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May 31, 2005

Colorado's Owen: Vetoing Labor Rights

Governor Bill Owen of Colorado, a likely 2008 candidate for the GOP Presidential primary, is staking out his position as an anti-worker standard bearer, vetoing a host of pro-labor legislation.

One of the vetoed bills was a basic right of employees to read what information the company has in its files about the employee -- a measure that would force companies to reveal illegal or discriminatory behavior and, hopefully, deter them from doing it.

Another was a measure to allow workers to collect unemployment insurance when companies lockout union employees during a dispute. Under current law, companies can maneuver the game to force employees to either accept the employer's contract offer or face unemployment - except that because it's a "labor dispute", employees wouldn't qualify for unemployment insurance.

Owens also vetoed a bill that would have made employment discrimination against gays illegal.

From Bush down to the state level, from rightwingers like Owen to "moderates" like Schwartenegger, bashing workers is the theme that unites GOP politics. Progressives should be highlighting this with every GOP official and make this reality as obvious to the public as possible.

Posted by Nathan at May 31, 2005 08:22 AM