Mutually Assured Destruction – part II

The anti-union folks came up with the execrable amendments 47 & 49. (Spoiled trust-fund baby Jonathan Coors may have instigated this but the business community sure jumped on board quickly – and as such deserves equal opprobrium.)

So the pro-union folks came up with their counterstrike of 53, 55, & the Health Insurance Initiative (not numbered yet). And yes, the union backed proposals are as deadly to business as the business backed proposals are to the unions.

And all of the proposals are anti-worker as they will reduce the pay of workers (the business backed measures) or reduce the number of jobs in Colorado (the union backed measures).

This post is to discuss the stupidity of the Health Insurance Initiative.

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning health care coverage for employees, and, in connection therewith, requiring employers that regularly employ twenty or more employees to provide major medical health care coverage to their employees; excluding the state and its political subdivisions from the definition of “employer”; allowing an employer to provide such health care coverage either directly through a carrier, company, or organization or acting as a self-insurer, or indirectly by paying premiums to a health insurance authority to be created pursuant to this measure that will contract with health insurance carriers, companies, and organizations to provide coverage to employees; providing that employees shall not be required to pay more than twenty percent of the premium for such coverage for themselves and more than thirty percent of such coverage for the employees’ dependents; financing the costs of administering the health insurance authority and health care coverage provided through the authority with premiums paid by employers to the authority and, if necessary, such revenue sources other than the state general fund as determined by the general assembly; directing the general assembly to enact such laws as are necessary to implement the measure; and setting the effective date of the measure to be no later than November 1, 2009.

Lets put aside the question of should people even get their health insurance from their employer – that’s how it works today for many. Lets just look at what this does.

First you have companies that do provide health insurance, but not at the mandated 80%/70% amounts. So let’s take a real example of a company that pays 100% of the individual and 0% of the family part. And it is set up this way based on employee feedback because many employees are single and many others have a spouse’s plan covering the spouse & kids. This change can be made at no cost to the company, but the employees will be worse off.

Lets take a second real example where a company provides health insurance at a bit below these percentages. But it’s a really good plan, covering most everything, and is through Aetna so that claims are paid with a minimum of hassle. Again, at no additional cost to the company they can get a plan that covers less through a carrier that is a PITA to deal with, but meets the percentages. Again, the workers are less happy.

Now the above examples are the best case scenarios. The workers are a bit worse off, the business is a bit worse off, but no jobs were lost. Lets get in to the bad cases.

Next we have the case of a company that provides no health insurance or what they provide is so much less than this, that in either case they are looking at a much larger expense. What’s key here is that this expense is per employee. Not per dollar paid to employees. Not per dollar of income received. It’s a flat fee per employee.

So what this company must do is layoff every employee it can, while getting the remaining ones to work as long and as hard as possible. Better to layoff 1 person and pay 2 others for 20 hours/week of overtime each.

This measure will reduce jobs substantially in those industries that provide little or no health insurance. And those jobs are overwhelmingly lower paying jobs – this really hurts the blue collar worker.

But that’s not the worst case. Lets now look at the companies that require lots of unskilled or semi-skilled labor, have a very low profit margin, and can be located anywhere. Those companies are gone. You can’t bring in an added expense like this and still compete against companies that don’t have this additional overhead.

Granted, these are jobs that suck. They don’t pay well. Those workers having no health insurance is a national shame. But eliminating the job is not the answer because the job, lousy as it is, beats no job.

The Health Insurance Initiative will be devastating for the workers at the lower end of the economic scale in this state. And for most of them it doesn’t mean they will get health insurance, it means they will go from a job with little or no health insurance … to no job at all.

67 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    As a business owner in an industry that does not have workers asking for unions (high-tech) the parts that really get my attention are the union-backed anti-business measures. Because those will destroy the high-tech start-up community.

    But with that said, this was started by Jonathan Coors and associated bozos in the “business community” (who do not represent many of us business owners). They are the imbeciles who saw a smoothly running business/worker environment and decided to fuck it up.

    All of these initiatives hurt the business economy and thereby the workers in this state. And the unions choose a terrible way to fight back. But the business community did fire first amd as such deservie the worst of our ire.

    • Libertad says:

      On November 2, 2007 the Governor gave state workers the protection of avoiding forced agency fees, forced union dues and forced union membership. This is the “Right-to-Work” concept.

