The 2008 Colorado Ballot

47: Right to Work Freeload


This would make union dues optional. As it is in every person's interest for all others to pay dues, but for each individual to not pay and get a free ride from the others - this would end union dues and thereby end unions in Colorado.

This initiative was the first shot in attempting to destroy the Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943.

Vote NO! Devastating Impact Vote No

At present the balance between labor and management here in Colorado slightly favors management. Passing this amendment will change that to an overwhelming advantage to management. With no union dues there is no union. In practice this eliminates unions.

Unions are not perfect. But they are a critical counter-balance to the natural impulse of companies to maximize profits at the expense of the employees. This counterbalance benefits all workers, including those in non-union jobs.

In addition, to continue with the incredibly successful Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943, this (and the other 6 peace act violators) must be defeated.

Arguments Against

To quote the Chamber of Commerce - "Continued support of these initiatives creates an adversarial dynamic between these groups and threatens Colorado's economic peace and vitality," the Chamber said in a statement, adding that the current Labor Peace Act has "served Colorado well for 60 years in allowing for cordial relations between management and labor."

Right to WorkFreeload states do not perform significantly better in wages, economic development or business growth than Colorado.

States with laws like Amendment 47 are often viewed as less worker friendly. Under Amendment 47, employees can avoid paying their fair share for representation to improve wages, health care benefits, and workplace safety because federal law requires that all private-sector employees receive the benefits of collective bargaining, whether they are union members or not. Labor unions with fewer resources are not as effective in standing up for the interests of all employees.

Amendment 47 may define labor union too broadly. By defining labor union to include organizations that provide mutual aid or protection, employers may be banned from requiring employees to belong to organizations that promote workplace safety or provide job-related education programs.

Arguments For

This will enable companies to increase profits by reducing compensation for their employees. In the present difficult economic times, companies need this assistance to improve their bottom line.

States with laws like Amendment 47 are often viewed as more business friendly. Labor laws are a factor that businesses consider when deciding where to relocate or expand. Therefore, the measure may help the state as it competes with other states for new jobs and business investment from companies that wish to pay low wages.



Legislative Council

Secretary of State

The Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943


Come join the discussion on this initiative at any of the following blogs:

Liberal & Loving It

Colorado Pols




Protect Colorado's Future

Colorado AFL-CIO

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce

Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance

The Colorado Bankers Association

The Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition


A Better Colorado