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Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I rise today to speak in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 36, which would reject the National Labor Relations Board's, NLRB, rule on representation procedures, the so-called ``ambush election'' rule. I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor of this important legislation, introduced by Senator Enzi with 44 cosponsors.
On December 22, 2011, the NLRB finalized new regulations, which will become effective on April 30, 2012, significantly limiting the time for holding union representation elections. This change would result in employees making the critical decision about whether or not to form a union in as little as 10 days.
Back in 1959, then-Senator John F. Kennedy explained that ``the 30-day waiting period [before a union election] is an additional safeguard against rushing employees into an election where they are unfamiliar with the issues ..... there should be at least a 30-day interval between the request for an election and the holding of the election'' to provide ``at least 30 days in which both parties can present their viewpoints.'' I agree with our former President and Senator. An expedited timeframe would limit the opportunity of employers to express their views, and leave employees with insufficient information to make an informed decision.
According to the NLRB, in 2011 union representation elections were held on average within 38 days. That is already below the NLRB's stated target of 42 days. Therefore, this begs the question of why yet another regulation is even necessary.
Businesses, our nation's job creators and the engine of any lasting economic growth, have been saying for some time that the lack of jobs is largely due to a climate of uncertainty, most notably the uncertainty and cost created by new federal regulations.
This ambush election rule will particularly negatively affect small businesses. Small business owners often lack the resources and legal expertise to navigate and understand complex labor processes within such a short time frame. In our current economy, it is critical that we do everything possible to advance policies that promote U.S. economic growth and jobs.
The Joint Resolution of Disapproval will not change current law. It simply will protect employers and employees by allowing them to conduct representation elections in the same manner that has been done for decades.
The NLRB's goal should be to ensure fair elections and a level playing field for all.
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