According to its website (nlrb.gov), the five-member National Labor Relations Board is “an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.” In December, the board quickly overturned several union-friendly rules. This follows the Republican Senate confirmations of two nominees in August and September, and Trump’s selection of Republican Philip Miscimarra as chair. The decisions were quickly pushed through because Miscimarra’s five-year term on the board was to end December 16. Each of the rulings were decided 3-2, with Democrats dissenting. These NLRB decisions include:
- Overturning a 2016 rule requiring settlements to provide a “full remedy” to aggrieved workers.
- Reversing a 2004 decision bolstering workers’ rights to organize free from unlawful employer interference.
- Overturning a 2015 decision holding employers responsible for bargaining with workers if they have indirect control over those workers’ employment or have the ability to exercise control.
- Reversing a 2016 decision safeguarding unionized workers’ rights to bargain over changes in employment terms.
- Overturning a 2011 decision protecting the prerogative of a group of employees within a larger company to form a bargaining unit.
These new rules could affect millions of workers hoping to unionize.