UAW members fight for fair union organizing


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On March 5, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on the so-called “Culture of Union Favoritism: The Return of the NLRB’s Ambush Election Rule”. The hearing focused on the proposed rule that was issued by the NLRB in early February that would require businesses to turn over employees’ email addresses and phone numbers within two days (instead of seven) to unions after an election petition is filed. This would streamline the process of holding union elections in a workplace and help unions recruit more workers during organizing drives. Under the proposed rule, pre-election legal proceedings must begin within seven says of the petition being filed, and pre-election appeals will be eliminated.

Not surprisingly, the Republicans on the committee (and their invited witnesses) vehemently oppose this rule. Their arguments are that the rule would ambush elections by not giving management enough time to respond to workers’ demands, and that providing a union with email addresses, phone numbers and addresses of workers raises significant privacy concerns.

The Democrats on the committee not only dispelled the Republicans’ arguments one by one, but focused on the blatant intimidation tactics that were used by elected officials in Tennessee during the three-day election at the Volkswagen plant in mid-February where the UAW attempted to organize. In a show of solidarity, the UAW had 15 representatives from Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia who attended the hearing.

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