The disingenuously named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is front and center in Congress. EFCA would discard the current system of secret-ballot organizing elections. Unions would no longer have to prove to an employer-through a secret-ballot election supervised by the federal government-that a majority of its employees want union representation. Instead, once union organizers collect cards-signed in public-from a majority of a company’s employees, all of that company’s employees would be forced to join the union without a vote.

Writing recently in The Wall Street Journal, Eugene Scalia noted that the Supreme Court, ruling on a 1995 case about political pamphleteering, called the secret ballot the “hard-won right to vote one’s conscience without fear of retaliation.” Scalia, former solicitor of labor under President George W. Bush, also points out that EFCA’s lead sponsor in the House, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), previously joined 15 colleagues in urging Mexico to recognize that “the secret ballot is absolutely necessary...to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.”

One of the principal proponents of EFCA, Change to Win (Washington, www.changetowin.org) says this about EFCA on its web site: “Landmark bill would empower workers to join together in unions to achieve the American Dream.” The tacit implication seems to be that without EFCA American workers will not be able to organize.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s look at the National Labor Relations Board statement of its purpose (www.nlrb.gov): “The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector. The statute guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from such activity.”

The board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM, Washington), in adopting a resolution opposing EFCA, reiterated its position “that employees should be guaranteed the freedom to join or not join a labor union, without coercion or intimidation.”

In the face of union membership that continues to decline, labor leaders are desperate to get EFCA passed so that union organizers can see which individual workers are voting against union representation. This makes it quite clear that the goal of the unions is not to eliminate employee intimidation. Rather, the goal is to use these so-called “card checks” to gain a monopoly on it.

Scalia sums it up succinctly: “Few Congressional acts will require more hypocrisy than men and women who owe their power and position to the secret ballot, voting to eliminate the secret ballot for workers-and saying they are doing so to protect workers from intimidation.”

Employee Free Choice Act is doublespeak for “Employee No Choice Act.”