Union "card check" legislation...This year's single most important priority for organized labor is so-called "card check" legislation, which was introduced on March 10, 2009 in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This legislation (H.R. 1409 / S.560) would overturn 70-plus years of established labor law by stripping rights to secret ballot elections during union organizing drives. In place of the traditional secret ballot, a new process would be created by which a company or facility would become unionized if a majority of employees simply sign cards indicating a desire to form a union. Additionally, the measure would impose an artificial timeline for initial contract certification once a union is put in place, and empower a federal arbitrator to dictate contract terms. Wages, benefits, and work rules could be decided without meaningful input by employers or employees.
This year, the possibility of the bill's enactment looms larger than ever before. The primary battleground remains the U.S. Senate, where bill's proponents are close to the 60-vote "super majority" they need to advance it. President Obama voted for this bill while a U.S. Senator, and has stated that he will sign it into law if it reaches his desk.
The SPI Web site enables member companies to communicate directly with Congress; the site contains background information as well as suggested draft texts for letters that can be sent to elected officials.