With passage of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) growing more in doubt, organized labor and its Congressional allies are resorting to pushing the claim that the bill would not actually do away with secret ballot elections in union organizing, but only offer employees an alleged choice between secret ballots and card check, whereby they sign union cards out in the open.
As I noted yesterday, this is a rhetorical sleight of hand, based on that EFCA does not explicitly outlaw secret ballots, ignoring the fact that it makes secret ballot elections a dead letter. In today’s Wall Street Journal, former labor solicitor Eugene Scalia drives home that point, along with the many other problems with EFCA:
Under EFCA, employers could no longer insist that unions wishing to represent their employees prove they have majority support through a secret-ballot election. Instead, as soon as a union collects “authorization cards” from a majority of employees, it can insist on immediate recognition as their exclusive bargaining representative. Unions could still ask for secret-ballot elections, but they seldom if ever would do so.
Under EFCA, union organizers will have no incentive to submit cards to the National Labor Relations Board before they’ve gotten 50 percent-plus-one of employees to sign union cards, at which point the NLRB would be required to recognize the union as those employees’ exclusive bargaining agent. Importantly, the union can keep going back to employees until they’ve gotten the number of signed cards it needs for certification.