by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Obama’s rules speeding up the union election process increased the chances of union victory, according to a new analysis.
Union victories in secret ballot elections have held steady since the Democrat-controlled National Labor Relations Board amended its election rules to fast-track union votes and increase the personal information companies must give to labor organizers. The shortened window between filing for an election and holding one, however, may be propping up union success, according to an analysis from management-side law firm Fisher Phillips. When the NLRB, which oversees union elections, schedule elections within a two-week period, unions emerge victorious nearly 83 percent of the time. Their success rate plummets if employees are given more time to weigh the potential benefits and costs of exclusive union representation.
“When elections happen in 14 days or less, unions win at higher rates, 82.4 percent compared to 66.6 percent,” the analysis found. “Meanwhile, management win rates have remained virtually unchanged from 32.9 percent in 2014-2015 to 33.2 percent in 2017-2018.”
Unions typically have an advantage in elections because they are unlikely to petition if they do not think they can prevail. Labor groups won 69 percent of union elections in 2017, on par with historic rates, though it ticked up from unions’ 64 percent win rate in 2013, the year before new rules were adopted, according to the NLRB. Union gains have increased sharply for small businesses which may not have labor attorneys on-hand to guide them through the process, according to Fisher Phillips’ Steve Bernstein.