Pitfalls of the Card Check Scam

Ford & Harrison’s D. Gerald Coker has taken an in-depth look at the Card Check Scam Bill and answers a number of fundamental questions:

What is a card-check, and how does it work?

A card-check does away with the secret ballot system. Employees will no longer cast ballots on union representation in the privacy of a voting booth; instead, an employer would be required to recognize a union as the employees’ exclusive bargaining representative once the union presents signed authorization cards from a simply [sic] majority of the employees in the work group targeted by the union.

Are card-checks a fair alternative to the secret ballot?

Card-check recognition would give unions a license to use high-pressure tactics against employees behind closed doors in order to obtain signed union authorization cards. The proposed legislation does not contain any provision allowing employees to “ratify” the card-check. EFCA [Employee Free Choice Act] does not specify whether employees can decertify a union through a card-check majority.

Are card-checks foolproof?

Experience has shown that signed authorization cards do not necessarily reflect how the majority of employees really feel about union representation. Currently, an employee who signs a card out of ignorance or under duress is free to vote “no union” in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board several weeks later. Moreover, EFCA fails to provide any guidance with regard to the processing of authorization cards. How long will authorization cards be valid? Can an employee rescind or revoke his card and, if so, how? Will there be a process for detecting forged cards?

As Coker notes, doing away with the secret ballot will empower union activists to use high-pressure tactics to force employees to sign a card. Workers need the protection of a secret ballot. The Card Check Scam Bill takes away that protection.