Isakson Fights Administration’s Efforts to Tip Scales in Favor of Labor Unions

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson recently continued his fight to stop the Administration from tipping the scales in favor of labor unions, voting to have the Senate debate on a resolution to block the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its “ambush election” rule, which is designed to speed up union representation elections in hopes of helping labor unions win.

Isakson, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, is a co-sponsor of a resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res 36, which would allow Congress to stop the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its “ambush election” rule. Isakson voted in favor of a motion to proceed to the resolution. The motion to proceed needed 60 votes but failed in the Senate by a vote of 45-54.

Under this new “ambush election” rule by the National Labor Relations Board, union elections could take place as quickly as 10 days after they’re requested – before employees have a chance to understand their rights or have opportunity to hear from both sides. Until now, 92 percent of all union elections typically take place within 56 days, with the average being 38 days, according to the National Labor Relations Board annual report.

“For 75 years, U.S. labor laws have served us well. We do not have a problem in terms of workers being able to organize and negotiate collectively. The problem is that the administration is attempting to circumvent the legislative branch of government and tip the scales in favor of unions through rule and regulation because they could not pass this measure on the floor of the Senate,” said Isakson on the Senate floor.

“Rules and regulations such as the ambush election rule are creating uncertainty and making it difficult for America to do business. I am proud to stand by my colleagues in fighting ambush elections, which then-Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy warned about on April 21, 1959, when he said that there should be ‘at least a 30 day interval between the request for an election and the holding of an election… in which both parties can present their viewpoints.’ If it was right for John Kennedy in April 1959, it should be right for the United States Senate in April 2012.”

The Congressional Review Act allows either the Senate or the House to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval that, if passed, has the full force of law to stop a federal agency from implementing a recent rule or regulation. A resolution of disapproval introduced under the Congressional Review Act cannot be filibustered and needs only a simple majority in the Senate to pass if acted upon during a 60-day window. Today’s vote in the Senate was a motion to proceed to the resolution, and that motion needed 60 votes to pass.

Prior to the December 2011 expiration of National Labor Relations Board member Craig Becker’s recess appointment, the labor board quickly issued the final rule to allow “ambush elections,” and it is set to be implemented on April 30, 2012.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace have filed a lawsuit to contest the rule on the grounds that it violates the National Labor Relations Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as well as free speech and due process constitutional rights.

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