Monday, March 16, 2009

CDW: Hoffa's Card Check Gaffe Coincides With 20th Anniversary of Justice Department Requiring Teamsters to Hold Secret Ballot Elections

/PRNewswire -- The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) is launching an advertising campaign on the card check issue this week that coincides with the 20th anniversary of the United States Justice Department ordering the Teamsters to allow its members to vote for their leaders by secret ballot. The Teamsters agreed to a landmark consent decree with the federal government on March 13, 1989 to avoid prosecution on mob-related corruption.

On March 10, 2009, James P. Hoffa, the current president of the Teamsters, mocked the importance of the secret ballot in a press release that commended Democratic congressional leaders for pushing forward with legislation to eliminate the secret ballot for union organizing elections.

In a desperate attempt to shift attention away from the fact that the card check scheme pushed by Big Labor and its allies on Capitol Hill would strip away worker privacy and make workers vulnerable to threats of intimidation and coercion, Mr. Hoffa, who has been elected by the Teamsters' secret ballot system three times, asked "since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?"

The CDW ad campaign juxtaposes Hoffa's comments on the card check debate with the American people's overwhelming support of the secret ballot. A poll conducted in January for CDW found that 82 percent of likely voters believe a worker's vote in a union organizing election should be kept private; 86 percent believe a secret ballot election is the best way to protect the individual rights of workers. Only 11 percent support the card check scheme that would make the votes of workers public to their employers, co-workers and union organizers.

"The Teamsters were right to agree to use the secret ballot in 1989," said Brian Worth, with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. "It cleaned up mob-related corruption and made the union more accountable to rank and file workers. I'm assuming Mr. Hoffa is not in favor of taking away the secret ballot from his members. I just don't understand how he can justify stripping it away from the millions of American workers who don't belong to his union."

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