In case you haven't already heard, Card Check (aka The Employee Free Choice Act) is poised to be a major issue for the next congress.
Traditionally, union organizing has been done through secret ballot elections. A union will ask workers at a facility to sign cards indicating an interest in an election. Once 30% of workers have signed, the union can ask the Federal National Labor Relations Board to hold a secret ballot election. Both sides have a chance to make their case to workers during the campaign period, which on average lasts about 40 days. If more than 50% of workers voting choose the union, the union is certified and the employer must begin collective bargaining.
Under Card Check, a union would be certified based only on signatures. Union organizers would ask workers to sign a union authorization card. Once a bare majority had signed, the union would be certified and the employer would have to begin collective bargaining. There would be no secret ballot election — in fact, once more than 50% of workers had signed cards, it would be illegal to hold such an election.
Steven Law, Chief Legal Officer at the US Chamber, explained the pending bill and its implications during a workshop at the ACCE Convention in Pittsburgh. If you missed Steven's presentation, but would like to find out more about Card Check, visit Policy Clearinghouse.org for more details.