To say that Washington is a busy place this summer is an understatement.  Congress is still negotiating a deal to bring energy and climate change legislation to the floor.  Numerous Senate and House committees are combing their way through hundreds of pages of legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system. The Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations process is in full swing.  The House of Representatives even held 53 votes on Thursday.  Yep, busy.

With all of the focus on these high-profile issues, you may think that the infamous "Employee Free Choice Act" (HR 1409/S 560), aka "card check," has fallen by the wayside.  It hasn't.

In fact, negotiations on potential "compromises" are going strong.   And the variations on EFCA being considered are, in many respects, just as troubling as the original version (which substitutes secret ballot elections with a card check system and imposes mandatory binding arbitration oh employers and unions that fail to achieve consensus on contract terms within a specified time period).  The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) published a summary of possible variations, a few of which include–

  • "quick snap" elections (calling for elections within just a few days after organizers submit the necessary amount of authorization cards)
  • increased access to employees (in the workplace, at their homes, etc.)
  • "postcard check" (card check system implemented via the mail)
  • "baseball-style" government arbitration (allowing government arbitrators to accept the "last and best" offer from both parties, at which point the arbitrator chooses the proposal deemed most reasonable)

The timing for bringing a bill to the Senate floor is unknown, but there is pressure to do so this summer.  Stay tuned for more details…

 


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