A significant policy debate has been occurring regarding union organizing methods in the United States. This debate focuses on the appropriateness of granting union recognition based on majority support as demonstrated by union authorization card signatures, also known as “card checking.” Critics describe the practice as anathema to basic democratic principles and accuse unions of wanting to deal from the bottom of the deck to secure undeserved representation of employees. Proponents of card check recognition argue that reliance on National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) organizing procedures fails to protect employees' rights to organize, and forces unions to compete against a stacked deck that unfairly favors employers. Indeed, the labor movement in the United States has long been dissatisfied with the legal framework under which unions operate. This frustration was illustrated by American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (“AFL-CIO”) President Lane Kirkland's statement in the early 1980s suggesting that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) be repealed, thereby allowing unions and employers to operate within the “law of the jungle.” Perhaps owing to sustained union membership losses, unions have recently fought hard for legislation that will facilitate the organizing process.
Rafael Gely & Timothy D. Chandler, Card Check Recognition: New House Rules for Union Organizing?, 35 Fordham Urb. L.J. 247 (2008)