A group of 106 pro-union law professors from around the nation have filed a public petition with the National Labor Relations Board for the NLRB to create a rule that would require employers to give unions “equal time” during union organizing campaigns.
Since 1947, when Congress amended the National Labor Relations Act and granted employers the freedom of speech with regard to unions in their workplaces, unions and their allies have been trying find ways to limit employer speech and this appears to be another one of those schemes.
According to the professors’ proposed rule:
Where an employer who is subject to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act does not specifically allow union solicitation during working time, if that employer—by or through any of its agents, officials, or supervisors—engages in a meeting or meetings with its employees during working time to express opposition to union representation prior to the holding of a Section 9 representation election and refuses to provide the affected union, if requested, with an equivalent opportunity to address employees, such conduct shall be deemed to have impaired the employees’ freedom of choice in the selection of their representative; therefore, if the union loses that election, such conduct shall constitute sufficient grounds for setting aside the results of that election and ordering a new election.
In addition to unions already winning a significant majority (69%) of NLRB-conducted elections, employers already having greater restrictions on their speech in campaigns than do unions.
As a result, the idea that employers should pay their employees to listen to union salespeople sell unionization to employees will not likely sit well with too many employers.
Moreover, the professors’ justification for their proposal is not that employers break the law during the holding meetings.
Rather, the professors believe that the mere holding of a meeting by an employer without the union having the same ability to do so makes a “mockery of what should be a fair and democratic election process.”
Ironically, over the last few years, that the NLRB’s election process has made a ‘mockery of’ has been one of employers’ main complaints of the National Labor Relations Board.