Introduced in the House of Representatives on March 5, the National Labor Relations Modernization Act (H.R. 1355) is like EFCA’s little sister.

The main difference is that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) allows for instant unionization when a majority of employees sign a card–the infamous card check provision. What the Modernization Act calls for instead are elections within 30 days of 30 percent of the employees’ having signed cards (can’t get rid of those cards, huh?), which vastly speeds up the system now in place.

The House bill, introduced by Pennsylvania’s Representative Joe Sestak, like EFCA mandates mediation on contract negotiations (if the union wins the election), but only after 120 days, not 90, and it then allows another 120 days to reach agreement on a contract, not the 30 under EFCA. Then if there is still no agreement, an arbitrator can dictate a contract that would prevail for 18 months, which is six months shorter than EFCA’s provision.

Like EFCA, the Modernization Act stiffens penalties on employers for interfering in the election process or retaliating against employee organizers and advocates. It also gives the union equal access to employees prior to the election so the employees cannot be “brainwashed” by their employers.

The bill looks to stand little chance. It’s languishing in the House Education and Labor Committee with no co-sponsors, but something like this may eventually see the light of law if Senators keep backing off EFCA.