Since the NLRB’s ambush rules were implemented on April 14, there has been a spike in union petitions and a dramatic reduction in time between the date of the petition and an election.  Here are the numbers:

Union petitions prior to March 30: average of 42/week

Union petitions in week following April 14: 60

Union petitions in last week of April: 80

Based on a sample of 42 petitions by the labor research group Hunton & Williams, the average time between the date of a petition and election fell from 38 days to 23.3 days; 3 cases had elections in 13 days or less and 7 cases had elections in 19 days or less.  No case had a time between petition and election that reached the prior average.

The message to those who want to remain union-free: you should have a rapid response plan in place now.  An effective rapid response plan would include, at a minimum:

  • training your supervisors not only on the basics but also on how to respond effectively to questions from employees about unions,
  • achieving confidence that your supervisors are statutory supervisors,
  • integrating your workforce to avoid micro-units,
  • updating organizing control policies,
  • bringing conduct rules into compliance with current Board law,
  • creating procedures that will enable you to take favorable and provable positions within 6 1/2 days from the date of the petition, and
  • putting the first two weeks of a campaign into the “can,” recognizing that two weeks may be all you have.

Can you mount an effective union-free program within 24 hours of notice of union organizing?  If not, you may be taking an unreasonable business risk.