Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

A Professor Should Know Better…

Professor John Logan of UC-Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education released what he considers to be the myths and realities of EFCA. Unfortunately, a professor should know better than to confuse myths and realities about card check and its consequences.

Secret Ballots

Logan claims that it’s a myth that EFCA will eliminate secret ballots. Unfortunately, it’s a reality that EFCA will effectively eliminate secret ballots. Under current law, most unions will not attempt to call for an election without collecting cards from at least 65 percent or more of the collective bargaining unit. Even the AFL-CIO admitted that “it is not until the union obtains signatures from 75% or more of the unit that the union has more than a 50% likelihood of winning the election.” If a union is incapable of getting cards from 50% of employees, why would they ever go for an election where they expect an additional 25% to fall off?

Under EFCA, unions are not going to “protect” the secret ballot by calling for an election if they reach the 50 percent +1 threshold of cards. The secret ballot will become the appendix of union organizing campaigns – there, but an unused vestige of days gone by. No union organizer is going to risk losing an election with less than a substantial majority of employees’ signed cards. With EFCA, the secret ballot will effectively die. The problem is that the card authorization process is a ripe opportunity for union organizers to harass, intimidate, and mislead employees.


Logan claims that there is an epidemic of “corporate lawlessness” during union organizing campaigns. This is a myth. The reality is that a recent BNA analysis found that unions won 66.8 percent of representation elections conducted by the NLRB. This was an increase from the 2007 win rate of 60.4 percent and the highest win rate since 1955. And a study of NLRB data found that less than four percent of union organization campaigns resulted in an unlawful termination.

Categories: Center for Union FactsEFACEnding Secret Ballots