AGO 88-10.

Case Date:December 16, 1988
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1988. AGO 88-10. December 16, 1988Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 88-10 AG Alpha No. LO AD AGAQY Tim Schultz Executive Director Department of Local Affairs 1313 Sherman St., Room 518 Denver, Colorado 80203 RE: Colorado's status as a "right to work" state.Dear Mr. Schultz: This opinion letter is in response to your November 11, 1988 letter, in which you inquired whether Colorado is a right to work state. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for an attorney general's opinion presents the question: Whether the provisions of the Colorado Labor Peace Act, or any other law, causes Colorado to be properly described as a "right to work" state? No. ANALYSIS The origin of the phrase "right to work" is often attributed to a 1941 Dallas Morning News editorial which urged the adoption of an amendment to the federal constitution protecting the right of employees to work without coercion with respect to joining a labor union. See William B. Ruggles, Dallas Morning News, Tuesday, January 12, 1965, "An Open Letter to the President." However, the phrase "right to work" has developed over the past 50 years primarily in connection with state constitutional or statutory provisions permitted by section 14(b) of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, 29 U.S.C. Section 164(b) (1988). As commonly understood, a "right to work" state is one which, either by constitutional or statutory provision, prohibits contractual terms conditioning employment on membership in or financial support of a labor organization. See generally, Anno., Validity and Construction of Right to Work Laws, 92 A.L.R. 2d 598, 599; Note, International Union of the Plumbing & Pipefitting Industry Local 141 v. NLRB: Closing the Door on Representation Fees in Right to Work States, 1983 Wisc. L. Rev. 1231, 1231 n.2; Eissinger, The Right to Work Imbroglio, 51 N.D. L. Rev. 571, 573 n.8, 575 (1975). See also, e.g., United Steelworkers of America v. Johnson, 830 F.2d 924, 925 (8th Cir. 1987); Meade Electric Co. v. Hagberg, 129 Ind. App. 631, 159 N.E. 2d 408, 413-14 (1959). Colorado has neither a constitutional nor a statutory provision prohibiting labor agreements which condition employment upon membership in or support of a labor union. In...

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