Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to Congress: You Were Elected by Secret Ballot

/PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) today launched a new print ad highlighting the hypocrisy of members of Congress who enjoy secret ballots when choosing their leadership, while supporting the anti-worker Employee Free Choice Act, or "card check" bill. This undemocratic legislation will effectively remove secret ballots for workers in union organizing elections and bind employers to contracts that inhibit their ability to create much-needed new jobs.

The new ad reminds Congress that the recent battle between Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Henry Waxman for chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was decided by secret ballot. Quoting Rep. Louise Slaughter, "It's a secret ballot. Thank the Lord," the ad urges Congress not to take away secret ballots for millions of American workers.

"If secret ballot elections are good enough for members of the Congress, they ought to be good enough for American workers," said Brian Worth with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. "It's time for Congress to side with workers and oppose the job-killing Employee Free Choice Act."

Deciding whether to preserve the long-standing democratic right to a private ballot is one of the key issues that will define the Obama Administration in the first two years. The new Administration and the new Congress will face its first true test this year with the anti-worker Employee Free Choice Act. This Act, more aptly titled the Employee

"Forced" Choice Act, is nothing short of a full-frontal assault on American democracy and worker privacy.

CDW survey data indicates that support for maintaining private ballots in union organizing cuts across party lines. By a significant majority, Democrats, Republicans and Independents support maintaining a worker's right to cast their vote in private. Even among union households, a significant majority (69%) oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. And 76% of union voters say having a federally supervised secret ballot election is the best way to protect workers' rights when organizing a union.

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