THE AYES HAD IT: WELL, NOT THIS TIME

From the desk of Steve Cabot: It must be very frustrating for the Obama administration when its relentless campaign to radically “transform” America is delayed or diverted by the rule of law. It happened just last month, and whether by accident or arrogance, it was good news for anyone in favor of fair elections.

You may recall that in December 2011, three days before Christmas, the NLRB published a rule that amended the procedures for processing union representation cases. The most notable – and for many, the most egregious – stipulation shortened the time period between the filing of a petition and the actual vote. These so-called “quickie elections” allowed employers only a few days to make their case to their workers, thereby giving unions a significant (and patently unfair) organizing advantage.

The rule went into effect April 30, 2012, but was challenged in a suit brought in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC by the Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. On May 14th, finding for the plaintiffs, Judge James Boasberg agreed that the Board had lacked the “statutorily required quorum” when it adopted the rule. Thus denied, the NLRB was forced to rescind the measure and return to the status quo ante.

But how had this happened? With its bulletproof, two-out-of-three majority, the pro-labor members of the Board had the power to dictate policy – and yet had been foiled at a critical moment by their ignorance or inattention. Quite simply, in their holiday haste, the two had failed to solicit the vote of the Board’s third member, Brian Hayes, and without a quorum, their rule was rendered null and void.

It’s obvious that serendipity is not a reliable strategy for resisting the regulatory excesses of this administration, which is why many of my clients – and much of America – are are laser-focused on November 6, 2012.

Hope and change, redefined.

expert labor relations advice