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Public Policy

How union organizers are targeting retail (and what you can do about it)

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The retail industry is an economic and jobs machine, supporting over 28 million Americans who are employed in warehouses, distribution centers, back offices and storefronts across the country.

With only about 5 percent average unionization, retailers are low-hanging fruit for union organizers.

Unions and their well-funded operatives in Washington, D.C. have been aggressively pushing to overturn long-established federal labor relations law before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an unelected regulatory body, in hopes of organizing growing services sectors and industries like retail.

Over the past few months, the NLRB has been making decision after decision tilting the scales in favor of big labor at the expense of small business owners, job creators and retailers.

From allowing specific employees within a given department the ability to organize “micro-unions” to reducing the time frame for union elections, known as “ambush elections,” the NLRB has been pushing big labor’s agenda. These activities have created great uncertainty and unease for retailers and small businesses.

But that may change…This week the U.S. Senate will vote to overturn NLRB’s “ambush election” rule before it takes effect on April 30.

The rule unnecessarily reduces the time frame for union organizing elections to as little as 14 days, and unfairly restricts the rights of employers and employees.

In effect, the rule forces workers to make a lasting career decision without knowing all of the relevant facts and consequences of joining a union and limits employers' ability to present their side.

NRF believes that when a union proposes organizing a workplace, employers should be given a fair opportunity to present their side of the case – an opportunity that is taken away by “ambush elections."

That’s why we’ve encouraged our members to get involved and support the Senate’s vote.

A vote for S.J. Res. 36 is a vote for economic certainty for small businesses, job creators, and retailers.