2008-07-10, 09:01

"Employee Free Choice Act"

By: Multifamily Real Estate Industry Team
As the attached article demonstrates, the Service Employees International Union, a labor organization which has been active in attempts to achieve representation of building maintenance workers employed by large contractors, is now turning its sights to smaller - and, presumably, less-well-defended - employers. This development highlights the significance of the a bill currently pending before Congress, the euphemistically-termed "Employee Free Choice Act." If that legislation passes, "free choice" as represented in a secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board would become a thing of the past, with employers being required to recognize unions if a majority of employees sign authorization cards. There would be no informational opportunity through which employers could present views regarding the lack of need for union representation. And even if the proposed statutory language is altered to take away this "shotgun wedding" aspect, another significant feature would require employers to arbitrate over contract terms if initial talks didn't produce a collective bargaining agreement.

Employers with concerns over this new challenge are welcomed to share their questions and comments with us over the coming months. No matter how the November elections turn out, this issue will certainly be front and center in 2009.

The article mentioned above is available at: http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2008/06/30/daily26.html

(This entry posted by Charlie Edwards, a member of Womble Carlyle's Labor and Employment Practice.)

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