Salazar, Perlmutter oppose ‘right-to-work’ measure

Democratic U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, a politician known for his moderate stances in Washington, D.C., joined U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) in breaking the usual political protocol of not wading into local issues to oppose Amendment 47, a “right-to-work” state ballot measure that would restrict the way labor unions organize.

The pair attended a “No on 47” kick-off rally at the local United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union headquarters Saturday, reportedly pledging to fight the proposal until Election Day, according to a news release from the union:

Salazar said he “sat next to the backers of 47 and asked them to get rid of 47 because it is bad for Colorado and they said no.” Salazar continued, “We need to band together to fight 47 and I’m going to be there every inch of the way. Amendment 47 is a distraction to the real issues affecting Colorado. It will weaken our economy if not defeated.”

Perlmutter concurred, adding: “Most big businesses and chambers are standing with working men and women of Colorado to defeat this miserable piece of junk. [Amendment 47] would continue to divide the very top from the rest of us,” and said it was “designed to hurt working men and women.”

In addition to fighting the “right-to-work” measure, the UFCW local is sponsoring two other ballot measures this year, in what has become the longest state ballot in the nation. Amendment 56 would require companies with more than 20 employees to provide health care coverage and Amendment 57 would give employees injured on the job stronger legal rights against their employers.

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

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