, SHRM filed a lawsuit challenging the NLRB ambush election rulemaking in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit is still pending. Read SHRM’s complaint HERE.

As mentioned above, the House of Representatives will likely consider a resolution to block the NLRB rule later this month. While the resolution is expected to pass the House, any final measure that passes Congress will likely be vetoed by President Obama. The resolution could still become law if a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate voted to override the President’s veto. The rule is slated to go into effect April 14, 2015, barring a decision in the federal lawsuit mentioned above.

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