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Proposed labor rules would make unionizing faster, easier

Q&A with Charlie Plumb

The Oklahoman - June 28, 2011

McAfee & Taft labor and employment attorney Charlie Plumb was featured in The Oklahoman discussing recently released proposed rules by the National Labor Relations Board. According to the NLRB, several amendments are designed to modernize the unionization process, reduce litigation, and facilitate the use of electronic communications and document filing. These could ultimately allow for quicker elections, which in a practical sense favor organized labor, Plumb explained to The Oklahoman.

"Currently, once a union has obtained enough employee signatures to call for an election, there is a 45- to 60-day period before employee voting occurs to determine whether the workplace will be unionized. This 'campaign period' is the best opportunity for an employer to explain the disadvantages of collective bargaining and unionization. While the proposed rules don't include any specific deadlines for an election to occur after a petition has been filed by a union, they do specify reduced time frames for pre-election filings, information exchange and hearings," said Plumb.

Manufacturing, health care sectors, and casinos are likely Oklahoma industries  that are targeted for unionization. Plumb advises employers in any industry who want to stay nonunion to be watchful of union organizing efforts. Educating and training all supervisors and management is also important.

You can read the entire article here.