      Amendment 47 simply extends the Governor’s sustainable, tested and responsible “Right-to-Work” policy to all Coloradans.

      Will the unions need to compete for members as any business does, sure. At the end of the day this will make them stronger and more member oriented.

      I like to post the language so we might rightiously reflect on the true details.

      Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:

      SECTION 1. Article XVIII of the constitution of the state of Colorado is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:

      Section 16. Right to work.

      (1) THIS AMENDMENT SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE “COLORADO RIGHT TO WORK AMENDMENT”.

      (2)(a) NO PERSON SHALL, AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT, BE REQUIRED TO:

      (I) BE A MEMBER OF A LABOR UNION; AND

      (II) PAY ANY DUES, FEES, ASSESSMENTS, OR OTHER CHARGES OF ANY KIND TO A LABOR UNION OR TO ANY CHARITY OR OTHER THIRD PARTY, IN LIEU OF SUCH PAYMENTS.

      (2)(b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT ANY PERSON FROM VOLUNTARILY BELONGING OR VOLUNTARILY PROVIDING FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO A LABOR UNION.

      (3) ANY PERSON WHO DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION COMMITS A MISDEMEANOR AND UPON CONVICTION THEREOF SHALL BE PUNISHED BY A FINE IN AN AMOUNT EQUIVALENT TO THE MOST STRINGENT MISDEMEANOR CLASSIFICATION PROVIDED BY LAW.

      (4) THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO ALL UNION EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION AND SHALL APPLY TO ANY RENEWAL OR EXTENSION OF ANY EXISTING UNION CONTRACT.

      (5) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, “LABOR UNION” MEANS ANY ORGANIZATION OF ANY KIND, OR AGENCY OR EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION COMMITTEE OR ORGANIZATION, THAT EXISTS FOR THE PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OF DEALING WITH EMPLOYERS CONCERNING WAGES, RATES OF PAY, HOURS OF WORK, OTHER CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT, OR OTHER FORMS OF COMPENSATION; ANY ORGANIZATION THAT EXISTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING OR OF DEALING WITH EMPLOYERS CONCERNING GRIEVANCES; AND ANY ORGANIZATION PROVIDING OTHER MUTUAL AID OR PROTECTION IN CONNECTION WITH EMPLOYMENT.

      SECTION 2. Effective date. This amendment shall take effect upon proclamation of the vote by the governor.

      Nothing in Amendment 47 will drive lower union membership. If fact, it protects one’s right to form, join, day dues and participate in a union.

      The critical issue is the right to freedom of association; Amendment 47 delivers this, just as the Governor’s policy did to state workers.

      So back this health insurance initiative. Why does offering healthcare to employees suck? If this was the law an employer might say your pay is $15/hour without insurance and $9/hour with insurance, or fo you white collar desk jockeys its $55k without and $35k with insurance.

      This sounds like the reasonable business response to another union led mandate. In fact it might make business strong, like Amendment 47 will help strengthen Unions.

      I hate to say it but, David you sound like the mouthpiece of the Denver Chamber – an unholy alliance select businesses, democrat politicans and unionists that just love back room deals and sole source contracting.

      Now you know I won’t vote for any Union initiatives because they used FORCED UNION DUES to get them on the ballot and promote them … and well that is just un-American.

      • parsingreality says:

        Un American?  Oh, please cry me a river.

        We are forced to pay taxes as part of society, men have been forced to donate their health and lives by being drafted, we are forced to evacuate for storms, we are forced to drive by certain laws, etc etc etc.

        You are just one of the conservative whiners Gramm must have been talking about.

        Grow up, be an adult, be part of society.  

        • No Way Jose says:

          No one is forced to join a union.

          No one is forced to join a union.

          No one is forced to join a union.

          Look up the law.

            • parsingreality says:

              Good comment.

              One thing I have learned as I’ve gotten older, and special thanks to foums and blogs, is how so many people talk right past one another.  I think sometimes it’s choice, like this forced joing of unions, and sometimes it’s just cognitive malfunction of the first degree.  

              I have just gone through this on a photochemistry forum wherein I said that regards a certain topic, most everything in the literature is wrong.  My well controlled experiments prove that it thus.  You wouldn’t believe how many people still cam back, in brief, “Well So and So says X.”  In frustration I even pointed out the Aristotle said heavy objects fall faster than light ones, and we all know how that went. Really, really frustrating to dialogue with such robots.  

