Save the Secret Ballot for Workers in Union Elections

Help Defeat the Employee Free Choice Act – “card check” bill

Organized labor is seeking the most important change in federal law since passage of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) – the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"). The passage of this legislation is big labor’s top federal legislative priority.

The EFCA would make sweeping changes to existing labor law. First, the EFCA would effectively deny workers their right to a secret ballot when deciding whether to be represented by a union. The private ballot would be replaced with a “card check” scheme where a union is organized if a majority of workers simply sign a card – in the full view of union bosses, co-workers and the employer. Second, employers would be denied the opportunity to express to workers an alternative point of view to the union organizers’ arguments. Third, EFCA will impose first contracts through mandatory arbitration where the parties are unable to rapidly agree on the terms of such agreements – denying both the workers and the company the right to vote on the terms of the contract.

While agricultural field workers are not subject to the provisions of the NLRA, workers in many other agricultural jobs do fall under the provisions of the NLRA. Workers in packing plants, processing plants, and cooling facilities; workers in trucking and transportation; workers who handle commodities of multiple farmers; and workers at many other off-the-farm worksites would be subject to the EFCA. The general business community has mobilized to defeat the EFCA. Agriculture for a Democratic Workplace is a coalition of agricultural associations and organizations determined to protect private ballots in union organizing elections for all workers.


Binding Arbitration’s Early Victims

If you’re not sure about how the binding arbitration sections of the Employee Free Choice Act could affect America’s struggling economy, take a look at Michigan and Massachusetts.

That’s what Forbes columnist Shikha Dalmia did in a Wall Street Journal op-ed over the weekend, and she found that binding arbitration rules in those states devastated their economies. Here’s what she writes about Michigan:


"Card Check" May Be Out–But EFCA Remains Dangerous

According to late reports from Washington, D.C., the Senate is planning to drop the "card check" provision from the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"). Although the anticipated rewrite represents a major victory for advocates of employee and management rights, the decision to jettison the card check provision may turn out to be a political calculation to force passage of equally troubling proposals that change the way workers organize. EFCA could pose more of a threat than ever before.


Even With Sen. Franken, Employee Free Choice Act Is Stuck

The arrival of Al Franken is encouraging supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act, but the bill remains stuck in the Senate. Franken has signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill and announced as much to cheers at an AFL-CIO event in his honor on Tuesday night. But the problem that's plagued the bill for months still remains: 60 Democrats don't support it and the Republicans are determined to filibuster the measure, which has united the business community like nothing else in recent memory.