CHICAGO — Executives of large drycleaning and laundry operations are awakening to an unfortunate fact: That although unions lost their battle in Congress for the Employee Free Choice Act—a.k.a. the “card-check” law—they may be winning the war to make organizing easier.
The Employee Free Choice Act would have allowed unions to organize employees just by obtaining “authorization cards” from a majority of a company’s workers without a secret-ballot election. While the House passed the EFCA, the bill ran into such stiff opposition in the Senate that “compromises” were offered, including quickie elections that would have been held five to 10 days after a petition was filed.
Businesses objected. Quick elections wouldn’t allow time for them to present their side of the case to employees, they said, which often includes the argument that the cost of negotiating labor contracts and work rules can hurt employers, and therefore, employees’ job security.