APNewsBreak: Rules would speed up union elections

By SAM HANANEL | June 21, 2011 | 3:14 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor regulators are set to propose sweeping new rules that would dramatically shorten up the time frame for union elections.

The move could make it easier for struggling unions to organize new members, and give businesses much less time to mount anti-union campaigns.

The National Labor Relations Board plans to announce the new rules on Tuesday. The Associated Press obtained an early copy.

Most labor elections take place within 45-60 days after a union gathers enough signatures to file a petition. The new plan could cut that time by days or even weeks — depending on the case — by simplifying procedures, deferring litigation and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings.

Republicans and business groups are expected to strongly oppose the move.