Colorado Unions, Employers Settle Ballot Dispute

By Staff Report

Oct. 3, 2008

Four proposed constitutional amendments that organizations representing Colorado employers said would have had a devastating impact on businesses in the state have been withdrawn from November’s ballot, after a deal worked out with labor supporters that had proposed them.

A spokeswoman for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce said the amendments were withdrawn in exchange for $3 million in funding from businesses to support union opposition to proposed anti-union laws. The spokeswoman said the chamber was not contributing to the fund.

The amendments would have eliminated “at will” employment in the state and require private employers to have a “just cause” before terminating employees; mandate that all companies with at least 20 employees provide health insurance for workers and their dependents; remove the workers compensation “exclusive remedy” provision; and hold corporate officials criminally liable for illegal company activities.

Opponents of the amendments called them a poison pill by labor supporters as part of a strategy to have the anti-union measures withdrawn. The measures included a right-to-work provision banning compulsory union membership.

Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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