It’s not the biggest issue to be sure, but one thing that’s likely to come up early next year is the Employee Free Choice Act, otherwise known as card check. There’s some decent arguments for and against it, to be sure, but naturally The Corner can’t manage to wind up on one. Here’s Peter Kirsanow warning you about how bad it will be:
EFCA is arguably the most profound change in labor law in 70 years. Most of the focus has been on the “card check” provision. That provision substantially dispenses with secret ballot representation elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Instead, unions need only present authorization cards signed by a majority of bargaining unit employees to be certified as the collective bargaining representative.
Obviously, this makes union organization far easier. The number of unionized workers has declined significantly over the last 50 years. In the mid-fifties 39% of private sector workers were unionized. By 1980, the percentage had shrunk to 23.6. Presently, only 7.5% of private sector workers are unionized. That figure promises to jump appreciably after EFCA is enacted. It’s not unreasonable to project that union organization rates could return to 1980 levels.
Oh noes! 1980 level union membership! It will be the ends of teh worldz!!
Of course, as you could probably guess, this is all based on a wildly exaggerated premise, that card check is “arguably the most profound change to labor laws in 70 years.” Here’s the truth; “card check” already exists. There are currently 2 ways to get a union certified, either go through the NLRB election process, or have a majority of workers sign a card approving the union, card check. The hitch is that the latter is only permissible if your employer agrees to it, which they never do. The NLRB process is long and cumbersome, giving the employer lots of time to put together mandatory “information sessions” in which they will “inform” you that unions will lead to lower wages, stores closing, layoffs, and yur kids getting cancer. Of course, most of this is illegal, but it’s also very effective. And the flip side is that, if they do break the law, the NLRB penalties are light enough that they’re much more cost effective for the employer than a successful union drive. Which you’d expect, after all, since the employer is naturally going to do what’s in their best interest.
The concern for the “secret ballot” is a red herring. All the EFCA does is give the choice of whether or not to use card check to labor instead of employers. The only way for the secret ballot to be dispensed with is if a majority of workers will sign a card saying yes to the union, which sort of makes “secret ballots” beside the point anyway doesn’t it? I mean, if a majority of workers will publicly vote yes on a union, why would a secret ballot be any different?
But, as you might expect, the anti-EFCA movement is funded, almost in its entirety, by business interests. Apparently there aren’t a lot of workers concerned about the secrecy of their ballots.