          • Libertad says:

            Why did the executive order give state workers the “Right-to-Work”?

      • Pam Bennett says:

        First off, please use the correct person who started this.  He is the public name on the initiative. Ryan Frasier.

         Second, there are no “forced union dues”, especially for political purposes.

        The talking points are of no use because they have no basis in reality.

      • bartlet says:

        No one can be forced to join a union (or pay union dues)!

        No one can be forced to join a union (or pay union dues)!

        No one can be forced to join a union (or pay union dues)!

        No one can be forced to join a union (or pay union dues)!

        No one can be forced to join a union (or pay union dues)!

        Every time you post this nonsense I hope someone else posts this in reaction. Ugh.

    • Another skeptic says:

      David,

      I oppose the health initiative and the unions’ proposals to enslave all workers under their proposal to enrich union leaders.

      My problem with this thread is that it’s so scattered that people can and already have gone off topic.

      Would it be possible to rewrite the opening post to focus on the health initiative and then do separate threads on the unionization issues?

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Libertad posts his incredibly long comment that no one reads. And I think the context is important. If the unions had come up with this out of nowhere then they would deserve a lot worse from all of us. I think it is important to list why they did it. It’s still a terrible response but at least it is understandable.

        • Libertad says:

          As I stated … So back this health insurance initiative. Why does offering healthcare to employees suck? If this was the law an employer might say your pay is $15/hour without insurance and $9/hour with insurance, or fo you white collar desk jockeys its $55k without and $35k with insurance.

          This sounds like the reasonable business response to another union led mandate. In fact it might make business strong, like Amendment 47 will help strengthen Unions.

          **************************

          as editorial, I support some of ASs angles outlined above. Most important would be your decision to have kept this headline to just the union healthcare mandate.

          You did bring up certain worker rights issues like Right-to-Work and Paycheck Protection as precepts, therefore I felt the door was open comment as I did.

          You seem to want to tangle 47, 49 and sole sourcing with radical un-american union objectives to fuck Colorado — much like COGA is “unfairly” tying OG Commission rules and the next Ritter tax hike.

          I can’t help but support Governor Bill Ritter Jrs.’ Right-to-Work policy, I like many Coloradans feel this rightious freedom to assocaite policy should be extended to all Coloradans.

          Additionally, think of all the economic development, job creation and addition new growth driven tax flow throughs that will result.

          • CO Democrat says:

            Like that’s not a significant chunk of someone’s income.  So, you oppose people paying a very small fee in Union Dues, but support people paying about 40% of their income on Health Care, which should be a right?  You are not very good at defending your points.  In fact, you totally suck at it.  

            • Ralphie says:

              As long as he’s not paying it, he can talk like a man with a tissue-paper ass.

              I wonder if this guy has ever actually worked a day in his life?

            • Libertad says:

              Agree a 40% difference (union premium) is huge, it might make lots of Coloradams choose to be uninsured.

              Who pays then, county hospitals?

              Does it follow that this union initiative is an economy killer?

              • CO Democrat says:

                You don’t even make sense.  Here is your proposition based on what you said.

                (a) people are forced to join unions.  

                My rebuttal: This premise is false.

                (b) people shouldn’t have to pay union dues.  

                My Rebuttal: They don’t have to because being part of a union is a choice. Furthermore, Union Dues are not a significant portion of income.

                (c) If people want health insurance, they should have to pay 40% of their income for it.  

                My rebuttal: That is a pretty significant portion of their income.  Considering the other things they have to pay for.  Yeah, County and State Hospitals would have to pay for it when people can’t afford their health care bills.  

        • bob ewegen says:

          long or short. He’s a one-trick pony whose only asset is the cut and paste command.

          • Libertad says:

            You seem to read and analyze my comments.

            By the way, have you asked the Governor why he gave state workers the protection of no mandatory membership, no forced dues and no forced agency fees in his 11/02/07 exec order?

            Its not like you haven’t known this for months, I can’t believe that Joe Blake’s PR machine (Union fed) hasn’t put out a denial to this premise.

    • No Way Jose says:

      Not fight back?

      Progressives have let ultra-conservative right-wingers walk all over them for far too long.

      Good for them for standing up and saying enough is enough: you can’t just take away Coloradans’ rights to advocate for higher wages and benefits, and the things they need to do their jobs  without a fight.

  2. CO Democrat says:

    This is what Libertad and his cronies want with Amendment 47.

       Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they’ll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies — including Wal-Mart.

       In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.

       –snip–

       The Wal-Mart human-resources managers who run the meetings don’t specifically tell attendees how to vote in November’s election, but make it clear that voting for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama would be tantamount to inviting unions in, according to Wal-Mart employees who attended gatherings in Maryland, Missouri and other states.

       “The meeting leader said, ‘I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won’t have a vote on whether you want a union,'” said a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. “I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote,” she said.

    For an election to be “free and fair,” both sides must have equal access to media and the voters. But not under labor law. Anti-union managers are free to campaign to every employee, every day, throughout the day; but pro-union employees can campaign only on break time.  Furthermore, management can post anti-union propaganda on bulletin boards and walls – while prohibiting pro-union employees from doing the same.  By law, employers can force workers to attend mass anti-union propaganda events.  Not only are pro-union employees not given equal time, but they can be forced to attend on condition that they not ask any questions.  Recent data show that workers are forced to attend between five and 10 such one-sided meetings. If, during the 2004 presidential campaign, the Democrats could have forced every voter in America to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 (or if the Republicans could have forced everyone to watch the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth video), with no opportunity for response from the other side, none of us would have called this “democracy.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/

    They said it better than I could have, so I’m just going to sum it up by saying that it’s time to stop listening to people who don’t care about workers’ rights talk about workers’ rights.  These Wal-Mart initiatives must be smacked down.  

    • redstateblues says:

      We see the anti-union, anti-Udall 527 ads saying that workers’ votes won’t be private if some ballot initiative passes. In reality though, the right is telling their workers how to vote. It’s utterly stupid how they are able to accuse us of something, and then turn around and do the exact same thing with absolutely no consequences.

      • No Way Jose says:

        They have absolutely no concern for “workers rights,” it’s simply a code for signaling to their special interest friends that they are fighting to end unions and squash worker rights once and for all.

        They want us all to vote Republican. They want to squash progressive causes and

        They want us all to pay astronomical health care costs out of pocket.

        They want us to be paid less and less.

        They want us to work longer hours.

        They want us to spend our own hard-earned paychecks on getting the stuff we need to do our jobs, so they don’t have to: like bulletproof vests for cops, classroom materials for teachers, protective gear for firefighters. You know, the things that we can currently work together to get through union representation.

        They want us to have zero say in politics whatsoever. They want us to never be able to make so much as a $1 donation to any state political party or candidate, while they go unchecked.

        They want to silence worker voices, while they shout through a megaphone.

        This is the reality of 47, 49, and 54. These are the stakes.

  3. Half Glass Full says:

    The Health Care Initiative is a poorly-thought-out amendment that, as David points out, will seriously damage Colorado.

    We’re so addicted to legislation by sound bite and ultimatum that this is the type of crap we end up with.

    I’m hoping the voters will have the good sense to reject ALL of the childish and immature posturing by right and left – on “forced union dues,” mandatory health, etc.

  4. jericho says:

    If they all pass, then we’re fine right?

  5. sxp151 says:

    used here about health care could be translated with a search-and-replace into the standard Republican argument about taxes (or even unions).

    Obviously a single-payer system for health care is better than any other national universal health care, and a national plan is much better than a Colorado-specific plan (due primarily to economies of scale), so I’m not thrilled about the proposal as is.

    But this is not a convincing progressive argument against it.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Wow, way to show concern for others who don’t have iron-clad job security like you do…

      • sxp151 says:

        Just not a convincing progressive argument.

        The same way it’s often argued that corporate tax increases, the ability to form unions, environmental regulations, safety standards, and minimum wages will result in the loss of tons of jobs. It’s not progressives making those arguments.

        As for my awesome job security, I don’t have tenure at the moment, and it’s not at all certain that I’ll get it.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          You bring up a good point – merely losing jobs by itself is not a sufficient condition to oppose something. Because we do want safe jobs, minimal levels of pay, decent working conditions, etc. So yes, all that should be taken into account.

          But when we are looking at a proposal that could lead to significant reductions in available jobs, then we need to ask if the benefit is worth the significant increase in unemployment.

          To me, the improvement for a few is not worth the unemployement of many many more.

          • sxp151 says:

            Every time a law is created, amended, or repealed, there are some people who benefit and some people who are hurt. Sometimes the same people benefit in one way and are hurt in another.

