The National Labor Relations Board issued a major win for worker's rights on Friday.
Labor Unions will now have greater chances of being recognized by their employers through organization and fair board elections. Previously, employers could simply decline union cards presented to them. The new ruling sets a precedent for easier union recognition.
Now, if a majority of employees have designated a union as their representative, the employer must recognize the union. If an employer chooses to petition for a election instead , any unfair labor actions it commits will result in an order from the NLRB to recognize the union.
Hot Labor Summer
Cemex Construction Materials Pacific has become the namesake of the landmark NLRB decision, thanks to the company's illicit union-busting efforts in 2019. The NLRB found that Cemex committed over 20 instances of "objectionable or unlawful misconduct" while petitioning for a union election.
“This company fired union supporters, intimidated them, harassed them, and broke nearly every other rule under the sun," said Teamsters International Vice President At-Large Chris Griswold. "If any good came out of this company’s scorched-earth thuggery, it’s that now employers will think twice before they break the law to break the union.”
At the tail-end of a hot summer for workers, more pro-union rulings are long overdue. UPS narrowly avoided a historic strike in July. The Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA are still on strike, showing alarming dysfunction in the entertainment industry. VFX artists in Hollywood are hardly ever recognized by labor unions, and unionization is just starting up in the game industry.
Only a day earlier, the NLRB issued another monumental ruling for union elections. The board amended procedures for union elections to allow for a more timely process, and to that important union election information can be quickly and efficiently provided to employees. Now, those elections will be safeguarded from union busting efforts.
“The Cemex decision reaffirms that elections are not the only appropriate path for seeking union representation, while also ensuring that, when elections take place, they occur in a fair election environment," National Labor Relations Board Chairman Lauren McFerran said in a statement. "Under Cemex, an employer is free to use the Board’s election procedure, but is never free to abuse it — it's as simple as that.”