Score Two For Labor

Labor scored another victory this afternoon, as House Bill 1072 survived a Senate committee hearing by a partisan vote of 4-3. The proposal was first passed in the House of Representatives and is likely on its way to being passed in the Senate.

The bill would make it so labor unions would only need to win one election before being able to negotiate a contract to create a union shop, a place where newly hired workers are required to join the union. Currently, unions need to win two elections before being able to implement such an agreement. From the Rocky Mountain News:

“Colorado is anachronistic, this is undemocratic, unnecessary, time-consuming and it’s time for a change,” said Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, the sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

Unions say it’s a victory for workers. Steve Adams, president of the Colorado AFL-CIO, said business opponents “want unions to be at a disadvantage. They do not want unions to grow.”

Republican opponents, and their business backers, say Colorado is nearly surrounded by “right to work” states where “union shop” arrangements are banned, and the change will make the state less attractive for attracting business.

Governor Bill Ritter has indicated that he will not veto the measure if it arrives on his desk, despite outcry from members of the business community.

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