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A Better Partnership


Jun 2007
June 27, 2007

Employees Keep the Right to Secret Elections . . . at Least for Now

On Tuesday, June 26, 2007, the Senate effectively killed the oddly named "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA). As we have mentioned in previous E-Bulletins, EFCA would, among other things, eliminate employees' rights to a secret ballot election to determine if they wanted to be represented by a union in those cases where the union could show that it had obtained a majority of workers' signatures on authorization cards.

The Senate refused to invoke "cloture" on EFCA. Cloture is the only procedure whereby the Senate can place a time limit on the consideration of a bill and overcome a filibuster. Senate Republicans had been threatening a filibuster on the Employee Free Choice Act, and President Bush had promised to veto it if it reached his desk. It takes 60 votes to invoke cloture, but the measure fell short of that with a 51-48 vote that was mostly along party lines. The failure to invoke cloture means, at least for now, that the Employee Free Choice Act is dead in the water.

Keep a sharp lookout, however, as organized labor has a keen interest in the passage of EFCA. Its supporters will almost certainly introduce it again (and again and again if necessary). The outcome of the 2008 elections will be a strong indicator of whether we'll be talking about EFCA again next year.

If you have any questions about this bill or any other union-organizing matter please feel free to call any member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.

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