EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT
H.R. 1409 and S.560 Would Force Workers to Make A Decision on Unionization in the Presence of Union Organizers, Co-Workers
The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would eliminate the secret ballot process used by workers making a decision on unionization.
The House and Senate bills, H.R. 1409, and S.560, mistitled “Employee Free Choice Act” would, among other things, require the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify a union when a majority of the employees have signed union authorization cards in the presence of union organizers and their coworkers.
Cintas does not support this legislation because we believe all workers should keep their democratic right to decide for themselves with a secret-ballot vote, whether or not they want a union.
Current procedures for choosing unions: Under current NLRB procedures, a union representation election typically takes place after the union has demonstrated to the NLRB that at least 30 percent of those it is seeking to represent wish to have an election. When an election is held, employees cast votes privately under the supervision of the NLRB a U.S. government agency.
Labor unions’ proposed procedures for choosing unions under the “Employee Free Choice Act”: Unlike a secret-ballot election, union authorization cards would be signed in the presence of a pro-union co-worker or outside union organizer, with no governmental supervision. This absence of government oversight can lead to deception, coercion, forgery and other abuses during the card collection process, as documented in cases brought to the attention of the NLRB by employees over the past several years.
Under the proposed legislation, once the union collects cards from 50% (plus one) of the employees, the union would automatically be ratified at the place of employment. No vote is taken. In addition, the wages, benefits and other conditions of employment of union-represented employees would be dictated by a third party and locked in for two years if the employer and union are unable to reach an agreement in 120 days. These, along with other procedural changes in labor law, will be enacted if H.R. 1409 and S.560 pass.
While “The Employee Free Choice Act” passed in the House during the 110th Congressional session, it did not pass in the Senate. We will continue to post updates on this legislation and the 111th Congress as warranted.