5/23/08

Denver Post sets smoke screen for labor unions

Pro-union sheet campaigns against worker-choice

Union interests plan to file a formal complaint alleging that proponents of the right-to-work initiative committed fraud while collecting signatures to place the measure on November's ballot. The challenge will probably be filed Wednesday in Denver District Court, said Jess Knox, executive director of Protect Colorado's Future, the labor-backed group fighting the measure.

Based on a sampling of the 133,000 signatures submitted, the secretary of state's office last month certified the right-to-work measure for the ballot. The initiative, which seeks to ban compulsory union membership in Colorado, is slated to appear as Amendment 47.

Dozens of people working for Protect Colorado's Future pored over all the signatures after they were certified. The group may claim that false addresses were provided for the signatures or challenge the validity of the notaries.

Knox said specifics will be disclosed in the complaint.

"We'll most likely present evidence of the extensive pattern of fraud and potential criminal activity involved in the collection of signatures by Jonathan Coors and the other folks supporting Amendment 47," Knox said.

Coors is director of government relations for Golden-based CoorsTek, which has provided the bulk of funding to A Better Colorado, the group behind the right-to-work initiative.

"This is nothing more than a smoke screen," said Kelley Harp, spokesman for A Better Colorado. "It's clear the unions will do everything in their power to keep Amendment 47 off the ballot because they know it will pass in November."

In a May 1 letter obtained by The Denver Post, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 president Ernest Duran told members to expect to see the measure on the ballot.UFCW is a major financial backer of Protect Colorado's Future.

(denverpost.com)

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