Union tensions loom in Congress

If the Employee Free Choice Act sounds unfamiliar, you arenâ??t alone. The proposed legislation is getting little coverage this
election cycle.

But the measure could emerge as a flashpoint in the next Congress as business and labor groups battle for power.

Business lobbies hate the act because it would eliminate employersâ?? ability to demand secret ballots during union organizing
votes. The law in effect would allow organizers to see which employees vote against representation, swinging doors wide for
coercion, detractors say.

Backers say the legislation is needed to bring fairness to the balance between companies and unions, whose muscle has been
dwindling for decades.

A vote in the House in March 2007 went 241-185 in favor of the act, with Indianaâ??s delegation falling along party lines. The
Senate ended debate on its bill without bringing it to a vote.

Barack Obama supports the legislation, while John McCain opposes it. Business groups fear it will pass if Obama wins and the
Senate gains enough Democratic seats to end Republicansâ?? ability to stop it through filibuster.

Several questions:

What do you think about the balance of power between business and unions? Which side has the greatest power, and is the imbalance
harmful?

What about the question of doing away with secret ballots? Thumbs up or down?

If the legislation were signed into law, how would it affect the odds of a union representing your company or work place?

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}