Navigators Global was retained by Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) to defeat card check. With heavy union support, Democrats had just taken control of Congress, and union confidence was high that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (card check) would pass through Congress. Navigators Global’s initial situational audit concluded several sobering facts: 1) We would be significantly outspent; 2) We would be significantly out-maneuvered on the grassroots level; and 3) The unions had the votes needed to win.
Navigators Global developed, researched and executed a political campaign-style effort on behalf of CDW. The campaign identified key target audiences, developed and researched the most effective messages, provided offensive and defensive tools, and was results-driven with quantifiable metrics for success. Navigators Global employed three steps in its strategy to defeat card check. First, Navigators Global changed the “face” of the campaign, making it a fight between union bosses and workers, and branded the private ballot as the symbol of the campaign. Second, Navigators Global commissioned a poll to determine the correct message the campaign should adopt. Finally, Navigators Global executed the campaign with print, television and radio ads, and an all-inclusive website promoting the message of the campaign and serving as a one-stop shop of information.
Unions lost control of the message fight. They wanted the fight to be a debate about the merits of joining a union. Navigators Global made it a fight about secret ballots and work privacy. Card check died in the Senate when the unions failed to secure the 60 votes needed for passage.