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WASHINGTON – Labor regulators are trying once again to streamline the process in which workers decide whether to join labor unions, a move sure to reignite the bitter debate between union advocates and employers that seek to discourage workers from unionizing.

The National Labor Relations Board proposed rules Wednesday that would allow unions to hold workplace elections more quickly by simplifying procedures, setting shorter deadlines and requiring businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and emails to union leaders before an election. That could make it easier for unions to organize and reverse decades of steep membership declines.

The board approved similar rules more than two years ago, but business groups challenged them in court, and a federal judge ruled in 2012 that the NLRB failed to follow proper voting procedures.

The judge did not consider the merits of the rules, leaving the door open for the board to try again.