The Real Estate Roundtable is opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) because it would strip Americans of the right to a secret ballot and replace it with a system where an employee’s vote is made public to employers, union organizers and co-workers.
The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), better known as the "Card Check" bill, was introduced in the United States Congress in 2005 and was passed by the House of Representatives on March 1, 2007. While the Card Check Bill was blocked in the Senate in 2007, it remains a top legislative priority for organized labor.
A March 2009 study entitled An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications
by noted economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar shows that unionization of 1.5 million existing jobs under EFCA in year one would lead to the loss of 600,000 jobs by the following year. Job losses directly attributed to the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act would be equal to the entire population of Boston, MA. View the full report by Dr. Layne-Farrar
The study complements a recent report by renowned legal scholar Richard A
. Epstein that challenges claims made by supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Published by the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, the study enumerates the countless risks to job creation, small businesses and overall economic growth that would result from this legislation. More information on the study, entitled, "The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act" is available here
George McGovern – former Representative, Senator and Democratic presidential nominee – wrote an opinon piece against Card Check that appeared in the August 8, 2008 issue of The Wall Street Journal
The Real Estate Roundtable is a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace
(CDW). CDW is a coalition of workers, employers, associations and organizations who are fighting to protect the right to a federally supervised private ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to join a union.
With union special interests making support for the mis-named Employee Free Choice Act, or "card check" bill, a litmus test for candidate support, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace launched a public awareness campaign aimed at educating voters about this anti-worker legislation.
As part of its multi-faceted media campaign
, CDW released a television ad featuring a widely recognized character designed to engage and connect voters to the issue. Read the press release and script of the commercial above
See background information, news and research, and instructions on how to become involved at www.myprivateballot.com
“Card Check” Background
Under current law, if union organizers collect signatures from at least 30 percent of the employees in a bargaining unit, the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will hold an election by secret ballot to determine whether to certify the union. This process balances the interests of employees, unions, and employers in order to ensure that workers can hear all sides and then make up their minds and vote in private, without intimidation or coercion. Today a majority of elections are held within 39 days and a majority of union elections are won by organized labor.
Card check is a method of unionizing employees if a majority of employees in a bargaining unit sign authorization forms, or "cards". Through the Card Check Bill, organized labor is seeking to overturn current law and reverse the decline in unionized labor (which has declined to approximately 7.5 percent in the private sector), thereby making it easier for unions to organize. Instead of workers having the right to utilize the current federally-supervised secret ballot election process, the union would be certified the moment it collected a majority of signed authorization cards.
By eliminating the campaign period and the legal requirements that regulate it, the Card Check Bill would deny employees the right to make an informed decision in private, taking away a basic tenet of democracy – the secret ballot. Instead, employee decisions on unionization would be made in front of union organizers, greatly increasing the opportunity for coercion and pressure in the union organizing process. If enacted, the Card Check Bill would increase penalties for employers, but not for unions or others, who violate union organizing laws. This legislation would give organized labor an unfair advantage in union organizing at the expense of both employees and employers.
The Card Check Bill would also amend collective bargaining law so that when a union is recognized for the first time, government arbitrators will set all the terms and conditions of the union contract unless the union and the employer can meet certain timelines. Today, the law requires that the parties bargain in good faith and recognizes that the union, representing workers, and the employer are in the best position to determine whether an agreement is acceptable and whether compromising on one goal in order to achieve another is acceptable. The Card Check Bill's mandatory interest arbitration provisions would remove any incentive for the employer or the union to adopt realistic bargaining positions, as each would be posturing for the arbitrator, and would give the arbitrator control of the most basic business decisions. It would also deny employees the right to vote on ratification of the contract.
The sharp and persistent decline in union membership over the past 50 years cannot be attributed to any defect in the legal environment surrounding union elections. Nor can it be attributed to any recent changes in the legal environment. This trend is paralleled by a decline in unionization rates in other countries as well. In reality, union organizing campaigns currently enjoy a 78 percent success rate when the neutrality agreement institutes card checks and imposes limits on employer speech. According to polls, more than 80% of Americans would oppose outright elimination of secret ballots for union voting.
# # #