Hawaii Governor Says No to Card Checks

Article prepared by Darren Rumack and Brian Caufield. 

As promised, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed a bill that would have allowed the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to recognize a union based solely on card checks.

Lingle claimed that card check authorization would be a “poor substitute for the secret ballot and is ripe for abuse.”

Of course, this card check authorization scheme mimics that of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which if passed, would do away with secret ballot elections.

NLRB Rejects the EFCA in Favor of Maintaining "Abu-Ghraib-like Procedures"

Article Prepared by Brian Caufield and Darren Rumack

The debate over the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”) has heated up once again, as the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing addressing complaints over the NLRB, and the potential passage of EFCA.

The debate broke down into two camps: on one side, those who oppose the drastic overhaul that the EFCA would bring to private sector labor relations. This group includes past and present NLRB board members, who favor more incremental reforms at this stage.

Current NLRB chairman, Peter Schaumber came out against this complete overhaul of the system, stating that both the Board, and the NLRA have “proven to be remarkably flexible and adaptive over many years.” 

On the other hand, a vocal contingent of EFCA supporters also attended the hearing, arguing that employers use scare tactics to pressure employees into rejecting unionization.

Perhaps the most memorable quote of the hearing came from Alan Hart, the managing editor of UE News, which is the newsletter for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Hart compared the unionization process to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, stating that “employees are taken into rooms for interrogations and intimidation, this is almost Abu Ghraib-like procedures we’re seeing these days.”

Union histrionics aside, it is clear that after a brief lull over the winter months, this contentious piece of legislation is going to be in the news once again.