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House committee introduces Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. — The chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce has introduced legislation that is designed to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from implementing sweeping changes to the workplace.

Jon Kline on Wednesday itnroduced H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, will force the NLRB to change course and reaffirm the protections workers and employers have received for decades, the House committee said.

“The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act is a responsible proposal that will protect employers’ free speech and workers’ free choice," Kline said. "While some would prefer to stand by and watch as the board harasses employers and weakens worker protections, my Republican colleagues and I are determined to hold the NLRB accountable for its job-destroying agenda.”

The legislation garnered praise from the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which hopes it will be swiftly passed.

“RILA applauds chairman Kline for his commitment to protecting the rights of employees and employers. This commonsense legislation is necessary because of ill-conceived actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), actions that jeopardize exiting jobs and future job creation,” RILA SVP government affairs Bill Hughes said. “We urge for the speedy consideration and passage of this important legislation.”

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a legislative hearing on the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act next week.

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NPD: Still hope for video game spending

BY DSN STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON — NPD has some good news for retailers worried about weak video game sales this holiday season, according to a survey of spending habits in second quarter 2011.

In addition to the $1.44 billion spent in the United States by consumers on new physical video and personal computer game software in second quarter 2011, the total consumer spend on content via other monetization methods, including used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games, is estimated at $1.74 billion. The total amount spent by consumers on hardware, content and accessories is estimated at $4.5 billion, an increase of 1%, versus the second quarter 2010.

"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier said.

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Seasonal hiring up this year, survey finds

BY Allison Cerra

RICHMOND, Va. — The holiday hiring forecast is looking positive this year as more hourly hiring managers are slated to boost their seasonal staff, according to a survey commissioned by Snagajob.

According to the survey, 51% of hiring managers said they will hire seasonal workers this year, up eight points since 2008. Additionally, these managers plan to expand their staff by 5% (or 4.1 seasonal workers), compared with last year, and 32% above 2009.

Snagajob did note, however, that holiday hiring won’t reach prerecession levels. For instance, hiring managers don’t intend to hire as many temporary workers as they did in 2007 — a season during which they each recalled hiring 5.6 hourly, seasonal workers (including those who didn’t hire any).

According to the National Retail Federation, retail employment grew by 483,500 workers over the course of November and December 2010.

Snagajob’s survey results arrive at the heels of several reports on projected holiday retail sales. Deloitte projected sales to increase by 2.5% to 3%. ShopperTrak had similar results, projecting that national retail sales will increase 3% during November and December, adding that foot traffic will drop 2.2%. Research from Nielsen and PriceGrabber, however, echoed more of a "Bah, Humbug!" sentiment — both said consumers plan to spend less this year due to a negative outlook on the economy.

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