On the House floor Friday, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) engaged in a brief dialogue regarding the Employee Free Choice Act. In response to Rep. Cantor’s inquiry regarding the majority’s efforts to bring the bill to the floor, Rep. Hoyer responded:
Now, having said that, we passed this bill. We passed it pretty handily. We passed it in the last Congress, and it’s our expectation that the Senate is going to be dealing with this legislation. They have not yet considered it; and it is my belief that we want to see whether they can pass it. We believe they can. We are going to be interested in what action they take.
So, it would seem that the current strategy is indeed to let the Senate try to pass something first, after which the House would likely be in position to approve it.
On the issue of EFCA’s impact on the secret ballot election, Rep. Hoyer claimed:
We believe in fact the employee has that choice. The employee has the absolute right to respond, ‘‘No, I don’t want to sign your card. Let’s have an election. And I will sign it for that purpose, and that purpose only, to give you the 30 percent you need to get the election.’’
Unfortunately, that’s not at all what the bill says — that an employee can specify for what purpose his or her card might be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. All it says is:
If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative…