Having to deal with a unionization effort is challenging enough, but having to do it a second time after a narrow success would be truly taxing.
Yet, Danbury Hospital is faced with exactly this task.
Specifically, Danbury Hospital’s workforce voted 346 for and 390 against joining AFT Connecticut, which is a union comprised of teachers, nurses, and other healthcare workers. However, last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — the federal agency responsible for the implementation of the National Labor Relations Act — set aside these results and ordered a re-run election. The reason for this development was that the NLRB concluded that the hospital had violated a recent amendment to its rules requiring employers to provide available personal e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for employees included on a voter list.
When a petition is filed with the NLRB seeking to form or join a union, the employer must comply with a number of requirements with short deadlines, such as compiling and providing a voter list. A voter list contains specific information about all employees who would be included in the proposed union if the unionization effort is successful, as these are the employees who get to vote on whether or not to unionize. After the petition is filed, the proposed union and the employer may agree to put the matter to a vote by entering into an election agreement, or may have the NLRB decide whether or not a vote should occur.
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