Card-check provision reportedly dropped from union bill

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According to media reports, Democrats have agreed to drop a provision in legislation that would have made it easier for employees to form unions. The card-check provision of the Employee Free Choice Act would require certification of a union if a majority of employees signed authorizations designating the union as their bargaining representative — a process known as card check.

Under current law, the National Labor Relations Board oversees an election process for unions that uses secret ballots. Card check is allowed, but employers have to agree to it first. The revised legislation would make union elections happen quicker, which unions favor because it would give employers less time to campaign against unionization.

The card-check provision is the most controversial element of the union legislation and is strongly opposed by business groups. While Democrats have a supermajority in the Senate, several Democrats had voiced opposition to the card-check provision, which meant supporters would lack the votes to end a filibuster.

The Associated Press and New York Times, among other news outlets, reported the removal of the card-check provision on Friday, July 17. Their sources remained anonymous because negotiations on the Employee Free Choice Act — including talks with union leaders — are ongoing.