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Scott Nelson, Published June 17 2009

Stop lying about Free Choice Act

I can’t help but wonder which version of House Resolution 1409, titled the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009, the chambers of commerce have been reading. Their insistence that the EFCA “threatens the right to a secret ballot in union elections” is a lie. I can say this because the pertinent section of this legislation states:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a).”

I do understand business leaders and their supporters’ reluctance to see the EFCA passed. Under the Employee Free Choice Act, workers, not management, would be given the freedom to choose how they join a union – either through majority signup or secret ballot. If employees are allowed a quicker, less stressful manner of seeking a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union, or any other individual or organization they select, they just might take advantage of it.