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February 06, 2007 01:21 AM UTC

"Labor Peace Act" Heads to Ritter's Desk

  • by: Colorado Pols

From the Rocky Mountain News:

The Senate today approved the controversial pro-labor measure on a 19-15 party line vote, prompting Republicans to accuse Democrats of steamrolling it through the legislature at the bidding of big labor.

Outraged Republicans assailed Ritter and the Democratic leadership of duping the voters and failing to ever mention the pro-union measure during the November elections.

Republicans put on a big show around 1 p.m. and delivered a letter to Ritter urging him to keep a campaign promise to strike down anti-business legislation.

You can read the full text of the Republican letter here.


38 thoughts on ““Labor Peace Act” Heads to Ritter’s Desk

    1. House and Senate Republicans know the bill is not bad for business, but since they lost almost all support from business during the election they are willing to slander the Governor at any given moment. It’s quite sad.

      It’s a good piece of legislation for the workers of Colorado. It will level the playing field and allow workers to catch up to the rest of the United States, but it’s seems the R’s in Colorado only want to move backwards. 

    2. It would almost guarantee the Democrats will fair poorly in 2008.  Business leaders will only take so much and they are a potent force in Colorado politics.  Even Tim Gill can’t coutneract a business revolt in 2008.  Add to that the fact that Colorado voters have never seen so much left-wing lunacy come out of state government and things are looking very red.

      1. Or is this biblical?

        Insistent predictions based on nothing more than desire sounds rather juvenile.  I’m saying that glibly or to be nasty, it is a juvenile trait.  “My team will beat your team” is a kind of affirmation by desperation; if I say it enough it will come true. 

        What were your predictions last fall?  BWB will get the business commmunity’s support?  That the ‘Pubs will take back one or both of the legislative houses either in Colorado or Washington? 

        Didn’t do much good, did it? 

  1. Wow way to your political capital in record time.  I have to say I’m really surprised at the lack of political discipline by Ritter and the Democrats.  I guess now that he’s elected Ritter really doesn’t care about that moderate image.

      1. He vetoes it?

        Could it happen?  The unions got the major spank down from the Dems on the convention, and their power is really limited in CO anyway. 

        1. If Ritter vetoes it we know he’s for real and business falls head over heels for him.  This legislation has been pumped up so full of hot air it could make or break the Democrats’ chances–and the Republicans’ chances–in 2008.

          Again, that’s why I hope he signs it.

          1. “This legislation has been pumped up so full of hot air” that when it breaks, it’s going to leave business even more disenfranchised from the Republican that Dems are going to show an even stronger showing in ’08.

            1. …to comment without insulting someone?


              How in the world does this bill getting signed disenfranchise the business community from the Republicans?  The Republicans did everything in their power (so did business) to stop this from getting signed.

                1. When business continues to grow in Colorado, the R’s will be remembered for lying, grandstanding, and trying to obstruct good pieces of legislation for political gain.

                    1. What happened to our elected representatives being honest with the public? They work for us, and they need to be held responsible for their actions by us. If they lie to us, we should take action agains them for that.  And why is it child-like to think this entire issue fully through? I would think that to be a citizens civic responsibility.

                      The Senate and House Republicans are lying on this issue to gain favor with the business community for money to win elections. Now, who are they serving? It’s obviously not the people of Colorado. Dems are looking out for the workers, the business community and the people of Colorado as a whole community. The Republicans want to keep us divided, and we all know “A house divided will not stand.” 

                    2. I’m a part-owner of a small business, but I do not wish to divulge any further information with you as to it’s name, location, etc. 

                    3. I don’t want to harass you, I just want to understand how you think that labor is good for business.

                      Do you pay every employee a living wage that covers healthcare, childcare, dental, and paid maternity leave?

                    4. Hooboy, not on this planet, ever.  Sure, some are, but as a trade, many fall short.

          2. It might have been the GOP posturing and posing in the Senate…

            It’s a simple law, which already happens to be the law of the land in most of the states in this union.  None of those states have died horrible deaths of mass business failure.

            Go Blue is right.  When, after a few years, businesses are still functional and even prospering, this will all look like the stalking horse that it is, and the GOP – having not learned its lessons over the past few years – will once again be known for fighting the issues that truly don’t matter.

                    1. If it brings so few benefits, why rile up the right to the point where they’re actually working well together and rallying the business community behind them?

                      Don’t underestimate the anger of the business folks.  I was speaking to some Denver COC people and this is not going to be forgotten.

                    2. to explain why this was brought up, ever, let alone this early in the session while we were all singing Kum-by-ya.

                      So, my opinions have been on the merits of the bill, not the logic of its existence.

                      Not too many voters are member of the COC anywhere, not too many voters are small business people.  And by 2010, most, if not all, will have to admit nothing changed, the beautiful blue Colorado sky did not fall.  Lose some votes?  Send some campaign funds to the right?  Sure.  But not catastrophically.

