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National Restaurant Association - Micro-union decision alarms employers

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Micro-union decision alarms employers

The National Restaurant Association this week joined with other business organizations in encouraging Congress to deny the National Labor Relations Board funds to implement a controversial decision that could allow unions to organize in the smallest units possible.

The NRA is concerned that the NLRB's controversial 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare -- currently under review in two federal appeals courts -- takes a new approach to determining bargaining units within a business. The decision overturns more than 50 years of precedent to allow unions to organize sub-segments of a workplace, business groups argue.

"The decision in this case allows unions to gerrymander a workplace to create micro-unions," the NRA and other leading business associations told Senate Appropriations Committee leaders in a June 12 letter. "For example, under the micro-union decision, organizers could cherry-pick a small segment of employees within one department of one location and target them in an organizing campaign."

The NRA believes that fragmented bargaining units can hinder employer flexibility, make it harder to cross-train employees, and hurt business efficiency.

The business groups said they supported an effort by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to get the Senate Appropriations panel to restrict NLRB funding to implement the Specialty Healthcare decision. However, Graham's amendment to restrict NLRB funds fell short June 14 on a 15-15 tie vote.

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