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Card-check laws, which have been unsuccessfully pursued by private-sector unions, mandate that employers recognize the union as the representative of employees on the basis of signed authorization cards without reliance on a representation election. Card check authorization benefits unions because it short circuits the usual organizing process by eliminating the union's need to further prove majority support in a secret ballot election.' But by doing so, it imposes costs on employers by restricting their efforts to erode union support through aggressive campaign tactics. Our paper seeks to better understand the development of these laws and their effects, and in that way, identify lessons for future public-sector labor law and unionization.



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