Part of the debate surrounding EFCA focuses on the question of whether the card check provisions of ERCA would result in increased union organizing efforts. The empirical research available on this question has been slim. However, two professors have recently published a paper that sheds new light on the issue.

Rafael Gely, a law professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, and Timothy Chandler, a management professor at Louisiana State University, recently published Understanding Card-Check Organizing: The Public Sector Experience. An abstract of the article, and the article itself, can be found here.

Professors Gely and Chandler draw upon the experience of public sector unions in Illinois and Ohio. In each of these states, card check organizing of public sector employees has been voluntary. In Illinois, however, the law changed in 2003 to make card check organizing mandatory.

The research revealed that, in Ohio, secret ballot elections (like those run in the private sector) have remained the primary means of organizing new groups of employees. Similar data is found in Illinois, up to 2003. Since 2003 in Illinois, however, the "overwhelming majority of organizing has occurred via the mandatory card-check provision." Moreover, the authors conclude that the card check requirements led Illinois public sector unions to extend their organizing efforts to contexts in which they hadn’t previously organized.