Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Just a reminder: EFCA can take shape in the NLRB

Doubt the power of the National Labor Relations Board to create an environment for business that feels a lot like EFCA? Here’s a rude reminder.

Peter Kirsanow, a “labor attorney at Cleveland’s Benesch Friedlander Coplan &  Aronoff law firm and former pro-business member of the powerful five-member National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C” had a lot to say in a Crain’s Cleveland Business this morning:

Mr. Kirsanow isn’t even focused on EFCA these days — because he says the threats of EFCA-like changes in the relationship between business and labor now will come from the NLRB, which has rule-making authority over much of the unionization process. Card check is probably dead, he said, but that doesn’t mean the NLRB couldn’t tilt the playing field in favor of unions, possibly by speeding up the certification and election processes, Mr. Kirsanow said.

The U.S. Senate must confirm NLRB appointments, but after that they enjoy tremendous autonomy, Mr. Kirsanow said, so their rulemaking authority is a potent force. “For example, now it’s around 37 days (between when workers notify a company they intend to vote on a union and when an election is actually held). They could make it 21 days or even 14 days or less,” Mr. Kirsanow said. “That would effectively deprive employers, especially smaller ones, of the ability to communicate with their employees in advance of the election.”

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