Those who oppose EFCA claim that it represents an unprecedented government intrusion into the rights of employers and employees to negotiate freely about pay and conditions. Removing the secret ballot, they say, would practically force workers to join a union through the simple “card check” process. Opponents also argue that workers would lose control over their ability to choose whether or not to be represented by a collective bargaining agreement, and they are concerned about the lack of penalties against unions who illegally interfere with the process.
Union bosses have said that if EFCA becomes law, they will be able to double or triple their membership within a year. That may be true, but what will the cost be to our employment picture? The relationship between labor and management has always been a unique and challenging dynamic in our country. Today, businesses both large and small survive because of the healthy relationship that exists due to a respectful understanding between the two sides.
Even the slightest legal change can result in drastic upheaval in our system. The sudden introduction of unions into this environment – an introduction which, under the proposed legislation, would not necessarily reflect the will of employees – could represent a sudden shock to the workplace system.
While workers today enjoy the right to unionize, the secret ballot helps guarantee that unionization is the will of the employee, free of undue pressure or intimidation. That’s why removing the protection of the secret ballot – one of the main provisions of EFCA – represents too drastic a step in these uncertain times.
The fact our new “post-partisan” government wants to payback its political supporters should come as no surprise to political observers. That they are willing to do it by taking away the right of workers to vote by secret ballot is telling. George Orwell saw it coming.