Card Check Bill Brief

written on June 09, 2009 by COSEAdvocacyInformation contributor

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H.R. 1409 & S. 560 (The Employee Free Choice Act)

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as "Card Check," represents the largest sweeping change in labor relations in over 70 years.  Representing 99.7% of all employer firms, small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and have generated 60-80% of net new jobs annually over the last decade.  However, small businesses face both a difficult economy and the prospect of greater interference in their ability to run their business and provide for their employees.  EFCA will only serve to further hinder the success of our nation`s small businesses and their employees.

Currently, unions are authorized via private ballot, which allows employees to cast their vote for or against a union free from the pressure of fellow employees, employers, and union organizers.  In addition, the current process allows for a campaign period before a vote take place.  This campaign period represents a critical time that allows employees, employers, and unions to engage in candid communication about the impact unionization would have on the workplace.  From this communication, employees are able to make an informed decision as to whether union representation is right for themselves, their families, and their place of business.  

If passed, EFCA would eliminate an employee's right to vote in private and replace it with a method that would certify a union once over 50% of employees in a bargaining unit signed authorization cards.  In addition, EFCA seeks to increase financial penalties for employers found to be interfering with the process of unionization, but does not increase the fines associated with union organizers exhibiting similar behavior.  Finally, EFCA imposes mandatory arbitration and two-year contract terms if an employer and a union are unable to agree on a contract within 120 days. 

Small businesses would be disproportionately impacted by the affects of EFCA.  For example, the unionization process under EFCA increases the probability that employers will assume additional legal and administrative costs as they work to develop a contract in 120 days.  As small businesses work to survive in this challenging economy, the last thing they need are additional costs associated with EFCA, which could result in lost jobs and a decreased economic contribution to the economy.

Finally, when the original National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935, it allowed unionization to occur via private vote and "other suitable methods" which included Card Check.  Due to the problems created (i.e. harassment, coercion, violence) by Card Check and the "other suitable methods of unionization" the NLRA was revised in 1947 to make private voting the preferred method of unionization.  As such, allowing unionization via Card Check again only opens the door for a reintroduction of the obstacles U.S. workers experienced in the 1930`s and 40`s.
 

COSE Position

COSE is not opposed to unionization.  However, given the detrimental impact this legislation can have on small business, COSE urges Congress and the Administration to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. 

For additional information on COSE's position, please contact Brynn Allio, director, government relations via email at ballio@cose.org or via phone at 216.592.2354.

 

About COSE

COSE, Northeast Ohio's largest small business support organization, strives to help small businesses grow and maintain their independence. Comprised of more than 17,000 member companies, COSE has a long history of fighting for the rights of all small business owners, whether it's through group purchasing programs in healthcare, workers' compensation, or energy, or advocating for specific changes legislation and regulation.