Forced-labor unionism wrong for Colorado

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"
More worker-choice stories: here • Big Bedfellows stories: here

Voters consider alternate scheme: worker-choice

If you start your own company, nobody would say you must join a chamber of commerce in order to stay in business. If you grow corn, nobody would say you must join the Corn Growers Association. Or the Cattlemen's Association if you raise cattle.

Yet thousands of Coloradans are forced to join or pay dues to private organizations against their will at many workplaces across Colorado.

Seem unfair that someone could force you to join a private organization as a condition of employment? It is. But this is what thousands of Colorado workers endure by being forced to join a union in order to get a paycheck.

There are plenty of reasons to join private organizations that might benefit you or the community at large, but we don't think anybody should be forced to join. That's why we support Amendment 47.

Amendment 47, the Colorado Right to Work Amendment, is simple — it says that a worker cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. But it also preserves a worker's right to voluntarily join or financially support a union.

Take for example, the Plumbers Union Local 3, the Colorado Education Association, or the Fire Fighters Local 1290. All are unions whose members choose, freely, to join. They exist because their members see something of value in being part of these private organizations. Amendment 47 affords every worker the same right to freely choose to join or not, without risking their job.

Amendment 47 is not anti-union; it's pro-freedom and pro-worker. The benefits are two-fold.

• It's a freedom issue. We believe all workers should have the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union or pay union dues. Current law in Colorado allows some unions to force workers to pay dues, whether that worker wants to or not. That's un-American and fundamentally flawed.

• There are 22 right-to-work states already, and studies consistently show that right-to-work states perform better economically than non-right-to-work states. That means more jobs, higher-paying jobs and a better economic environment for the entire state.

In the West, we value individualism and personal responsibility. Forcing thousands of Coloradans to join a private organization in order to keep a job is wrong. The loss of revenue might be feared by union bosses who get paid whether they do a good job or not, but the freedom to associate with whom we choose is a freedom we all deserve.

Amendment 47 doesn't prohibit unions in Colorado. In fact, it might actually strengthen the collective voice of workers. By making a union boss actually earn his membership, he'll have to better represent workers, be more responsive, and make a bigger difference for those workers. If a union is truly effective and does a great job for its membership, it only makes sense that a worker would voluntarily join.

Amendment 47 will make Colorado a better place to live, work and do business.

It's the American way. It's the Colorado way.

In America, freedom is among our highest ideals. Let's advance freedom together in Colorado.

Visit www.VoteYESon47.com for more information.

- Ryan Frazier is a member of the Aurora City Council.


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