The Employee Free Choice Act - the "Card Check" Bill

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 8:00pm

Union Recognition - Secret Ballot Elections and Card Check Schemes

The "Employee Free Choice Act"—better known as the Card Check bill—is a proposed law that would change how unions are allowed to organize workers in the United States. Big labor unions like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and the Change to Win Coalition spent heavily during the 2009 election, and are pushing Congress to approve this law. Union membership has been declining—currently about 7.5 percent in the private sector—and they hope this law will change the rules and reverse that trend.

The U.S. Chamber strongly opposes this legislation. There are three problems with Card Check:


1. Eliminating the Private Ballot

Card Check would effectively eliminate private voting.

Under the existing law today, workers have a chance to vote for or against unionization in a private-ballot election that is federally supervised. Under Card Check, if more than 50% of workers at a facility sign a card, the government would have to certify the union, and a private ballot election would be prohibited—even if workers want one.

By forcing workers to sign a card in public—instead of vote in private—Card Check opens the door to intimidation and coercion. Over 70% of voters agree that a private election is better than card check.

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2. Government Arbitration and Control

Card Check could put government regulators in charge of private business decisions.

Once a union is certified, the business and union would only have 120 days to reach agreement, before facing the prospect of being forced into binding arbitration. This means a panel of government arbitrators who may have no understanding of the business could impose a two year contract deciding all workplace terms—without any vote by the company or its employees.

By placing government regulators in charge of a two-year decision, business flexibility is limited—at a time in our history when it is needed most. A recent poll found that 75% of voters believe government arbitrators should not decide the conditions of a union contract.

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3. Harsh New Penalties for Businesses

Card Check would unfairly punish businesses.

Card Check would impose harsh new penalties on businesses—but not on unions—for violations during the union recognition process. This is unfair, and potentially disastrous for small or medium businesses, who are not familiar with unionizing campaigns or the National Labor Relations Act. If Card Check passes, many of these businesses would be facing unionization for the first time.

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What You Can Do to Stop Card Check


Learn more from the U.S. Chamber's
Workforce Freedom Initiative

Donate money to help run ads and
grassroots campaigns fighting card check

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