The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is a bill aimed to remove barriers to collective bargaining in the workplace. It includes provisions enabling a card check system for voting to establish a union and guaranteeing that workers who unionize can negotiate a contract with their employer. Catherine L. Fisk, author of Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930 (which we’ll publish this fall), offers her take on the part of the bill that hasn’t been talked about as much as the card check measure.
First-contract arbitration will end the widespread employer practice of flouting the duty to bargain, talking a union to death and acting with impunity in defeating the employees’ choice of unionization. It will have no effect on law-abiding employers that negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement with their employees. It will only affect those employers that refuse to enter into a collective bargaining agreement in a reasonable time after initial union certification; it will allow for an initial contract for only two years, and it will do so through neutral and expert arbitration.
Read the full text of Fisk’s op-ed in The National Law Journal.