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Workers, Experts, and Advocates Defend Proposed Election Rule at NLRB Hearing
Kimberly Freeman Brown: “This commonsense proposal ensures a fair process for workers, employers, and taxpayers.”

July 19, 2011

Zoe Bridges-Curry
(202) 822-2127 x122
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Washington, D.C. – Speaking at today’s hearing on the National Labor Relations Board’s recently proposed rule to standardize union elections, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown characterized the rule as a modest step toward ensuring a fair process for workers and employers.

“At the very heart of the matter, this rule is about one thing: When employees want to vote, they should have a fair chance to do so,” said Freeman Brown. “As the countless workers who have seen their hopes for a better life deferred again and again know all too well, justice delayed is truly justice denied.”

Under the current process, when employees petition the NLRB for an election, they face significant obstacles from employers in the form of needless bureaucratic delays and costly taxpayer-funded litigation. A study from Human Rights Watch found that it can take months and even years before workers get to cast a vote, while some never get to vote at all.

And according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, the longer the election is delayed, the more likely employers are to be charged with illegal misconduct. In addition to denying employees a fair vote, these drawn-out legal maneuverings—often later found to be without merit—increase conflict in the workplace, hurt productivity, and disrupt commerce.

By cutting back on unnecessary bureaucracy and delays, the proposed rule modernizes the union election process so both businesses and employees have the benefit of clear, consistent procedures.

Freeman Brown underscored that opposition to the rule is not motivated by a genuine concern for workers or the economy: “It’s obvious that the uproar over this commonsense rule is about politics. For certain legislators, this is just the latest opportunity to further an ongoing attack on the NLRB.”

For more information on the proposed rule, visit www.EyeontheNLRB.org.

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Unfair Advantage, 2000
UC Berkeley, June 2011
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