Facing an onslaught of criticism for its halting of all workplace representation elections, the National Labor Relations Board decided today that it “will not extend its temporary suspension of Board-conducted elections past April 3, 2020 and will instead resume conducting elections beginning Monday, April 6, 2020.”
This is a positive development for many workers who wish to join a union, as a delay generally favors employers who mount anti-union campaigns.
On Monday, AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, called out the NLRB for its election suspension. “Union representation is critical in the midst of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, with workers facing unsafe conditions, layoffs and intense uncertainty,” he said. “So long as the NLRB is not conducting elections, we call on the Board to demand that all employers similarly suspend their anti-union campaigns.”
Today the NLRB Chair John Ring presented a defense of the NLRB’s suspension. “Conducting representation elections is core to the NLRB’s mission, and ensuring elections are carried out safely and effectively is one of our primary responsibilities,” he said.
“Two weeks ago, when the Board made the difficult decision to suspend elections, the developing situation made it impossible to ensure the safety of our employees or the public. With many regional offices closed and most employees teleworking, the Board was not confident that any type of election could be run effectively. Based on these concerns, the Board determined that a two-week suspension would provide the General Counsel, who is delegated authority to supervise the regional offices, which conduct elections on the Board’s behalf, the opportunity to fully review the logistics of the election procedures in light of the unprecedented situation. The General Counsel now has advised that appropriate measures are available to permit elections to resume in a safe and effective manner, which will be determined by the Regional Directors. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all NLRB stakeholders during this challenging time.”