Apparently the National Labor Relations Board has recently realized that not all employees know their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that employers don’t have big enough bulletin boards. To help with that, they have created a proposed posting that will explain workers’ rights under the act. The new posting has not been finalized and an open period for comments runs until February 22nd.
On one hand, if this is implemented, I think that most employees are barely going to notice one more legal posting on their employer’s already full to the brim bulletin boards. On the other hand, if you have a workforce that is dissatisfied and have the potential for a union campaign in your organization, this could be significant.
I’ve read the posting and, for the most part, it simply states the rights of employees under the law. (View posting here) This same information is readily available on the internet or in most union organizing brochures.
One criticism of the posting is that it heavily favors unions, not employers. To confirm that concern, I counted the bullet points in the posting to determine which side was best represented. The results? There are 15 bullet points that are pro-union and 4 bullet points that are pro-company. To be fair, the NLRA wasn’t written to protect companies, but to protect employees. I’m reminded of one of my college labor relations professors who, when asked how they dealt with union organizers back in the day, simply stated: “We hired thugs to beat them.”
Obviously we’ve come a long ways since then, but if you’ve ever been involved in a union campaign, you know that there’s a lot of peer pressure and intimidation that takes place. What I would like to see is more balance. For example, if required, the posting should include bullet points on how to decertify unions as well as a disclaimer that unionizing just starts the negotiations process; it certainly doesn’t guarantee higher wages or benefits.
If you are concerned about the contents of the posting or of the size of the bulletin boards being required, contact the NLRB with your comments. If not, this may be a great time to buy stock in your favorite bulletin board supply company.