Republicans unite to block NLRB ambush election rule

A number of Republican lawmakers organized an effort on Monday to block the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush election” rule.

The rule, which was confirmed last December, shortens the time in which an election for labor union certification is held. Currently, the median length of such an election is 38 days. Under the new rule, it could be shortened to as few as 11 days.

A group of Capitol Hill heavy hitters is behind the effort, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).

The leaders have authored a joint resolution of Congress that would block the rule through the Congressional Review Act.

“The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law,” Boehner said. “Yet under the president’s watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America’s workers and job creators. The recent ambush election rule will deny workers their right to make fully informed decisions in union elections. Congress will not stand idly by and let that happen.”

Using the tool provided by the Congressional Review Act legislation, the House and Senate can vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to block, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation without congressional authorization. The resolution of disapproval requires only a simple majority to be passed. It may not be filibustered or amended.

“This administration’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board released their so-called ‘ambush’ rule back in December,”  McConnell added. “It’s designed with one purpose in mind — to fatten the wallets of powerful political bosses by threatening the rights of middle-class workers to make informed decisions of their own. Republicans think an employee’s personal information is none of the business of powerful political bosses. But the administration’s ‘ambush’ rule would allow these bosses to access things like personal email addresses and cell numbers — without permission from the employee.”

Unless stopped by the resolution, the ambush election rule is scheduled to go into effect on April 14.

“The Obama labor board is moving forward with a radical plan that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families,” Kline, also the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said. “Congress must use every available tool to stop this flawed regulatory scheme. I am pleased to join my House and Senate colleagues in authoring this resolution, and hope Congress will send it to the president as soon as possible.”