Labor praises "modest" improvements in union regulations

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on NLRB Election Standards
June 21, 2011

Although we are still reviewing the proposed new changes from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), they appear to represent a common sense approach to clean up an outdated system and help ensure that working women and men can make their own choice about whether to form a union.

When workers want to vote on a union, they should get a fair chance to vote.  That's a basic right.  But our current system has become a broken, bureaucratic maze that stalls and stymies workers' choices.  And that diminishes the voice of working people, creates imbalance in our economy and shrinks the middle class.     

With the proposal of these new standards, the Board is taking a modest step to remove roadblocks and reduce unnecessary and costly litigation—and that's good news for employers as well as employees. The proposed rule does not address many of the fundamental problems with our labor laws, but it will help bring critically needed fairness and balance to this part of the process.  

Unfortunately, in today's poisonous political environment, any action by the Board may unleash a torrent of attacks from politicians and ideologues opposed to any protection of workers' rights. We call on leaders from both sides of the aisle to defend the independence of the NLRB. Political interference with any independent agency sets a dangerous precedent that should not be tolerated.

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