Right-to-Work Laws

Many of the measures on this year’s ballot have to do with labor unions, including Amendment 47. According to Colorado’s 2008 Blue Book, Amendment 47 would “prohibit requiring an employee to join and pay any dues or fees to a labor union as a condition of employment; and create a misdemeanor penalty for violation of this law.” Proponents argue that it is unfair to force a worker to pay union dues if they don’t want to (choosing not to pay dues is often referred to as right-to-work), and that it creates a more business-friendly state. Opponents, however, argue that all workers would get the benefits of the union regardless of whether they paid or not, leaving some workers to foot the entire bill. To help decide what you think, you may want to consult a document we have here in our library: Do Right-to-Work Laws Matter? This publication, written by CSU’s Center for Research on the Colorado Economy, explores how other states have dealt with this very same issue.