Sunday, November 8, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act

I have talked about various ways unions attempt to pressure others into doing what the unions want. The most recent example is the Employee Free Choice Act. Earlier this year this bill was introduced and it is still being considered by Congress. If the bill passes, it will change the current National Labor Relations Acts. Specifically, unions say it will make it easier for employees to form or join existing labor unions if that is what they choose to do and it will establish procedures for dealing with unfair labor practices during employee's attempts to organize.

Under the current system, any employee can begin the process of organizing by requesting blank cards from a union. What the union wants is to be certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the exclusive representative for the employees in that particular bargaining unit. If the employee, or group of employees, is able to get signatures on the cards from at least thirty percent of the workers, but normally closer to sixty percent of workers, the employer can request a secret ballot election be administered by the National Labor Relations Board. This is an important step because many employees are pressured into signing these blank cards. When a secret ballot is administered, each employee has the opportunity to vote how he or she really wants to vote. Only with a secret ballot can the employees be free from pressure from fellow employees or supporters of the union.

The Employee Free Choice Act actually takes away the free choice of the employees. In most circumstances, it would take away the rights of workers to have a private ballot election regarding unionizing. Considering the amount of pressure exerted on employees to vote for unions, this would give the unions an unfair advantage. The only way employees can get away from the extreme amounts of pressure is to have the final decision made by secret ballot. Taking this secrecy away gives the unions what they want.


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