Union Free America


Neutrality Agreements and Card Check Elections

Realizing that most employees don't want a union, the unions have had to come up with new ways to impose unionism on workers.

One of these schemes is called a "Neutrality Agreement."  A neutrality agreement is a deal between the union and the employer where the employer agrees to say and do nothing to oppose the union.

You might wonder why an employer would ever sign such an agreement.  Unfortunately, there are several reasons.

Unions use what are called "corporate campaigns" to extort employers into signing neutrality agreements and agreeing to recognize them on the basis of a “card check.”

These corporate campaigns have nothing to do with organizing workers.  They are massive public relations and dirty tricks campaigns aimed at hurting the business’ bottom line.  The unions viciously destroy reputations and the jobs of the workers they claim to want to help in their lust for members, money and power.

A corporate campaign can include any number of union tactics like filing frivolous complaint with government regulators, trying to get banks where they have pension funds on deposit to refuse financing to firms that won't go along, or fomenting boycotts of the company's products by "community" organizations. 

In other cases unions have used their clout with already organized companies, as the United Auto Workers (UAW) has done with the Big Three,  to get them to pressure suppliers to sign neutrality agreements.

And, of course, unions use their political clout to get public officials to pressure employers to sign neutrality agreements.

No matter what the excuse, neutrality agreements and "card check" elections are a terrible injustice for employees.

There are very few decisions that a worker makes about his or her job that are more important than whether to be represented by a union.  It's very likely that the employer will have information about this that the employee needs in order to make a well informed decision.  Under a neutrality agreement the employer can't give the employees this information.

To make matters worse, neutrality agreements usually include their ugly step-sister the "card check" election.  In a card check election the employer agrees to recognize a union as a representative on the basis of signed authorization cards rather than a secret ballot election.

The injustice of this is clear when you consider that unions lose most secret ballot elections when they petition with a narrow majority of employee signatures.

Why would this be the case?  For one thing, some employees sign authorization cards very early in a union organizing campaign when all they know is the pie in the sky promises of a union organizer.  Once they get more information they realize that a union isn't in their best interest.

In other instances union organizers misrepresent what the authorization card is all about.  This is particularly easy for them to do when the card is printed in English and the employee isn't fluent in English.

Sometimes unions use peer pressure and outright intimidation to get employees to sign authorization cards.

The long and short of it is that union authorization cards signed by a majority of employees are not a reliable indication of whether they really want union representation.

The unions know this.  That's why they want card check elections instead of secret ballot elections.

There are several things employees can to prevent this injustice.  If you learn that your employer is being pressured to sign a neutrality agreement, let it be known that you are opposed and urge your coworkers to do the same.  If you are already under the gun from such an agreement, contact us and we'll work with you on other strategies and tactics.

More information about neutrality agreements and card check elections can be found on the web page of the Center For Employee Rights.

Congress is considering legislation to take away the right of working Americans to a secret ballot vote on union representation and impose unionism on workers on the basis of anti-democratic so-called "card check" elections. For more information about that bill click here.


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