(Washington, DC) – The National Restaurant Association expressed concern over the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” the topic of a hearing held today in the Senate House Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The proposal would replace secret ballot elections with a “card-check” process, in which employees would make their decision in front of union organizers and without the employer having an opportunity to present its position to workers. The law currently protects employees in making that choice through secret ballot elections after both the union and the employer are given an opportunity to present their views why the workplace should or should not be unionized.

Earlier this month, the National Restaurant Association expressed disappointment following House passage of H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

“Card-check would take away a worker’s right to a federally-supervised secret-ballot process, infringing on employees’ rights, and eliminating the rights of employers to explain to employees why the workplace may be better off being non-union,” said Peter Kilgore, the Association’s acting interim president and chief executive officer. “The only way to guarantee employee protection from coercion from union organizers or employers is through the continued use of a federally supervised secret ballot so that personal decisions about whether or not to join a union remain private.”

The Association, which represents an industry of 12.8 million employees who work at 935,000 restaurant and foodservice locations is a leader in the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), a coalition of workers, employers, associations and organizations who are fighting to protect the right to a federally supervised private ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to join a union.

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