The United Fresh Produce Association strongly opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as "card check," reintroduced March 10 in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate after barely failing to pass last year. The bill aims to enable workers to bargain for better benefits, wages and working conditions by "restoring their freedom to choose whether to join a union," according to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations' Web site.

However, United Fresh says the bill would strip workers of their right to a secret ballot in union election. Thus, United Fresh has formed Card Check Grassroots Networks in eight states in an effort to bring together and educate companies and individuals from the entire produce supply chain about the dangers of the card check act. The eight "key" states, chosen after consulting with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, are: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"While we’ll take the fight over card check to every Congressional district, the eventual determination of whether this bill passes likely rests in the hands of just a few key senators in swing states,” United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a statement. For more information about United Fresh's stance on card check, visit

Last month, the Illinois Restaurant Association released a statement opposing the Chicago City Council's passage of a resolution to support card check.