Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Employee Free Choice Act - Redux

The proposed Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") may be making a comeback. The bill was passed last year by the House of Representatives, but never became law. Based on what I've gleaned from recent news, EFCA stands a good chance of reclamation if the Democrats win the White House in November.

EFCA is a bill supported by organized labor which could reverse the downward trend of steadily declining union membership by, among other things, allowing workers to bypass union elections and organize if a majority of them sign union authorization cards. In that circumstance, employers would be compelled to submit to binding arbitration if a collective bargaining agreement were not in place within 120 days. Not only would this force compulsory unionism upon employers, but it would change the landscape completely by eliminating the six week window period between a union's filing for an election and the actual vote. In essence, employers would be unable to engage in informational campaigns designed to persuade workers to vote against union membership. Given the shenanigans that some unions use currently (and have used historically) to convince workers to sign authorization cards, it appears that EFCA's card check provision will serve only to foster dubious worker authorizations without giving employers the chance to confirm their authenticity through elections conducted and monitored by the National Labor Relations Board.

Scary stuff for all employers, indeed.

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