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WASHINGTON -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) commended the U.S. Senate for its rejection of H.R. 800 -- the Employee Free Choice Act -- which would require the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union if presented with signed authorization cards from a majority of employees the union is seeking to organize. The bill would also eliminate the National Labor Relations Act requirement for federally-supervised secret ballots in union elections.
The bill, sponsored by Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy, D-Mass, failed to receive the 60 votes needed to further debate the measure.
"Today, the Senate agreed to continue to allow union members the same rights to vote privately as they do on Election Day," Steve Pfister, NRF senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement. "A vote is a private matter and should be cast as such -- the rejection of this legislation saves workers from potential oppression and bullying."
NRF is a member of the management committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a business group formed to oppose the legislation, and co-chairs the group's lobbying committee.
"Even though the immediate battle is over, the challenge on this issue is long term," NRF vice president for government and political affairs Rob Green said. "We won the fight this year, but organized labor will not give up easily -- this issue will most certainly come before Congress again -- and we must continue to be vigilant in standing up for the privacy rights of workers across the country."