Remember the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)? All the media commotion about clunkers and health care reform has diverted coverage of this deceptively named legislation off the front pages, but don’t think for a nanosecond that big labor has given up on it.
EFCA would eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections and also deny employees a vote on a contract by imposing binding arbitration if companies and newly formed unions can’t agree within 120 days of bargaining.
According to recent reports in The Wall Street Journal, several unions are significantly in debt and their pension funds are underfunded as well. Little wonder that big labor is eager to have Congress rig the rules to gain more dues-paying members, especially because workers have repeatedly shown via the secret ballot that they don’t want a union.
The most contentious element of EFCA-and the source of the strongest opposition-is the so-called “card check” rule that would allow workers to unionize by simply signing a card instead of by a secret-ballot vote. One proposed compromise would keep the secret ballot but slash the time for an organizing vote, leaving companies less time to explain their side of the story. Congressional supporters and the AFL-CIO aren’t giving up on binding arbitration at all, and they seem to hope that if they drop the unpopular secret ballot ban they can push EFCA through.
EFCA is not a free choice by any stretch of the imagination. Card check by any other name will be a job killer, and Congress should not play this card trick on American manufacturing, American business and-ultimately-American taxpayers.