Union Submits Measures for 2008 Ballot

    The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) labor union in Colorado is planning to submit multiple ballot measures this week to be placed on the 2008 ballot.

    The proposals cover a wide variety of workplace issues, including company tax credits, workplace safety, health insurance and a standard living wage for Colorado workers.
    According to draft ballot proposals obtained by Colorado Confidential, the UFCW is planning to put five issues up for a vote this election season.

    One proposal would require all employers to supply an annual wage or salary increase to account for an increase in the cost of living, as measured by the state’s Consumer Price Index.

    Another would prohibit the state from providing tax credits or subsidies to corporations or companies with business operations in Colorado that move all or part of their operations to locations outside the United States.

    One UFCW proposal mirrors a similar ballot measure that has already been submitted for consideration, which would require companies with more than 20 employees to provide medical health care coverage.

    The remaining two would increase the valuation for assessments of non-residential properties and give employees injured on the job stronger legal rights against their employers.

    In a statement released by the union, UFCW Local 7 spokesman Manny Gonzales said that the measures are to counter a “right-to-work” measure that seeks to weaken labor’s organizing power in the state.

    “If this ‘right-to-work’ amendment passes we believe it will have severe detrimental effects on the quality of life for Colorado’s working families,” Gonzales said. “These initiatives will protect workers’ rights.”

    All measures must gain title through the state’s Legislative Council and collect enough petition signatures to be placed on the 2008 ballot.

    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@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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