National Restaurant Association Urges National Labor Relations Board To Withdraw 'Quickie-Election' Plan For Union Elections

Aug. 26, 2011

The National Restaurant Association and nearly 20 state restaurant associations joined hundreds of other employer organizations this week in asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to withdraw a proposed plan to dramatically speed up the timeline for holding union elections once a union petition has been filed.

Tightening the timetable to as short as 10 days, as the NLRB proposed in late June, "improperly denies employees the time and information necessary to make a fair and informed decision regarding union representation, especially in conjunction with the deferral of important unit determinations until after the election,” the business groups said in comments filed with the NLRB Aug. 22. The organizations filed comments as part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

The NLRB currently sets a target standard of 42 days for conducting a post-petition election. This schedule gives employees time to understand the pros and cons of deciding whether they want union representation, and gives employers enough time to learn more about the union and decide how to talk to employees about the effort, the coalition said in its comments. The average time from petition to an election in fiscal year 2010 was 31 days.

The National Labor Relations Act, which governs union campaigns, was amended by Congress more than 60 years ago to “insure to employers and labor organizations full freedom to express their views to employees on labor matters.” Fast-track union elections don't allow employers or employees enough time to express their views, the National Restaurant Association believes.