Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

From the Editor

Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Dear Reader

In August, the National Labor Relations Board proposed to replace its current blocking charge policy, return to a 45-day notice and open period following voluntary recognition, and require extrinsic evidence of majority employee support to convert a Section 8(f) construction industry bargaining relationship to a Section 9(a) relationship. In its 113-page notice of proposed rulemaking, the Board majority (Member McFerran dissented) justified its regulatory approach, stating that "By establishing the new election bar standards in the Board's Rules & Regulations, employers, unions, and employees will be able to plan their affairs free of the uncertainty that the legal regime may change on a moment's notice (and possibly retroactively) through the adjudication process."

The Board stated that the current blocking charge policy, the immediate imposition of a voluntary recognition election bar, and the establishment of a Section 9(a) relationship in the construction industry based solely on contract recognition language constitute an "overbroad and inappropriate limitation on the ability of employees to exercise their fundamental statutory right to the timely resolution of questions concerning representation through the preferred means of a Board-conducted secret ballot election."

Labor and employment law practitioners note that the proposed amendments reflect previous Board decisional law and, in fact, a return to longstanding precedent on both the blocking charge amendment and the construction industry required proof of Section 9(a) relationships. To that end and subject, of course, to the impact of public comments, there is a good chance that the rules could be finalized without substantial change. …

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