ABC June 26 offered its support for the Secret Ballot Protection Act (H.R. 2346) in response to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing meant to explore legislative opportunities to strengthen the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including H.R. 2346. 

In a letter sent to Rep. Phil Roe (R-Md.) and Rob Andrews (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee, ABC pointed out that workers can decide whether they want to be represented by a union through a federally supervised secret ballot election. 

“While it is true that existing procedures for fair elections call for secret ballot elections, these procedures must be protected from misguided and politically motivated attempts to curtail, circumvent and ultimately eliminate them,” ABC wrote. 

Under the current system, strict procedures are following in secret ballot elections to ensure fair elections, free of coercion by employers and unions. They allow employer and union representatives to be present for the election, but they may only observe and are not allowed to speak with employees or see how an individual votes. In addition, elections are held promptly—typically within 40 days of a petition being filed—and, contrary to concerns regarding unions’ ability to succeed using secret ballot elections, they prevail in more than 60 percent of representation elections. 

ABC supported H.R. 2346 because it would guarantee workers the right to an anonymous, secret ballot election when deciding whether or not to be represented by a union. The bill also prohibits” card check” campaigns.

ABC pointed out that those who sought to do away with secret ballots entirely by forcing unionization via card check campaigns are now supporting efforts by the National Labor Relations Board to erode worker privacy and employer free speech through regulation. During a card check campaign, organizers solicit and collect signatures of employees on authorization cards out in the open and use them to force an employer to accept the union as its employees’ sole bargaining agent.

“What was true in the days of the ironically named Employee Free Choice Act remains true today—the secret ballot is one of the cornerstones of the democratic process, and it deserves the utmost protection from those who wish to eliminate it,” ABC wrote.