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Poultry Groups Oppose Changes to Workers Representation Rules

09 April 2014

US - Poultry organisations in the US have hit out at new rules being put forward by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to change the procedures for employees in the industry can decide on union representation.

The poultry groups claim the new rules will promote “quickie elections” which they fear will increase the likelihood of litigation through the federal courts.

In a letter to the NLRB the groups, including the US Poultry and Egg Association, the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation, said: “Our associations oppose the proposed regulation as drafted and respectfully request that the Board decline to adopt the proposed rules.
“The proposed rules favor "rushed" elections over due process in a manner only likely to increase litigation in the federal appeals courts.
“Further, the proposed rules totally fail to consider other measures to expedite the election process while at the same time allowing voters time to consider the issues.”
Collectively, the three organisations represent 95 per cent of the nation’s poultry products, and their members generate more than 1.3 million total US jobs.

The proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on 6 February.

The groups said that although the current procedures result in elections held within an average of 38 days, the proposed rules favour “rushed” elections and make other unreasonable changes in the unionisation process.

The poultry industry groups identified 23 issues with the proposed rule and they said that many of these “carry the unmistakable appearance of a denial of due process and certainly will serve to increase litigation and delay timely elections rather than speed the election process”.

“Limiting the time period to seven days between the Notice of Hearing and the hearing presents an almost impossible sequence of events to satisfy timely,’ commented the Joint Poultry Industry Human Resources Council.

“There are no provisions in the National Labor Relations Act or the regulations that require “rushed” elections, although there are many provisions requiring “fair” elections. The proposed changes do not meet that goal.”


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