Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) is "an ad-hoc alliance of industry groups opposed to federal legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize" -- the Employee Free Choice Act -- according to its website. It was formed in 2005.[1] "The coalition's political strategy and communications efforts are run by DC Navigators, a consulting firm that also does work for Republican politicians. Navigators explained the strategy on the firm's Web site: 'Unions lost control of the message fight; they wanted [the] fight to be a debate about [the] merits of joining a union and Navigators made it a fight about secret ballots.'"[1]

The Employee Free Choice Act was filibustered by Senate Republicans in June 2007. Since then, CDW has changed its focus to "concern over recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board."[2]

Money and Advertising

"The business umbrella group Coalition for a Democratic Workplace has committed $200 million overall to defeat" EFCA, the National Journal reported in February 2009.[3]

According to the Associated Press in January 2009, the coalition "bought several million dollars in ads during the last session of Congress, and plan to spend a similar amount this year."[4]

The National Journal reported that CDW "expect[ed] to spend close to $20 million, mostly on issue ads in Senate races" in 2008. CDW's goal was to maintain enough Republican seats in the Senate that Republicans could filibuster EFCA in the 111th Congress, which began in January 2009. CDW "debuted in April [2008] with a national cable-TV ad campaign," added the Journal. "The spots are the handiwork of Mike Murphy, a GOP ad maven and longtime outside adviser to John McCain.... For other communications needs, the coalition has tapped DC Navigators, the Washington lobbying and public-affairs shop that Murphy helped to found. Navigators Vice President Rhonda Bentz, a coalition spokeswoman, says that the business effort has pulled in some contributions 'from seven-figure donors, but most are well under a million.'"[5]

Coalition Members

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace now consists of over 600 organizations.[6]

National member groups include: [7]

Local and state member groups, which are listed on CDW's website, include local chapters of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) and Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC); groups representing owners of restaurants, hotels and other local businesses; and local chambers of commerce and industry lobby groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

Articles and Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, "About," organizational campaign website, accessed February 26, 2015.
  2. Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, "About," organization campaign website, accessed February 26, 2015.
  3. Alyssa Rosenberg, "Business: It's Not Just 'Card Check'," The National Journal, February 14, 2009.
  4. Jim Abrams, "Tougher battles ahead for labor after early win," Associated Press, January 30, 2009.
  5. Peter H. Stone, "Business Nervously Eyes the Senate: Corporate interests fervently want a cloture-blocking 41 Republican senators," The National Journal, July 26, 2008.
  6. Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, "About," organizational campaign website, accessed February 26, 2015.
  7. Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, "Membership," organizational campaign website, accessed February 26, 2015.

External resources

External articles