The Employee Free Choice Act, HR 800, is the bill that would require the National Labor Relations Board to certify unions as bargaining representative based on a “card check.” This means unions can sign up employees via signed authorization cards which are easier to obtain than votes in a secret ballot election. Under current law, the employer can reject a card check as proof of the union’s representation, and demand the election, which is typically conducted by the NLRB. The new Bill also would impose civil penalties for certain unfair labor pratices. Finally, the Bill would set short timetables for negotiating a firist contract, with “interest arbitration” required if the parties do not come to agreement within a specified time. The Bill was just reported out of committee on February 14. (“Happy Valentine’s Day, Unions!”) Passage is likely in the House. Unclear what will happen in the Senate. According to this Reuters article, Vice Pres. Cheney says the President will veto the Bill if passed.