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Reps. McCollum, Oberstar and Senator Franken Support National Mediation Board’s Decision to Recognize a Simple Majority

May 18, 2010
Press Release

Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

Washington, DC - This week, Representatives Betty McCollum (MN-D) and James Oberstar (MN-D) and Senator Al Franken (MN-D) sent a letter President Barack Obama in support of the National Mediation Board's (NMB) decision to recognize a simple majority in the airline and rail industry representation elections. Prior to this rule-making, non-voting workers were counted as "no" votes in these organizing elections. The latest decision from the NMB ensures that "yes" votes are counted as "yes," "no" votes are counted as "no," and non-voting employees are not counted.

"We must ensure that representative elections follow a fair process where all voting participants are counted," said Representative McCollum. "Designating non-voting participants as ‘no' votes is anti-democratic. I strongly urge the Obama Administration to defend this rule since supporters of an anti-democratic organizing process have filed a lawsuit."

"We are adhering to a simple democratic concept, you count the votes cast and the side with the majority wins," said Representative Oberstar. "Counting non-voters as "no" votes is a way to stack the deck against efforts to unionize a workplace and is not an appropriate way to run a free and fair election."

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.