WASHINGTON — Employers, including union and non-union bus companies, covered by the National Labor Relations Act must now post notices on bulletin boards informing employees they have a right under federal law to organize and be represented by a labor union.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued that final ruling last week after concluding many workers are not aware of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

If employers communicate with employees regarding personnel issues via the Internet or an internal company Intranet, they must also post the notice on those sites, ruled the NLRB.

The New York Times reported that this is the first time, since passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, that employers have been ordered to post notices about employee rights to organize.

“This rule ensures that workers’ rights are effectively communicated in the workplace,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka. “It is necessary in the face of widespread misunderstanding about the law and many workers’ justified fear of exercising their rights under it.”

The ruling does not affect railroads or airlines as they are covered by the Railway Labor Act, which is administered by a separate federal agency, the National Mediation Board.

WASHINGTON – In a move organized labor has long pushed for, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) June 21 proposed new representation-vote rules that will speed-up the voting process and give more transparency to employer actions intended to discourage a “union, yes” vote.

NLRB rulings impact UTU Bus Department members. Rail and airline labor relations are administered by the National Mediation Board.

The NLRB ruling – intended to reduce time-consuming litigation prior to a rep vote, and ensure information about organizing drives is disseminated more quickly — is open for public comment for 75 days, after which the NLRB is expected to issue a final rule.

“The UTU has long been pushing for transparency and streamlining of the rep-vote process,” said UTU National Legislative Director James Stem. “This will restore some level of integrity to the rep-vote process, which has been subject to manipulation by employers.”

Under the proposed rule, employers no longer would be able to delay rep-votes through legal challenges over which employees are eligible to vote. Instead, such litigation would be allowed only after the rep-vote has taken place.

Additionally, the NLRB proposes to allow electronic filing of authorization cards and requests for a rep-vote; and a requirement that employers provide, in a timely manner to union organizers, a voter list of all employees, including phone numbers and email addresses.

The NLRB also proposes that employers disclose the identity of all consultants hired to provide “advice” to the employer on how to respond to organizing drives, or who write materials used by the employer to communicate with workers about the organizing drive. Currently, employers need only provide the identity of consultants who communicate directly with workers.