NLRB Rules Companies That Union-Bust May Now Be Compelled to Automatically Recognize Union
Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board released what may turn out to be its most important ruling in decades. In Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, the Board ruled that when a majority of a company’s employees file union affiliation cards, the employer can either voluntarily recognize their union or ask the Board to run a union recognition election. If, in the run-up to or during that election, the employer commits an unfair labor practice that would require setting aside the election, such as illegally firing pro-union workers (which has become routine over the past 40 years, as financial penalties have become simply the cost of doing business), the Board will order the employer to recognize the union and enter forthwith into bargaining.
"Today’s decision, along with the Board’s recently issued Final Rule on Representation, will strengthen the Board’s ability to provide workers across the country with a timely and fair process for seeking union representation," said NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran. "The Cemex decision reaffirms that elections are not the only appropriate path for seeking union representation, while also ensuring that, when elections take place, they occur in a fair election environment. Under Cemex, an employer is free to use the Board’s election procedure, but is never free to abuse it — it's as simple as that." Read more in The American Prospect, VICE, and Common Dreams.