Card Check: Yes, We Will Have No Elections

By January 5, 2009Labor Unions

At National Review’s The Corner, there are several good posts refuting organized labor’s claim that the Employee Free Choice Act will still allow secret-ballot elections. In theory, yes. In the real world, of course not. Never, ever.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to sell the unbelievable argument in the otherwise obfuscation-free interview Sunday on Fox News. (Passage here.) Former NLRB member Peter Kirsanow responds here.

Rep. Hoyer’s assertion on Fox News Sunday that EFCA wouldn’t eliminate secret ballot union elections but would present merely an alternative method for union certification is accurate. It’s also wildly disingenuous. No union, upon obtaining the requisite 50% +1 of union authorization cards, is going to petition for an election when at that point the union can be instantly certified under EFCA.

Hoyer knows perfectly well that employees may act differently in the privacy of the voting booth than when asked to sign a card in the presence of co-workers and union agents. Unions know this, too. That’s precisely why EFCA would cause the extinction of secret ballot union elections.

The good news for EFCA opponents is that if this is Hoyer’s best defense of EFCA, he knows the bill’s got problems.

See also these comments.

In a separate post, Kirsanow makes the important point that the “card check” component of the Employee Free Choice Act is not the only objectionable provision, and indeed, the binding arbitration requirements also make the legislation unacceptable.

For some time, experts close to the EFCA debate have maintained that the strategy of EFCA proponents was to compromise on either the bill’s card check provision or the mandatory arbitration provision in order to enhance the probability that at least one of those provisions would pass. Some contended that mandatory arbitration was always the principal goal of EFCA supporters.

Doubt it has ever been the principal goal, but binding arbitration is clearly a priority for labor. We covered that part of the debate here.

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