OK, there wasn’t much chance the amendment was going to pass the U.S. Senate and, if somehow it did, it would have been vetoed by the White House. But it was worth the old college try, as they say, and it did shine the spotlight once again on the runaway actions of the National Labor Relations Board.
The amendment was an attempt to overturn new regulations that dramatically reduce the time between union organization efforts and the actual election in that workplace. In other words, unions will still be able to make their case for why their presence would make sense during their organizing effort, but employers will have precious little time to respond prior to a vote taking place.
Currently, worker votes typically take place 45 to 60 days after a union gathers enough signatures to warrant an election. Under the new regulations, those votes could take place within a matter of a few weeks, or even days.
Indiana senators Richard Lugar and Dan Coats supported the resolution to overturn the NLRB action. The 54-45 vote to disapprove, however, was along party lines with the exception of one vote.
Lawmaker reactions were swift, calling the rule an "ambush" on employers:
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri): "By speeding up union elections and removing important safeguards that ensure a fair election process, this unnecessary rule will restrict job creators’ free speech rights and limit workers’ opportunities to hear both sides of the argument to unionize — an issue critically important to their livelihood.
"It’s unfortunate that we have to spend time undoing this administration’s reckless job-killing policies when leaders on both sides of the aisle should be working together to pass common-sense, pro-growth solutions that will boost job creation and get our economy back on track," Blunt continued.
Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee ranking member: “This vote was an important opportunity to send a message to the NLRB that their job is not to tip the scale in favor of one party or another, but to fairly resolve disputes and conduct secret ballot elections."
Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina): The National Labor Relations Board seems hell bent on changing processes across the board, more for political reasons than for substantive reasons."