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 Senator Arlen Specter Will Not Support the Employee Free Choice Act
Reversing His Previous Support of the Bill and Reducing
its Chance of Passage
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Washington, D.C., March 24, 2009 – Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced on the Senate floor today that he would not support a critical vote on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), reversing his previous support of the bill and reducing its chance of passage.  The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is a leading proponent in the national movement to defeat EFCA. 

“On merits, the issue which has emerged at the top of the list for many is the elimination of the secret ballot which is the cornerstone of how contests are decided in a democratic society.  The bill’s requirement for compulsory arbitration, if an agreement is not reached within 120 days, may subject the employer to a deal he or she cannot life with.  Such arbitration runs contrary to the basic tenet of the Wagner Act for collective bargaining, which makes the employer liable only for a deal he or she agrees to,” argued Sen. Specter in his statement on the floor this afternoon.

“This is a decisive moment in the debate,” said Marlene Colucci, AH&LA’s executive vice president for public policy.  “Sen. Specter’s announcement is just the kind of thoughtful decision that more Senators need to reach.  600,000 Americans a year could lose their jobs if this bill passes Congress, and his decision to not support the bill’s vote keeps those jobs from becoming another American economic tragedy.  Sen. Specter deserves credit for protecting a worker’s rights to a secret ballot instead and he has earned the thanks of America’s 48,000 lodging properties today for his principled stance.”

Specter’s opposition to a cloture vote on the bill is another indication that the seriously flawed EFCA is losing support in Congress and around the country.  Specter’s support of a worker’s right to a private ballot in the workplace could send the legislation down to defeat because of the 60 votes organized labor needs to overcome a promised Republican filibuster. 

Last week, members of the American Hotel and Lodging Association came to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress and urge their opposition to EFCA.  “We have stated repeatedly we will not compromise on something as fundamentally American as the private ballot,” said Colucci.  “This fight is not over by any means, but today’s announcement by Sen. Specter is a sign that our voice is being heard.” 

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.  For more about AH&LA, visit www.ahla.com.

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Contact:

AH&LA
www.ahla.com

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Also See: Study Shows Organized Labor's Effort to Pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and its Card Check Proposal Comes with a Terrible Cost to Jobs and the Economy / March 2009
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