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The National Labor Relations Board narrowly passed a resolution Nov. 30 that would streamline union organizing elections by delaying the appeals process. The board voted 2-1 in favor of the resolution, with Republican Brian Hayes acting as the lone dissenter. Chairman Mark Pearce and board member Craig Becker voted in favor of the rule change. “The vast majority of NLRB-supervised elections, about 90%, are held by agreement of the parties – employees, union and employer – in an average of 38 days from the filing of a petition,” Pearce said in a statement. “The amendments I propose would not affect those agreed-to elections.” Instead, the rule would limit pre-election debate to topics directly related to the election and postpone the appeals process until after the election. The aim is to reduce disputes that are often resolved through the election process itself. According to Nancy Cleeland, NLRB director of public affairs, the rule will be drafted based on the resolution, which then has to be voted on by the board. Opponents of the rule have accused the two Democratic members of the board of hurrying the rule-changing resolution while the board has two vacant seats. “This is a last-ditch effort by the Democratic Board to railroad significant changes that benefit only unions and that do a disservice to employees, employers and the Act itself,” Doreen Davis, partner and co-chair of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ labor practice, said in a statement. “This cries out for [c]ongressional intervention.” Supporters accuse Hayes of undermining the board’s power after he threatened to resign, leaving the board unable to meet a quorum. Josh Goldstein, media outreach specialist at American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, praised the vote. “It’s good news that the NLRB is proceeding with the rulemaking to improve the representation election process,” Goldstein said in a statement. “These are modest but important reforms to help ensure that workers who want to vote to form a union at their workplace get a fair opportunity to do so.” Contact Matthew Huisman at [email protected].

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