Chamber to Fight Against Amendment 47

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The walls are starting to close in on the extremists who are backing the Right-to-Work measure.

From the Rocky Mountain News

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce will oppose Amendment 47, the right-to-work measure backed by a batch of conservative business leaders.

The Denver chamber’s board voted this morning to accept the recommendation of its legislative policy committee. The vote was “close to unanimous,” chamber’s Tamra Ward said.

The “close to unanimous” vote has to be a shock to the Yes on 47 campaign.

This comes directly on the heels of UFCW Local 7 standing down from some of their counter initiatives.

From The Colorado Independent

The United Food and Commercial Workers union announced Wednesday that it will be retracting two proposals set for the 2008 ballot after negotiations with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.

This morning’s comments in the Rocky Mountain News from longtime Republican Joe Blake (before the vote) are perhaps most telling

In a statement, Denver chamber President Joe Blake said, “I am delighted that the UFCW Local 7 has taken the first step away from mutually assured destruction and toward a return to the strong relationship that business and organized labor have enjoyed for decades.

“Together, labor and business passed FasTracks and Referendum C, and by working together we can continue to change Colorado’s business climate for the better.”

Cross-posted on

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49 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RedGreen says:

    He’s just a shill for labor … I mean, management … no, labor … ?!?!! … wait, how are we supposed to know how to think when they stop demonizing each other and admit both business leaders and labor unions play important roles? That’s just crazy talk.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      They’re not perfect (who is) but this is an incredibly good sign – working together rather than trying for advantage over the other.

      • Libertad says:

        I don’t understand the logic of this position.

        “Our research indicates that, over the long run, states with ‘right to work’ statutes do not perform significantly better in wages, economic development or business growth than Colorado,” chamber president Joe Blake wrote in a message to members today.

        Blake uses false Union-backed facts to articulate the position that Right-to-Work states perform worse economically.

        Blake’s premise is that business’s natural impact on the economy would be to create negative economic growth.

        He is saying, but for Forced Unionization, businesses would naturally decline in production and output. Businesses natural process would be lower the GDP.

        However, because the Union’s can force membership and dues; businesses instead have positive economic activity.

        That is totally irrational. Then he goes on to say the following:

        “Certainly, support of ‘right to work’ is a basic business principle. Allowing unions the ability to organize, but not requiring workers to participate or pay dues, makes sense in our world.”

        So, he goes on to say that the Chamber supports Right-to-Work, the ability to let workers unionize and the right to freedom of association. They obviously support Right to Work.

        Do you back extending the Right-to-Work to all Coloradans, the same democratic right state and federal employees enjoy or not?

        Why shouldn’t we extend to all Coloradans the policy put forth by the Governor – the Right to Work.

    • Another skeptic says:

      The Denver Chamber has no credibility with business owners who are not state contractors.

      It has backed every tax increase initiative and has acted against the interests of its small business owners for years.

      • Libertad says:

        YES on 47 to stop the corruption.

        Compromising chamber of commerce has a special partnership with Unions – one is even a member.

        Chamber against peoples right to choose.

        Chamber against Colorado’s small and medium sized business.

        Chamber for Big Denver Corporations and their Big Union partners.

        Chamber for the corrupt sale of ‘labor peace’.

        Remember the attempt to break labor peace and the labor-led constitutional amendment on minimum wage increase?

        Hey Big Business Chamber, the Governor gave state employees the Right to Work when he Unionized them. Shouldn’t all Coloradans have the Right to Work?

  2. 2 Beers says:

    what the unions are so scared of that they insist on doing away with private “secret” ballots. What are they afraid of? Is it because they simply want to intimidate the workers into joining their cause? And they don’t know who is “one of us” and “who is one of them”?

    I find that line of thinking un-American. Why not do away with secret ballots for the elections in November then? Post everyone’s vote in the newspaper.

    Can someone explain this part to me? I am already against unions being allowed to “force” non-union workers into paying their dues, but this part along with their forced extortion, is not something I would be very proud of.

  3. Tyler Chafee says:

    From a press release issued moments ago from U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s office:

    “I commend the Denver Metro Chamber for taking steps toward protecting the good business-labor relationship that Colorado has enjoyed for many years.   I am also encouraged by the steps that the UFCW took yesterday toward avoiding a labor-business standoff in November.  

    “I have long been concerned about the looming ballot initiative standoff between certain business and labor groups.  At a time when the uncertain future of Colorado’s economy requires that we all put our shoulders to the wheel to create jobs, compete in a global economy, solve our transportation problems and adequately fund our higher education system, we cannot afford to be divided.  The money spent on this type of dispute could be better invested in Colorado jobs and needs.  

    “From my own conversations with Colorado business leaders who have worked for decades to make Colorado prosper, I know that reasonable business leaders do not want a labor-business meltdown. I also know that union leaders want to avert prolonged strife.  I continue to believe that our best course of action would be for both sides to withdraw their initiatives.  

