Monday, April 28, 2008

Post lets Coors dissemble on right to free-ride ballot measure

The Colorado Secretary of State's office has certified the "right-to-work" ballot measure for this November's election. It's an odious ballot measure that allows workers in a unionized work place to opt out of paying any dues to the union for their collective bargaining work. The union though is still bound to collectively bargain for those workers. So the worker doesn't have to pay any monies in and still gets the benefits of union collective bargaining - higher wages, better benefits and safer work places. Pretty good deal! The measure faces an uphill climb but if the Denver Post is going to let it's proponents dissemble at will then the proposals backers may have a chance. Look at this quote from the today's article,

Jonathan Coors, a key proponent of the measure, said making Colorado a right-to-work state "will guarantee that all workers in Colorado have the freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to join a union."

Coors of course fails to mention:

1. Colorado workers already have a choice before their workplace becomes unionized and they can express that choice via the NLRB election that must take place before any union is certified to collectively bargain - 50+1% and the union is through the first hurdle in Colorado, anything less and it is not.

2. Beyond the NLRB election Colorado law requires a second vote to certify the union and this election requires a supermajority of 75% of all workers to vote in favor in order to certify a union.

3. There is no requirement that you join a union, even if you work in a union shop.

Right now even if you are not in the union you pay a small amount of dues in order to pay for the costs of the collective bargaining. If this bill passes it will not change the rights of Colorado's workers one bit. It will though allow free riders to continue to gain the myriad of documented benefits that come from union representation while not paying a dime for the costs of that representation.

This has nothing to do with workers and everything to do with financially undermining labor. That a Coors is backing this measure is no surprise given the family and the breweries odious history.

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