Union election petitions jumped 32 percent immediately following implementation of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new election rules, which delays voter eligibility issues until after the election is held and materially shortens the time period between the filing of an election petition and the election. According to a random sampling of 42 election petitions filed since the rule went into effect in April, the average time between the date of filing and the election is 23.5 days, which is a decrease of 14.5­days from the average prior to the rule. Additional results of the survey include:

  • A high of 35 days from filing to election.
  • A low of 10 days from filing to election.
  • 3 cases with 13 days or less.
  • 7 cases with 19 days or less.

The survey was not yet able to gage the impact on the winning percentages.

Part­time faculty at Ithaca College voted (172­53) in favor of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as their exclusive bargaining representative. This election is the result of SEIU’s Adjunct Action campaign, a project seeking to organize part­time college faculty on a widespread basis. Meanwhile, adjunct faculty at Webster University in St. Louis recently rejected SEIU Local 1 by a vote of 267­212.

A majority of the 785 (416­369) employees at Electrolux AB’s appliance manufacturing plant in Memphis, Tenn., voted no on a representation petition filed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

In a secret­ballot election, Illinois FedEx freight drivers at the company’s Chicago Heights facility voted 146­86 against representation by Teamsters Local 710. The election was part of a nationwide drive to organize FedEx drivers, and follows recent losses at two West Virginia facilities.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 42 recently proposed a structure for a works council at the Volkswagen Group of America assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The proposal is part of the UAW’s on­going effort to win voluntary recognition after narrowly losing a February 2014 representation election conducted by the NLRB. The UAW formed Local 42, a voluntary charter comprised of nearly 55 percent of the facility’s hourly employees. Volkswagen has been meeting with UAW and the American Council of Employees, both of which are seeking to represent employees at the facility.

The National Mediation Board (NMB) certified three joint associations created by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and International Association of Machinists (IAM) as the collective bargaining representatives for 33,000 mechanics, fleet service technicians, and stocks and store workers at American Airlines. The NMB previously found that American Airlines and the former US Airways, which merged in 2013, had integrated sufficiently to form a single transportation system for representation purposes of the three work groups. To avoid a long representation dispute, the TWU, which was the bargaining agent for employees at American, and IAM, which represented employees at US Airways, reached a pre­merger agreement to form the joint associations.

The NMB certified the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) as the bargaining representative of 118 Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) workers after the National Transportation Supervisors Association (NTSA), the former bargaining representative of the LIRR workers, merged with the BRS. Local Lodge 241, a new BRS body, will provide representation for those LIRR workers who had formally been represented by the NTSA.

A Bloomberg BNA analysis shows that the total number of union representation elections held in 2014 increased by 51 elections from 2013, and the total number of elections won by the unions in 2014 also increased by 87 wins from 2013. While the union win rate increased to 68.6 percent from 64.8 percent, unions organized 29,404 fewer workers than they did in 2013, and the number of eligible voters dropped by 33,592 workers. Successful union decertification elections fell from 38.5 percent in 2013, to 36.5 percent in 2014. Unions affiliated with the AFL­CIO won 66.3 percent of the elections held in 2014, as opposed to 63.6 percent of the elections held in 2013. The unions affiliated with the Change to Win federation won 62 percent of the elections held in 2014, in comparison to 58.6 percent of the elections held in 2013. Independent unions won 74.8 percent of the elections held in 2014, as opposed to 67.9 percent of the elections held in 2013. The Teamsters participated in the most elections in 2014, although their participation was lower than in 2013. The SEIU and the IBEW were the second and third most active unions, respectively. The IAM had the most representation elections wins, with a 77.1 percent win rate. The SEIU organized the most workers for the fifth year in a row, followed by the Teamsters, and the Machinists. In 2014, the most successful organization efforts were those elections that had bargaining units of less than 50 workers. California had the largest number of elections in 2014, followed by New York and then Illinois.