            So it’s not enough to say, “This is going to affect some people negatively.” Without any kind of numbers, all you can do is make assumptions. So naturally some of us will say, “More health care for some outweighs greater expenses for others” based on our own experiences, and others will say the opposite.

            So far your argument has been based on a couple of hypothetical situations and a wild guess. An actual analysis with some numbers would be much more convincing. Do we actually have policy institutes in Colorado who analyze this stuff?  

            • DavidThi808 says:

              For forced insurance I can’t speak to it as well because the high tech industry does provide good health insurance – they have to because every other company does.

              But on the Just Cause initiative – it will kill start-up companies. I went into great detail on this earlier as to why but it will kill one of the primary engines of job growth in this state.

              Keep in mind most companies have a profit margin of 5 – 10%. If you hadd 5% to their costs, that means one bad year and they’re out of business.

  6. Steve Balboni says:

    Do we give those around here? Maybe we should.  

    • DavidThi808 says:

      You’re clearly a smart guy based on a lot of your posts. These inititives have some serious downsides. If there was no downside to putting requirements like this on business, many businesses would have done them voluntarily just to improve employee morale (yes a lot of us running businesses put a lot of effort in to that).

      These things are job killers, both directly and indirectly. And even for companies like mine where this requirement won’t reduce jobs, it will require me to change our health coverage to something that is less popular with my employees.

      This helps a few at the expense of many – and I don’t think that’s good.

  7. davebarnes says:

    “On November 2, 2007 the Governor gave state workers the protection of avoiding forced agency fees, forced union dues and forced union membership.”

    Exactly.

    None of these would be on the ballot if Bill had not done something stupid.

    Were State Employees underpaid and mistreated? I don’t think so.

    • CO Democrat says:

      Ritter didn’t start this.  You guys did.  Your anti-Union rhetoric has gone on for years and you simply seized upon that incident to fan the flames of a fire that already was burning.  

      • Libertad says:

        The Denver Chamber has been long and fast freinds with the Unions.

        The unholy alliance centered on the Chamber involves massive corporate interests, Unions and Democrats. This alliance has for years promoted new large government programs, more regulation, sole source deals, massive school district bonding to feed operating budgets, free passes on the Unionization of Colorado’s state employees, more taxes, more taxes and more taxes.

        Who pays … the people and small businesses.

        Who gets paid … unions, ever fatter government payrolls, government doles, etc.

        Truely sad.

        • CO Democrat says:

          The Union Bogeyman is responsible for all of this.  I’ve heard the anti-union rhetoric before this.  This is just more of the “He Started It” Elementary School Playground crap. You have nothing but the same canned responses.  How much do you cut and paste to “write” your posts?  

          Unions have barely had a presence in Colorado.  The only big issue involving Unions was Ludlow 100 years ago.  

          You don’t care about worker’s rights.  

    • No Way Jose says:

      who started it? These issues are on the ballot. 47, 49, and also Jon Caldara-sponsored 54 are devastating to our state, moreso than the labor initiatives. 47, 49, and 54 are about taking away workers rights; 53, 55 and the health care initiative are about protecting them. How hard is this choice, really?

      I respectfully have to disagree with you, David. As someone said on your other post about this, the threat of the workers rights initiatives to jobs and the economy are far overstated. Let’s not get hysterical.

    • Jambalaya says:

      …pre-Ritter, state employees could NOT unionize.  So, they faced none of the imaginable horribles that you imagine.  Ritter started none of this and he finished none of it.  Get your facts straight, buster.

  8. No Way Jose says:

    David,

    I really disagree with you on these issues but I respect your right to post your concerns here.

    As a progressive I know you must also be concerned about what 47, 49, and 54 will do to Colorado and our economy.

    I hope that you will do a couple lengthy posts featuring the job-killing nature of those amendments, too, in the same way that you have for the health care initiative and just cause over the past couple weeks.

    Let’s not lose focus in the progressive community and work together to voice our concerns about the things we DO agree on:

    47 will effectively ban unions in the state of Colorado, which will harm our state economy. States that have so-called right to work laws (right to work for less!) consistently have lower wages, which will lead to less spending and a sluggish economy. Check out what the Denver Chamber of Commerce said about it when they decided to oppose it.

    49 will effectively dismantle workers’ ability to come together to advocate for things they need that benefit all of us. Caldara et al say it’s not targeted at unions, but it is. It’s a way to dismantle worker rights by making it harder for them to pool their resources.

