Card Check without Card Check

It now appears that the version of the Employee Free Choice Act that is likely to pass Congress will not include its most controversial provision, which would have made it possible to certify a union without an election. The bill will, however, contain a number of provisions that will make it substantially easier for unions to organize. They will be able to call elections on very short notice, perhaps as little as five days, if they collect a sufficient number of cards. They will obtain access to the employer’s property to campaign. And employers may be prohibited from requiring employees to attend meetings at which the company presents its reasons for opposing a union.

While many who have been pushing for card check legislation will be disappointed, it appears that union advocates recognize that these are substantial changes, that should provide lots of opportunities for unions to organize. At the same time, employers preserve the principle of the secret ballot, and many of the perceived dangers of the original version of card check legislation are avoided.

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