WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ The American Hotel & Lodging Association spent $350,000 in the first quarter to lobby mostly on labor and immigration issues, according to a recent disclosure report. The trade group, whose members include Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Marriott International Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide Corp., is opposing a hotly contested bill that would simplify the process of forming unions, arguing that it violates workers' rights to secret ballots. The group also opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law in January, which allows more leeway for women and others who claim pay discrimination. The association lobbied on immigration reform as well ¿ including rules related to employees of federal contractors and seasonal worker visas. The group also lobbied on bills that would create a health insurance program for small businesses and individuals, and a not-for-profit corporation to promote travel to the U.S. The trade group lobbied Congress, the White House, as well as the departments of Commerce, Labor and Homeland Security in the January-March period, according to the report filed April 20 with the Senate Office of Public Records.
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