Data and reports about the impact of the new NLRB quickie election rules are coming in. So far, it appears that unions are filing petitions at an unprecedented rate now that the path to election is shorter, and streamlined to the advantage of union organizers. A backlog of union “petitions-in-waiting” may be clearing out.
Early reports also indicate that unions are frequently filing petitions and then withdrawing them before any election, raising the question whether these are “tactical” filings intended to get organizing information from employers through the Board’s new information disclosure requirements.
Finally, the predictions of shorter petition-to-election times have come true. Several reports have attempted to calculate average time from petition to election. The methodologies are subject to “wrinkles” caused by various factors (including somewhat tricky and ambiguous Board data), but the early reports indicate that the time from petition to election is averaging less than 30 days, and is probably about 24 days. Expect this number to tighten even more as Regional Offices of the Board get accustomed to the new rules and get better at cutting days out of the process. Before the new rules, the time from petition to election generally was in the range of 35 to 42 days, so it appears that about two weeks of the typical “old school” campaign are gone. This is not a surprise, given that many possible issues for contested hearings are gone and employers are thus stipulating to election agreements, making the best of the situation presented by the new Board rules and NLRB Regional Offices that are taking their cue from the current pro-organizing Board majority.