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NLRB Blocks State Anti-Worker Amendments


February 11, 2011

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The National Labor Relations Board has informed the attorneys generals of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah that anti-worker rights amendments passed in those states last November are preempted by federal labor law and therefore void.

The board advised state officials that if they implement the so-called secret ballot amendments – which ban the use of voluntary majority sign-up in union elections – they would be subject to a federal lawsuit to prevent them from enforcing the laws.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, private-sector employees have two options when it comes to joining a union. They can petition for a secret-ballot election or they can persuade their employer to voluntary recognize the union after workers show majority support through signed authorization cards.

Anti-union groups in the four states placed the secret-vote measures on the ballot in hopes of preemptively spiking the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed federal legislation which would remove many of the obstacles to workers joining a union.

Says Phoenix Local 387 member and Arizona AFL-CIO Executive Director Rebekah Friend:

The NLRB confirmed what we have long said about Proposition 113 [Arizona’s secret-ballot initiative]: this anti-worker measure is unconstitutional and will not be able to take effect. Proposition 113 was simply a publicity stunt by corporate-backed group to promote some national agenda, and has no place in our state’s constitution.

Click here to read the NLRB’s release.