NewsAug 15, 06:10 PM
By Diane Merrill, President
AFM Local 154, Colorado Springs
Denver Post – Letter to the Editor
Amendment 47 is being characterized by supporters as a law which would prohibit workers from being “forced” to join a union and pay dues as a condition of employment. The media, too, has latched on to this inaccurate definition and the result is that there has been no clear explanation of the difference between Amendment 47 and current law.
Colorado is already a “modified right-to-work” state, because a supermajority is required in a Department of Labor-supervised election to establish a union shop.
Additionally, employees who work in a union shop who do not wish to belong to the union may assert what is known as their Beck rights, meaning that they are not required to become members.
As non-members, they are only obligated to pay their fair share of fees necessary for the union to negotiate and maintain the contract under which they work.
Since the contract that is negotiated between the union and the employer benefits all employees, Beck reasons that all should pay those costs, whether or not they choose to belong to the union.
No one is “forced” to join any union in Colorado or in any other non-“right-to-work” state.
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