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Onerous Employee Free Choice Act Weighs Down Companies

A recent guest opinion contended that the proposed Employee Free Choice Act )sometimes referred to as "card check") is too important a piece of legislation to be watered down. In reality, the act is a poorly designed overreaction that would do serious damage to American employers, and would spin the country even deeper into economic peril. The hallmark of the act is the elimination of the secret ballot election. To gain recognition, unions would only need to surreptitiously obtain 51 percent of the employees' signatures on a card - during which time the National Labor Relations Board would not be engaged to monitor the proceedings. The company might not even know what's going on.
If all of this sounds like a recipe for further economic disaster, you're not alone. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently backed away from her support of the Employee Free Choice Act, citing the "extraordinarily difficult economy." She and many other congressional leaders are now seeking a compromise that would be fair to both labor and management. Employers can only hope the compromise does not unfairly tilt the balance of fairness, as the original proposal certainly would have.

This article appeared in the April 10, 2009 issue of The Portland Business Journal.


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