On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted to move forward with portions of a union election rule after the board’s only Republican member showed up to vote in opposition.
Democratic members of the labor board, Chairman Mark Pearce and Craig Becker, voted to advance the proposal, and Brian Hayes, a Republican, voted no. There was some speculation that Hayes would throw a wrench into the vote by simply refusing to participate, as he has threatened recently to resign over the union election rule.
Labor unions say the new rule will help reduce delays in union elections, but business groups argue it gives employers little time to talk to their employees about unionization before voting takes place, according to The Hill.
Hayes said that the Democratic members of the NLRB locked him out of the deliberations over the union rule in a bid to pass it by the end of the year.
The NLRB did not consider the full union election rule Wednesday, and voted only on portions that limit litigation surrounding union elections. The members of the NLRB must finish voting on other measures concerning the rule by the end of the year because Becker’s appointment expires at the end of the year. When Becker’s time is up or if Hayes resigns, it would leave the board with only two members, denying it the three-member quorum required for rules votes by a 2010 Supreme Court decision.