Friday, March 13, 2009

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Calls on Senator Warner to Clarify Position on Anti-Worker Card Check Bill

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) today called on Senator Warner to remove any uncertainty surrounding his position on the Employee Free Choice Act. The Employee Free Choice Act -- or "card check" bill will effectively eliminate secret ballots for workers in union organizing elections and bind employers to contracts that inhibit their ability to create much-needed new jobs.

"Senator Warner can't have it both ways by voting for cloture and voting against final passage. For workers, a vote for cloture is a vote to take away their right to a secret ballot," said Brian Worth with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

Cloture is an important procedural vote in the Senate that ends debate on a particular piece of legislation and allows it to proceed to a vote for final passage. Sixty votes are required for cloture, whereas a simple majority is needed for final legislative passage. As a result, if the Employee Free Choice Act receives 60 cloture votes, it will pass the Senate. A vote for cloture is a vote for the bill.

Recent press reports and statements have raised questions about whether Senator Warner will vote for or against this anti-worker legislation:

"Virginia's new Sen. [Mark] Warner, continues to maintain radio silence about his party's No. 1 priority: the card check bill. Perhaps that's an indication he harbors doubts about the measure. But it would be even better if Warner would publicly announce his opposition."

- Where's Warner? Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, January 7, 2009

"Besides the high stakes nationally -- and the rise of labor's political clout -- the card-check issue has created a unique conundrum for Virginia's freshman senator, Mark R. Warner. Unlike Sen. Jim Webb, a fellow Virginia Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, Warner refused to take a clear position on EFCA during his fall campaign. ...In a prepared statement for Virginia Business, Warner says, "I believe there is a need for reform in this area, and this legislation should be debated and voted upon by the Senate."

"Privacy and the secret ballot elections are at stake for millions of American workers and they deserve a clear, straightforward answer from Senator Warner about his position on the Employee Free Choice Act," said Worth.

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