In a seldom-used procedure under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) and with the assistance of the Firm, the unionized employees at one of the Firm’s clients voted to end their representation by a Teamster local. After decades of representation, the vote was unanimous against the Union. The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) will certify the results of the election, if the Union does not file objections to the conduct of the election within 7 days. After the Union’s contract ends, the company’s managers will have more flexibility and the employees will no longer have to pay union dues. The Union or any other union can again try to represent the employees in the future, but no new election may take place for one year.
In a company with no union, employees have the right to file a “representation” (RC) petition for an election to decide whether to obtain representation by a union. Where a union already exists, employees may file a “decertification” (RD) petition. A third procedure also exists under the Board’s rules. In this procedure, if the company has evidence that the employees no longer wish to be represented by a union, the company, itself, can file an RM petition. Along with the petition, the company presents its evidence to the Board and, if it is sufficient, the Board will hold an election so that the employees can decide – in a secret ballot election – whether to continue representation by the union. The RM petition is a little known but effective procedure, but the employees, company and union must follow specific rules. As with all elections, both the union and the company have the right to explain the advantages and disadvantages of union representation without threatening, coercing or interfering with the employees’ rights.