As predicted, President Obama has vetoed S.J. Res. 8, a joint resolution of disapproval seeking to prevent enforcement of the National Labor Relations Board's so-called "quickie" or "ambush" election rule. Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), members of the House and Senate can vote in favor of nullifying federal agency rules by a simple majority vote. Both chambers readily approved this resolution in March.
By officially rejecting this measure, the President has taken "ownership" of the rule, at least from a political standpoint. In his memorandum disapproving of the resolution, the President states S.J. Res. 8:
would overturn the National Labor Relations Board's recently issued "representation case procedures" rule and block modest but overdue reforms to simplify and streamline private sector union elections. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval of this resolution.
The memorandum expressly supports the role of unions in the workplace:
Workers need a strong voice in the workplace and the economy to protect and grow our Nation's middle class. Unions have played a vital role in giving workers that voice, allowing workers to organize together for higher wages, better working conditions, and the benefits and protections that most workers take for granted today. Workers deserve a level playing field that lets them freely choose to make their voices heard, and this requires fair and streamlined procedures for determining whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. Because this resolution seeks to undermine a streamlined democratic process that allows American workers to freely choose to make their voices heard, I cannot support it.
Although lawsuits have been filed to rescind the election rule, courts may not act before the rule's April 14, 2015 effective date. Employers are therefore advised to prepare now for its implementation.