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July 6th, 2011
Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva Praises National Labor Relations Board Efforts to Modernize Union Vote Process

Washington, D.C.– Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today spoke out in favor of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposals to reduce outdated obstacles to workplace union formation. The suggested rule changes – part of the NLRB’s standard procedures to improve workplace and labor regulations around the country – have received wide acclaim from labor leaders and progressive lawmakers.

The Board on June 21 proposed to reduce the ability of employers to delay union formation votes through frivolous lawsuits. Proposed rule changes would standardize and streamline the union election process by setting a fixed time for pre-election hearings, requiring employers to state issues in dispute and present their evidence at that hearing, deferring legal issues affecting less than 20 percent of workers until after an election, and modernizing requirements for information to reflect current use of electronic communication.

Under current rules, most workers are never afforded the opportunity to vote to form a union. Employers are allowed to drag out the process for months, or in some cases years, through frivolous litigation. During this time, they can mislead and intimidate employees and sometimes fire pro-union workers.

According to NLRB information, “The proposed amendments are designed to fix flaws in the Board’s current procedures that build in unnecessary delays, allow wasteful litigation, and fail to take advantage of modern communication technologies.”

The House majority has decided to oppose the Board’s recommendations. The Committee on Education and The Workforce will hold a hearing Thursday, July 7.

“The status quo is obviously broken, and the Board rightly recognizes this is a chance to make working Americans’ lives better,” Grijalva said. “There’s no reason to oppose these sensible improvements other than ideology, and ideology is the last thing that’s going to help working families through tough times. These rules should be approved as soon as possible, and I’m proud to stand with working people all over the country to make sure that happens.”

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