Legislative Memo


S.4383 (Spano)/ A. 7404 (Nolan)



Revoking the secret ballot process



May 22 , 2001


The Business Council of New York State, whose membership includes over 4,000 member firms as well as hundreds of chambers of commerce and professional trade associations, has reviewed the above mentioned legislation and opposes its enactment.

This bill would amend section 705 of the Labor law and give the New York State Employment Relations Board the authority to appoint collective bargaining agents.

The Business Council opposes this bill for the following reasons:

  • This bill deprives employees of their right to vote for a collective bargaining agent, a right that organized labor fought for and achieved decades ago.

  • This bill erodes the sanctity of the secret ballot and leaves the determination of a collective bargaining agent to the New York State Employment Relations Board, a group of five people unrelated to the affected employees and not familiar with the particular local employment situation.

  • This bill would support an environment where getting a signature on a card would be more important than the distribution of crucial information from both the union and employer to employees in order to give them accurate and timely information in order to make an informed decision on representation.

  • This bill eliminates the opportunity for both the union and employer to conduct a legitimate informational campaign.

  • This bill does not authorize the New York State Employment Relations Board to decertify unions in this same manner as appointing them.

  • This bill values "... increased efficiency in the process..." over the democracy that supervised, secret ballot elections bring to the workplace.

For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully urges that it not be enacted by the Senate.