I've done my best to provide some unbiased facts along with some biased opinions on the issue. Please feel free to agree, disagree, or not care.
Here's how the current secret ballot election process works:
- Union organizers obtain authorization cards signed by at least 30% of Bargaining Unit. These cards grant permission for unions to represent the employee in a collective bargaining agreement or to hold seek a representation election.
- Union filed petition with National Labor Relation Board (NLRB)
- NLRB sends written notice to employer, who is then responsible to post notice in workplace, and provide employee roster to NLRB to verify 30%
- Normally within 45 days of petition for election, NLRB schedules Representation Election.
- Employer required to post election notice in workplace, election is then typically held in neutral site on employer premises, and is supervised by NLRB rep.
- Ballots counted in presence of observers.
- Outcome of election is basd on the majority of ballots cast. If there are 50 eligible voters, but only 20 vote, 11 votes constitute a majority which would then represent all 50 employees.
- In the current system, employeers have an opportunity to educate employees within reasonable guidelines- no promises, threats, solicitation of grievances, change in work conditions, interrogation, etc. Employees also have an opportunity to discuss among themselves.
- Currently Unions lose a majority of elections. Unions also fear that employer commit unfair labor practices to influence employees.
- NLRB counts authorization cards, if there's majority support, the Union is certified and obligation to bargain begins.
- There is no requirement to notify employers of the distribution or collection of authorization cards until they are signed, avoiding any opportunity for employers to open dialogue with employees.
- There is no requirement for a general notice to employees regardign the organizing activity, meaning union organizers can pick and choose who they give cards to. The fear is that influencers against organizing would be kept in the dark.
- Removal of the secret ballot creates the opportunity for coercion and intimidation in the solicitation of authorization cards.
- Bargaining MUST commence within 10 days of written request from Union. The anti-EFCA argument is that no company can get a bargaining position together within 10 days, particularly if they don't know it's coming.
- If there's no agreement within 90 days from beginning of negotiation, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is assigned, and then the sides have just 30 days to reach agreement. After that, an arbitration panel shall render a settlement decision which is binding for 2 years. Ultimately, this could incentivize the union to make outlandish requests in the negotiation and refuse settlement, believing that an arbiter will meet both sides halfway.
Have thoughts? Please share!