                  1. Dems control legislature and Governor’s office.

                    It is early in the session and the hubbub will die down by May.

                    Voters will forget by the next election arrives.

        2. that this is what the Dems promised the unions in return for peace over using the Pepsi Center in 08.  No one was talking about labor rights during the campaign and this bill came right out of the blue (pun intended) right at the start of the session.

          1. I respectfully disagree. I am not sure where your source of information came from, but, you are incorrect. The Colorado Peace Act has always been a part of labor’s agenda.

  2. “elegant solution” of the second election that was supposed to have been a solution created in Colorado to be a Colorado compromise.  Actually, it was a federal law that was dropped from the NLRA in 1951 because it was ineffective.

    The business community almost had me till I read the real deal.

  3. Ok, speaking not as a Democrat but just taking a straight rational view of this as president of a company and small business owner (I hold most of the stock – not all).

    I don’t care about this bill. Nada. No impact on my company. And it doesn’t tell me squat about how Ritter’s actions over the next 4 years will be good or bad for me.


    Because the laws I care about are things like improving the educational level of workers in the state, solving the healthcare mess, etc. That is what impacts us.

    So don’t say this will lose the “business vote.” A lot of them are in the same category as me. This doesn’t matter.

    – dave

    1. As someone who has built and sold two businesses in Colorado, and been on the board of the Denver COC, I think there are much larger issues facing the Colorado business economy than this minor adjustment in the labor law.
        Small business drives the Colorado economy and CACI and the Chamber clearly don’t represent their interests.

        The Denver COC has unleashed their screaming banshees to show the Dems who is the boss.  When I was on the board I saw them do that to Pena and Webb both.  IMHO, this is a decent way for the Dems to say we care about a strong economy for the benefit of the citizens and workers but we aren’t gonna be owned by big business.

      1. “Small business drives the Colorado economy and CACI and the Chamber clearly don’t represent their interests.”


        You were on the board of the Denver Chamber of Commerce?  I’m curious why you feel this way.

  4. The legislature is doing what is good for the people of Colorado by amending the Labor Peace Act. Under current Colorado law, workers vote three times before they actually become union members. The first time, the majority of workers must vote in favor of Union representation, as deemed by Federal law. The second time, 75% of the workers must vote in favor of union representation, as deemed by Colorado law.  Next, the workers and their employer meet at the bargaining table to negotiate a proposal regarding worker wages, benefits and working conditions. Once a proposal is crafted, workers must vote a third time on the proposal, which will determine whether they actually become Union members. 

    Amending the Peace Act is not a new idea in Colorado. Every year the issue is addressed at the legislature in some form or another. And every year it was addressed, the business community effectively supported and contributed funds to candidates who were against such amendments or Right to Work (for less) legislation supporters. Now, the business community is attacking Democrats as “cutting deals” with Unions.  Unions are simply an organized voice regarding issues that affect working people.

    The leaders from the business community who make such attacks just do not get it. Their policies are not consistent with the will of Coloradoans.

    Last November, the people of Colorado voted against the wishes of the business community when they voted to increase the minimum wage. At that time, business argued many of the same issues discussed throughout the current debate. Coloradoans found their arguments to be unpersuasive. Business did not accuse the majority of Coloradoans as “cutting deals” with Unions. Their arguments are once again unpersuasive in the current debate.

    The will of the people of Colorado became evident last November. They are not looking for more of the same, they are looking for new solutions to the problems that have not been addressed.  Unions have historically worked to ensure all workers receive affordable health care, a livable wage, and safe working conditions. It should be no surprise Unions support political causes and candidates that believe in the same principles. 

    First, Republicans and the business community often argue against government intrusion into business matters. However, they apparently do not support such ideology in the current debate. HB 1072 takes a layer of government regulation out of private business.

    Second, Colorado is the only state that requires a supermajority 75% vote for workers to receive Union representation. This is simply un-American. Majority vote is the foundation of democracy in our country. There is nothing radical by adopting this amendment. Rather, it seems radical not to.

    Third, as mentioned above, workers actually vote three times before they become Union members. Not only is the process redundant, it is also expensive. Tax payer money will be saved as a result of deleting the second election. In practice, there will still be two elections.

    Fourth, the amendments will not damage our economy. There are twenty three other states with similar laws to the amendments at hand. These twenty three states continue to compete effectively with Right to Work (for less) states. In fact, at the Senate Hearing regarding HB 1072 many leaders from the business community themselves admitted there are many businesses who are turned away from locating or relocating to our state for “other reasons”. These reasons included the fact we are ranked one of the lowest states in the entire country for our education system. Amending the Labor Peace Act will not make nor break our economy. There are overriding issues that are just as important, if not more. 

    Perhaps the business community is attacking the legislature and Governor in hopes of using it as political leverage in the future. However, the Democrats must do what they were elected to do, to lead. 

    Luckily for the business community, the Democrats do not “do to others as they have been done.” Business will have their place at the table to ensure moderate solutions to the issues that face our state. 

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