News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
A Libertarian Alternative to the EFCA
by Dan Clore
The EFCA (Employee Freedom of Choice Act) would allow workers to immediately unionize a workplace where 50+% of the workers have signed union cards, a process known as "card check".
Employers and their front groups have waged a massive campaign against the EFCA in the mass media, claiming that it would eliminate secret ballots. This is not true: under the EFCA, while workers would no longer be required to hold a secret election after 50+% have signed union cards, they can still do so if they want to. But their employers would not have the power to require that they do so. They also fail to note that employers frequently abuse the election procedure, using it to buy time in which to fire workers likely to vote in favor of unionization and put other pressure on the workers against unionizing.
More principled critics, free-market advocates, have objected to the EFCA on the grounds that it represents government interference in the marketplace. While factually accurate, by itself this ignores the great amount of government interference in the market on behalf of employers. And that suggests a libertarian alternative to the EFCA.