CDW Lauds Sen. Brown’s New Secret-Ballot Position

Statement Brings Hope for Opposing Card Check Via Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. // December 14, 2010 // Today, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) released the following statement in response to Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) recent comments on the importance of secret ballot elections for leadership positions in the nation’s senior legislative chamber:

"We welcome Sen. Brown’s newfound appreciation for the importance of secret ballot elections. Private ballots are key to ensuring voters’ true preferences are reflected in real elections. Sen. Brown has vigorously supported the anti-democratic, job-killing ‘card check’ bill known as the Employee Free Choice Act, which would effectively eliminate secret ballots when working Americans decide whether to join a union. We hope his new esteem for secret ballots will cause him to reconsider his support for regulatory efforts to push through EFCA via the National Labor Relations Board. We also wish him well in any secret ballot contest in which he enters."

The National Journal has reported:

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Monday he has enough backing to change the way Senate committee chairmen are picked to a secret ballot, a major shift that would hand influence to newer senators.

“I do expect leadership to adopt it,” said Brown, who said he has been pushing for the change for about a year and now believes he has enough support to convince Democratic leaders to back the change.

Currently, Senate Democrats are given a yes-or-no choice—which they must make aloud in front of their entire caucus—on whether the senior committee member who is expected to either become or remain chairman should receive that post. 

That means chairmen are elected by affirmation unless a member objects. Many members believe that process limits them to an only-symbolic role in ratifying leadership choices for chairmen.

“It’s not even a vote,” Brown said. “Nobody stands up and says ‘no.’”

About the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace
The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is a coalition of workers, employers, associations and organizations who are fighting to protect the right to a federally supervised private ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to join a union.