This Just In. . .

The House Education and Labor Committee Republicans provided a copy of the text to H.R. 1176: The Secret Ballot Protection Act.  Republicans on the Committee of Labor and Education.

Briefly, the Secret Ballot Protection Act seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act in two substantative areas.  First, it will make it unlawful for an employer to recognize or bargain with a union that has not been selected by a majority of its employees through a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.  Second, it will make it unlawful for a union to cause or attempt to cause an employer to recognize or bargain with a union that has not been selected in the same manner.

The Republican version is simplified and, the way I see it, will not raise as many procedural questions as the current Employee Free Choice Act.  So, now that there are competing versions of bills attempting to bring about private sector labor law reform the apt saying now is:  Game on!!

Republicans Strike Back

On February 25, Republicans submitted the Secret Ballot Protection Act (H.R. 1176) to the House floor.  The Secret Ballot Protection Act is a direct response to the Employee Free Choice Act.  The Republicans' counter would ensure that secret ballot elections are conducted by the National Labor Relations Board to determine whether employees wish to be represented by a union.  As the Republicans' stated, thier proposal is the only method that ensures a choice free of coercion, intimidation, irregluarity or illegality. 

Many have asked me when Congress will take action on the Employee Free Choice Act and what is the likely outcome.  Prior to the Republicans' pre-emptive strike with H.R. 1176, I thought that the Obama Administration might place the Employee Free Choice Act on the backburner--especially in light of the stimulus packages taking priority.  Now that H.R. 1176 is in the mix, Congress may have to take on the private sector labor reform earlier than anticipated.

Only time will tell . . .

Not Exactly True . . .

Unions are claiming that Employer opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") is based on "misinformation", because the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB ") will still be allowed to conduct its secret ballot elections.  The Unions' make it seem as though Employers are running around claiming that the secret ballot elections will be stripped completely--no, not as a practical matter.  The NLRB will still conduct secret ballot elections if the Unions want that.  However, the reality is that once Unions are given the option of having the NLRB certify a union immediately upon presentation of at least a majority of union authorization cards signed by a specific unit of employees versus waiting some 40 days, whereby employees become educated during this period, and then having a secret ballot election, Unions are going to select the certification route instead of the election route.   It really is a no-brainer that Unions will avoid, at all cost, the election route.  I mean, why do you think the Unions' have placed so much money, time and effort in seeing that the EFCA passes?  Is it because the EFCA calls for mandatory injunctions? I think not.  How about the mandatory contract arbitration?  Yeah, could be, but without a certification, there can be no representative or contract for that matter.  So, there is no "misinformation" being spread--just reality, which is that once a "card-check" certification is in place, the secret-ballot election may die.