The Illinois Restaurant Association has released the following statement in opposition to the Chicago City Council's passage of a resolution in support of the federal Employee Free Choice Act, also known as "card check."

We oppose the resolution not only as the representatives of the thousands of restaurant operators who will be negatively affected, but also because we see this as an assault on the employee's right to private-ballot elections. Currently, employees are afforded the basic right to privately cast their vote on the issue of union organization, free of coercion from co-workers, union representatives and management.

"The Employee Free Choice Act is an important issue which warrants a public hearing," Sheila O'Grady, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said in the release. "It is disappointing that the Chicago City Council did not give an issue as important as 'card check' a hearing so that all affected parties could present their case to the elected officials voting on the matter."

In the current economy, businesses are already under pressure from the significant cost increases in labor, food, taxes and license fees. Any legislation that has the potential to hurt business should not be approved by any legislative body during this recession. "We should all be working together to create jobs and help private industry remain profitable," said O'Grady.

For more information, contact the Illinois Restaurant Association.