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United Federation of Special
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Legal Update



     The National Labor Relations Board has announced that the Labor Board's election processes have been modified to incorporate the display of an American flag at all Agency-conducted representational elections.  This new element of the election process is based on the belief that the display of an American flag will impress upon all the participants to elections - employers, unions, and most importantly voters - the solemnity and importance of the Agency's election process.  General Counsel Meisburg noted that some of these voters, including new immigrants to our country, may be participating in free and fair elections for the first time.  At the conclusion of what may be a contentious period of electioneering prior to balloting, these voters, like all participants and observers, should be reminded that the Agency's impartial election processes are guaranteed by the full force of the Federal Government.  Field personnel conducting Agency elections will supply the flag and be trained in flag etiquette.  The display of the American flag will in no way delay or otherwise impede the election process.

In announcing the new procedure, General Counsel Ronald Meisburg stated:


Display of the flag will lend dignity to the election process and communicate to all participants that they are involved in an official activity of the Government of the United States.  For many of the voters in our election, voting in a secret-ballot NLRB election may be their first experience with the democratic process. For all employees who cast ballots for or against union representation, our elections present an important opportunity to emphasize that the Government is truly serious about the promise of employee free choice guaranteed by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

      The Weingarten Decision in the public sector was over-ruled by the NewYork State Court of Appeals.  The wording although similar in the New York State Civil Service Law is not the same as in the National Labor Relations Act and therefore Weingarten does not protect public sector employees.  In future contract negotiations a protection for employees who request representation by Union representatives has to be spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement.  The NLRA protects our members in the private sector.  By now each of our members should have received their “Weingarten Rights Cards”.  If you have not received your card, ask your union steward or Business Agent.