Here are the top political and regulatory stories that will directly impact your business and the merit shop.
Senate Unveils Immigration Reform Bill
On Wednesday, the bipartisan so-called “Gang of Eight” of U.S. Senators unveiled their immigration overhaul package, a product of months of closed-door negotiations with business groups and big labor. The bill is intended to address the status of millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, provide new enforcement measures, and restructure our nation’s guest worker program. The proposal has received a lukewarm reception at best, with some business groups concerned about the bill’s ability to meet their workforce needs.
IEC Legislative Brief: Potential Impacts of the Sequester on IEC Members
On March 1, 2013, federal agencies will see an across-the-board automatic spending reduction take effect. The initial cut of $85 billion will occur immediately and apply equally to defense and non-defense spending, with cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over a 10 year period. However, many large mandatory programs (such as Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and low-income services) are exempt from the cuts. As a result of these cuts, federal agencies may be forced to reprioritize, down-size projects and staff, and even terminate programs.
Recess Appointments to the NLRB Unconstitutional
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the U.S. Constitution when he appointed members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a Senate recess. IEC actively opposed the appointments and applauds the Appeals Court's decision (Official case name is Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board).
IEC Supports Congress' Challenge to the NLRB's New Election Rules
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate announced they will file a challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new union election rule. The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) supports this legislation and is requesting that Congress move quickly.
“Since its inception, the election rule has been severely flawed,” said IEC National Executive Vice President/CEO Thayer Long. “It was an attempt to fix a system that was not broken. The NLRB’s hastened union election process does not allow workers sufficient time to hear all options and make an informed decision. IEC supports the challenge to this rule.”
Federal Court Delays NLRB Poster Requirement
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has granted an injunction regarding the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) mandate requiring employers to post a notice advising employees of certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act. This rule was scheduled to take effect April 30, 2012.
The Court of Appeals granted this injunction following a federal district court's decision in South Carolina late last week that ruled the NLRB overextended their authority in mandating such a requirement. The decision was in response to an appeal filed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and the US Chamber of Commerce, both of which IEC is a member.
U.S. District Court Overturns NLRB Union Election Rule
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) rule to significantly speed up the union election process. The highly controversial rule, which previously took effect on April 30, was opposed by IEC and many other groups. It is widely viewed as detrimental to both employees and management as it significantly shortens the amount of time employees have to gather facts and make an informed decision on if they want union representation.
IEC Opposes the President's Recess Appointments to the NLRB
On January 4, 2012, in a constitutionally questionable move, President Obama recess appointed three Members to the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB). This announcement bypasses the U.S. Senate confirmation process for presidential nominations.
“We are extremely disappointed that the President has chosen to circumvent the American people’s ability to fully vet and consider these appointments,” said Thayer Long, IEC’s Executive Vice-President/CEO. “This move robs Congress with the responsibility and obligation to provide a check to the authority of the Executive Branch.”