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Big Labor’s Wish List

Organized labor’s highest legislative priority, the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), is harmful to both American workers and businesses. The bill has two key components:

1) Eliminates Secret Ballot for Card Check

The bill replaces secret ballot union organizing elections with “card check,” a process where union organizers publicly solicit workers’ signed union authorization cards. If a majority of a company’s workers sign cards, they all automatically join the union, without an election. Union activists privately acknowledge that workers often sign union cards because of peer pressure or harassment and that publicly signed cards do not reflect workers’ true intentions. That is why unions argue against letting workers use card check to leave a union. Policymakers should understand that union activists know that card check does not reveal employees’ free choice, and instead can lead to harassment and intimidation.

2) Establishes Government Imposed Contracts

EFCA also empowers the federal government to impose contracts on newly organized companies. Section 3 of the bill gives government bureaucrats the power to set compensation and make most major business decisions at newly unionized companies. The bureaucrats that would be writing these proposals have no expertise in the company’s operations or business model and would be unaccountable if their decisions drove the company into bankruptcy. Workers would lose all say over working conditions.

Under EFCA government bureaucrats would dictate:

Wages and bonuses

Employment levels

Retirement and health care plans

Changes in business operations

Promotions procedures

Work assignments


Closure, sale, or merger of a business

EFCA would effectively create government-run workplaces, and this provision would apply to small businesses too. Because EFCA has no meaningful small business exemption, it would authorize federal control of up to four million small businesses employing 39 million Americans.

EFCA does more than take away workers rights to vote in privacy. It also gives control of the workplace to government bureaucrats with no management experience.

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