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Group Says Micro Unions Threaten Montana Jobs

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Photo courtesy of Bart Heird/Flickr

A recent decision by The National Labor Relations Board changes the way that workers can unionize inside of healthcare institutions and, some would argue, other realms of business as well.

Opponents of the rule-change say that the new standards will create “micro-unions” that could frustrate employers and pit employees against one another as they bid for special benefits. For example, instead of all of the workers in a given institution having to unionize together, now the workers can unionize by trade (i.e. secretaries, administrators, clerks, all banding together in separate groups).

A provision to roll back the new unionization rules has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, but so far has had no traction in the U.S. Senate.

The Coalition to Protect Montana Jobs issued this release discussing its position on this intensely political issue:

Helena, MT – The Coalition to Protect Montana Jobs (CPMTJ) today released statements urging members of the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, which is chaired by Congressman Denny Rehberg, to stop micro-unions, which were authorized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in its Specialty Healthcare decision. The subcommittee can address the matter by disallowing funding in the FY 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill.

The coalition also noted Senator Jon Tester recently decided to stand with labor bosses in Washington, D.C., and against employees and employers in Montana when he opposed an amendment defunding micro-unions in the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations as it considered the Fiscal Year 2013 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

“We are hopeful the U.S. House will address the issue of micro-unions, which threaten Montana employers. The truth is President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has turned established union organizing practices completely upside down,” said Chuck Denowh, spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Montana Jobs (CPMTJ). “Micro-unions allow for multiple collective bargaining units in a single workplace and they’re bad for employees, bad for employers, but good for labor bosses.”

The micro-union rule was established in the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision and would allow for numerous unions to form in the same workplace and with as few as two or three employees. It presents new problems for workers in that it would create division, discord and disharmony in the workplace, and it would create new management problems for employers as they attempt to negotiate with multiple collective bargaining units.

“Montana workers and small businesses are watching closely to see if Congress can put an end to the job-killing decisions made by government bureaucrats,” said Max Hunsaker, executive director of the Montana Business Leadership Council. “The U.S. House working to put a stop to micro-unions in its appropriations bill would be an important step toward establishing confidence among employers so they can start the process of rebuilding our economy. Unfortunately, we already know we cannot rely on Senator Tester to stand with us on this important issue.”

The Coalition to Protect Montana Jobs is an organization committed to protecting jobs in Montana and standing up for the workers and small businesses in the state that grow the economy and create opportunities.

 


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