The National Labor Relations Board has for long been overseeing elections for labor unions and investigating and rectifying unfair labor practices. The Board assessed that there were many employees who did not come under the umbrella of any union and were at a risk of being victims of unfair labor practices. It was essential that they were apprised of their rights and privileges, regarding labor unions.
Following a petition by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal judge has ruled, that the NLRB can ask private businesses to put up posters, informing their employees, that they have a right to form a union.
In her ruling, Berman Jackson said the National Labor Relations Board was justified in believing that many workers — especially immigrants were ignorant of their legal right to form unions or fight their grouses collectively. “The notice-posting rule is a reasonable means of promoting awareness,” she said.
The posters, to be displayed from April 30 onwards, enlighten workers on a host of rights that include the “rights to bargain collectively, distribute union literature and engage in other union activities without fear of reprisal.” NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce said the judgment means workers will have “meaningful awareness of their rights and protections under federal labor law.”
The judge’s ruling has delighted labor groups no end, but upset the business groups who feel that the NLRB poster is one sided and will act as an incentive to workers to form unions.
However, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has assured worried businesses that that not putting up the poster would not be considered an automatic legal violation. However, putting up the poster would be mandatory for businesses that had confirmation of anti-union conduct. In spite of the judge’s limit on enforcement, the ruling is seen as a victory for trade unions.
Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, expressed her anxiety, saying “We are concerned that this decision will encourage frivolous lawsuits by unions against small business owners who refuse to comply.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers also challenged the poster requirement in court.
Economic analysts say that whilst union representation can be a commanding force in favor of a company’s employee, but it could also lull him into a false sense of security. Mediocrity and non-competitiveness could curtail and hinder his growth and progress. In the long-term this could have serious repercussions for America’s ability to compete internationally.