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Republicans Introduce Bill to Counter EFCA

As many employers and human resource professionals know, the Employee Free Choice Act is the Democratic bill would force companies to recognize unions when a majority of workers sign cards authorizing one. Under current law, corporations can require a secret-ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

On February 25, 2009, a bill was introduced by Republicans that would mandate secret-ballot elections to form a union.  The bill was launched with 101 House co-sponsors and 15 Senate co-sponsors, all Republicans.  The measure is meant to counter a bill Democrats could debut any day that would make it easier for employees to organize.

Proponents of the EFCA argue that it will protect workers from intimidation and delaying tactics that employers use to stymie unions. But Republicans who unveiled the Secret Ballot Protection Act on Wednesday assert that the EFCA would foster union coercion during organizing campaigns because the cards have to be signed publicly.

Whether the EFCA eliminates secret-ballot elections is a matter of debate. Advocates say the bill lets employees choose whether to use a so-called card-check process or secret ballots to organize.

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