Have unions gotten their mojo back in Colorado?
Following the lead of Denver Public School teachers in February, union employees at King Soopers voted to strike last week after negotiations with the grocer collapsed. The back-to-back, high-profile votes — and the subsequent teacher strike — beg the question of whether, after years in decline, Colorado unions have begun to get their mojo back.
It’s no secret that union power has been ebbing since one in three Americans were members in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
A variety of reasons have led to the steady and drastic decline to one member out of 10 American workers: outsourced manufacturing jobs, changing career paths that no longer see workers stick with one company, right-to-work statutes, technological advances, and leadership corruption represent just a few of the forces that have withered collective bargaining groups over the past half-century.
Recently, Colorado has bucked that downward trend, if only slightly. But the economic climate in the state may be slowly, imperceptibly tilling the soil for the rejuvenation of union power.