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The trucking industry has reacted vocally to a National Labor Relations Board rulemaking requiring motor carriers to display information about their employees rights to unionize.
There has been widely disparate reactions from industry insiders in response to a new rulemaking by the National Labor Relations Board. The new rules require that employers post information about the right to unionize along side other mandatory postings (such as disability and minimum wage laws).
What are the New Rules?
Employers will now be required to display a standard posting informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
When do They Go Into Effect?
Employers are required to begin posting the notices on November 14, 2011.
Where do I get the Posting?
The posters (11x17s) will be provided for free by your NLRB local office. Alternatively, you can download them from the NLRB website (www.NLRB.gov).
Are the Postings Available in Other Languages?
Yes. If you need a translated version of the posting, contact your local NLRB office. Note: If your workforce is at least 20% non- English speaking, you are required to post a translated copy.
Does Every Company Have to Post this Notice?
According to the NLRB:
“The posting requirement applies to all private-sector employers (including labor unions) subject to the National Labor Relations Act, which excludes agricultural, railroad and airline employers.”
The US Postal Service is also exempt from the rule, per comments made during the rulemaking process.
Do I Need to Keep any Paperwork Regarding the Notice?
No. There is no record keeping requirement.
What Happens If I Don’t Post the Notice?
If you don’t post the notice, you will technically be committing an unfair labor practice under the NLRA. Note, however, the following from the NLRB website:
The Board expects that, in most cases, employers who fail to post the notice are unaware of the rule and will comply when requested by a Board agent. In such cases, the unfair labor practice case will typically be closed without further action. The Board also may extend the 6-month statute of limitations for filing a charge involving other unfair labor practice allegations against the employer. If an employer knowingly and willfully fails to post the notice, the failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.
The NLRB does not have the authority to levey fines against non-compliant employers.
What Has the Industry Reaction Been?
The Teamsters have applauded the legislation. However, trucking associations, including the ATA, and other business groups, have come out en-masse against it.
In comments to the NLRB during the rulemaking process, ATA wrote the following:
“In an industry that has seen several of its unionized carriers fail in the past decade, this outright promotion of union interests is a threat to the hundreds of thousands of carriers that remain vital to the country’s economic recovery,”
Others outside the industry opposed the rulemaking as well. “Just when we thought we had seen it all from the NLRB, it has reached a new low in its zeal to punish small-business owners,” Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Legal Center, said in a statement.
On the other hand, Teamsters president James Hoffa cheered the ruling. In a statement he said:
“Employers have only one reason to oppose this rule: They don’t want their workers to know about their legal protections and fundamental right to organize into [a] union.”
Independent Review of CSA is In. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) independently evaluated of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program’s Operational Model Test (Op-Model Test) on August 31, 2011. The review was generally favorable:
Court Smacks FMCSA Over EOBR Rule. A Federal Court of Appeals has rejected a 2010 FMCSA rule requiring that truckers with a problematic history of hours-of-service violations be forced to use an EOBR. That rule had been scheduled to go into effect in 2012 but was rejected on grounds that it does not protect against harassment of individual truck drivers. The court also stated that it was likely to find other issues with the rule in the future.
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