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National Labor Relations Board Continues to Disregard the Law

9:30 AM, May 15, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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After the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sparked national outrage by telling Boeing that it could not open a factory in a right-to-work state, there's little evidence that the board has been chastened. The latest news is that a recent decision to allow unions to hold "quickie" elections to organize workplaces has been struck down:

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said only two of the three members of the board required to constitute a quorum actually voted on the rule. He said representation elections will have to continue under previously established procedures unless the board votes with a proper quorum. The rule went into effect on April 30.

“According to Woody Allen, eighty percent of life is just showing up,” Boasberg wrote in an opinion issued today. “When it comes to satisfying a quorum requirement, though, showing up is even more important than that.”

The rule change, challenged in court by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, simplified and shortened balloting at a time when the unionized share of the workforce is falling, according to labor relations consultant Phillip Wilson. The compressed schedule could have cut the time permitted for voting in half to as few as 15 days, Wilson said.

Unions win 87 percent of elections held 15 days or less after a request, a rate that falls to 58 percent when the vote takes place after 36 to 40 days, according to a February report by Bloomberg Government.

The third member of the NLRB who didn't vote on the rule had previously voted against it and “effectively indicated his opposition," according to the judge's decision. 

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