    “The Chamber and the UFCW have taken positive steps that I hope will encourage further progress toward avoiding a damaging showdown between business and labor.  We need to work together to keep Colorado’s economy moving forward.”

    • "The Blonde" says:

      The chambers across the fruited plain have been coopted by government bureaucrats, non-profits and unions a long time ago.  It should come as no surprise that the bleeding hearts would take a vote during business hours when real business people are working.

      Check the memberships of most chambers and you will find an inordinate amount of Non-profit and Government agencies.  Along with individual union members.

      But, hey.  It was a good try (making us believe that real businesses are against Right to Work).

      • ekean says:

        i thought you were a useless shill…i dont understand this reply…did I miss something?…seriously, will some explain this to me?

        • Libertad says:

          Go check out the boards of these faux business organizations.

          Ask yourself how many of these people are principles, owners, maintain the treasury function, sign the paychecks, etc…

          When you have a bunch of foundation presidents, mayors, major corporation’s PR exercise jockeys (that is junior VPs, regional VPs, 1st VPs and not real CEOs) making decisions for the Chamber you get … people who need that invite to Hick’s next PJ party or Auggie’s next shotski party.

          They wet their pants when power enters the room as most have positioned themselves such that this is the most high profile thing they have ever done.

          • "The Blonde" says:

            Well said.  

            Government accounts for about 32-33 percent of GDP.  The problem is that this number is growing at an alarming rate.  Government and their subcontractors are competing with small business owners and in some cases actually prohibiting them from doing business at all (with threats of prosecution and confiscation of property).

            The chambers have an inordinate amount of representation by Government (example School Districts are often members), Subcontractors (those corporations that rely on Government Contracts), Non-profits (Organizations that rely on Grants, and Govt handouts).  

            This is why the chamber promoted Ref C.  The organizations in charge of the chambers are large and powerful and they influence the vote in favor of higher taxes and other things that do not favor the business environment in general.  

            Most of the companies promoting the increase Govt agenda directly benefits from the tax dollars that are diverted from small business and companies that do not participate in Government contracts and government subsidies.

            They always vote in favor of expanding government at the expense of the private sector.  The votes are taken during hours which are inconvenient for the small business man to participate in.


            • RedGreen says:

              If the Chamber (and other chambers) are in the pocket of big government, then why don’t government-hating conservatives form their own group, gather in living rooms, then maybe at a state convention, and put some candidates on the ballot?

              Oh .. wait … they have … and this fringe group, the “Republican Party,” isn’t resonating too well with voters.  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Why you can go to their website and see their board that voted this way.

        Pinko companies all like IBM, Coors, CH2M Hill, Xcel, & more.  

        • ModerateGal says:

          Financial types are known for their pro-union views, aren’t they?  

        • Another skeptic says:

          They won’t be hurt by unionization in Colorado, and they’re run by ambitious, ruthless, self-serving executives who don’t really believe in capitalism.

          When you live off government contracts, you think like a politician and a government bureaucrat. In CO, Dems are in charge and the companies mentioned above know where their bread is buttered.

          • Libertad says:

            Another skeptic says it all.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              The bottom line is that a large cross-section of the business community has said that things are good the way they are and they want to work with unions, not fight them.

              Sucks for you that even the business community doesn’t want what you’re selling…

          • ajb says:

            I always thought that “ambitious, ruthless, self-serving executives” was pretty much synonymous with capitalism. What part did I miss? (BTW, you left out “greedy”).

            Oh, and looking at the board of directors for the chamber, I don’t see any that draw most of their income from govt contracts. Maybe you can enlighten us as to which ones do? Otherwise, maybe you need to revise your talking points.

    • Libertad says:

      “Certainly, support of ‘right to work’ is a basic business principle. Allowing unions the ability to organize, but not requiring workers to participate or pay dues, makes sense in our world.”

      No one wants a labor meltdown like the Unions are proposing with their ballot titles.

      Why don’t they just fight Right to Work?

      • ajb says:

        They are. And this is how to do it.

        Right now, CO has a right-of-center labor policy. Under the present rules, it’s hard to unionize.

        If Jon Coors wants to push that labor policy further to the right (bankrupt unions), the unions will work to push toward the left (make it easier to unionize).

        This strategy works on several levels:

        1. When the mud flies, this will pit employers against employees, and in a very public way – not a good thing for biz.

        2. Probably most voters will get disgusted and vote against ALL the ballot measures.

        3. Business will have to pony up to fight the pro-union measures. That will be more important than supporting A47 and will suck the oxygen out of the A47 camp.

        The bottom line is that anybody in business knows that they already have a pretty good deal here. As a result, they have little to gain and much to lose in this fight.  

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