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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unionization through Regulation

By: Tommy Eden, Attorney

NLRB Proposes “Quickie” Union Elections The National Labor Relations Board proposed on June 22 a new rule to dramatically shorten the length of the union election process. Most union elections currently take place within 56 days of union election petition being filed. The new rules being proposed shortens this timeframe to as little as 14 days after a union election petition has been filed. Submit comments at

DOL Proposes New “Persuader Activity” Regulations The Department of Labor announced proposed rulemaking on “persuader activity.” This new rule seeks to “clarify” what type of employer activity is to be considered “persuader activity” that would need to be reported to the Department of Labor. Currently, employers and their attorneys are exempted to disclose any type of labor law advice that they receive from their outside counsels.

• Persuader activity would include providing material to employers, coordinating or directing the activities of supervisors or employer representatives to engage in the persuasion of employees;

• Persuader activity would include the drafting or implementation of policies for the employer that have an object to persuade employees, when an attorney “prepares or provides a persuasive script, letter, videotape, or other material or communication, for use by an employer in communicating with employees, the “advice” exemption does not apply and the duty to report is triggered.”

Submit comments at

NLRB Shooting down Dreamliner move to South Carolina On April 20, 2011, a complaint was then issued by the NLRB Acting General Counsel alleging that Boeing violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act by “making coercive statements and threats to employees for engaging in statutorily protected activities, and by deciding to place the second line at a non-union facility, and establish a parts supply program nearby, in retaliation for past strike activity and to chill future strike activity by its union employees.” The complaint also alleges that Boeing’s actions were “inherently destructive of the rights guaranteed employees by Section 7 of the Act." The remedy being requested by the Union is to disallow Boeing to open a non-union Dreamliner production line in South Carolina. Call your Congressman.

Common Sense Counsel: the Obama Administration’s finger prints are all over the NLRB/DOL steering wheel. Employers would be ambushed in a quickie elections; limiting the ability of employees to make an informed decision on union membership based on information from both their employer and a labor union. The persuader activity rule will negatively impact the ability of manufacturers to consult with attorneys in order to comply with existing labor laws. Get your Union Avoidance training done before the government regulations gag you.

Tommy Eden is a resident of Auburn, an attorney with the local office of Capell & Howard, P.C. and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at or 334-501-1540 and links at