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Why Are We Even Talking About Card Check?

Brian Worth, chairman of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, wrote an excellent editorial for the Washington Post in which he calls into question the need for the misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" (HR 1409/S 560) or even a "compromise" designed to get around the problems with EFCA by proposing mail-in ballots, giving union organizers unlimited access to employees in the workplace, and mandating "quickie" elections. Some of the key points he makes:

  • Unions are not losing secret ballot elections - an analysis of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) data by the Bureau of National Affairs' (BNA) research division (BNA Plus) found that in 2008, unions won 66.8% of the votes and the number of unionization elections held increased (1,579 were held in 2008, compared to 1,519 in 2007);
  • Unions already have significant access to employees - union organizers can visit workers' homes and approach them in public places, so why is there a need to give them unprecedented access to employees in the workplace itself?
  • The amount of time it takes to hold union elections is not cumbersome - the NRLB estimates that the average time to complete a union election was 38 days in 2008 (down from 50 days in 1980).

Bottom line: industry believes in the value of workers and has worked with unions in the past to improve the workplace for their employees. But proposing ill-conceived "solutions" without conclusive evidence of a problem with secret ballot elections is a house of cards.

Posted 05-20-2009 9:49 AM by Sarah Owen
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