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February 13, 2007

Save the Secret Ballot for Union Organizing Elections

Legislation in the U.S. Congress would strip away employees’ freedom to choose whether or not union representation is right for themselves and their families.

Currently, the most common method for determining whether or not employees want a union to represent them is a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB provides detailed procedures that ensure a fair election, free of fraud, where employees may cast their vote confidentially without peer pressure or coercion from unions or employers.

H.R. 800, the “Employee Free Choice Act,” would replace this process with a process called “card check,” where a union is recognized in a workplace if a majority of workers sign a card in the presence of union organizers and fellow employees who support unionization.

A hearing on the bill has already taken place, and the House Education & Labor Committee is expected to markup this legislation on Wednesday, February 14. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is expected to introduce companion legislation in the Senate soon. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expects this legislation to move quickly.

The Maryland Chamber believes the decision to join or not join a union should be free from union coercion. Visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s website to send a letter to your Representative and Senators. This Thursday, the U.S. Chamber is organizing a Virtual March on Washington. Contact your legislators today, and the U.S. Chamber will email you Thursday with a link to a website where you can create a virtual you and “march” on Washington.

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