On March 10, 2009 the so called “Employee Free Choice Act” or otherwise known as “card-check” will be introduced in Congress. There is a strong belief that the Act will pass and the President has promised to sign it.
In short, the Act will permit unions to organize simply by collecting cards from 50% of employees in the proposed bargaining unit. Currently, when authorization cards from employees are collected, the employer can oppose the unionization in a variety of ways and still force secret elections before the union is recognized. This private election process permits the employee to be fully informed before they vote on unionization. According to an AFL-CIO survey, union organizers had to encourage at least 75% of the employees to vote in order to have more than a 50% chance of winning an election.
The Act will also make dramatic changes in the collective bargaining process. This is often an overlooked aspect of the legislation and will have impacts on the timing of negotiation, the reasons that the employer can use for not reaching agreement with a union and permits third parties to impose agreements.