“Right To Work” Initiative Gets A Face Lift

A proposed measure seeking to weaken union shops in the state has gotten a make over.

The “right to work” initiative, which would regulate whether or not employees be required to pay dues when working in an organized union shop has been refiled with newer and shorter language.

Unlike the previous proposal, which took most of it’s language from Oklahoma legislation on the same issue, the new initiative contains stricter language when defining labor unions.Here is the text from the old initiative:

as used in this section, “labor organization” means any organization of any kind, or agency or employee representation committee or union, that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning wages, rates of pay, hours of work, other conditions of employment, or other forms of compensation.

And here is the new text (PDF):

AS USED IN THIS SECTION, “LABOR UNION” MEANS ANY ORGANIZATION OF ANY KIND, OR AGENCY OR EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION COMMITTEE OR ORGANIZATION, THAT EXISTS FOR THE PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OF DEALING WITH EMPLOYERS CONCERNING WAGES, RATES OF PAY, HOURS OF WORK, OTHER CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT, OR OTHER FORMS OF COMPENSATION; ANY ORGANIZATION THAT EXISTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING OR OF DEALING WITH EMPLOYERS CONCERNING GRIEVANCES; AND ANY ORGANIZATION PROVIDING OTHER MUTUAL AID OR PROTECTION IN CONNECTION WITH EMPLOYMENT.

Since the language has been changed, the measure will need to go to a review and comment hearing again with legislative staff members.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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