Senate Democrats unanimously supported the new partisan NLRB 'ambush' union election rules.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate rejected a Republican attempt Tuesday to overturn new regulations designed to give unions quicker representation elections in their effort to organize more workplaces.
The 54-45, largely party line vote against a resolution of disapproval leaves intact National Labor Relations Board rules that are scheduled to take effect April 30. Unions had sought the rules changes while business groups opposed them. Senate Democrats unanimously supported the new regulations. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican supporting them.
Under the existing regulations, workers typically vote within 45-60 days after a union gathers enough signatures from workers saying they want to hold an election. The new rules could cut that time by days or even weeks by simplifying procedures and putting off some challenges until after the election is held, cutting back hearings and reducing legal delays.
Unions call the changes a modest fix to prevent companies from using stalling tactics to delay a vote while workers can be subject to harassment, threats and even illegal firing. Republicans argue the new rules will lead to “ambush” elections that barely leave company managers enough time to respond or counsel against forming a union.
The NLRB has been the focus of intense partisan bickering since President Barack Obama gave the independent agency its first Democratic majority in nearly a decade. The board has issued a number of rules and decisions that tend to favor unions over business interests.