Card Check Provision Cut From EFCA?
July 17, 2009
By: Jennifer A. Dunn
The New York Times reports that Democrats have agreed to cut the "card check" provision from the Employee Free Choice Act. That provision would have required the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union after a majority of a company's employees signed union authorization cards, effectively ending the current secret-ballot union election process. The move comes as part of an effort by Senate Democrats to secure a filibuster-proof sixty votes on the legislation.
The revised bill is still expected to address the union organizing process. Revisions under consideration reportedly include requiring that secret-ballot elections be held within five or ten days after 30% of employees have signed cards in favor of a union, and requiring employers to allow union organizers to access company property. Additionally, the reported compromise does not address another highly controversial provision of EFCA, which would mandate interest arbitration -- through which an arbitrator would have the authority to impose a contract -- if the employer and union fail to agree on a first contract within ninety days of the union's certification.
Organized labor generally attempted to downplay the significance of this change, while SEIU President Andy Stern says in a statement responding to the New York Times article that he expects a vote on legislation that includes a "card-check" provision, either "in the final bill or by amendment in both houses of Congress."
If you would like to discuss this bill or any other labor law issues, please contact Amy Moor Gaylord, Jennifer A. Dunn, or any Franczek Radelet attorney.