Our analysis found that right-to-work states enter into recessions sooner than both the state of Colorado and union shop states, however; they also exit recessions sooner. But union shop states remain in recessions much longer than either right-to-work states or Colorado. Lastly, union shop states have higher hourly wages—significantly higher than right-to-work states—and somewhat higher than Colorado’s wages.
Our conclusion is that the Colorado Labor Peace Act is the best union labor law in the nation. Right-to-work states pay lower wages; union shop states stay in recessions much longer while prolonging economic loss. Colorado is at a sweet spot right between the two more common options.
Gov. Ritter ultimately vetoed the proposed statute; a right-to-work initiative was subsequently placed on the ballot, but failed.
Still, the national site selection consultants might have believed that Colorado is a union shop state. Why? Because business magazines portray union shop versus right-to-work states as the only two options—you either are or are not. Whenever there is a two-color map illustrating union status, Colorado is shown as a union shop state.
The consultants were surprised to learn of the Colorado Labor Peace Act. Colorado has a showpiece labor relations law; they suggest it’s time that we promote it proudly.