U.S. Chamber Study: Despite NLRB’s Assurances, ‘Micro-Unions’ Spreading Across Numerous Industries

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 12:15am

New Report Urges Congress To Override Agency

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new report released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative (WFI) shows how, despite assurances given by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), its 2011 decision authorizing “micro-unions” has enabled these fractured bargaining units to spread across numerous industries. Trouble with the Truth: Specialty Healthcare and the Spread of Micro-Unions highlights the NLRB’s disproven claims that the decision would have a narrow impact in a single industry, and urges Congress to reverse the Specialty Healthcare decision.

“The NLRB issued many assurances about the limited impact of their micro-union decision, but those claims have been proven false,” said Glenn Spencer, vice president of WFI.  “The public would be well advised to closely scrutinize the Board’s actions as the clock winds down on the Obama administration.”

In its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, the NLRB threw out decades of precedent regarding what is an “appropriate” bargaining unit for forming a union. Abandoning the long-established preference for units representing all workers in a class or craft, the NLRB now approves virtually any bargaining unit suggested by a union, including micro-unions. The controversial decision allows unions to cherry pick small groups of workers to organize and get a foothold at a business even if the majority does not support unionization.

When it announced Specialty Healthcare, the NLRB claimed that its decision would only apply to non-acute health care facilities, and did not constitute a broad new legal standard. However, as Trouble with the Truth details, since then the NLRB has used the ruling to authorize micro-unions in a wide variety of industries including retail, manufacturing, rental cars, delivery services, and telecommunications.

“Congress should use every tool available to rein in the NLRB’s ‘micro-union’ overreach, and restore common sense to the National Labor Relations Act,” concluded Spencer.

The Workforce Freedom Initiative is a grassroots mobilization and advocacy campaign to preserve democracy in the American workplace, restrain abusive union pension fund activism, and block the anti-competitive agenda advocated by many labor unions.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

www.uschamber.com            @USChamber           www.freeenterprise.com

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