Category Archives: Card Check

Employee Free Choice Act Introduced

Federal Legislative Action Alert! (3.10.09)

Today, the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in Congress!  The bill was sponsored by Representative George Miller (D-CA), the House Education and Labor Committee Chair, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-MA).

The legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act to allow unions to use the “card check” process – and bypass the secure, private election format – each time they attempt to organize workers.

Background

The National Labor Relations Act currently provides two opportunities for employees to decide whether or not to form or join a union:

  1. Private ballot election – When a union receives a majority of votes through a secret ballot election administered by the National Labor Relations Board, the union is certified as the sole bargaining agent on behalf of the employees, or  
  2. “Card check” recognition – When a union receives at least 30 percent of signed authorization cards, the employer can request that a private ballot election be held.  (When a union receives at least 50 percent of signed cards, the employer can either recognize the union immediately or request an election.)

Legislation

The EFCA would dramatically change federal labor law.  The legislation would allow a union to bypass the election process after collecting authorization cards from a majority of employees.  Thus, employers would lose the right to request that an election be held.

If enacted into law, EFCA would:

  • Eliminate employees’ opportunity to vote in a federally-administered, private ballot election;
  • Require binding arbitration within 120 days after a union is certified through a signed card collection process, if the employer and the union are unable to reach an agreement;
  • Restrict an employer’s communications to employees about the workplace issues involved in the union organizing drive; and
  • Create new fines against employers for an expanded list of unfair labor practices

SHRM supports the basic rights of all employees to decide freely whether or not to join a union.  However, we strongly believe that a federally-supervised, private ballot election is the best way for employees to make this decision.

In addition, SHRM believes the mandatory binding arbitration called for under EFCA could impose unwanted employment conditions on both employees and employers.  So in sum, employees could simultaneously lose their rights to vote on union representation and to approve workplace contracts.

 Action Needed

Already this year, SHRM members have sent more than 20,000 letters to Members of Congress expressing opposition to EFCA.  You may still write your elected officials using SHRM’s HR Voice program by clicking HERE.

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.

Citizens to Protect PA Jobs

Citizens to Protect PA Jobs is a broad-based coalition of businesses and concerned Pennsylvanians dedicated to advancing smart policies that promote job creation and economic growth.

The goals of the initiative are to educate the general public about the issues that impact job creation (when businesses add jobs, people and communities prosper) and to provide an effective way for them to take action.

Visitors to www.protectpajobs.com will be able to sign up for issue alerts and contact their elected officials to take action as needed. The first phase of the initiative — development of the website — is now complete. 

Card Check is the first content issue that this coalition is addressing. The issues featured on the website and calls to action will be periodically updated as activity at the state and federal level requires. Additional content and enhancements will be coming in the future.

Check out the website, and be sure to tell your friends and family! 

For those who have not heard, the bills were filed in both the US House and Senate on Tuesday, March 10. H.R. 1409 and S. 560

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.

Join Me in Washington?

 

To view this email as a web page, go here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Virtual March on Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Karen,

Thank you for being one the first people to join the Virtual March to Save the Secret Ballot . You are one of over 12,500 people now marching to oppose the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” (EFCA).

To see who’s marching with you and encourage your friends to join, visit http://secretballot.voteforbusiness.net/nationalmall.php.

The bill has not yet been introduced in the House or Senate. Many believe this is because of people like you who have spoken out against this legislation. In fact, The Hill ran an article discussing this point on Tuesday.

To keep momentum going, we’ve created a “cause” on Facebook to further spotlight this issue. Connect with us on Facebook.

We need strength in numbers to defeat this bill. Forward this email to a friend and say NO to EFCA.

Sincerely,
Bill Miller

P.S. For more information on EFCA, visit www.uschamber.com/cardcheck
or www.uschamber.com/wfi.

 

 

 


U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S. Chamber of Commerce | 1615 H Street, NW | Washington, DC 20062-2000
www.uschamber.com | www.chamberpost.com

 

 

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This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.

Take Action Now on the Card Check Bill

Card Check Bill – Not Just a Big Company Issue

Many Small Business Owners think that the Card Check Bill is not something that will effect them and that unionization is a Big Company Issue.  But, it’s not.  If the Card Check Bill is passed, your small business can become unionized almost overnight and you can’t do anything about it. 

But, you can do something now.  The only way we can get this bill to fail is for you to contact your legislators – particularly Senator Spector, who is on the fence on this issue – and make your voice be heard.  We need to make the voice of Small Business Owners ring loud and create an impact.  Here’s what you can do…

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA):  Obama co-sponsored the EFCA which would change the union certification process by eliminating secret ballot elections and would only require a majority of workers to sign authorization cards designating a union as their bargaining representative.  Many employers worry that this would take away their chance to argue against unionization, which they currently have the right to do during the campaign period leading up to the secret ballot.  

