Earlier this year, the NLRB released data on union wins in election petitions filed during FY 2015 (i.e., from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015). The results: unions won 66% of all election petitions filed.
In representation petition activity, where the union is trying to gain representation rights for the first time, unions won 69% of the time. In decertification petition activity, where employees are attempting to kick out a union, unions only won 41% of the time. Thus, in most decertification elections, employees chose to dump their union representation.
Examining the data in a bit more detail reveals some interesting facts about activity in (and around) Ohio. There are two NLRB regional offices in Ohio: Region 8 in Cleveland and Region 9 in Cincinnati. Region 8 handles election petitions in northern Ohio (roughly) and Cincinnati handles elections in southern Ohio, as well as in eastern Kentucky and some western portions of West Virginia.
Here are some tidbits from Region 8’s data:
- Unions won 50% of all representation elections
- Employees voted to get rid of their union 60% of the time, roughly equal to the national average
- Largest representation petition in which the union won involved 150 eligible voters
- Union with most election petitions going to a vote was the Teamsters
As for Region 9, on these same points, the data showed:
- Unions won 57% of all representation elections
- Employees voted to get rid of their union 67% of the time, somewhat above the national average
- Largest representation petition in which the union won involved 120 eligible voters
- Union with most election petitions going to a vote was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Overall, unions filed 230 more representation petitions in FY 2015 than in FY 2014, for an increase of approximately 18%. Thus, it would appear that unions were more active. Whether this is related to the “ambush election rule,” however, is too early to tell.
Moreover, unions do not have to use the NLRB’s process. Unions can also seek voluntary recognition. Thus, these numbers do not necessarily capture the entirety of union activity, either nationally or in Ohio and surrounding areas.