Card Check & The Employee Free Choice Act

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AWF EFCA Toolkit & Additional Information

The so-called Employee Free Choice Act, aka “Card Check”, would take away numerous rights and protections currently afforded to workers employed at companies where unions are actively seeking to organize. The bill would remove workers’ rights to a federally supervised private ballot election. Instead, workers would be asked to sign cards in front of organizers and colleagues, potentially subjecting them to harassment or intimidation. Once a majority of employees have signed cards, the union is immediately recognized.

Too often, unions have resorted to petition-like “card check” campaigns which take the decision on union representation from the private voting booth to the front porch of workers. Reports have indicated that the public signing (or not) of these petitions leads to violence, bribery, and/or distorting the truth to workers. This bill, if passed, will encourage more of the abuses resulting from these “card check” petitions. 

Besides risky “card check” schemes, EFCA has other components that hurt employers and ultimately their employees. It would require mandatory government arbitration in the event that unions stonewall contract negotiations. Employers would also be frozen out of the ability to make staff changes (including raises and promotions) in the event that a union wants to organize workers.

If card check sweeps the nation, as more companies in a given state become unionized, costs of operation for businesses will inevitably rise. This will lead to increased prices for that state’s consumers, and as these effects spread, they will lead to serious economic down-turns. In situations such as this, new businesses will be discouraged from opening operations even in right to work states.

It is true that state “right to work laws” protect the individual from being forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. However, if local industries succumb to unionization as a result of EFCA, the entire state and all the employees in that state suffer.

AWF opposes The Employee Free Choice Act and all union "card check" schemes, and supports a working environment free of intimidation and bribery where workers are free to choose union membership using a private secret ballot.

What is AWF Doing to Fight "Card Check" and the Employee Free Choice Act?

AWF is active on campaigning and educating against the EFCA on the federal, state, and grassroots levels, and also online. Read more below to see how AWF is engaged on various levels.

Federal Activities

Through a very active presence on Capitol Hill, AWF has been lobbying against the EFCA since 2006. Holding frequent seminars and meetings on the Hill, AWF incorporated education at every step of the way. Meetings with Congressional staff and Members to hone talking points and discuss strategy help ensure that everyone is on the same page. Aggressive letter writing campaigns, national press and talk radio appearances and other national avenues have helped ensure that AWF continues to be a key player in the battle against EFCA and to secure workers rights.

State Campaigns

In December, 2008, AWF launched a state based anti-EFCA campaign that focused on getting as many state legislative bodies to pass resolutions urging their federal delegates to vote "no" on EFCA and any components within. Using our broad state network of grassroots activists and state legislators, AWF has produced the following results and notified the federal House and Senate members in each state of these efforts.

  • Alabama’s resolution passed the state senate and is pending in the house rules committee.
  • Alaska’s anti-EFCA resolution passed the state house labor committee and is pending a floor hearing.
  • Delaware’s anti-EFCA resolution will be heard in the house
  • Florida’s anti-EFCA resolution passed the state house committee on rules and has moved to the next level in the house.
  • Georgia passed its anti-EFCA resolution in the senate and is now on the second level of the house.
  • Kansas’ anti-EFCA resolution passed the senate commerce committee and is pending a floor vote.
  • Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have introduced anti-EFCA bills in their douses and are further action is pending.
  • Mississippi passed the resolution in the state senate, action is pending in the house rules committee.
  • Michigan’s state senate passed a similar resolution opposing EFCA.
  • South Carolina passed its anti-EFCA resolution in the house, it has been referred to the senate.
  • Texas’ anti-EFCA resolution passed through committee and is pending a house hearing.
  • Idaho, North Dakota and Oklahoma have passed AWF’s anti-EFCA resolution in both the state house and senate.

To date, eight states have passed resolutions urging their federal delegation to oppose EFCA and eleven other states have resolutions pending. For a copy of model language, email

Grassroots Efforts

AWF works with several grassroots coalitions and state organizations to coordinate anti-EFCA activities. Specifically working with Americans for Tax Reform, AWF utilizes over 50 state center-right coalition meetings in 46 states.

Online Educational Campaign

To help educate the public about the dangers of EFCA and a union-managed "card check" scheme, AWF launched an online interactive game where players try to avoid union organizing efforts with future game play changing based on how the player responds and reacts to a series of questions and scenarios.

Found at, “Card Checked: The Game” takes players through an interactive web-based video game where they experience a union managed card check scheme, much like that suggested in the EFCA. The player is taken through a series of different scenarios where they must make decisions that affect the future play of the game. Unfortunately, the game ends much like real life in that EFCA is expected to cost 600,000 jobs in the first year if passed.

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