The Corner

Recess Appointments and the Employee Free Choice Act

Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act remains Labor’s top legislative priority. One of EFCA’s main provisions — card check — would vastly increase the probabilities of successful union organizational campaigns.

Conventional wisdom among many employer groups is that the protracted health-care-reform battle has left Labor’s senate allies with little appetite to fight for EFCA in the form introduced last year. That’s why the same employer groups have focused on President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The concern is that the Board, by issuing decisions and rules, could elevate union certification rates near levels anticipated under card check.

The concern isn’t overblown. Even without the passage of EFCA, the Board could significantly change the organizational landscape.

For example, the Board could adopt rules recognizing minority unions, implement “quickie” elections, grant unions greater access to employees for organizational purposes, restrict employer options during union campaigns and elections, recast supervisors’ roles during election campaigns, leverage neutrality/card-check agreements by overturning certain Bush Board decisions, and increase the use of mail-ballot elections.

Any combination of the foregoing would result in increased union organization rates.


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