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Business groups ask senators to overturn NLRB’s ‘micro-union’ decision (Read More…)

By Kevin Bogardus - 06/12/12

More than a half-dozen business groups are asking Senate appropriators to roll back a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that allows unions to form smaller bargaining units.

In a letter sent Tuesday, trade associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the International Franchise Association asked lawmakers to overturn an August 2011 ruling that they argue allows labor to create “micro-unions.”

“The micro-unions decision overturns more than 50 years of precedent and would create division in the workplace, increase operational complexities and costs, while also depriving employees of the flexibility and cross-training opportunities they seek. For example, under the micro-union decision organizers could cherry-pick a small segment of employees within one department of one location and target them in an organizing campaign,” said the letter.

The letter was sent to Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The letter was also sent to Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations subcommittee.

The business group asked the senators to send “a strong message” to the NLRB about the decision when they consider funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services spending bill.

The NLRB says the decision did not create new criteria for determining the size of unions’ bargaining units outside of healthcare facilities. But business groups have pushed back against that assertion.

In the letter, the groups said workers outside the healthcare field have used the NLRB ruling to form unions. They pointed to organizing at a Bergdorf Goodman store, a Nestle-Dreyer’s Ice Cream plant and a Dollar Thrifty car rental site.

“Congress must act in order to prevent the case from being applied further. Should Congress fail to do so, this decision will have an immediate and lasting effect on individual employees, job creators, and the economy,” said the letter.
Last year, the House passed legislation that would void the ruling, but it has gone nowhere in the Senate.

Posted by Admin on 06/12 at 12:46 PM