Organized labor advocacy group, American Rights at Work, released a new TV ad, “The Real Secret,” this weekend. Heavy on the fear-mongering, the ad hammers on the more recent union talking point: that EFCA does not “eliminate” the secret-ballot.
The ad’s script:
“The Real Secret” TV: 30
VO: Corporate greed. It’s caused a meltdown of our economy. Just look at the news … or your retirement account.
Now, greedy CEOs want to prevent workers from joining unions to level the playing field. Their new scheme to keep wages low? Spreading lies about the Employee Free Choice Act.
The truth is the Employee Free Choice Act absolutely protects workers’ right to choose a secret ballot election. But the choice would be the workers. Not their bosses.
That’s the secret Big Business doesn’t want you to know.
On Screen Disclaimer: Paid for by American Rights at Work
The emergence of this approach would seem an acknowledgment that EFCA’s proponents have conceded losing the secret-ballot issue. It’s also a silly argument intended to mislead those in the general public who might not have a thorough understanding of how the National Labor Relations Board’s RC representation process works.
No, the EFCA does not eliminate the secret-ballot procedure language from the NLRA. It only totally eliminates the secret ballot for all workers when a union collects and submits cards from at least 50 percent of a workforce to the NLRB. Arguably a group of employees could still file for an election when 30 to 49 percent of the workforce has signed cards — but they won’t. It will never actually happen — in part, because the union organizers control the cards, not the employees. What’s more, right now, a union needs cards from only 30 percent of the workers to get an election scheduled, and organizers still rarely file until they have cards from 65-75 percent of the proposed unit. This is because unions understand that the supposed support indicated by signed authorization cards is artificially exaggerated. Once the employees receive balanced information from a variety of sources, and have the opportunity to vote in private, the union usually loses support — and the unions know it.
More commentary on this issue:
- Justin Wilson’s blog post "The 30-50 Myth" at the Center for Union Facts’ blog
- "Employee Free Choice Act Effectively Eliminates Secret Ballot Organizing Elections" by James Sherk, Heritage Foundation