    54 will limit workers’ free speech and right to participate in the political process. It stops union members and people with government contracts from donating ANYTHING to any state level political cause or politician. It’s an underhanded way to shut up the working class and increase the stranglehold big corporations and lobbyists already have in politics.

    These are far more dangerous measures, and I hope you will post some blogs on them in the future.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      I agree that 47, 49, & 54 are deadly to the unions and are very anti-worker. I am seriously considering starting a group titled “a pox on both your houses” to advertise against all of these disasters.

      But keep in mind “which is worse” depends on your particular case. I work in the software start-up industry and we have never had unions and probably never will. So 47, 49, & 54 have no direct effect on us.

      On the flip side, as 47/49/54 are death to unions, Just Cause is death to start-ups. Every start-up makes some bad hiring decisions and you have to be able to replace that person fast. Not only that, but startups are always tight on money – a single judicial finding that a firing was not just can easily kill most start-ups.

      So just as your world’s major threat is 47/49/54, my world’s major threat is Just Cause. And there are others where the Healt Insurance requirement is a death notice for them.

      We can all agree that they all are very bad for workers. But different industries will see different direct impacts from each.

  9. tallport says:

    Just some general comments on the issue and these posts.  

    In regard to the TV ads, Most about 90%, of on the job “harassment” comes from management directed at pro-union employees and labor organizers. Just check the statistics with the labor relations board.  The Employee Free Choice Act is not “anti-business”. What is “antiquated” is the world view that employee rights and economic power have to handed down (ie, trickled down) from the guy signing the paycheck. Elections are fine, but NOT when they used by the employer to break unions, which is exactly the case in the private sector.  When people choose to join groups, what do they do?  They simply sign up and that IS a vote. Once a majority decides, we have the democratic process of majority and if the members choose to have an election they can.  

    Truth is that the right wing opposes unions because they bring democratic principles to the workplace and that is something they do not believe in. Let’s stop pretending that anti-union groups are acting in the interest of employees like is often the case with these sound bite ads going on in many states now, like the one attacking Congressman Udall. The main reason union have declined is because the power structure wants it that way pure and simple.

    Jose is right in that 47, 49 and 54 are simply designed to cripple unions. If passed they would further establish trickle down democracy and hurt the middle class.  Giving government employees basic collective bargaining rights was a bold and solid move by Gov. Ritter, but people still get confused between the laws as they apply to public and private sector. Having a “open shop” in the government does not draw the same parallels with private sector where contracts gives employees different rights to bargain on wages and benefits.  

    Removing democracy from the workplace is removing it from society. Period. While democracy is not always easy or efficient, it is always the best way to operate.  Businesses who fear unions need to be reminded that federal law establishes this RIGHT.  We should all ask ourselves what due process really means to us or it is just a inconvenient phrase?  

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Labor/management relations in this state have been fine for the last 10+ years. And this is not a heavily unionized state. So why did they even poke a stick into the hornet’s nest?

      • tallport says:

        Well, I am not sure, but some people say it is because the Governor gave some rights, (however limited) to State employees.  And when you say labor relations has been fine I guess that depends on how you look at it.  From a union point of view,  the key question here is always, have people been able to join unions without interference?  I can assure that the answer is no. Starting a union in the private sector is often good way to get fired. In asking why, I would further refer you to this speech by FDR.

        Speech before the 1936 Democratic National Convention

        Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1936

        A Rendezvous With Destiny

        Excerpts –

        The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody’s business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

        Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

        These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          Obviously many businesses also found that it was too pro-union here (go figure). I’d say it was pretty balanced and people managed to mostly negotiate rather than fight.

          Weird time to decide to go to war.

          • sxp151 says:

            The scorpion and the frog

            In an economic environment in which “the status quo” is considered a failure for a corporation’s stock price, and only more growth really gets rewarded, it’s natural that people who have a lot always want more. That’s often how they got a lot in the first place.

            It’s an old quote by now, but we’ve been having class warfare for a long time. The only new thing is that the people on the bottom are fighting back.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              and keep in mind these are rumors, Jonathan Coors decided to do this and a lot of business leaders tried to talk him out of it. But he went ahead.

              And then once those inititives were viewed as a done deal, a lot of things automatically happened including groups that felt they had to support the initiatives and the unions doing their counter-attack.

              If so, then the real cause is a single spoiled trust-fund baby.

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