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If workers unionize, ‘get on with job’

Last weekend was May Day and also International Workers Day - a celebration of laborers and the working classes. How ironic then that at the very same time, the La Plata and Montezuma County commissioners published an open letter attacking collective bargaining.

The specific target of the commissioners ire is SB22-230, proposed legislation that would require county governments to negotiate with their employees if they vote to unionize. The commissioners claim they “do not oppose collective bargaining as a policy tool.” But then they peg the hypocrisy meter, saying that unions and bargaining are too expensive, too divisive and not appropriate here.

A suggestion for our commissioners and administrators: Treat your employees well; respect them and reward them for the work they do; be honest and open about the challenges ahead. Then it will be unlikely that employees will feel ground-down and badly treated, and it will be unlikely they will feel the need to unionize. And if your workers do form a union, negotiate in good faith, compromise as needed, and get on with the job of providing county services.

Tim Schaldach