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The Death of Secret Ballot Elections in the Workplace

Published by on March 10, 2009

According to the OpenCongress blog (here), the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is expected to be introduced in the House and Senate today.  Unfortunately, there is nothing “free” about the EFCA, which would put an end to secret ballot elections for union representation in the workplace.  More after the break. We previously commented on the […]

According to the OpenCongress blog (here), the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is expected to be introduced in the House and Senate today.  Unfortunately, there is nothing “free” about the EFCA, which would put an end to secret ballot elections for union representation in the workplace.  More after the break.

We previously commented on the EFCA here — Prepare Now for the Employee Free Choice Act.  The Wall Street Journal has an article today here on the wavering support for the bill in the Senate.

Here is the OpenCongress blog summary of the legislation:

Some of the other big news of the week will be tomorrow’s introduction (in both chambers) of the Employee Free Choice Act. At stake is the practice of card check, one of the ways employees can organize a labor union under existing law. However, the National Labor Relations Board will only certify those unions that are organized by secret ballot.

The Employee Free Choice Act would modify the card check provision, requiring the NLRB to certify unions if a majority of employees sign a card supporting the formation of a union. Pro-union advocates say the existing process of organizing by secret ballot leaves employees open to intimidation by employers, while opponents claim employees’ rights to a secret ballot would be stripped away. Both sides are weighing in heavily with advertising, and there is speculation there are not enough votes in the Senate to approve the bill.

We’ll get the bill online as soon as possible, but you can see last year’s version (which is identical in scope) and read about the efforts surrounding the EFCA in the 110th Congress at the OpenCongress Wiki.

Several blogs have posts on this topic this week:

Connecticut Employment Law Blog

Manpower Employment Law Blawg and here also.

We will post updates on the EFCA as it moves forward.

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