Legislation Targets Ambush Election Rule: Ben James of Law360 ($$) writes that yesterday, Republicans in both the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation designed to counter the National Labor Relations Board’s proposal to speed up union elections. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman John Kline (R-MN) both stated that the bills were necessary to balance the scales because "this administration has lunged . . . to the side of union advocacy."
“The Obama NLRB is on a mission to rush union elections that will stifle employers’ free speech and cripple workers’ free choice,”added Kline. “At a recent meeting with board Chairman Mark Pearce, we laid out our concerns with the proposal and its consequences for workers and job creators. However, it’s exceedingly obvious the board is determined to advance this radical scheme no matter the damage inflicted on our nation’s workplaces."
The "ambush election" regulations were reintroduced in February of this year. The regulations mirror in form and substance similar regulations that were proposed in 2011, but that were later deemed invalid by a federal court.
NYTimes Op Ed Argues College Football Is A Job: The Editorial Board of the New York Times argues that "Playing College Football Is A Job." Instead of being "student-athletes," the article contends, the football players are employees of the university. The players practice up to 60 hours a week during training camp, then spend up to 50 hours a week on football during the season.
It is important to note that this week’s ruling from a regional director of the NLRB is just the first step in what will in all probability be a long legal battle. Northwestern has already vowed to appeal the decision. We will make sure to keep you posted every step of the way.
UGA Football Reacts To Northwestern Decision: Marc Weiszer of Online Athens writes that the University of Georgia football team has been paying very close attention to their Northwestern colleagues’ battle to form a labor union. Linebacker Ramik Wilson has gone a step further than the Northwestern players however, arguing that players should be paid a salary.
"We’re out here risking our bodies, going hard and practicing in the hot sun every day,” Wilson said. “I think we should get some type of reward for it and get paid for it. … We need something because any play we could tear our ACL out there or break our neck. We’re putting our life on the line for their entertainment for Saturday.”
Unfortunately for Wilson and company, even if the regional director’s decision to allow the Northwestern players to unionize holds up, the decision only applies to private universities. As a public university, Georgia would not be affected by the ruling. Further, Georgia is a "right to work" state, which would make any attempt to organize far more difficult.