New NLRB rules give unions access to workers’ email addresses and phone numbers

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Labor unions got an early Christmas present from the National Labor Relations Board: access to non-union workers' email addresses and phone numbers.

The NLRB earlier this month issued new rules for how and when union organizing elections can take place within workplaces. Under the new rules, unions will have access to employees' private information as they make their sales pitch, and employers will have less time to respond to workers' demands before a unionization election can take place.

Geoff Burr, vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., a national trade association for non-union construction companies, said the new rules "will lead to the unsolicited distribution of employees' personal contact information."

The NLRB says the changes are meant to streamline the process of holding elections and stop employers from stalling. Opponents of the changes say they will unfairly give unions an upper-hand in convincing workers to unionize.

"Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties," NLRB chairman Mark Pearce said in a statement announcing the new rules. "With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all."

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