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KI Executive Director Testifies before NLRB

July 21, 2011

On Monday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 19, the National Labor Relations Board held an open meeting on its proposed rule changes in representation cases.  These changes are designed to reduce litigation, streamline pre- and post-election procedures, and allow for the use of electronic communication and document transmission.  The Board heard comments from over 60 experts, including the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s very own Joe McCartin.

On Monday, Professor McCartin testified in support of the proposed regulatory changes.  Professor McCartin explained that the proposed rules would ensure workers’ access to timely elections by reducing unnecessary pre-election litigation.  By requiring employers to disclose full contact information to unions, the rules also work to level the playing field between management and unions so that workers can hear from both sides before they decide whether or not to join a union.  Additionally, the provisions of the proposed rules that would allow for electronic communication and document transmission would modernize pre- and post-election procedures, saving time and money.

In Professor McCartin’s own words, the proposed amendments represent:

“[A] good faith effort to respond to fundamentally significant changes in the context within which the labor law you are sworn to interpret and uphold operates.  To put it simply, history has moved on in ways that have made your existing rules increasingly arcane and inadequate…This changing context demands that rules be revised and updated in order to keep the fundamental balance between workers’ rights and employers’ rights that is called for in your governing statute.  This rule change is no radical revision.  Rather it provides a sober, fair, necessary, and timely modernization of procedures, one that keeps faith with the intention of the nation’s labor law.”

The proposed rules are still within the comment period, which ends August 22, 2011.  If you are interested, you may submit comments at www.regulations.gov or by mail to the NLRB’s headquarters.

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