By Paul Fleisher

Imagine an election in which one candidate could threaten your job if you voted for the other side. That candidate could campaign as much, and whenever, they wish, while the opponent was limited to speaking only during coffee breaks or after work. Suppose that candidate could even decide when the election would take place -- calling the vote only after being certain that it would go in their favor?”

Those conditions don’t sound much like a “free and fair” election -- but they are just the situation employees can be subjected to when they choose whether or not to unionize. It’s those sorts of inequities that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is intended to remedy.

Under current law, when a majority of workers indicate they want union representation, management gets to decide when the certification election will take place. Meanwhile, the company can campaign against the union in the workplace by holding workplace meetings, distributing literature, and even meeting privately with employees one-on-one. Such campaigning often includes heavy doses of intimidation and threats of job loss. In fact, employers illegally fire union supporters in 25 percent of organizing campaigns. Meanwhile, union organizers may not enter the workplace; employees can only campaign during breaks, or before and after work. And even if 100 percent of workers indicate by signing authorizations that they wish to be represented by a union, the company is not required to recognize and bargain with it. In short, employers are playing with a stacked deck.