Secret union ballot measure gains approval

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Voters have approved Proposition 113, an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that guarantees the right of a secret ballot for employees deciding whether to be represented by unions.

The immediate effect is minimal because employers already can demand a secret ballot in such votes.

Making the requirement a constitutional amendment is an effort to pre-empt proposed federal legislation that is stalled in the U.S. Senate. The federal legislation, known as the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow a majority of employees to create a union by signing a card.

Unions say that employers currently can intimidate their workers and exploit labor laws to thwart efforts to organize employees. But business groups who supported Proposition 113 argue that a secret ballot prevents unions from publicly intimidating workers and forcing them to sign on.

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