NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Can Unions Use their Company Email for Union Business?

November 14, 2014

In 2007, the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees most private sector union elections and resolves labor disputes, ruled that employees did not have a right to use their employers' email systems to communicate with one another about ways to improve their working conditions.

But now, according to Melanie Trottman at the Wall Street Journal, the NLRB is reconsidering that decision after a union in California claimed company email restrictions violated their rights.  

Unions want the NLRB to overturn its 2007 policy, insisting that email is centrally important to modern-day communication. The unions' position is that when the employer grants access to its email system, employees should be able to use the system to communicate about workplace conditions and union efforts. Businesses, however, are opposed to the use of their systems for union communication; according to Trottman, allowing unions to use company email could make workers less productive, insisting that the businesses themselves have a right not to be forced to communicate others' messages.

Source: Melanie Trottman, "Email at Work: Unions Await Key Ruling," WSJ.COM, November 9, 2014.


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