How Right-to-Work Could Help This NFIB Member

Date: February 28, 2017


NFIB member Mike Donahue is praising a bill that would make Colorado a right to work state.

Donahue, owner of Spectrum Properties in Lakewood, believes right to work would be a boost for the state’s economy. “It’ll grow employment in the private sector,” he said, without harming those who want to join unions.

“Before I opened up a real estate company,” Donahue says, “I was a commercial building contractor. We did work in both Colorado and Nevada, and Nevada had been a right to work state for many years. For 2015, union membership was 8.4 percent in Colorado, and in Nevada, union membership was 14.3 percent.”

“So right to work does not hurt unions and does not hurt their collective bargaining rights.”

The bill, which has passed the Senate, would prohibit employers from making union membership a requirement for any job.

“This is not an anti-union bill, as some have said,” Sen. Tim Neville, a small business owner who sponsored the bill, told The Gazette. “It’s just the opposite. This is a bill that says people have the right to choose.”

Donahue adds that making Colorado a right to work state would encourage manufacturers to relocate here.

“Being in the real estate business myself, that would be really helpful for my business.”

He also brings up a quote from Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers union, who he feels puts it best.

“This is something I’ve never understood,” Casteel said in 2014, “that people think right to work hurts unions. To me, it helps them. You don’t have to belong if you don’t want to. So if I go to an organizing drive, I can tell these workers, ‘If you don’t like this arrangement, you don’t have to belong.’ Versus, ‘If we get 50 percent of you, then all of you have to belong, whether you like to or not.’ I don’t even like the way that sounds. Because [right to work is] a voluntary system, if you don’t think the system’s earning its keep, then you don’t have to pay.”

There are currently 28 right to work states in the U.S.

Related Content: Small Business News | Colorado | Economy

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