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NLRB orders union rights posted in US businesses

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] issued [press release] a new regulation [text, PDF] on Thursday requiring employers to post their employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act [text] in the workplace. These rights include the right to unionize, to bargain collectively and to refuse pressures to do either. The poster also gives some examples of unfair business and union practices and information on contacting the NLRB. An official notice will be circulated that must be posted in all workplaces except very small businesses that do not affect interstate commerce and post offices. Failure to post the notice will be seen as an unfair labor practice, but the NLRB said that in general they will assume the business had not heard of the new regulation. Business rights advocacy groups have been outraged by the decision [Huffington Post report]. The National Federation of Independent Businesses [advocacy website] said in a statement [text] that the NLRB had overreached its authority. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on August 30 and will take effect around November 15 [fact sheet].

Restrictive collective bargaining laws have been advanced in several states this year. Ohio voters will decide whether to repeal a law [SB 5 text, PDF] limiting the collective bargaining rights of state workers after opponents of the bill gathered 915,456 signatures [JURIST report] in late July. The bill was passed [JURIST report] in March, but will not go into effect until it survives the public referendum in November. Also in July, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Idaho [official website] issued a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] blocking the enforcement of an Idaho anti-union law [SB 1007] that bans a union program that subsidizes employment for its members. The law, called the Fairness in Contracting Act, prohibits union programs used by construction workers unions that pool portions of union wages on a voluntary basis to subsidize union labor to enable union members to be hired at the collectively bargained salary. Ten Wisconsin unions in June filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state's new collective bargaining law. The lawsuit alleges that the Budget Repair Bill [Senate Bill 11 text, PDF] violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments [texts]. According to the plaintiffs, the bill discriminates among groups of public employees and eliminates basic union rights, like bargaining, organizing and associating.

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