Ambush Elections: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Regardless upon which side of the argument you sit, the statistics of the first 150 days post-ambush elections will help your argument. Management lawyers argue that the dire warnings were well founded. Pro-labor law reformists say the warnings were much ado about nothing. You should make up your own mind after learning the stats.

Union election petitions are up 9% and decertification petitions are down about 9%. Median days between the filing of an election petition and the election (with election agreement) is down from 37 days to 23 and (with directed election) down from 65 to 30, respectively. Median size of units shrunk from 28 to 23 workers. The percent of union election cases the union won dipped from 69% to 68% and the percent of decertification cases the union won remained the same at 40%.

So what’s your conclusion? Mine is that the data validates the predictions that the new processes will result in a shorter time frame in which employers do not really have time to prepare a campaign. This lack of time forces employers to prepare a counter-campaign even if they aren’t certain they will ever need it.

Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at