May 27, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Workers trying to organize a union generally can’t do it by card check—but employers that want to stop recognizing a union currently can.
The National Labor Relations Board is considering changing that. In a May 9 memo to the board’s regional directors and officers, general counsel Richard F. Griffin Jr. wrote that if employers withdraw recognition when a contract expires, they should have to provide “objective evidence” that a majority of workers no longer supports the union. A 2001 NLRB decision held that employers can use petitions to show that, but Griffin said that had enabled employers to withdraw recognition unilaterally “based on evidence that did not ‘clearly indicate’ a loss of majority.” Not requiring formal decertification elections, he said, “has created peril for employers in determining whether there has been an actual loss of majority support for the incumbent union, has resulted in years of litigation over difficult evidentiary issues, and in a number of cases has delayed employees’ ability to effectuate their choice as to representation.” Read more