An article from a Northwestern University publication today notes that labor leaders assert that the grossly misnamed Employee Free Choice Act does not ban secret ballot elections. Under the bill, secret ballot union representation elections would be effectively eliminated as union organizers would only be able to call for such an election if they receive between 30 to 50 percent of signed authorization cards from a bargaining unit.
However, under this legislation, if a majority of signed cards are collected, the NLRB would actually be unable to hold a private election for employees. Union organizers typically do not even submit signed authorization cards until they receive more than a majority of signed cards.
The United Food and Commercial Workers president Joe Hansen admitted in a 2006 interview with the Bureau of National Affairs that union officials are turning away from traditional elections because “we can’t win that way anymore.”
The NY Times even reported that UNITE HERE’s President Bruce Raynor said that he sees “no reason to subject the workers to an election.”
It would be very interesting to find out under what circumstances union organizers would actually call for an election should this Employee “Forced” Choice Act become law.