Card Check Legislation put on the Back Burner

The Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”), also known as the “Card Check” legislation, appears to be on the back burner after facing mounting challenges from opponents. As originally proposed, EFCA would change federal labor law by allowing the formation of a new bargaining unit at a non-union company if a majority of workers simply sign authorization cards requesting a union. EFCA would also require the parties to submit to mandatory mediation and binding arbitration if the union and the employer are unable to reach an agreement on an initial contract within 90 days. Stiffer penalties would be imposed against employers found to have engaged in conduct that interferes with employees’ rights during union organizing. However, there is no provision for penalties against unions who interfere with employees’ rights during union organizing.

Many business owners and business associations consider EFCA to be a serious threat to their ongoing viability and have expressed their concerns to legislators. The business community’s concerns have not gone unnoticed. It was reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) responded to a question concerning EFCA at a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce meeting on August 26, 2009 by indicating that “We have too many other things on our plate.”

While EFCA in its current form is no longer a top priority for Congress, it is anticipated that there will be a renewed push to pass a compromise version of the bill. It remains to be seen what compromises will be included.

Author: Ryan Bonina

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