Union election petitions surged in the month immediately following the April 14 effective date of the National Labor Relations Board's controversial rule changing its representation case procedures, according to new data from the NLRB that also showed it was taking an average of just over three weeks to reach an election.

From March 13 to April 13, there were 212 petitions for an election lodged with the agency, while the period from April 14 to May 14 saw 280 filings, a 32 percent rise, according to a Wednesday email from NLRB spokeswoman Jessica Kahanek. The median time from petition to election for all representation elections held since April 14 was 23 days, she added.

“That is not an insubstantial increase,” said Ballard Spahr LLP partner Steven Suflas. “I think what employers can take from this is that those unions that are willing to do grass-roots organizing have prepared for this and they're going to be aggressive.”

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