Election Time? With EFCA, Workers Could Lose the Right to Vote to Unionize
There is no doubt that voting and the campaign process is as American as apple pie. When employees sit down and decide whether they wish to be represented by a union at work, the National Labor Relations Act also provides for a campaign culminating in a vote. Under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, unions can bypass the voting process and enter the workforce by simply having the majority of employees sign "authorization cards" indicating a preference for a union. The EFCA does away with the campaign and resulting secret ballot.
This is a little like deciding which political candidate wins based on polling rather than voting, and also substitutes private judges (arbitrators) for party negotiations to decide the terms of a labor contract. Why the proposed change? The unions want this changed so they can "win" representation without risking an election loss.. The right to vote in a union election is extremely important. Everyone should seriously question the EFCA and anything else that removes the secret ballot election process from union representation issues.
This article appeared in the October 31, 2008 issue of the Vancouver Business Journal.