Marianna Raftopoulos: 47 advances freedom


To the editor:

If you start your own company, nobody would say you must join a chamber of commerce in order to stay in business. If you grow corn, nobody would say you must join the Corn Growers Association, or the Cattlemen's Association if you raise cattle.

Yet, thousands of Coloradans are forced to join or pay dues to private organizations against their will at many workplaces across Colorado.

Seem unfair that someone could force you to join a private organization as a condition of employment? It is. But this is what thousands of Colorado workers endure by being forced to join a union in order to get a paycheck.

There are plenty of reasons to join private organizations that might benefit you or the community at large, but we don't think anybody should be forced to join. That's why we support Amendment 47.

Amendment 47, the Colorado Right to Work Amendment, is simple - it says that a worker cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. But it also preserves a worker's right to voluntarily join or financially support a union.

Take, for example, the Plumbers Union Local 3, the Colorado Education Association, or the Fire Fighters Local 1290. All are unions whose members choose, freely, to join. They exist because their members see something of value in being part of these private organizations. Amendment 47 affords every worker the same right to freely choose whether to join, without risking their job. Amendment 47 is not anti-union; it's pro-freedom and pro-worker. The benefits are two-fold:

1. It's a freedom issue. I believe all workers should have the freedom to choose whether to join a union or pay union dues. Current law in Colorado allows some unions to force workers to pay dues, whether that worker wants to or not.

2. There are 22 right-to-work states already, and studies consistently show that right-to-work states perform better economically than non-right-to-work states. That means more jobs, higher-paying jobs and a better economic environment for the entire state.

In the West, we value individualism and personal responsibility.

Amendment 47 doesn't prohibit unions in Colorado. In fact, it might actually strengthen the collective voice of workers. If a union is truly effective and does a great job for its membership, it only makes sense that a worker would voluntarily join.

Amendment 47 is about guaranteeing worker rights for all Coloradans, because the freedom to associate with whom we choose is too important to ignore. It's also about strengthening this economy by bringing new companies, higher wages, and a better job market.

Amendment 47 will make Colorado a better place to live, work, and to do business. In America, freedom is among our highest ideals. Let's advance freedom together in Colorado. Please visit for more information.

Marianna Raftopoulos



als362 8 years, 5 months ago

No one is required to join a union now. They are just required in some cases to pay their way. A concept not clear to most politicians. Most politicians think that money just falls from the sky. Well Marianna, let me clue you in, it doesn't. Unions need money for the purpose of defending the rights of their members, and negotiating new contracts. Ammendment 47 states that while you are not required to join a union, the union is required to protect your worthless frelloading butt from whatever ill befalls you. This is totally wrong. Maybe you and your business onwing buddies might want this ammendment to break the backs of honest hard working people so that freeloaders can take over. Maybe thats why you are no longer in office in this area


als362 8 years, 5 months ago

If you choose not to join the Chamber of Commerce or the Corn Growers Assn. are they still required to defend you? I would have to say that the answer is undoubtably NO!!! You have no idea what you are talking about because you have a slanted biased opinion and are not looking at the entire picture and what it would do to working people.


johne 8 years, 5 months ago

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." - Matthew 7:15

The backers of Amendment 47 are trying to pull one over on us. 47 isn't about workers rights or choice, and workers can't be forced to join a union. From the 1943 Colorado Labor Peace Act:

"In accordance with the provisions of this article, employees have the right of self-organization and the right to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own free choosing, and to engage in lawful, concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. Each employee also has the right to refrain from any of such activities."

The backers of Amendment 47 talk about freedom and choice without ever talking about the details of existing laws. Currently workers have the choice to decide what kind of union they want when creating one. After the union is ratified, if a second vote passes by 75% the members may then collect fees from non-members to help pay for the costs of collective bargaining and filing grievances. Amendment 47 would take away this democratic freedom.


lonelyone 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't know what states you've talked to, but I know people who live in right to works states and they say it sucks because the pay is not as good, benifits are not as good, safety is not as good. All these things are better when you have a union to back you. But hey, that's just my opinion. One job my husband applied for many years ago did pay better because they wanted to keep the union out, but that is almost unheard of from anywhere else. Please vote NO on 47


Richard Myers 8 years, 5 months ago

"There are 22 right-to-work states already, and studies consistently show that right-to-work states perform better economically than non-right-to-work states. That means more jobs, higher-paying jobs and a better economic environment for the entire state."

This is a pretty brazen lie. Unions negotiate for higher-paying jobs. "Work For Less" states have lower-paying jobs, because the unions have been damaged or driven out. That may translate into higher profits for investors and some business leaders, but it means impoverishment and no voice in wages, hours, or working conditions for working people.


Ray Cartwright 8 years, 5 months ago

MS. Raftopoulos, I am getting so tired of trying to informed the uninformed public that listen to ads on TV and form an opinion on what they hear there. So once again here are the FACTS: There is no, nor has there ever been a law that says that you have to join a union as a condition of employment. There is a law that says that anyone that is working under a collective bargaining agreement HAS to be represented by the organization. Henceforth there is a law that allows a Union to conduct a vote that makes the people working under a collective bargaining agreement to have a seperate vote called a Union Security Claus, passed by a 75% majority, calls for every person under that agreement to have to pay support moneys. In other words Ms.Raftopoulos thank you for supporting Amendment 47, I will go down tomorrow and sign up at the Trapper Mine Health Club and have them send you the Bill for my membership since you won't mind supporting me there.

I have already stated in past posts the difference in wages, community benifits, taxes and allocations to schools so I will not republish them here. I don't know where you got you information but you should recheck your sources in order to make an informed decision prior to going to the polls on Tuesday.


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