Danger Danger, Graveyard Chamber


Joanne Kelley reports on an unholy pact between the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and state unions which, probably, will throttle a number of conservative ballot initiatives.

It began last spring when a group of conservatives proposed Amendment 47, which would ban compulsory union fees for workers covered by collective bargaining contracts.

"I was just one person among many who helped put together a peaceful truce," [Democratic Sen. Ken] Salazar said by cell phone this week. "It took a lot of work to figure out what kind of coalition and resources we needed."

The rundown:

* Labor and business interests agreed to work together… scrapping four labor measures that would have required employers to pay the bulk of employee health care premiums, made it harder for companies to fire workers without a reason, imposed a tougher corporate fraud law and allowed injured workers to sue for more damages.

In return, business leaders pledged to fight anti-labor measures on the ballot:

* Amendment 47 would do away with compulsory union fees for workers covered by collective bargaining.

* Amendment 49 would ban governments from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

* Amendment 54 would prohibit contractors with no-bid government contracts and unions representing public workers from contributing to political campaigns.

Ballot measures are, from year to year, the only thing libertarians can actually, decisively, win. So if this strategy works…

NEXT: Pantsless at the Polling Place

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  1. Entrenched business interests helping entrenched labor interests pick the pocket of workers. I like it.

  2. When markets fail, what do market fundamentalists do? Bust unions!

  3. Many of the reasons why America is sinking financially are the cumulative effects of collective bargaining, compulsory union membership, forced contributions to unions and the inevitable mediocrity of union workers and union produced products upon the economy.

  4. ^ token liberal troll comment from lefiti

  5. Lefiti,

    Count me out. Unless when you say “bust” unions, you’re talking about rioting and mayhem on a scale not seen in the last 80 years. Then I’m in.

  6. and the inevitable mediocrity of union workers and union produced products upon the economy.

    American workers are the best, hardest working people in the world, and is the reason our economy is fundamentally sound.

    Reinmoose for president – 2012!

  7. libertymike,

    You sure? Cuz unions have more or less been declining in power for the last 30 years.

  8. Lefiti-


    F-Federation of





  9. Naga-

    In the private sector, yes. But even there, unionism continues to poison-look at all the state prevailing wage laws that artificially, and dramatically, increase the costs of everything from highway consttruction and renovation to the building of schools and sports stadia.

  10. Naga-

    For example, look at the BIG DIG here in Massachusetts. Even Joe would have to acknowledge that it has been a colossal disaster. I am sure Joe would be quick to point out that this disaster took place on the watch of republican govenors-and he would be right.

  11. Straight out of the diary of a mad man.

  12. libertymike,

    All I’m gettin’ across from you is that I had a point even despite your valid facts.

    Naga: 1

    libertymike: 0

  13. 47 bans employers from having compulsory unionization – a violation of the property rights of employers. That’s why I’m voting against it.

  14. We got a mailing with a picture of a cop on the front saying “These Amendments Would Handcuff Police Officers”.

    They stopped sending them out.

    I hope it’s because people saw that as a reason to vote for them.

  15. When markets fail, what do market fundamentalists do? Bust unions!

    I don’t understand. Unions are market failures.

  16. Unions are market failures.

    No they’re not. A union is merely the name assigned to a group of people who decide to band together for negotiating purposes. It’s really an attempted cartel.

    In a free market, cartels can exist, but are restrained from acting too cartely by the fact that their profit margins attract competition.

    Modern unions in the U.S. are able to act with more impunity becaue the employer is not free to stop doing business with them. Additionally, in some parts of the country, police will refuse to investigate or prevent acts of vandalism by union members.

    However, again, these are problems caused by government support for trade unions rather than being inevitably caused by the existence of the unions.

  17. FWIW, many “clean government” as well as anti-union folks in CO oppose Amendment 54. The amendment would prohibit family members of union officers (including grandchildren, nephews, sister-in laws, domestic partners, spouses children, siblings, step-siblings etc) from making political contributions.

    This would pose a serious problem for free association and free speech in our state.

  18. When markets fail, what do market fundamentalists do? Bust unions!

    What market failure?

    Oh the bailout, that market failure.

    FYI, Lefiti, you’re going to get your universal healthcare, and it will be corporate America that will bring it to you. They’re tired of paying your healthcare premiums and as such, they’d much prefer it if you’d start paying them… you know, like you will after ‘universal’ healthcare.

  19. Modern unions in the U.S. are able to act with more impunity becaue the employer is not free to stop doing business with them.

    There’s only one place where I would argue that unions are a problem: the public sector. I have no problems with private sector unions. They reap the benefits (and consequences) of their rewards.

    The problem with public sector unions is they don’t negotiate with their employer. Which is why the public sector is the one place where unions remain truly entrenched.

  20. David,

    listen to Amendment 54’s take on the “unholy alliance” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=992G_RUKiQU. Stop the backroom deals between political insiders. Vote YES on Colorado Amendment 54

  21. Queen of Heaven, protect us from atheistic inteventionism of all sorts and from the evils of unionism. Let us pray:

    Hail Market,
    Full of grace,
    Prosperity is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among systems,
    and blessed is the fruit
    of thy womb, Capital.
    Holy Market,
    Mother of Goods,
    pray for us consumers now,
    and at the hour of our bankruptcy.

  22. Lefiti-

    Hail Union.
    Full of thugs,
    “featherbedding” be thy name.
    May “card-check” come,
    so we can kill all the scum-
    and everyone else who doesn’t agree with us.

    Give us this day everything,
    but penalize those who do so efficiently.
    Because AFSC(u)ME is the one growth industry
    among the failures of unionization.

    Trusting in the power and glory of Hoffa,


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