Face The State reports on the poster child for Amendment 47:
Ernest Duran, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, paid himself and two of his children combined salaries of over $430,000 in 2007.
Duran collected a salary of $162,368 for 2007, according to records with the U.S. Department of Labor. Two of Duran’s children also work for the UFCW Local 7. His daughter Crisanta Duran, an associate counsel, pulled in $133,410 in 2007. His son, Ernie Duran, III, earned $134,378 in 2007 as an executive staffer. According to Salary.com, a Denver-area grocery cashier can earn about $24,377 annually, an assistant manager at the same store earns approximately $48,950, and a store manager earns about $66,800 a year.
The Durans’ salaries are funded by dues from the union’s 20,000 members. [Ben’s note: And agency fee payers who never chose to join.] Members include Dominic Brazzale, 18, who graduated high school earlier this year and got a summer job working at the Safeway at 80th and Wadsworth. He worked there for about just over four months before quitting. Two months into the job, Brazzaleâ€™s boss approached him with a union contract and told him he had to sign. â€œMy boss told me they take money from him, too and it sucks, but you have to sign it.â€
Too bad Amendment 47, also known as Right-to-Work, looks to be doomed in the polls. It is, however, instructive to note that the Durans’ UFCW has pumped nearly $6 million into the anti-47 campaign – which has even used the money illegally to attack other ballot amendments, as well.
Back in May, Ernest Duran admitted that Amendment 47 would cost UFCW half its membership, as workers would then be free to decide whether to fill the union’s coffers – or more to the point, pay the six-figure salaries for himself and two of his children.
(While we’re on the topic, did this UFCW attorney make six figures, too?)
This opinion writer in the Craig Daily Press makes a great point:
Amendment 47 doesnâ€™t prohibit unions in Colorado. In fact, it might actually strengthen the collective voice of workers. If a union is truly effective and does a great job for its membership, it only makes sense that a worker would voluntarily join.
Who is more eager to fight Right-to-Work: the rank-and-file worker or the highly-paid union official? Barring some kind of unexpected miracle, it will be sad to see Amendment 47 go down on Tuesday.