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Congress Urged to Overturn New Labor Rules

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation here Thursday urged Congress to act quickly on legislation to overturn a National Labor Relations Board ruling it said would result in “ambush elections” for unions.

The NRF said legislation would use the Congressional Review Act to overturn new election rules adopted by the NLRB in December and set to take effect April 30. Unlike typical bills that require 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate, the Congressional Review Act would require only a simple 51-vote majority to pass. The measure would then require House approval before the NLRB regulations could be overturned.

Passed in 1996 to allow Congress to review regulations issued by government agencies, the law has been successfully used only once before, to overturn Labor Department ergonomics regulations in 2001.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, Washington, also supported the legislative action.

“We applaud the introduction of these resolutions and urge that Congress act quickly to pass them in order to protect the rights of workers. These resolutions overturn an ill-conceived NLRB decision that would deny employees access to critical information and time to consider the issues at hand prior to entering the voting booth in a union election,” said Katherine Lugar, executive vice president for public affairs, RILA.

A joint resolution was introduced in both chambers of Congress Thursday. The resolution is sponsored in the Senate by Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. In the House, it is sponsored by John Kline, R-Minn., with Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., and Phil Roe, R-Tenn., as lead cosponsors.

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