U.S. businesses, unions await key ruling

Unions could gain access to internal communications systems
By Sabrina Nanji
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 11/24/2014

We all, at one point or another, have been or will be guilty of it — wasting time at work.

But reading recipes to plan a dinner menu are blemishes every employer, within reason, will pardon. Organizing employees for a union drive or using a company’s internal system in an effort to raise wages, however, falls outside the purview of policies at many organizations.

In the United States, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering whether employers should allow employees to use internal communications systems (think email, instant messaging) to discuss employment conditions. It is a move that could give unions a powerful bargaining and organizing device.