The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is floating a proposal that would alter the way workplace elections are currently held. The board, made up of three Democrats and one Republican, has drafted rules that would speed up the election process and require employers to hand over information on its employees - like email addresses and phone numbers to prospective unions.
Thursday, former union steward Larry Getts testified on Capitol Hill, telling members of the House Education and Workforce Committee that union officials never needed help tracking down non-union workers.
"We found the UAW officials waiting in our break room," Getts said. "They would even follow us to our vehicles before and after work, some to our homes."
Getts testified that he eventually left union leadership after it became clear they were intent on abolishing the right to secret ballot elections.Supporters of the NLRB proposal say the current system has long favored employers, and it's time for a change.
"When it takes 12 years to try to get a place unionized something is wrong," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., as some attending the hearing broke into applause.
Ranking Member Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., called the NLRB proposal "modest" and said, "a great deal of money is made by frightening employers into fearing these changes."
Across the aisle, Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., couldn't have disagreed more. According to Kline, "Unions currently win 70 percent of all elections, yet the rules of the game are being rewritten to further tilt the playing field in favor of union interests." Kline said lawmakers cannot stand by "and become willing accomplices in the NLRB's job-destroying agenda."