IWLA Seeks Changes to New Labor Practices

The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) announced its supports of HR 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. The bill aims to alter recent National Labor Relations Board decisions. Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced the bill Oct. 5.

These are among the NLRB decisions Rep. Kline's bill would change:

• A decision that employers will have just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at the NLRB pre-election hearing. The legislation provides employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election officer and an opportunity to raise additional concerns throughout the election hearing.

• The board also has decreed that workers will have as little as 10 days to consider all the consequences of joining a union before they have to vote in the election. The Kline bill guarantees workers are able to make a fully-informed decision in a union election, which would not be held in fewer than 35 days (the current average), giving workers a chance to hear both sides of the debate.

• NLRB requires that employers provide to the union their employees' personal information, including home street and email addresses, and home and cell phone numbers. HR 3094 would allow employers to choose the type of personal contact information provided to the union.

• In August, the board adopted a new standard for determining which group or of employees will vote in the union election, allowing the union to break up the workforce in any given facility or operation into "mini-unions" made up of a handful of employees in each location's workforce. The Kline bill reinstates the traditional standard for determining which employees will vote in the union election.

IWLA believes the "mini-union" decision allows unions to organize small numbers of workers in a larger workforce that has rejected or is not interested in unionization, restricting employers' ability to change workers duties and increasing the likelihood of multiple mini-unions in a single facility that would require employers to negotiate and supervise several different union contracts in one facility.

"This new standard makes it almost impossible for anyone to challenge the bargaining unit chosen by the union," said IWLA President Joel Anderson. "The decision will divide employees and raise an employer's labor costs."

He added, "The fact that a small group of unaccountable political appointees can suddenly decide to rewrite the nation's union-election rules is alarming. Such changes ought to require an act of Congress."

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