A federal “card-check” proposal slowed in Congress this week, while a state effort to push a similar measure—making it easier for labor unions to organize in workplaces—is still in the legislature.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) said he would oppose the federal proposal, possibly denying advocates the 41 votes they need to move it forward. But with the support of organized labor, the bill’s prospects could change again.

Deceptively titled the “Employee Free Choice Act,” the federal bill would actually make an employee’s choice anything but free—virtually eliminating the secret-ballot voting currently governed and monitored under the National Labor Relations Act.

Card check proposals enable labor unions to form in a workplace simply by collecting signed petitions (or “cards”) from a majority of employees indicating that they favor organizing a union and designating a particular labor union to represent their interests.

Ironically, the same employees whose votes for the president of the United States and all other state and federal offices are protected by secret ballot would be forced to give up that protection on the question of unionization.

The card-check proposal now awaiting action in the state House of Representatives (HB-6534) applies to only public-sector employers, but advocates intend to expand its reach into private-sector.

Card check is a bad idea at any time, but especially harmful in this very difficult economy when many Connecticut employers are doing everything they can just to stay open. CBIA encourages lawmakers to focus instead on ways to help employers create even more jobs and the wealth and benefits they provide.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860-244-1931 or kia.murrell@cbia.com..