In early 2009, Congress embarked on a massive effort to enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), legislation designed to fundamentally transform union organizing. Commonly known as the "card check" bill, EFCA's supporters in organized labor hoped its passage would facilitate union organizing by favoring majority sign-up procedures over the use of secret ballots in union elections.
Despite a strong Democratic majority and President Obama's support, EFCA supporters were unable to secure the votes necessary to get the bill approved in the Senate. EFCA was defeated by a strong lobbying campaign orchestrated by NRCA and other business groups aimed at preserving the use of secret ballot elections, which a majority of NRCA members believe are a cornerstone of democracy benefiting employers and workers.
With Republicans now in control of the House of Representatives, there is no chance Congress will approve EFCA or similar legislation. However, EFCA supporters haven't given up their objective of making union organizing easier; they now have turned to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to achieve their goals through smaller regulatory initiatives.