Employers everywhere are very concerned about the passage of this bill and, like you, want to get involved in the “virtual march” on Washington.  We recommend you click on the link below and make your voice be heard.  Send a letter to your senators and representatives.  You can get more information by going to:

http://www.uschamber.com/issues/index/labor/cardchecksecrbal.htm 

Join the rest of your colleagues in keeping this bill from being passed.  It’s the future of America that’s at stake here…let’s all be heard!   

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.

“The Senate goes Wobbly on Card Check”

 

From my friend and colleague Bob Jensenius at the York Chamber of Commerce, here’s a recent piece from Wall Street Journal on the Card Check issue.  Thanks, Bob, for sending this on…

 

 

The Senate Goes Wobbly on Card Check

It’s hard to defend taking away the secret ballot.

By Kimberley Strassel 

Responsibility has a way of focusing the mind.

Take Mark Pryor, Democratic senator from Arkansas. In 2007, Mr. Pryor voted to move card check, Big Labor’s No. 1 priority. And why not? Mr. Pryor knew the GOP would block the bill, which gets rid of secret ballots in union elections. Besides, his support helped guarantee labor wouldn’t field a challenger to him in the primary.

Postelection, Mr. Pryor isn’t so committed. He’s indicated he wouldn’t co-sponsor the legislation again. He says he’d like to find common ground between labor and business. He is telling people the bill isn’t on a Senate fast-track, anyway. His business community, which has nimbly whipped up anti-card-check sentiment across his right-to-work state, is getting a more polite hearing.

It hasn’t been much noticed, but the political ground is already shifting under Big Labor’s card-check initiative. The unions poured unprecedented money and manpower into getting Democrats elected; their payoff was supposed to be a bill that would allow them to intimidate more workers into joining unions. The conventional wisdom was that Barack Obama and an unfettered Democratic majority would write that check, lickety-split.

Instead, union leaders now say they are being told card check won’t happen soon. It seems the Obama team plans to devote its opening months to important issues, like the economy, and has no intention of jumping straight into the mother of all labor brawls. It also seems Majority Leader Harry Reid, even with his new numbers, might not have what it takes to overcome a filibuster. It’s a case study in how quickly a political landscape can change, and how frequently the conventional wisdom is wrong.

Paradoxically, it’s Mr. Reid’s bigger majority that is now hurting him. In 2007, he got every Democrat (save South Dakota’s Tim Johnson, who was out sick) to vote for cloture. But it was an easy vote. Democrats like Mr. Pryor knew the GOP held the filibuster, and that Mr. Bush stood ready with a veto. Now that Mr. Reid has 58 seats, red-state Democrats in particular are worried they might actually have to pass this turkey, infuriating voters and businesses back home.

Mr. Pryor isn’t alone. Fellow Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln voted for cloture in 2007 but is now messaging Mr. Reid that she’s not eager for a repeat. She recently said she doesn’t think “there is a need for this legislation right now,” that the country has bigger problems. What she didn’t mention is that she is also up for re-election next year, and that one potential GOP challenger, Tim Griffin, is already vowing to make card check an issue. South Dakota’s Tim Johnson, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and others face similar pressure. And it seems unlikely new Senate arrivals such as Colorado’s Mark Udall are eager to make card check an opening vote, especially with visions of United Auto Worker bailouts fresh in voter minds.

Republican “moderates” aren’t eager for card check either. If this were a minimum-wage vote, Maine’s Susan Collins, for example, would be lining up. But polls show more than 80% of Americans disagree with eliminating union ballots. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bolstered opposition by turning card check into a litmus test of Mr. Obama’s promise to work with the other side. Even Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, the lone GOP vote for card check in 2007, is backpedaling, worried about a 2010 primary challenge.

Credit for this new environment goes to a business community that has been uncharacteristically unified in a sweeping campaign against the bill. U.S. Chamber of Commerce General Counsel Steven Law says the issue has even inspired his organization to change tactics.

“In the past, unions would show up in force on the ground while the business community would send someone in a suit up to Capitol Hill. This time, we pushed hard at the grass-roots level and lit a fire under this issue.” Those grass roots have targeted senators like Mr. Pryor and Mrs. Lincoln. Business also spent millions airing ads about card check during the presidential campaign, a prime time to educate voters.

None of this is to suggest card check is dead, or that it might not yet be resurrected in the early days. If Al Franken pulls out a win in Minnesota, Mr. Reid might be inspired to use his 59 votes to forge ahead. Some House Democrats are also suggesting union intimidation would in fact “stimulate” the economy, and that the legislation ought to be attached to the upcoming spending package.

Whatever the difficulties, it’s hard to fathom how waiting helps Democrats. Mr. Obama will never be stronger than in his opening months, and he’ll need muscle to strongarm reluctant party members to support such an unsupportable measure. The initial union strategy was to whip this through before Americans understood the debate, but in that they’ve already failed. The more time goes on, the more likely this issue turns into trench warfare.

For the unions, that wouldn’t just be a shot to the heart, but to the ego. Democrats may try to fob them off with less controversial legislation — “fair pay” or more unionization of public safety offi
cials — but Big Labor feels it is owed much more. We may be about to discover just how patient, or forgiving, those union bosses are.

Write to kim@wsj.com

 

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.