Editorial: Workers deserve choice about unions

Greeley Tribune breaks ranks with pro-union Denver Post

Back in the old days, when greedy bosses viewed factory workers as expendable cogs in their money-making machines, unions were the only thing protecting workers from poor conditions, thin paychecks or harassment. Now the unions themselves are allowed to exploit workers.

The way things stand now, many unions, under collective bargaining agreements, require every worker to pay union fees. If they don't want to join the union, that doesn't matter. They pay anyway. Even if they're opposed to unions, they pay anyway.

That's extortion and exploitation, and that's why we're supporting Amendment 47, the so-called Right-To-Work measure.

The measure makes unions get their money the old-fashioned way. They have to earn it.

The measure makes it illegal for collective bargaining agreements to force employees to pay fees to a union.

If unions were disbanded by this measure, however, we don't believe that would be a bad thing. Government agencies such as OSHA and laws that set minimum wages have taken the place of unions and may do as much to protect workers as today's unions.

Workers who don't want to pay dues are either forced to by certain collective bargaining agreements, or the workers who don't may face the cold shoulder from fellow employees.

Unions have become bloated agencies more interested in protecting themselves through draconian laws that force workers to pay them instead of earning a worker's trust, and a portion of her paycheck, by demonstrating that they really are worth the money.

But we're not here to wish unions would disband. We like the measure because it doesn't destroy unions, although that's the fear of some of the unions who have opposed it. It simply gives workers a choice as to whether they want to join or not.

Giving workers a choice, after all, was why they were formed in the first place.


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